One year

It has been a year. Three hundred and sixty-five long and yet intensely spiritual days since I first admitted publicly, and more importantly to myself, that I was drowning from depression.

I came here in those early days to share my first tentative steps forward. It has been here that I’ve shared all of my fears and vulnerabilities. It was here that I promised myself that I would become healthy.

It isn’t easy  to fully describe the life that I’ve lived in the space of this one life-changing year —the shift has been profoundly monumental. There is truly no one who can understand from where I’ve come, and how I got here. That’s the way it should be, the way I think it will stay.

And yet, I was broken and this place offered me a safe and comfortable place from which to put the pieces back together. My words formed the path, and all of you provided the encouraging and supportive shelter I needed to keep taking each step forward.

For that I am deeply, and eternally grateful.

A year ago I retired to my bed. I was exhausted and spent. For a while it provided the cocoon from which to lick my wounds and  gather the self-acceptance I needed to begin to once  again to live my life. Over the long winter months I wrote and wrote of the pain and the darkness. I made changes in my life, important changes. I started to meditate and found a sense of serenity I had not known before. I questioned myself, every little piece of myself. I was raw, but I pushed through and let myself be vulnerable.

I cried. God how I cried. I believed I was broken, physically I felt myself scattered into a million little fragments. I couldn’t imagine how I would every feel whole again.

But I kept going: to therapy, to meditation, deep into my writing. I cleared my calendar, and started to acknowledge and accept my triggers. And because of that I set boundaries. I learned that I couldn’t do it all, and funnily realized that I didn’t even want to. I thought about the things that really mattered. I was honest with myself. That was the hardest of all.

And as spring started to bloom, there was a freshness in the air and in my heart. I was feeling better. I was doing better. The winter had been dark, long and hard, but the brightness of spring and summer dawned brighter than it had for many years before. So I sat with this new feeling, I just allowed myself to luxuriate in the sense that I was so much better, that I felt like myself again. For weeks and weeks I just let myself feel it. The whole summer actually.

The thing about coming through the darkness is that that the lightness can be addictive. This place I’ve come to. It’s just right. It’s not wonderful, it’s not perfect, there are still hard days. I still question and wonder so much about myself. I work at this contentment every day. And I never want it to leave. I cannot ever feel like I did one year ago again. I just can’t.

So this is the next part of my journey. It’s to focus on staying well, on practicing what I’ve learned, on reminding myself from where I’ve come so that I can live my life today. Because that is what it means to be human.  There is glory in the good, and there is honesty in the bad and they both make us whole.

And so, if you ask me what I’ve learned this year—after all the reading and introspection, this hard, soul work—I’ve learned that this is just it. Today. This moment. Life is best lived now, not in the past or the future. If you can understand that, I mean really, really grasp it, then everything else either falls into place, or it falls away. All of it.

 

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16 thoughts on “One year

  1. Nicki says:

    Glad to hear that you are working through this. I have been wanting to write about my recent struggles with depression on my blog but I am having difficulty putting it all into words. Writing used to help me deal with my issues, but not so much this time, I just can’t seem to focus on even that. Fingers crossed that therapy a long with a visit to my Doctor in the coming weeks will help.

  2. “Life is best lived now, not in the past or the future. If you can understand that, I mean really, really grasp it, then everything else either falls into place, or it falls away. All of it.”

    There is so much wisdom here. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey and for sharing all the discoveries you’ve found along the way.

    xo

  3. Lindsey says:

    I’m so heartened to read these words – I relate to every step of the journey and have had the same realization you come to myself. Yet I admit it’s hard for me to stay content, to remember what I need to do, to keep with the practice. Somehow it slips away and I have to begin again. I guess that is a practice of its own, isn’t it?!
    xo

  4. Christine, I’m so glad that you’ve come so far this past year. I know it hasn’t been an easy road. Although some days can be a struggle, trying to live every moment in the “present” – is the key to inner peace.

  5. pamela says:

    You have done so much work this year! This is so inspiring. Thank you for being so honest – by embracing your darkness and your light you inspire us all to do the same! xoxo

  6. Sarah says:

    You are amazing. And beautiful. Xo

  7. Nice ending. I definitely struggle with telling myself life will be easier/better at this time, or that time in my life. I have a grass is greener mentality. But when I wipe away all the gook (which is from my kids’ breakfast, lunch, and dinner), I recognize that you have to make the most of the present. Writing definitely helps.

  8. Christine, you have done an amazing amount of work, and I’m so glad you have come so far. Your writing helps me put some things into perspective, too. My own depression was much like what you describe– too much pressure, too little awareness of what I really wanted, etc. I did some of the work you’ve done, though it took years. Now that I’m retired the pressure is gone and the priorities are clear. But the lack of light in the literal sense makes fall and winter a challenge still. I use an antidepressant to keep from backsliding, ’cause I don’t want to be back there again either. Congrats on a year of great writing.

  9. SoberJulie says:

    “It’s to focus on staying well, on practicing what I’ve learned, on reminding myself from where I’ve come so that I can live my life today.” For me this is the most important aspect of my life, remembering the past and learning from it. If I forget where I’ve come from I’ll end up there again.
    Great post!

  10. Bumby says:

    I know that it has been a tough year, I for one am glad that you decided to hang in there and share it.
    Always, Bumby

  11. denise says:

    A lovely retrospective on your year of growth. Each part important, each part a piece of that puzzle that is you. And you know that I know. Brava to you, all of you. xoxo

  12. Jane says:

    I love this heartfelt post. And can relate to it in so many ways. So for that, I thank you for sharing this with us. So many times we hear about the struggle. The ups, the progress, the continued successes, the journey seems to get lost because it’s not as exciting. I’ve been going through my own issues these past few months. This post landed on my computer screen at just the right time — sending me a little encouragement for my own journey. Thank you. xoxoxo

  13. “Today. This moment. Life is best lived now, not in the past or the future. If you can understand that, I mean really, really grasp it, then everything else either falls into place, or it falls away. All of it.”

    These words are powerful. Thanks so much for sharing your struggles. You are authentic and real and always conveying your truth. And that is courage and grace in my book.

  14. Christa says:

    “The thing about coming through the darkness is that that the lightness can be addictive.”

    So true. And also so true that all we have is this moment, right now. You’ve got it. And you’ve worked hard to get it, I know. Congratulations to you, and thanks for being so transparent. Helps you, helps the world.

    Cheering from somewhat south of you…

    XOXO

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  16. […] the space of a moment I realized that all these long months of trying so hard to come up for air, I’d been fighting so hard to unlock the meaning of […]

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