Depression Stopping By

I wrote about depression a few days ago, and it was a funny thing.  Rereading the post I thought to myself, “wow, I’m feeling pretty good.”  I even wrote that I hadn’t suffered a bout of depression since I got married.  Famous last words. Well, I’ve learned my lesson beacuse it seems to have reared it’s very ugly head over the past few days.

Perhaps it’s the death of my grandfather, making me realize life is short.  Perhaps it was getting a glimpse of what living my dream life would feel like.  Then heading back to work on Monday and having reality hit me hard in the face, like an iron. Perhaps it’s hormones, that make me blue and irritable and unstable – pretty much one quarter of my life.

I’ve been feeling dragged down, teetering on the edge of falling back into a dark, black hole.  I have an issue running from emotions.  There are only two things that happen when you run from emotions. One – you speed away from them and they loom larger and larger in your rearview mirror until they’re so scary you can’t keep your eyes on the road any longer and you crash. Two – you ignore them completely and drive along la-di-da until a cement highway divider of emotions comes out of nowhere and you crash into at 60 miles an hour, your car wrenched in two right down the middle.

This is an attempt to just sit, and say hey big scary depressive feelings.  I see you.  I know you lie to me, and you’re probably going to shove me down into that black, hole when I’ve got my back turned. But I’m alright, I got this.  I’ve climbed out of the hole many times, and I get better and better at it each time I have to.  (Note: my depression is usually of the mild variety and I haven’t had to go on medication.)  There are a number of things that help me keep depression at bay:

  • Fresh air and sunlight
  • Exercise
  • Music
  • Keeping the house clean
  • Eating well
  • Ditching alchohol
  • Journaling

I feel like my insides have been vaccuumed out, and there’s nothing inside.  I will force myself to go through the  motions of taking good care of myself, no matter how pointless it feels. These little actions add up overtime I know, and eventually help me find my way out of the fog.

That Uncomfortable Place Called Change

Sun through trees (All Rights Reserved)

I completely and utterly underestimated how uncomfortable it is to live with your heart wide open.  In hindsight it seems naive and foolish of me to have overlooked this more painful side of change and learning to be myself.  I expected a bit of it of course, but not quite as much as it has been.  Sitting in something that’s totally unfamiliar, not at all sure what to do with yourself. Hate that. It really doesn’t look good on me.  I feel myself trying to run from that kind of situation one million different ways – burying myself in my day job, procrastinating, fixating on some other issue to distract myself.

Then yesterday I came across a quote that was clearly a message from the universe.  It was enough to make me stop, realize what I was doing, and bring myself back to this little spot of icky, uncomfortable, but desperately yearned for change.  Now of course I can’t find the quote.  I think it was from Geneen Roth (one of my favorite authors, who writes about women and freeing ourselves from complicated relationships with food).  It was something along the lines of it’s easy to want to change, but few people are willing to go through the discomfort that’s required to actually change.  I’m sure I’ve garbled it, but that’s the general idea.  Anyway I got the message, I had to actually do something, take some action if I wanted to change.  For me, that means leaning in to the discomfort and sitting down with it.  That’s a first step, and I’m alright with that for now.  It brought me here tonight, and I’m writing.

I’m here writing, even though part of me cringes to sit down and admit this.  Part of me wonders, what am I doing here anyway.  I’m not going to let that critic scare me away, I’m staying, pulling up a comfortable chair and setting down.  I’ll stay and see what happens.  The pain of change won’t last forever. The transformation from living open-hearted will.  I’ve got to trust in the process.