Stubborn Gladness

Back at the end of June was the hardest point of the summer for Gwen and I. It was a combination of many things, but my feelings of inadequacy as a parent were spilling over into the other aspects of my life leaving me feeling broken and fatalistic about everything.

It took a breakdown in front of her to let us both see how very human I am, to show her that I needed her help, and to remind me that I needed to take care of myself to be able to take care of her.

(I did start taking care of myself better at that point...)

Depression has been a lifelong companion. Even in the most blessed points of my life, one of which I am certainly in now, depression allows you to know that things are good while still feeling only bad. You can know intellectually that you should be thrilled with life, but emotionally it only feels wrong and bleak and like the end of the world. It travels to the physical body and you feel sore and tired and off.

I'm thankful that unlike others in my family who also live with depression or bipolar disorder, mine is very mild and thankfully normally comes in only short periods.

I've had a bit of trouble writing this post. Its hard being so very open, especially when so many people I know in real life will read this (Hi Dad! Don't call, I'm fine... really and seriously!). But also because I'm about to say something that some people will find really off putting and I need to make a disclaimer first: Depression is not a choice. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain, and its the most frustrating thing in the entire world to hear someone say to a person suffering, to just "shake it off," or to "just get over it," because that is literally NOT how it works.

That said, I'm making the choice, as much as I can, to cling to a stubborn gladness in life. I know that, like it always has, this too shall pass and in the meantime and I can chose to cling to the good. Like the lotus, I can use the shitty parts to grow stronger, wiser, fuller, and more beauty then ever before. And I can embrace the things that I know help me personally to ease my way through the hardest parts, and make my way again into the bright sun.

Note: I wrote this post back at the end of June, beginning of July. Things have certainly changed since then. 

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~ Meegs