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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Confidential

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin

Yesterday morning I woke up with nature right outside my zipped door. I was able to let Chevy outside without having to get out of bed. It was beautiful. And yet my waking thoughts did not match my surroundings. The blob told me I was unloved, no one really cares whether I live or die, no one is going to miss you because they clearly don’t miss you now else they’d check on you, etc. We set our intention for the day as soon as we wake up. I laid there sensing while Chevy explored nearby; the smell of fall, the color of the leaves on the ground, the bare trees allowing me to see far, the feel of the cool air after it had rained all night, the stillness.

The stillness.

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After breakfast Chevy and I climbed Old Rag with two friends. As we went up, I worked things out in my head, letting the motions of my body and the serenity of nature assist me in working through my shit. The fog enveloped us, a perfect day for the state of my mind. About two miles from the top there is lots of rock scrambling which requires you to use all your muscles to hoist yourself over rocks, crawl under them, squeeze into some tight spaces, drop six feet and jump over crevices. It’s a total blast.

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From the beginning of the rock scramble.

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Chevy wasn’t too sure about this section.

Two years ago I did the same hike and much of that rock scramble scared me. It was my first official climb up a mountain and we did it in early February when there was a lot of ice in parts which made for a lot of giggling as we gave new meaning to the phrase rock slide.

At some point near the summit yesterday it dawned on me: I was completely confident in my footing and in myself. I wasn’t scared at all of the rock scramble piece like I remember being two years ago. Chevy and I looked out for each other, our friends assisted in lifting him up and over some key points, and we made it all the way to the top without incident. By the time we reached the summit, confidence had pushed the blob further into the corner.

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This climb reminded me I’m stronger than I was two years ago both physically and mentally. I was reminded how far I’ve come, that I have a reason to be proud. I’ve since summited many mountains, become a trail runner and ultra runner. The dirt is now an extension of myself. I am not afraid out there in the middle of no where. In fact, it’s the one place I feel most like myself. Each time I climb or run in the woods I shed some of my past and step into my future. Outside in nature amidst the trees I am free.

And I find myself out there in the place that breathes life into us all.

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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in depression, Universe

 

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In Remembrance of Me

Yesterday a friend of mine shared this piece from Elephant Journal:

I met a girl today…I guess it’s best to call her a woman.

She doesn’t see herself the way she is, but I do.

Her words are beautiful, her layers deep. She decided to go on an adventure, on a trail she’d never taken before. She had an idea of the destination she sought, but wasn’t insistent on it, remaining open to allowing her path to unfurl before her.

As she journeyed her way up the mountain, solo, she wasn’t afraid to engage in conversation with strangers. How often people walk by with no exchange, but she acknowledges everyone around her, as if she sees everyone in her presence as a gift that she warmly accepts into her world.

She is observant and meticulous too. It’s rare that she crosses a boundary that doesn’t warrant crossing. She assesses, then takes a mindful step, even when it pushes her to the point of discomfort. And one might think it would stop there, but there is more:

Her laugh is full of joy. Her tears are filled with depth. Her words carry wisdom. Her presence holds space. But she can also do a total 180 and joyfully act like a kid, which shows you she is real. Oh…and I almost forgot to mention, she is smart. Crazy smart. She knows people and she knows business, giving her the character of a loving shark.

But what makes this amazingly beautiful, almost perfect individual not quite complete is that she cannot fully see herself. When she looks into a mirror, she only sees her exterior and quickly picks away at it. When she connects with another and falls deeply in love, she takes no credit. When she walks away from a life altering experience, she struggles to pause and take ownership of the fact that she herself was a part of the creation.  She fails in the way that so many of us fail: to truly see and accept the beauty and gifts we all have within.

One day—and I feel that day is coming soon—she will see herself completely. She will accept that all the pieces of her are one whole, so that she doesn’t have to live divided, leading her to easily fall apart.

One day, I will see all of this and know that there is no need to search outside myself, because she has always been here inside of me.

Today, at work, a young woman came in, I don’t think she was older than 15, to get a new pair of shoes so she could continue running and playing field hockey. This is the shirt she was wearing:

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Bohemian (n.): Gypsy. Wanderer. A person, musician, artist or writer who lives a free-spirited life and believes in truth, freedom and love.

 
I remember the person who wrote this. I feel her off to the side standing in the shadow of the blob waiting her turn. She’s there, waiting patiently. She remembers, too.

 

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2015 in depression, recovery, Uncategorized

 

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Depression, sucks

I have been feeling it lapping at the edges of my consciousness for about a month now, tendrils touching and poking and caressing my inner dialogue. I’ve been having a difficult time ignoring the voices that tell me I’m insignificant and don’t matter to anyone. I initially thought it was PMS but then pieces of it stayed.

A week ago someone who used to be important to me sent me some nasty words in an email. The words went something like this: I tell people what’s wrong with them all the time and one day I’ll learn to keep my mouth shut or I won’t have any friends left. The week before that same person told me I give too much unsolicited advice and I need to shut up.

How I knew my suspicions about the suck returning were correct is the way I reacted to those words. I cried a lot. The voices in my head telling me this person is right, maybe this is why I don’t have any friends, maybe this is why I can’t keep a boyfriend, maybe this is why I am so lonely, maybe this is why…and it just kept on going until I realized the thoughts had turned into a loop on repeat. That night, I remember laying in bed thinking to myself, “This is how far people fall before they commit suicide. Maybe they feel they’re actually helping the people they love by being less of a burden in their lives by taking away their constant sadness and debilitating black hole of unfeeling.”

We hide it well because we don’t want to be a burden. I’ve only told my bestest of my suspicions and now I’m telling all of you. The only way to fight the darkness is to expose it to the light. Reduce the shadow. Expose the suck for what it really is – lies.

When someone who was important to you denigrates everything the two of you experienced as if it never happened, it was a bad dream they’d like to forget, and voices this in public for thousands to see, the black blob that had been following behind you tickling seizes its opportunity, swallowing you whole and taking you prisoner once again. You try to fight your way out but the blob is so strong and you’re so tired from fighting the darkness and the screams are getting louder. You lay down to rest, telling yourself you’ll try again tomorrow, except depression doesn’t work that way. It pins you down and forces you to think less and less of yourself until you’re whittled away to nothingness. You fall to the bottom of a deep dark well with no way of getting out. It sucks you in fast.

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There’s still a tiny whisper of light in the back of my head. It’s faint, hardly audible. The voices tell me I am not alone, people love me, that person does not define you and you know this. I am not who they say I am. I love the people in my life as they are, not who they can or should be. I am kind. I am a lover not a fighter. I try very hard to spread kindness and light wherever I go. I am going to tell you the truth whether or not you want to hear it, I’ve never been one to flatter or puff up egos. I am flawed but I embrace them all as part of what makes me perfectly imperfect.

And yet, the blob is the nasty voice telling me this person has only told everyone the truth: that I really am a horrible person who doesn’t deserve anything good. I am lucky to have anyone like me much less love me. No one wants to read my writing. Everyone else has a much better/easier life than mine. I am not the amazing person they say I am, it’s all a lie. I do hold people back, I do focus on their misery more than their happiness. If people get too close to me, they’re going to see how awful I really am. These are the voices that are now so loud I can’t see those cracks of light anymore. These are the caressing whispers that tell you no one will notice you’re gone. Shame is a powerful feeling that keeps you in the darkness of your Self, from the realization that you are enough. I’ve been dancing with my shadow self, it’s a harrowing journey of self-doubt, reflection and wonder.

How fast one can be knocked down from their highest point. That depression is an equal opportunity oppressor. No one is safe.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in depression, truth

 

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