Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Change of Momentum
I have been struggling for a number of weeks now with a fairly intense flare up of depression. The weather had been dark and rainy for many days, causing me to feel heavy and unmotivated. I took to my couch whenever I had a chance, and soothed myself with excessive portions of Netflix, binging and numbing at its finest. I became increasingly unhappy with myself, feelings of self doubt and inadequacy occupied my mind, my body wracked with a profuse ache, so the cycle goes. Depression had the momentum.
Fortunately, I have been through this enough to know that I am stronger and more resilient than depression is. I have discovered over the years a skill set that works to assuage the crushing force of a depressive cycle. Depression comes and depression always goes, and I know how to push against it and take back my life force. The momentum always turns back to me in the end. I win.
Today I can say the momentum has fully shifted, and the fog is lifting. I got through the dark days by giving myself permission to be, and at the same time, digging into my disciplined will to do the things I know I must to create a pathway out. First I told my support people, my husband and a few close friends who understand and have my back. Second, even though I spent a lot of time couch bound I also moved my body. I went for runs, danced to a song or two, did my yoga practice. I also kept my commitments to yoga classes I teach, and the immensely important work of being a mom. These are the things that get me through.
And then, the clouds parted, the sun returned, literally and figuratively. My mood began to lift and shift, but some heaviness was holding on. Then over the weekend my patient and persistent husband got me out, on a beautiful day, to do something I used to love to do, but had not done in a long time, and was now afraid of trying anew, getting on my road bike. The last time I rode my bike was over three years ago, and the last time I got on my bike was to participate in a triathlon. My loss of cycling touches a greater nerve, that being, feelings of loss of self I have experienced in moving abroad, a loss of ground, cycling being one thing among many that seemed to have become an, "I used to...".
We drove to a riverside bike path, traffic free and flat. Even there, I told Stephen about how nervous I felt, afraid in reality. What was that fear? Fear of falling, fear of failing, those are fears that stalk me, and here they were again. But I got on my bike and I began, first with great hesitation and over the ten mile jaunt with a blossoming renewal of confidence. Moving through fear to reclaim joy. Moving steadily through the dark patch knowing that the light is returning. Momentum shifts.
Today the rain and dark have returned, and knowing where that can take me I put on my running shoes and went seven strong miles. It felt invigorating, I felt powerful. I am keeping the momentum on my side. I know that another challenging time will surely come, and I will be ready to take it on.
But for now, in the present moment I know who I am, a strong and vital woman with so much to give, that is the truth. It is the truth of each and every one of us, even though sometimes we can't see it, the essence of us can never be lost. That is what I have learned, what I know in my heart, and I extend it to you.