Day 235/365 Do You Remember What The Nothing Was?

You have no idea how desperately I want to write something incredibly hilarious and lighthearted for all of you. I think one of the hardest parts about being depressed is that you become entirely sick of yourself. I can only imagine you are growing weary of my weighty entries as well. Still, if this is to be an authentic way for me to share my life, I have to write from the heart…even when that feels like a dark place.

It is important to me that you know that it isn’t all darkness for me. I have my moments. I smile, I laugh…and I swear to you I am so grateful for my many blessings. Despite knowing this with all of my heart, I still get upset with myself….because how can I possibly be grateful and depressed? It doesn’t compute. This makes me feel weak and selfish. It pulls me in deeper, and I know that is dangerous…because it is simply not true.

I do appreciate what I have, and I do understand things could be so much worse…and still, I struggle sometimes. Let me tell you...

No, let me tell us both...

Gratitude and depression are not mutually exclusive. 

This suddenly seems like an incredibly important point to convey and to emphasize before moving on. Can we let it sink in?

Gratitude and depression are not mutually exclusive. 

Okay then, on to a story…

On Saturday I was at the lowest I have been in a while. I was talking with Monica, and she asked me very sincerely what depression looks like to me when I close my eyes. I described a black hole, one into which I was desperately trying not to be pulled. After a moment I realized it wasn’t a hole at all, not in the sense that it has a bottom and a top, and walls. Instead, it feels like the opposite of something…

A void.

My mind flashed to a movie I watched recently with my girls. It was a favorite from my own childhood, based on the book, “The Never-ending Story” by Michael Ende. In it, a beautiful world full of amazing places and creatures is threatened to be sucked up by “The Nothing”. The Nothing isn’t a who or a what, it is literally nothing, and it is swallowing everything in its path. 

That’s what it feels like.” I said. “It feels like The Nothing“.

“Do you remember what The Nothing actually was?” she asked, pointedly.

Yes! I DO. The Nothing was the absence of imagination.”

And there it was…

I have started to lose sight of what I imagine my future to be. I am not looking hopefully and enthusiastically toward it. I am still standing in the rubble of the life that has tumbled down around me…and I’m afraid to look forward. 

There is no HOPE without imagination.

So, that seems like a good place to start…

Being brave enough to imagine the future. It isn’t just about appreciating what I have, it’s also about believing that there’s beauty and happiness to come. 

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Day 2/365 – Monica

Almost eight years ago, I found myself in a scary place.

I was a stay at home mom with two beautiful children (Beau was two and a half, and Ruby was two months old) and I was experiencing postpartum depression. I would wake up in the morning, and the thought of a new day brought me to tears.

At the time the only person I knew (and I did not know her well, by any means) whom I had ever heard speak openly of having experienced PPD was Monica. I got her number from a mutual friend, and I called her in tears.

She recommended that I see an acupuncturist/healer…but here’s where it gets amazing. Monica made the appointment for me, met me at the appointment, and held my baby in the waiting room while I was seen. We literally had never even hung out before. I found this astonishing.

Throughout the past eight years (the craziest years of my life by any measure) Monica has been there for me, without fail, every single time I’ve needed her. She is the kind of friend who really listens, and then asks the right questions to help me to get to the heart of a problem. No platitudes (oh how we laugh at platitudes!). Not only have I had some of my deepest talks with her, but I have also shared with her some of my deepest belly laughs.

For someone who has been through so much, her eyes shine from within, and she laughs from her very core.

Monica, you are a beautiful soul and I am so grateful to be your friend.

monica trp

Postscript: You will notice if you read through this blog that Monica is mentioned many times, often relating to some bit of wisdom or revelation. She is not only my closest friend, but also a co-active life coach. You can learn more about this here. She does most of her coaching over the phone, so you do not need to be local to her/us to benefit from her amazing ability to help people pull back the veils. What I love about her coaching is that she helps me to get there – to the place I need to go – myself. She guides but never pushes. She holds up the mirror but never tells me what I am supposed to see there.

 New to this blog?  Read what it’s all about here.