It snuck in first of the year. Looking back I had begun to believe the lie that I was all “better now.” Nobody wants to be around a depressed person long. And I had an internal timer that had beeped me back to “normal.” The old habits of suppressed emotions sprang back up. My comparison monster told me that everyone was normal, without much blemish, so I needed to be normal again. It was so subtle. So tricky, how your own thoughts tells you lies.
When you start to believe the process shouldn’t include sadness and anger, the urge to jump ship is strong. And a habit of not checking in with your own soul happens. You’re scared of yourself and what might appear. You cover yourself with an artificial blanket of protection. Thinking that uncomfortable feelings will vanish in thin air. They don’t. When the intentional work of the heart quits being done, your heart becomes heavy. Overloaded with the junk of life.
It was no wonder I began the month of February, love month as they call it, with a darkness I could not describe. And when I wasn’t in the dark, I was in the cage of anxiety. With the anxiety suffocating me more and more each day. And I told no one. Hiding has always been my death medicine. With this relapse came waves and waves of shame. I could not make my heart, mind and body do what I wanted it to do. “Be well!”, I would yell. But it would not. It could not. I had forgotten that navigating the oceans of the soul is a process. A sometimes, long and painful process. Healing always comes with some sort of pain. If not, how else would you know you needed to be healed.
So I hid for some time in the dark rooms of my mind. The isolation and shame dancing around each other, choreographing a number along my heart. I believed the lie that there is no goodness, no true love. I felt life will always be this dark. That maybe there was no light after all. I was convinced that if people knew the ugly inside me they would go running. So I walked around the world with my heavy coat of protection. And when I was in the comfort of my home, I’d crawl in bed and push the covers over my head. Hoping that sleep would make it all go away. Even if just for a little while.
And the day came when being a functioning depressed person is no longer real. The illusion becomes shattered when your husband has to stay home from work because you can’t get out of bed. Or when you’re up all night with a suffocating anxiety. My body began to ache because my emotions were proving to affect my physical body.
That is what it was like. My journey into depression.
My healing has come slow and intentional. I can’t afford to coast through life without paying attention to my own soul. And so I got myself back in therapy. And started learning to connect my emotions to my physical body through yoga. I spoke out my truth again and again and again. I made sure to ask for help when I needed. To set boundaries for myself. (I’m still learning that one!)
Depression is complicated. Layered. There are no simple answers to the complexity of it. The light is a bit more than the darkness now. And joy has begun to spring up. I feel myself more days than I don’t. And grace. There is buckets of grace around here. Some days are still harder than others. But I am allowing grace to be knit into the fibers of my being this time. Remembering to be kind and show compassion to myself. To take deep breathes and hear the quietness whisper words of wisdom to me. Sometimes slow brings about the most change. The deepest change.
***I couldn’t find who took this picture. I found it on pinterest.***