For several months I have felt, well, um, oppressed. Truly, I have been depressed (at times, even earlier this week, very much so). It has been oppressive and sad and all of the dark things that you think about depression. I don’t know if this weekend is some kind of breakthrough or if it is just a moment of reprieve. Either way, I’ll take it.
I have enjoyed a couple of days of not feeling so heavily weighted by life, more like a couple of days filled with more moments of relief as well as some more moments of motivation, and as I realize this I am over-joyed. I feel some kind of sense of power being restored to me. I am not sure exactly where it is coming from but I just want to be aware and relish these moments of feeling slightly less burdened. And, I want to share it!
The darkness of life that has been haunting me could and has been caused by many different factors, which I don’t want to even discuss in too much depth… what’s important is that something feels like it has lifted a tiny bit. This feeling of taking my power back (from what I do not know) is invigorating.
I read a status update on Facebook not too long ago that referenced something to the effect that most (circumstantial onset of) depression is caused by events or circumstances that impair or damage one’s sense of identity. If I am not mistaken, this was in reference to a story about Mike Wallace and his recent passing. While I battle chronic depression, when I think back on times when depression has struck me hardest, it was in reaction to events or life experiences that have negated or felt to have taken away my sense of identity at the time.
Most recently, I have lost a marriage and my work (both work on a volunteer basis as a health activist and a job as a Community Leader which I so dearly loved). This transition into full-time work outside of the home into a new career has had a lot of growing pains. My identity has been shaken. I prided myself for my work as a health activist… I gained much self-respect through those efforts. I felt empowered. I felt important to those who were affected in some way by my efforts and words. I felt needed, wanted, helpful and confident in what I was doing. Having experienced a forcible thrust into a completely different type of working world and industry, my sense of identity just went by the wayside. It simply did not matter what exactly my efforts were going to be put towards, I needed to work. I needed to support myself and my children.
Now, I am settling into my new life. I have a new job much different from what I did before and a job for which I am incredibly grateful. I can look back and see how shaken I was by this loss of self that I experienced by making this change. I am working my way into accepting new roles and callings. I am finding my way slowly but surely. And I see it clearly now how tragic it felt to me to lose who I was before this. This alone I think would be enough for a person to experience some level of depression.
Another time I experienced a very severe episode of depression was after the onset and diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I have talked about this topic a lot on this blog. But as anyone knows who lives with a chronic health condition, it was devastating to me. My life felt as if it had no purpose. I was in so much pain. I felt I couldn’t “live” a life with Fibromyalgia. No doubt, my identity was shaken to its core during that period of time.
So back to this weekend… I took care of some important things. I made a little progress on some projects that needed a lot of my attention. I spent some quality time with my children. I experienced some moments of closeness with my oldest that we needed to experience together. I had some good moments with my youngest that have been a little hard to come by recently and I did not cave in during a very “bad” moment with him that we dealt with on Friday night. I made my kids meals prepared at home, which hasn’t been occurring as frequently as it should, because I haven’t felt well. I am looking back on the last couple days and now I see! A lot of good things (although perhaps small and meaningless to some) have happened and many of them a direct result of choices I made… good choices. I am proud.
I will go to sleep tonight content and delighted with the good that I experienced this weekend. Tomorrow promises to be a challenging day, but I am feeling a bit more confident that my choices in the midst of these challenges will be good ones. That’s a good feeling. I think I will savor it just a little while longer.
If things have been hard for you in some way, I challenge you to take notice of the moments (any moment, short or long) that come by where you experience a reprieve. Take notice and eat it up, soak it in, roll around in it and splash in the joy that comes from experiencing just that moment! Also, feel free to remind me to do so when I forget.
- My best kept secret (nashuafibrosupport.wordpress.com)
- Learning to Cope With a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis (webmd.com)
- Happily Depressed (halfwaybetweenthegutter.wordpress.com)
- it’s harder to cry when you’re running (writingbetweenfriends.com)