You have labored for many months on thoughts—thoughts about depression, thoughts about the overwhelming weight on your shoulders, thoughts about how you should move forward. That is, if and when, you can muster up the courage, energy, and resources to take a chance and seek treatment. But no amount of thinking seems to generate the right words to convey how debilitating this disease has been for you and the many others you’ve encountered along the way.
It has been said that depression is a journey, a marathon. May these words from a well-known poem be a balm to your weary heart.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
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In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost, 1916
The character in Robert Frost’s poem stood at a fork in the road and decided for himself which road he would travel. In contrast, you weren’t as fortunate as to be able to choose your own road—but rather, it was chosen for you. Depression is the path you find yourself on. Now, you trepidatiously walk the less traveled road of mental illness, and I long for you to know you aren’t alone on this journey.
Although this particular road was thrust upon you, You can still experience the same outcome as Mr. Frost. By taking the road less traveled, whether by choice or by chance, it can make all the difference in your life.
This is my hope and prayer for you in 2019.
Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio, OTR/L, is a medical, health, and lifestyle writer and editor, and a licensed occupational therapist. She’s ProHealth’s Depression by ProHealth editor. Her work has been found in leading publications like HuffPost, Men’s Health Magazine, Prevention Magazine, and many others. Her areas of expertise include chronic health conditions, wellness, mind-body fitness, and chronic illness management. You can find her on her blog, The Lyme Road, or on Twitter and Instagram.