Depression is a very heavy burden to carry. Lately I have been thinking about what it is like to carry something so heavy and have no idea how to put it down. Sometimes I am pretty sure that I cannot put it down. I began to think about something I said in a previous post about sharing the load. I have been made aware of all the people who care about me recently.
I have been made aware of this through my realization of all the people I care about. There are very many people that I love and care about. Some of them I see once in a while and there are others that I see everyday. Since losing someone I knew I have begun to think about how much each of these people in my life mean to me. And also how much I want to reach out to them. I am a praying type of person. I pray for myself and others. I also started trying to think of ways that I could reach out to others. For this I spend time just meditating or for me just thinking about that person and letting things flow through my mind in an endless stream of consciousness.
You may be wondering how this pertains to depression. I have found that the more I am able to reach out from myself and give or reach toward someone I am dividing my depression. I am having to create and use energy to help or reach someone else. For me depression is the antithesis of energy. It is an energy drain. It sucks all of my life force out and makes it so that I cannot get out of bed. But here is where trying to do something for someone else plays in, I am getting up to do something for someone else. Most of the time it is getting up to be with my children or to care for them. There is often a time when I need to have a bigger picture because sometime even that is not enough.
By dividing my depression up and giving it energy I can usually get through the hard stuff. I also know that as much as I love and care for so many people in my life there is a return of all that love. This is where the day to day stuff begins to require real energy and courage. Courage to get up out of bed and remember that I have not always felt this way. And to remember that I will not always feel this way. It also takes courage to take the hand that is offered to you out of love and friendship.
Be courageous and remember to breathe.
I have always loved stories. I have loved to hear them and read them. When I was little we had this really large stereo. It had a radio, phonograph and a reel to reel tape player. There was one reel that I loved. It was filled with children’s stories. Everything from Jack and the Beanstalk to Cinderella. It was fabulous. I learned how to load a reel to reel when I was four and could set it up myself. I would listen to that tape all the time. My mother had some of Shakespeare’s plays on albums and would listen to those sometimes. I liked the rhythm of the language. The way things flowed. The importance of the story.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a story that they tell the world and that they tell themselves. Sometimes those two stories match. And sometimes those stories do not match. Growing up I had one story that I told to people about the bruises or the other things I was struggling with. And then there was the true story. The one that I did not share with anyone. The story that I kept secret and hidden. The pain and emotions that I always kept hidden and locked away.
Lately I have been struggling with the emotions and feelings brought up by people. There are times in life when you encounter someone that just sets your teeth on edge. Someone that no matter what you do just annoys you so much you have no way to respond. There is a person in my life right now that does that for me. I can sit there and say to myself that they behave the way they do because they need attention and they need to be acknowledged and validated. But it does not matter. I still feel my blood pressure boil when I see them. Not so much now as say three weeks ago, but still it makes me want to avoid them all together.
Someone whose opinion I value very much told me that “she just fakes it till she makes it” when it comes to these things. But that is something I struggle with. For so many years I faked my way through life. Faked the smile. Faked the normal life. Faked the fact that I could barely stand sometimes. Now I have trouble being anything but honest to myself. I put my emotions out there. If I am confused I say so. If something makes me nervous, I say it does. I don’t lie to myself anymore. I have begun to make my inner and outer stories match.
Sometimes I feel like that makes me very vulnerable. I also wonder if it makes me appear to be less competent. I do know one thing. I can not keep faking it any more. I have begun to resolve my feelings about this one person. And I am glad that I am doing it in a way that I feel is honest to myself.
The story that I told myself when I was in the midst of the abuse was one of that said I must somehow have done something wrong. Why else would those that were to take care of me do this much harm. But it was never about me. It was never about anything I said or did. And my story now is about me. And that the only thing I can change is me. I can’t change this person that drives me nuts. I can change my behaviors and the story that I tell myself. I can be honest in my story. I can tell my story with honesty. Because I am a good story teller. And I am a good listener,even to my own story.
Stress is sneaky.I go through the day and think that I am doing great. I walk out the door at my internship and get in my car, start the engine and begin the drive home. After about ten minutes there starts a buzzy feeling in my brain and I start to feel the stress that I had been blocking all day start to come forward.
I do fairly well at the internship. I don’t have any panic attacks, except the first day. I communicate with others and have made some friends. But as soon as I walk out of the door everything comes forward and bashes me in the head. Which brings up the need for “the great how to decompress before I go home” quest.
I have tried listening to books on the drive home that make me laugh, I have stopped to go for a walk, I have stopped an just looked at nature. But so far I am finding the stress just builds up until I have to hide for a short while and just escape. But escape just relocates the stress it doesn’t actually make it better. Some of it is in finding a peaceful place to be in my mind. And for that I need to clear a space.
At the moment I am at residency for school. Surrounding by a large number of people that I do not know. At the same time I am also surrounded with people with whom I have developed a friendship. All the new faces and all the people that are around me have triggered some of my anxiety and panic that I feel in crowds. What I have decided to do is to carefully choose in what things I will participate and then to spend time in my room “nesting” feeding my soul and healing. Putting together the things that I need to do for the semester. Clearing away the things that need to be put into order and contemplating how to bring home the peace that I am finding.
Breathe in and breathe out. Find the center ground and stand in the space that I have designated as sacred. And let the feelings roll from me until I am back to the center. Then reach out and wrap the feelings of peace that being here at this place brings me.