I just got back from my therapist, who gave me an analogy for depression that I kind of like.
Depression is a hole.
When you start digging a hole, you can see into the distance. You can see the trees and plants around you, the horizon.
But as you get deeper, you can see less and less. At first, maybe you lose a bit of the horizon. Then, some of the tree-trunks; you can only see the tops of the trees.
The deeper you dig, the more your vision is limited. Until, at last, all you can see is the hole surrounding you, and the sky above you. And you’re not quite sure how to get out.
You might be able to intellectually imagine what is outside of the hole. People can tell you what is outside of the hole. But you can’t actually see it for yourself.
So how do you get out?
Time is often a good help, said my therapist, but antidepressants (like the ones I’m now just over a week into) can help, too. And slowly, the things you weren’t able to see will come back into your field of vision.
Until (hopefully) you’re completely out of the hole.