All that is gold does not glitter…
I believe some of the best lessons in life can be learned from a hobbit.
Yes, you read that correctly. A hobbit.
Specifically, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. In the ever famous “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, we stumble upon a timid, home dwelling fellow who prefers the safety of his hole-y home on the hill. Bilbo, like many hobbits, was not acquainted with adventure nor peril as the life of his kind did not merit such a spirit of living. No, everyday he tended to his garden, his home, and his friends. It was the simple and enjoyable life.
Who knew that one simple knock on the door could change everything.
I won’t spoil anything for you if you have not been well acquainted with the story but it will suffice to say that Bilbo went on an adventurous journey. One that took him from the comfort of his own home into an unknown land with death waiting for him at every corner. He encounters many lessons on the way and by the end of the story comes to the realization that life is much more than pleasantries…It’s all about the journey.
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”
The Hobbit; J.R.R. Tolkien
In the same way our lives are a journey. From life until death we encounter an incredible list of circumstances that will grow us, change us, or break us. Not only is life a journey but so is depression.
Depression has a very succinct beginning and very well can have a satisfactory ending (unbeknownst to most people). What most of us (who are experiencing the disease) forget is that there is a journey to be had. A journey that is full of war, loss, and gain. On one hand we battle the mindset of the people around us who seem to combat our irrational way of life. Then, on the other hand, we are combatting our own thoughts and perceptions of what life feels like, what we think it should be, and what it is. At times we lose a piece of ourselves or a friend but at other times we gain a picture of our soul. We, the depressed, are like Bilbo Baggins. We tend to stick around in our depression because it has become home. Anything outside of the walls of our mind wants to kill us so therefore it is much safer to just stay inside. Like our short, furry friend we would rather dwell in the pleasantries of suffering than experience the danger of discovery.
This road that you and I are on may very well seem irrational. The thoughts we have, the things we say, and the things we do are crazy to the world around us and even to ourselves. We know that what we are experiencing isn’t logical but none of this information changes anything. That’s why depression is a journey. In order to move forward we have to know where to start. When we gain that foundation we have to be brave enough to take the first step to recovery. The world of sorrow is a dangerous place. One that is full of death, self confrontation, and change but the end always justifies the means.
If you find yourself too afraid to make that first step, realize that it is ok to be afraid. You are not alone in your journey or struggle. With that knowledge step out of your door and into the world of understanding. Stand tall, be brave, and conquer the dragon of your depression. The feat is large but the heart is strong. You just have to be willing.
…Not all those who wander are lost.