There is an ancient Greek myth about a greedy King (Sisyphus) from Corinth who was sent to Hades (hell) and who spent all eternity pushing a heavy rock up the hill, only to have the rock roll down again.
What do I make of this myth? What meaning can we give to it? What is its message? And how can I relate it to my own life?
First of all, it has all sorts of meaning for all sorts of situations in my own life. I like to think of the story about Sisyphus and his rock much like my own story and struggles with the “rock” that I keep pushing up the hill. That rock was my struggle with depression which always seemed to be a part of my daily existence. Everyday, I just knew that it was time for me to face the rock and start pushing. In time, the thought of facing another day with my hands on the rock gradually wore me down. I was exhausted.
I couldn’t get out of bed in the mornings. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t think a coherent thought. My nerves were in revolt and my anxiety precluded any sort of activity that might help me escape my rock pushing. I began to feel hopeless and too helpless to walk away from this rock which was chained to my mind, body and spirit. I felt I had no choice but to get up and push the rock.
This started me to force myself to walk each day, and without thinking about the rock. It was like I was distracted from thinking about anything while I walked. And so in time, with my daily walks, I found that my rock grew smaller and smaller. And then one day, I reached the top of the hill without my rock. I was free. I felt free. I felt that my time in hell had ended. (Read: I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous Publications).
Over the years I have found other tools besides that of walking in dealing with my depression. I founded a group, called Depressed Anonymous, where all the various shapes and forms of Sisyphus could gather, share their hopes, and their victories and discard their rocks. I knew that being all alone in one’s hell, made life even more unbearable. But with a group of persons together, all with their own situations and experiences could get the strength to find their way out of this rock pushing bondage .
All in all, I have found that when you get together with others like yourself, and you share your stories, things start to change. You finally feel accepted, and made welcome as you share your own rock pushing over the years, months, even a lifetime. We all can check our “rocks” at the door as we discuss ways out of our misery, week after week .
For more information please check out our stories in our manual Depressed Anonymous, which by the way, is written by those of us who have been depressed and are in recovery, attending Depressed Meetings week after week. And if there is no meeting in our community we can also participate in our Home Study Program of Recovery, accompanied by an online sponsor.
Click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for learning more about who we are and what we do. If you choose you can order online from our website at depressedanon.com.
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