Anatomy of the Deep Well of Depression
The ladder of liberation is symbolic of the “action” steps associated with my G.E.T. Healthy! approach to overcoming symptoms of depression (specifically, “T” for take action). If you look closely at the diagram, you can observe two fundamental characteristics about this ladder: Firstly, the ladder is out of reach for the person treading the dark water of despair; and Secondly, there are seven individual rungs or steps on the ladder of liberation.
The ladder is out of reach!
The only way the man treading water can get to the first wrung on the ladder of liberation is by reaching out for the rope of support floating next to him. The symbolic meaning is that a person struggling with depression must consciously choose to reach out for help, to grip onto the rope so his supporters can help pull him up to the first wrung.
There are seven rungs on the ladder of liberation
The second characteristic is that the ladder has a total of seven steps that lead toward the surface of the well. Reaching for the rope of support sets your journey into motion. Your supporters will pull you up to the first step on the ladder of liberation. You will release one hand from the rope and grip the ladder rung, and then follow with the other hand, leaving the rope to dangle freely as hang from bottom of the ladder.
Below you is the dark water of despair and above you, seven ladder rungs that lead up and out of the well. This is a critical point in your healing because this is where you must leverage that single most powerful element that will give you the leverage to climb: hope. It is in this moment that there is hope in your condition because when you look up toward the light at the top of the well, you can see for yourself that there is a way out from the debilitating symptoms of this disorder.
Each rung or step on the ladder of liberation is symbolic of the action steps in my G.E.T. Healthy! program:
Step 1: Defibrillate your mental illness
Step 2: Get help
Step 3: Forgive yourself
Step 4: Create a goal to look forward to
Step 5: Leverage exercise
Step 6: Embrace good in life!
Step 7: Give back, help others!