Beyond Blue

There is a reason violet follows blue in a rainbow. At the heart of depression’s “blues” is a time of waiting–symbolized by the color purple during Advent, the liturgical season preceding Christmas. It’s appropriate, then, that Beliefnet is launching a blog about depression and anxiety at a time when Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

In my dark night of depression, all I could do was wait. Wait to feel better. To feel anything. In my silent night, I simply stayed put–did not walk to the storage closet in our garage to end my life with 20 bottles of old presciptions I had stashed away. I waited, like Mary, to get to the other side of birth–the more pleasant side, where you had something to show for all your cursing.

“The dark night helps us become who we are created to be: lovers of God and one another,” wrote Gerald G. May in his book, “The Dark Night of the Soul.”

How I wish that weren’t so.

Yet no one stays blue forever. Blue always turns to purple–to the place where you can’t stand it any longer and start memorizing novenas to all the saints (like St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes). And lighting candles in dark places (like bedroom closets), stating your intentions (to be happy again, or at least not miserable anymore), and then preparing for something (besides your credit card bill) to change. And it does, eventually. Because all holy nights end in a miracle of love.

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