It's been an up and down couple of weeks; with moments of clarity and moments of despair - but something is shifting inside of me. I think its called hope.
I'm not going to lie, the last few weeks have been a challenge. I've had days when I've felt as though I am rooting around in the dark, trying not to knock into things and hurriedly gathering my clothes together before making a break for the door. If the last few weeks have been an awkward short term relationship - then I am now desperately looking for a way to leave my lover. Like the proverbial one night stand, where in the dim, romantic light of a sticky floored room you feel you may have found your soul mate; the morning inevitably comes - and so too does that moment where you realise your soul mate is less of a kindred spirit and more of a spirit drinker. A denim shirt wearer, a reader of Dice Man, a watcher of America's Next Top Model in a non-ironic way. And suddenly all of that face stroking and miming along to Sigor Ros, feels a bit tawdry now. So, what am I trying to get at here? No, I haven't left my husband for some ageing hipster (I've already got one of those), but I've definitely been missing in action; having a love affair with my own feelings of inadequacy.
"If the last few weeks have been an awkward short term relationship - then I am now desperately looking for a way to leave my lover."
Depression is a bit like that. And I don't use that term lightly, because I understand more than ever, in the face of the daily news and daily losses we endure, that depression is an illness that never truly leaves you. For me, it is an island I occasionally visit. Sometimes its comfortable and easy to slide into, like a well worn jumper that fits just right; other times it's a knife, a constant discomfort, a sharp pain that sears and smoulders. For the last few weeks I've been living on my island. I know this, because I haven't been able to rouse myself to do anything. I haven't stopped living - work, kids, home, they all continue to run; but I've stopped dreaming, stopped allowing myself to believe that I will ever find an answer to my questions. Thats where the island takes you. To that easy, comfortable place of accepting that you will never get what you want, that you will never be enough.
"I've had a moment of clarity - and the clarity is this. None of this is real."
But amidst all of this, I've had a moment of clarity - and the clarity is this. That I have been living on the island, and none of this is real. That the voice that tells me daily, that I will never ever be truly happy (because I don't deserve to be), the one that tells me that whatever I want is out of my reach (because I'm incapable and a loser), the one that tells me I've failed- that voice, is not actually mine. In fact, I don't have to listen to that voice at all - I can flat-out, quite directly, tell that voice to FUCK OFF.
Come on in, the water's warm
I'm swimming a little, and its because somehow I realised I had isolated myself somewhere I didn't want to be - and I'm trying to get back to a place that I know. And if this metaphor is wearing thin, then I apologise, but its just the truth of the matter. At the beginning of this year, I decided to go on a journey. To try and figure out where I really wanted to go, in the long term of my life. And every so often, that journey is going to take me down cul-de-sacs, or to dark frightening places. But I've committed to it, because I want to live in light. And I know my happiness, is inextricably linked to reaching that destination - wherever that might be. So I'm taking off that sodding jumper, with its comfortable worn in shape, and trying to find a cuter outfit. I just need it to be waterproof.