“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
I haven’t written for a while.
Maybe what is more truthful is that I haven’t published in a while. I continue to write but haven’t felt comfortable publishing anything and that is probably for the best. When I write to publish there are things I might hold back, purposefully or even without knowing it. When I just write I work through things, and there has been a lot to work through. Or bitch about, complain and beat my chest about. It’s been a rough few weeks.
I feel like I am moving closer to taking some actions that I need to take, settling into some truths and figuring some things out. A lot of these things are things I do not want to do, conversations I have to have and work I need to do that I’d rather not. But I also don’t want to feel like I have been feeling, so my choices are limited.
One choice is not limited however, except by my own fear and self-centeredness, and that is the choice to be happy. Why would I choose to not be happy you ask? Not being happy is my natural state, it seems, at least for the last few years. The state waxes and wanes, but ultimately I tend to choose angst over ease most of the time. I clearly need to get back into therapy, but for now I’m just gonna work on this my own way. (Picture a sassy *snap* with that last sentence.)
Knowing this about myself, it would seem that I would work harder at making the different choice, the one that helps me be happier. The thing is, I forget. I forget that I have this kind of thinking and so easily fall prey to it. When I am in it I don’t see it for what it is. I feel helpless and hopeless and miserable and to pull myself out of that seems impossible. Suddenly it’s everyone else’s fault, it’s the fault of my circumstances, it’s Tom’s fault, its because no one likes me….you get the gist. That’s what I mean about the self-centered part. I get so wrapped in my self that nothing can get through. Often it takes some sort of bombshell to crack it.
Today it didn’t. Today I just woke up feeling better. I was more positive as I got up, as I cleaned around the apartment, as I ate and stacked the dishwasher. Nothing had changed and yet everything had. I was still alone, with a long day stretching ahead, but I felt I had a choice about the day and what I might do with it. I wrote that down on a piece of paper. As other thoughts occurred to me I wrote them down too. I got online and started researching some ideas I had…pipedreams, maybe. But I felt motivated and energized.
Nothing had changed. However, looking at the last few weeks I appreciated that nothing had changed. I kept at all my habits, I went to yoga and meetings. I led my groups. I also ate too much sugar and isolated a lot, binge watching TV and reading, but I got out a little with friends. The thing that I get frustrated with about my life is the sameness,and the thing that saves my life every day is the sameness.
Does that make sense?
I see that I have learned to take care of myself. In some real and tangible ways I know what is good for me and I do it. I get to yoga, almost every day at the studio and every day at home. I keep my commitments at Our House and I get to my AA meetings. All of those places get me out of my head and into a heart space that feels so much better, so much truer, than the constant self analyzing, trying to fix and figure out my life. When I am in action I am moving forward, even though it doesn’t feel like it. And then it’s like a snowball effect..slowly building until one day, I feel miraculously better.
But there is no miracle here, except for the miracle of radical self-care and doing the next right thing. Time and again that has proven to work for me.Time and again I forget until I am clearer and see it. The constant little actions lead me to something bigger, some kind of growth or understanding or decision….whatever it is. And the depression is lifted, at least enough for me to see an end in sight.
I had lots of fuck-it moments in the last few weeks. The idea that it was never going to get better was loud in my head. The question of WHY? was huge. Where was the meaning, the reason for moving ahead in life? It was dark. It began to lift on Friday when I was with a friend and started to speak it out loud, as a real question. I named it and admitted it, something I had not been willing to do until, in the moment, I did. I felt safe enough and it came out, not in a rush of sadness, but speculative…why? what is the purpose? I have no hope.
Once said out loud I think the ball began to roll really fast. It got worse before it got better. Saturday really sucked.
But today is better. I can see the why. I can see hope. I can dream and plan. I can go to yoga in a few minutes and hang with my tribe and get this all out through my body. Not just the bad stuff, the good stuff too, feel it and enjoy it.
Then I can watch Game Of Thrones and worry about my husband Tyrion and root for my girl-crush Daenarys and get ready to start a new week. Wait, no. Finish today and look forward to a new day tomorrow.
Looking forward is the shift. Glad of it.