My coworker/friend gave me some advice and that was to say these words to myself every morning in the mirror. I haven’t done it consistently to be honest. It’s crazy how ourselves sometimes comes last on our list of people to show love to. I’ve gone through so much self-doubt in my life that I’m not surprised at this. Of course, I acknowledge it and recognize that is why sometimes I can’t seem to show myself kindness, gentleness, fairness and sincerity. It’s really crazy to think about.
I’m on another cleanse and what I love about cleanses is that it helps me not just detox my body and physiology, but the mental and emotional parts of me too. Last time I did a cleanse, I had the biggest breakdown. I cried for hours and hours just feeling it all…all the stuff I pushed away and denied to surface. After all the tears, I felt lighter. Today, which starts the tail end of my cleansing process, I just feel like I woke up. I have been in a huge fog of depression, anxiety, doubt and anger the last few months. Mostly with myself, and also with everything else…which didn’t make sense all the time but it happened. It was like I had a chip on my shoulder; I was easily triggered, difficult to calm.
This isn’t at all unfamiliar. I’ve battled depression at many times in my life, starting very young around middle school, a little through high school, and definitely through my early 20’s. I managed to heal myself through those eras of sadness, until my dad got sick a few years ago. I was angry, hopeless, sad beyond comfort, unmotivated and just frozen by it. It was a different kind of depression because it wasn’t sprouted from something I felt within, but something external and out of my control mostly. I couldn’t help but be sad for what felt like a really long time. Then eventually, acceptance and peace came. I prayed, I took care of myself, along with helping my dad and I didn’t feel so sad anymore. But then it crept back this year, strong and heavy as I watched my dad’s Parkinson’s progress. I’m still sad, so very sad and I miss my dad. Yes, he’s still here but sometimes I wonder, is he really? When his behavior is odd or he doesn’t remember or do things how he used to, my heart breaks. I’ve been so sad about this the last few months that I haven’t been able to function properly. I have let so much fall to the wayside…my health, the wedding planning, work, running, and even helping my dad. I just put up this wall so I wouldn’t have to feel. It has been really hard and sad.
Right now, with the help of this cleanse, prayer, reading self-help books and talking to people, I’m trying to rebuild myself to something more familiar, less sad. Someone who can celebrate and not want to hide from people and occasions because of my depression. I’m tired of letting things fall to the wayside because I cannot begin to tell you how much I have to organize, clean, and fix because I’ve ignored it due to lack of desire and motivation to get to it. I need to lose weight because I didn’t exercise and eat right because I didn’t care. I have to go back to church and find my peace again because it just wasn’t something I wanted to do. I have to get back to planning our wedding because I haven’t done anything in the last 6 months for it because sadly, I had no desire. I can’t believe how much I am setback but it’s okay, I know that I can remedy all these things and get back on my feet. That’s my focus now.
I sometimes feel like I’m not enough or I don’t do enough. When that happens, I try to take the perspective of an outsider and say to myself, “Outside looking in, you do a hell of a lot.” I know I do but sometimes, crazily enough, I’m so influenced by stuff I see out in the world. But I know not all those people I compare myself to have it together. Snapshots of their lives on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all the edited to perfection versions. Many are probably like me, just trying to get through life and find some kind of happiness. I need to remember that…comparison is toxic. My depression found its way to manipulate that perspective into creating this disillusioned version of myself that should be this, should be that, doing this and doing that–all perfectly and Instagram-worthy, of course. That’s not me and I need to stop thinking that’s what I have to strive for. My life’s too complicated and full to be able to edit it to perfection.
I guess that may be why I have laid low with doing any crafts or projects. First, I don’t think it’s okay to work on stuff for others if I’m not in the right heart or mindset. It takes away from the creativity, passion and love I should be putting into my work. Second, I felt challenged, like I needed to be better immediately, to be good as this person and that person. I didn’t like that feeling so I just didn’t put myself out there as much. Anyway, I told myself that I’d really get back to it when I was ready and felt right to do so. It’ll always be there but my sanity and well-being will not if I don’t take care of it.
I feel better after writing this all out. I don’t feel so imprisoned by my feelings and thoughts anymore. I don’t want to be chained down by them any longer. I want to take care of myself now and vow to. I owe it to myself to try to be healthy in all ways and that is what I will pursue. I’m only human so I know that this is all part of life’s ups and downs. But I want more ups, so first thing I’ll do tomorrow morning is say those three words to myself. Gotta start somewhere.