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Depression: A Snapshot

By Alex Harrison, LCSW

kitchen

Tell me you’re depressed without telling me you’re depressed. I’ll go first.

This is my kitchen. February 10, 2019, at 10:36 pm—unmercifully documented by the time stamp in my photo reel. Why did I take it? Because I was alone in my house, I walked into my kitchen, and the stark visual felt so ridiculous that I laughed out loud. The absence of clean utensils and dishes in the cabinets, most of which are left wide open—the evidence of several meals that were cooked and not cleaned up. Bottles of condiments just hanging around… some with caps on, some without. Yowza. 

At that moment, I laughed because it was such a perfect visual of what feeling depressed can sometimes look like; the kind of moment that says, “Oh, me?! I’m just over here…doing my life…kind of.” 

Depression can look like different things for different people. At the time, I was new to single parenting, lonely, and feeling a little aimless. It was wintertime in Denver, and I was exhaustedly waiting for spring to show up. The thing is, if you had asked me up until that moment if I felt depressed, I would have said no. But the scene in my kitchen spoke for me. As a therapist who specializes in helping people name all their emotions, I couldn’t help but find the dark comedy in seeing my own internal experience laid out across my entire kitchen countertop. 

And you know what? 

That moment of stumbling upon humor within my depression was just enough to kickstart the process of moving through it. I texted the pic to a friend and fellow therapist, and we FaceTimed and laughed about our hot messiness. I woke up the following day, cleaned the kitchen, and the day felt a little lighter than the days before. Not amazing… but different. 

I share all of this, knowing that moving through depression isn’t always this simple or quick. I know darn well that it’s often far more complicated. And at the same time, we can learn from ourselves when we grow in our awareness. And that awareness can inform us as to what action steps we can try first… and next. 

Pathlight Mood & Anxiety is partnering with She Recovers to bring you the second workshop of our three-part series. This time around, the workshop will focus on the experience of depression. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to better understand the emotions associated with depression
  • Practical, evidence-based tools to help you navigate feelings of depression

And we’ll be bringing it to you in the context of connection through our virtual community. 

Register here, and we look forward to seeing you on October 28. 

Written by

Alex Harrison, LCSW

A clinician at heart, Alex believes that recovery happens wherever there is authentic community. As a therapist at ERC's adult treatment center in Denver, she specialized in direct care to patients…