I have started to accept the gift of community, and it is a beautiful gift to have.
In the past, I tried to be very strong and independent. I saw the positive parts of my life and thought they should enable me to help others and not need help myself. I thought of needing help as putting a burden on people. I didn’t want to burden people, especially those I thought might be burdened from helping a lot of people already.
It was like I was a solitary bucket trying to keep myself filled (I remember colouring in a bucket with my different needs in elementary school), and I would only ask for help if my water got very, very low.
Now, I picture myself as a bucket in a large network of buckets. The buckets can spray their water into other buckets, and there’s a constant flow of water going in and out of various ones. That’s the natural way things run in this network. We give and receive, and we have plenty to give when we keep receiving too.
Still, sometimes I, like the other buckets too, have less to give. Sometimes when I’m really struggling, I feel like my bucket is leaking and I need to receive a lot until the leak is repaired. That is okay. We have a strong network, and the amount and direction of water flow can change and adapt as needed.
This is community. This is a support system, and it’s healthier than determined independence. Being connected to others and helping each other is sustainable and meaningful.
I still struggle with depression at times, but I’ve made a lot of progress in my recovery, especially with this step of allowing myself to receive what others offer to me.
Now, rather than being in the depths of depression, I’m managing it and going through the everyday challenges of life. So, I am nearly ready to conclude my series on depression. In this penultimate post, I leave you with this image of community. Life is hard, so we need each other. Life is hard, so let’s live in community. Living in community is a beautiful way to live.