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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Genuine Thank You

Yesterday, I talked about depression.

Today, I want to talk about gratitude.

I am feeling the most immense gratitude.

Yesterday, through this blog, I reached out. I asked for support. I shared my own vulnerability. I shared my truth.

And I was overwhelmed by the response, by the amount of people who reached out to me, to offer an ear, kind words, their own stories of grief and depression.

I felt empowered rather than alone. I felt understood.

Some people used words like brave, honest, and courageous. But I think they are just as brave.  

We live in a world where expectations are high and sometimes we just don’t meet those expectations in the ways we’d hoped.

We often hear the phrase “the struggle is real” attached to a ludicrous bit of comedy, like being the 10th person in line at Starbucks on Monday. And we laugh and think yes, indeed. The struggle is real.

But that little tidbit holds serious weight. It’s only fitting its become a pop culture cliché because society tells us we can’t be “real” with our feelings too often. We need to crack jokes, lighten things up, skim past the real issues.

Instead, on social media we post pictures of our greatest moments, our good times, our pets, our food, our trips to the gym, an occasional political diatribe (well, I do that at least)…

But let’s face it, some days are plain shitty.  Some days, we don’t want to get out of bed.

Yesterday, I wanted to be honest because I think I deserve it. I think YOU deserve it.

That word, “depression” has such a stigma attached to it. It affects so many of us in some way, be it large or small, intermittent or chronic. I just wanted all of you to know it affects me too. 

And the ways I deal with it…healthy or not. I forgot to include that writing is one of them, (the healthy ways).

Which brings me full circle to the space of gratitude.

Which is what I am feeling today.

Immense gratitude.

Thank you, everyone, for listening, caring and connecting.

I also wrote I had hope. The amount of love I felt, knowing I had touched so many of you on a deeper level, hope is alive and well inside my heart.

I am grateful for each one of you.


Until next time…

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting Raw

I am usually a happy, optimistic person.
Today, I’m getting raw.
Thank you for indulging me. 
Today, I want to talk about depression.
It comes in unpredictable waves for me.
I do a pretty good job of fooling everyone when it comes on, except those that know me the best.
Those who really know me understand I retreat into a secret space of self-loathing and disgust when my behavior doesn’t match my insides.
When I am disloyal to my innermost self, my core, the struggle begins.
It’s usually triggered by drinking too much.
This is also a struggle.
I ask myself if I am addicted to alcohol, or anything else…like food, or shopping.
Addiction. A mighty strong and scary word. 
Those happen to be the places I usually put it.
I sprinkle it out so that no single one gets all the credit.
It’s a balancing act of sorts.
*She writes with a tone of sarcasm.
And right now, I am at a crossroads.
A point where I am feeling lost and alone and panicky.
I’m struggling to find myself again.
It’s been almost six years since my dad and best friend died simultaneously.
Well, close enough with three days spread.
And every year, the pain remains in tact. The memories of their deaths, the loss I feel, the anger at not being able to share my life with them anymore.
It’s all still here, festering like a boil.
I let it out sometimes.
I do.
I go to therapy and talk about it.
I go for bike rides along the beach, or walks.
I cry.
These are the “healthy” ways I grieve.
But in silence, I punish myself.
I say I have come to terms with it. I say I am over it.
But there are most certainly times I am NOT over it.
I wonder, still, if there is something else I could have said or done.
My rational self knows there is nothing.
But the part of me who wants to save everyone, everything, doesn’t recognize that.
That part of me sneaks in and drinks wine, drinks beer, eats too much, dances on tables and sometimes gets into fights with strangers.
That person is really angry, still.
That woman has not come to terms with all of it.
Today, I am sharing this because I don’t want to feel alone.
And, I don’t want to you to feel alone.
Because, I know the truth.
We are all struggling, some of us worse than others.
Even those of us who seem to be the strongest have weak moments, hours, days.

But I still have hope.

So that’s something.