Recovering from depression often feels like driving with a massive lorry riding your bumper. The lorry represents depression, and it’s so close that it dominates your attention, making it hard to focus on anything else. In the early stages of recovery, the lorry might begin to fall back, creating a small but significant distance. Although it’s not yet at the safe two-second distance recommended for vehicles on the road, that small gap allows for a shift in focus – a chance to look ahead rather than constantly in the rearview mirror.
The analogy of the lorry helps illustrate a crucial aspect of healing from depression: the necessity of shifting our focus forward. When the lorry is riding your bumper, it’s easy to become fixated on what’s looming behind rather than looking ahead to where you want to go. This fixation can hinder recovery, keeping us trapped in a cycle of fear and anxiety. However, when we manage to put even a small distance between ourselves and the lorry, we create an opportunity to shift our focus towards the future.
It’s not about ignoring the lorry altogether or pretending it’s not there. It’s about allowing ourselves to look beyond it, to envision a life not dominated by depression. It’s about giving ourselves permission to plan, dream, and move towards a brighter, more hopeful future.
While it’s natural to want to keep checking the rearview mirror, constantly monitoring the lorry can keep us stuck in a pattern of fear and avoidance. Instead, by focusing on the road ahead, we can start to drive towards recovery, towards a life defined not by depression, but by our hopes, dreams, and the endless possibilities that lie before us.
Recovery is a process, and it won’t happen overnight. There will be times when the lorry seems to close in again, threatening to consume our focus. But with each small step forward, with each moment we choose to focus on the road ahead rather than on the lorry behind, we move further away from depression’s grip and closer to a life of hope and fulfilment.
In driving, as in recovery, looking ahead is essential. It’s what allows us to navigate the road, to respond to what’s coming, and to move towards our desired destination. By shifting our focus from the lorry of depression to the journey of recovery, we give ourselves the best chance of finding and maintaining a life free from depression’s hold.
In this journey, it has been with the aid of several supportive networks, among which Richmond Fellowship stands out, that I have come to a clearer realisation. All my previous attempts at overcoming depression were akin to driving away from the menacing lorry in the rearview mirror. However, this tactic only carried me so far. It was a reactive approach, fuelled by fear and a desperate need to escape the clutches of depression.
Now, with a clearer perspective and the right support, I understand that to truly transcend the grips of depression, the strategy needs to shift from merely driving away from something to purposefully driving towards something. It’s about advancing towards a brighter horizon, towards hope, healing, and self-rediscovery.
It’s about setting meaningful goals, nurturing positive relationships, and cultivating a life that is led by aspiration and hope, rather than fear and avoidance. The support and insights provided by Richmond Fellowship, particularly Angie and Carmen, have been instrumental in this shift in perspective. Now, the road ahead is not about fleeing from the dark shadows of depression but advancing towards a life of light, purpose, and promise.
This proactive approach has transformed my journey of recovery. No longer am I fixated on the intimidating lorry of depression in my rearview mirror. Now, my eyes are set firmly on the road ahead, on the boundless opportunities that await. And with each mile I cover, the lorry falls further behind, becoming a smaller and smaller speck in the distance as I drive towards a life filled with hope, meaningful connections, and unbounded potential. There is a long way to go but this time I’m more hopeful.
Contributed by Mike Newman