It’s no longer a secret. Last week I hit the proverbial wall. I shared the depths of my struggle and my fear moving forward with all of you here and others in different ways. There was surprise, not here, but in my offline life. Some didn’t see it coming, were sure it couldn’t be possible. I can see how they would feel that way, I had locked it away tight. I was in denial myself, and in my denial I painted a pretty portrait. I kept my sadness isolated.
I was deeply moved by the outpouring of support from all of you, the calm words and the wise encouragement. It helped me to get over the first few hurdles and to secure an acceptance that I was doing the right thing. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
I spent the week resting and thinking and regaining a sense of equilibrium. I was trying on my new life, seeing how it would fit. I’m struggling a bit with the awareness of my depression. I feel broken inside. I fear I’ll never be able to face my life as it was again. Perhaps that is good. Maybe it’s the first step on my path to recovery. A step toward knowing, realizing, it’s time to change. To be honest the fear mostly comes from not knowing if I can. I’m very tightly tied to the old me. I used to thrive under pressure. There was never any doubt that I could do and be it all. I was raised to believe this. My history is a network of achievement, of moving toward a goal. I’ve always lived my life absolutely sure what was next.
Last week my life swelled into the perfect storm and I was bowled over by a tidal wave of fatigue. There are still moments when I wish that everyone and everything would just go away. Strong is my desire to be alone with my struggles, to escape. I want quiet. I think the quiet would help my pulse to slow. Oh how I long for it to slow. But the fact is, that isn’t real life. I know this. I know that I have to learn to live again, with real life pressures.
I can feel my centre widening beyond myself, my capacity to focus stretching gingerly, with caution and hesitation. The haze is lifting and visits me less frequently. I’m starting to see things more brightly, there is a new clarity to my world. The edges are sharper. And strangely that scares me too. I’ve lived so long with my sadness that it’s familiarity is like a warm blanket. Uncovering it is leaving me vulnerable and hesitant. Even the goodness makes my heart quicken in reluctant anticipation.
There is a path ahead of me. I can see that it winds up instead of down, leading to a still fuzzy place called recovery. But it’s there, in the distance, I know it. I have to resist the temptation to list the steps here. Old habits die hard. And I’m one for formula’s, for setting in black and white what I will do. It’s just my way. But I know that that will lead me right back where I started, to a place of despair, filled with expectations and unmet priorities.
So I won’t.
I choose instead to force myself to take it a day at a time, to look toward the brightness I can finally see and trust that it will lead the way to a life filled with sunshine.