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From James Gordon’s Unstuck: your guide to the seven-stage journey out of depression

Tasks that were once routine are now ordeals.

[She] lost the sense of pleasure in her life and interest in what once absorbed her.

It has astounded me how big some truly small tasks seem to be. Just thinking of cleaning the bathroom is exhausting, and I used to do it nearly effortlessly several times a week.  I wouldn’t have understood this task-as-ordeal thing without actually experiencing it.

There is very little pleasure in the life of a depressed person.  It is so rare to really enjoy something. That makes the days long.


There is every reason for [her] to be depressed. The life she’s been living is no longer serving her.

This woman was living an admirable life, but she was ruled by the expectations of others, and by her own harsh self-judgement and it wasn’t working for her anymore. I try to recall my previous life and I can see some ways that it was too small for me but I didn’t see a way to make it larger.


Depression can be a call to transformation, a catalyst to deeper self-knowledge and to a richer experience of who we are, the beginning of a journey toward healing and wholeness.

Gordon’s assertation that depression is more of an opportunity than a disease is rare, and is more hopeful than the mainstream views of depression. He believes that depression is what forces us to face things and make changes and move on in a different plane of life.

Depression almost always brings with it – along with the sense of loss and inadequacy, of gloom and uncertainty – a feeling of immobility, of “stuckness.” It feels as if we’ve broken down, alone and lonely, in some dismal, charmless backwater that no one would every choose to visit.

The beginning of the end of depression comes when we recognize this place, and see it not as the end, but as the beginning, a starting point for the journey through and beyond depression, confusion, and despair, toward wholeness, healing, and delight.

This uncertain, challenging journey is, I believe, the life-defining path that leads us to who we really are, who we are meant to be.