Sometimes, I feel that no matter how I try, how hard I am working at things, I’m making no progress- or worse, some days, I’m slipping backwards. I fight my way toward the lighter spots, and they recede, drift further and further away, evading my attempts to lunge toward it, into the sun.
And yet, progress is happening, although slowly, although there are days of being down, or feeling backwards, there are also days and moments of light-hearted grinning, happiness to be alive, to be around my family.
Yesterday, Lynn and Beth made a comment- said it’d been a long time since they’ve heard me singing, just random songs because I felt good.
I hadn’t even known I was doing it.
But, I was, and thinking about it afterwards, I realized how sad it is, that even my nine-year old can see such a telling difference in my attitude, my behavior. How awful I must have been for them to be around, if even my “semi-awake” state is so noticeably better than before.
I don’t know how to begin to make up for the lost time, time when I wasn’t available, wasn’t focused on their needs; times when the cold black thing was gripping me, and I couldn’t hear them for its incessant roaring in my ears.
But, I can try my best, to make sure that going forward, I don’t let the thing get me. I wont allow the fog to thicken again, I can’t, because it’s so scary and cold.
I used to marvel, at people’s despair- Who would kill themselves, take their own life? I used to ask, “Why? How can it get so bad, so desperate? I’d do anything else first, move to Australia, do some other work, walk across the country, anything before I’d do that.”
Easy to say, and now, I know- it’s not easy to do, because it’s sneaky. I have almost come to think of it, of depression, as a living, breathing enemy, filled with malice, deliberately seeking victims, searching for my weaknesses and ready to pounce.
“Keep your guard up,” I tell myself, “It’s waiting there, just around the corner, as soon as something, anything no matter how trivial on the surface causes you to pause, to drift back…. WHAM!”
That’s when it strikes, you see, at the smallest, most ridiculous openings; at times when anyone else, even me, when I’m normal- at those things that would be shrugged off, not noticed- boom, it leaps in and wraps my heart in jealousy, in sadness, and turns my thoughts to things that are sure to bring me down. And the most painful things are sure to be remembered, shoved up from the cesspool and brought into focus; the thing knows, so well, just what buttons to push, to drive me into the darkness.
But, I am winning- for, you see, I have a secret weapon, that depression isn’t going to be able to take from me, not ever again, now that I’m onto its’ sly tricks. Actually, it’s one major weapon, and it has so many subcomponents, that depression doesn’t stand a chance.
The weapon, is Love.
Love from my family, love for them as well. Love of Lynn, and hers for me, and of mine, ours, surrounding the kids, wrapping us all in it’s embrace; the kid’s love for us, for me, helping me to be strong, to remember that despair can be fought, that the stars, they kill bits of the black thing, every time.
All kinds of components- Love from Dad, brothers and sister, from all my family, and mine for them. Laughter and playfulness, the sweet giggle when I whirl Beth around, when we’re all cracking up helping Rob with a movie.
I wrote, Here, a note to Lynda, referencing the deep connection we share, and how it as well as faith, go deep enough to live with.
Well, so too, is Love, deep and strong and growing.
Love and laughter and sharing and caring, all the weapons to beat it back, and continue to climb to the sun.