Generally, I do not stay depressed longer than a week. My father has a beautiful saying that truly helps when I am depressed. He says, when all else fails, go watch something in the movie theater. This technique truly has pulled me out of the hole over and over again. I feel much better after a movie, especially the ones that expand my mind or depict bigger suffering than mine, where my suffering seems so minute. (Minute the adjective not the noun)
In 1990, I experienced deep depression after a silly (in hindsight) yet huge loss. The week turned into weeks and lasted almost 4 months. No movies were left to watch, dad’s advice was failing me. The tears were nonstop, even at work. I simply acted like I have a bad allergy. Wiping the tears naturally off my face.
One evening, when I was drowning in my own tears, an old green book of my mom started winking at me (Winking at me, simply means, I felt a pull towards it). The book was sitting on a table that my mom sat and read her prayer books.
I got off the couch and picked it up and took it up to my room, in the hope to ease my despair. When I opened it, I realized it’s the Quran. (The holy book of Muslims).
Now keep in mind, I was born in a Muslim family, attended a catholic school, but after the Islamic revolution in 1979, totally geared away from Islam or anything that had to do with Islam. (I did fast for the whole month of Ramadan in 1981 so I can lose some weight but gained it back in two folds). My mom was a Muslim in heart. She prayed 5 times a day, yet loved to play cards with her friends, wear nail polish and at times miniskirts.
So, I glanced at this old book, I’d say it was about 50 or 60 years old, as the pages were crisp and tender. It was in Arabic, which I almost failed the subject in school, when in Iran. But wait, this one had a thin line in Farsi under the large Arabic words. Bingo!
I became certain, this book has a profound message for me. So, I closed the book, then closed my eyes, and ran my fingers through it to see where in the book it lands. There it was, I opened it to a page. But the light focused on one passage:
“And those who do not have hope will drown in their sorrow”
This passage has remained with me for 30 years and will continue to be with me for the rest of my life. All I have to do is remember it and any sadness slowly vanishes from my heart. The passage was the dawn of a new beginning in my life and stopped the tears for that episode of my life.
I don’t consider myself a Muslim, and simply don’t belong to any organized religion, but I know, something, higher than myself (may be myself in a higher dimension) guided me to this passage. I am also cognizant that life like a roller coaster will be full of ups and downs, but a movie and “Hope” shall sustain me in the downs!