I am a big fan of Jenny Lawson, and her blog, thebloggess.com. The way that she is open about her struggles with mental health, and her humor is sincere and something I appreciate. She reminds people "depression lies."
So TRIGGER warning for anyone that needs it.
It is not just depression that lies, it is the mind. My mind lies to me all the time, it is a constant tape in my head. Meditation, yoga, running, qigong and my other studies have helped me to slow the tape down, sometimes, to have some brief pauses, and to even begin to change the tune. Sometimes the old tape begins to play, those are the most cruel and violent lies. These are the lies that tell me I am a monster, that I am unworthy, that Adam would be much happier and livelier without me.
I have gone through a couple of periods in my life of clinical depression, and I have done a number of things to cope and work through it, and live my life. A couple of weekends ago. I felt like I got hit my a truck, with that old, old tape of lies. Which escalated because I began to think "why is this coming up again?" "I thought I was past this."
So I lashed out, I snapped at Adam about something insignificant, and when I realized I had snapped and hurt him, the tape became louder and faster. So I ran to the closet and began to beat my arms, my knees, basically throwing my body at the wall in an effort to hurt myself. I collapsed in a pile in the closet, completely disgusted with myself and afraid. Adam was sitting there very calmly and asked me what I needed.
He brought me an ice pack and eventually I was able to find the little voice inside me that said "I need someone to stay with me, I need someone to watch me and hold me, someone that will still love me, because I am not able to access that right now." So I asked him to stay home, not go to class, and watch me.
I wish I could say that was all it took, and that I was instantly smiling and better, because he said "of course." Because he wasn't going to take his love away, especially when I was hurting and confused. Even though he was hurting and confused by my behavior, because like I said it hit me out of no where.
It was a long day, full of Adam holding me while I cried, of him convincing me to go for a walk despite the rain. Of me asking him to take me to my favorite place in Houston, to go see the butterflies, of discovering a new park and rose garden, a birthday celebration with some friends. So many beautiful places and things, that I was only able to see with a very dirty and dark filter. I was still looking for the beauty, the peace, finding the contrast and he was standing by my side through it all.
The scariest moment, the moment when I felt the most vulnerable and afraid was that moment when I asked him to stay with me. That moment when I felt like I was in a deep dark hole, and I didn't know how to get out. He didn't climb in the hole with me, he just knew I would eventually start looking for the light, if he kept showing me it was there. So the truth is you can climb out of the hole, you can get the tape to slow down, to change, no one can do it for you. On the other hand the people in our lives are the light to help guide us out, the reality is we all need that light sometimes and we all can be that light for someone at some point.
Changing my focus helps, changing my physiology helps, changing my language helps, sometimes the filters need to be cleaned and polished, just like eye glasses. Who cares why they get dirty, just clean them and if you don't know how, ask for help. If the person you ask for help, does the wrong thing, tell them you need something else. Everyone is doing their best and if their first reaction is not helpful, ask for something else or someone else. And it is OKAY to admit you don't know what you need, it is okay to admit that you are just as lost and confused by your feelings.
Question of the day: What would you like some help with today?