There was a time when my depression held me captive. It ruled my thoughts, my dreams, and my actions. It was a wall that surrounded me from all sides stretching to the sky and leaving me at the bottom.

After my suicide attempt, I became obsessed with trying to break through that wall. In the process, I learned to treat my depression as a living breathing thing. I would close my eyes and visualize epic battles where I fought this dark creature trying to control me. Every night I’d give its shape a new form. I’d create different scenes and varying scenarios. Sometimes I’d win. Sometimes I’d lose. But I always kept fighting.

Gradually, I began to win more often. I’d visualize it running away before I even got close enough to strike. I imagined it balled-up on the ground cowering in front of me. And eventually, I imagined the thing that once controlled me lying helpless at my feet. But I could never bring myself to destroy it.

It seemed that through all the battles we had fought, I had somehow learned to love it, respect it, and care about it. I no longer saw my depression as a separate entity. I saw it as a part of me. I realized it never needed to be destroyed. It just needed to be tamed.

Embracing my depression, viewing it with compassion, and putting my entire heart into helping it serve me is what truly released me from the darkness that once held me captive.

Craig Miller

Craig is an award winning author, speaker, and photographer and was featured in the S-Word Documentary. You can learn more about Craig and his work at ThisIsHowItFeels.com.