Posted by: Judy | December 14, 2011

Gathering light…

My sister had an interesting post the other day: Creeping Darkness. It started me thinking, and I decided I wanted to explore it further.

I’ve struggled with depression all my life. Depression is a safe, short-term response to anger. It gives you time to think before reacting. The problem is that depression isn’t healthy when it becomes long term. And I have lived with it long term. I even recognize that in some ways it is a habit.

Here’s the dilemma: If I allow myself to release the depression and be happy, the Ns in my life will do everything within their power to create a miserable environment for me. And doesn’t that sound sick? It is.

And there are those of you who will be tsking and shaking your heads, saying that I’m being irrational, ridiculous, absurd. There was a time when I would have agreed with you. Until I conducted a test. Yes, I test my Ns. Not to set them up, but to help me learn to recognize their behaviors for what they are.

If I am happy, then my Ns will do one of two things: 1. They will say or do something to hurt me, so I’m not happy anymore. 2. They will claim my happiness for their own. Really.

Example: I had spent a delightful day with a friend. When I returned home I didn’t curb my enthusiasm. My mother wept she was so happy for me. She couldn’t let me be happy, not without being happier than I was.

Now, as relates to my sister’s post: Christmas is the “Holy Grail” of happy. Pay dirt for the emotional vampires. I finally realize that this means narcissists kick into high gear. They have so many opportunities to rain on your parade. Television shows and movies and music and stories you enjoy are subject to ridicule, year after year after year. Your gifts are ridiculed, year after year after year. The holiday foods you love are an additional source of ridicule, year after year after year. The traditions that matter to you are recognizable targets for ridicule, year after year after year.

And people wonder why depression is so prevalent this time of year.

I stopped putting up my Christmas tree because my mother complained about it from the day it was set up, until the day it was taken down, and before and after the events. Whatever I stated I liked, my mother thought something else was better or liked it more. And Christmas is riddled with special occasions to exploit and destroy.

The perspective of turning away from the creeping darkness is powerful to me. I’m adding something new to this: Shadows are darkest at noon. Will I focus on the shadow or the sunlight? Ns would have you see only the shadows. All I have to do is change my focus.

And doesn’t that sound easy?!

Nothing worth having is easy.

It isn’t easy. Habits are difficult to break, but not impossible, which is what Ns would have you believe.

So, here’s to learning to choose the Sunlight instead of the shadows, at every opportunity, so that when the shadows gather, I will be filled with light. When I am filled with light it’s easier for me to share it with others, which is what I truly want. When I share the light I am a blessing.


  1. In a decade long fight with dpression I have begun to wonder if I actually fear being well. I wouldn’t go so far as to say depression is comfortable, but it has become familiar. It is a troubling thought.

    • Welcome, Casey. I’ve worried about that, too. It’s part of why I started The Project. How could I be sure? I know I’m afraid of success. And wouldn’t overcoming depression be a success all its own? You’re not alone. More troubling would be if you truly wanted to remain depressed, which your comments suggests you do not. Wanting to change is an important first step. I’m praying for you.

  2. Cool post. I like the direction you took this idea. I think I will add a link to my post to this one. 🙂

    • You started it. ;-D

  3. PS. Thanks for the link to my blog. 😉

    • You’re welcome.

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