A quote from WandaVision last night struck me deeply: “But, what is grief, if not love, persevering?” (Kudos to the writers.) As I struggle with depression, I took in this quote and could see the difference more clearly between sorrow and (clinical) depression.
As the quote indicates, sorrow is a form of love. It wouldn’t exist if we had not lost something important. Depression is selfish and inward. Depression blocks us from being fully available to someone else. Depression can take someone else’s words and twist them to their darkest meaning. Depression shines a light on all our flaws.
When we are in sorrow after losing a loved one, on the other had, we’re thinking of that person, what they meant to us, and to their community. We shine a light on all their positive attributes, choosing to forget their flaws. We remember their words as though they were lyrics in a love poem (love coming in many different forms, of course).
They are both similar, however, in that we can’t just choose to “be happy” and “get over” those feelings. When you say that to someone who is sorrowing, you’re asking them to pretend their love away. When you say that to someone in deep depression, you’re asking them to pretend they don’t exist. Though doing either is impossible, would you want that to be a real solution anyway? No.
I won’t go into how to resolve those difficulties, as we are all different and solutions can be varied. However, I would like to warn readers that sorrow can lead to depression, and in both cases, having steadfast friends who offer unconditional love is paramount. Thank you for reading.