Words to Live and Write by

I am willing to fall Because I have learned how to rise.

I craft Love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure.

I am among the brave and brokenhearted, and I am rising strong.

(credit to Brene Brown)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Moments of Free-Fall

  I'm in a tricky sort of place right now. My depression is lifting, little by little. It knocked me down hard not too long ago, and it's taken me a while to get back up. I just had too many stresses to handle and I broke under the pressure. I can be strong, but not infinitely. And I'm not entirely sure that I'm stronger after these things happen. I hate that phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," because it's bull. Maybe it's true some of the time, or most of the time for some people. But personally, the best thing I can say about "what doesn't kill you" is that it didn't kill you. Period.
  Anyway, right now my mood is going up. But sometimes it drops unexpectedly, and that scares the bejeezus out of me. The best way I can describe it is by relating it to an airplane ride (which also terrifies me).
  It's like that moment during the plane's descent when - due to turbulence or some force of physics I don't understand - the plane takes a brief and sudden plunge. It doesn't last long - just a fraction of a second - and I'm sure compared to the altitude of the plane it's not really a big drop, but for that split-second your stomach gets left a few hundred feet above you and your mind panics and you could swear the plane is (or soon will be) free-falling towards disaster. Close your eyes and remember that feeling. If you can, now you know precisely how I feel when my mood takes a drop. It isn't pleasant.
  So while overall I am doing much better than a month ago, I still get those moments of panicked "We're all gonna die!" They come out of nowhere - like those pockets of air that so confusingly cause the plane to drop. It could be a get-together where I feel like a misfit and my high school mentality of "You'll never fit in and no one likes you anyway" jumps out of the closet and screams at me. (I thought I'd locked that door...) It could be a glance in the mirror after a shower and seeing, as if for the first time, my gruesomely disfigured stomach. To be clear, I'm used to and generally accept and forgive the state of my stomach, but when you see your maimed body like that for the first time (which is the feeling I get) it's a helluva thing to cope with.   The point being it can be any stupid little unexpected thing that causes me to plummet. And I get scared.
  As I said, this is a tricky place. Am I getting better or not? The answer is, of course, both. I am a contradiction. But that's okay; contradictions are interesting.
I am going to keep rising though. Slowly and steadily I will rise. I will be strong and happy and positive and productive once more. But please extend a little grace while I'm doing it. Extend grace when I fall and tell me it's okay and I'm okay. Not "okay" as in nothing's wrong, but "okay" as in still loved and still worthy and still something to be proud of. Just tell me I'm that kind of okay.