So there’s been a lot of really open writing lately, kind of scattered about and focused on very deep thoughts and such.
I’ve been a bit hesitant about where to take all this, aware that I’ve made a point to make (a part of) my heart a public website. I had to think about where I was going to go with what I was going through. It’s constant transformation in this dragonfly cocoon, and some times are just rougher than others. I was going through a rough time.
Why write about it? Because it has become such a part of how I relate to people, that it is my hope that people who know me might read this and maybe keep it in mind. And those of my readers that don’t know me, might then have some insight on the mind of someone that may be similar to me, or someone reading that feels that they relate to me deeply. All in all, the point of this is to encourage empathy. To yourself, to others.
I never wanted to go to anyone who would “officially” diagnose me with things that I felt like I might have at different points of my life. Things like being bipolar, having depression, or being severely ADD. I wasn’t sure what life would look like after that, what taking pills would mean and the risks behind it, what not taking pills meant and the risks behind that. I was afraid that people would think I was using it as an excuse. Mostly, however, I was afraid I would use it as an excuse. Or as a hoodie that I would wear, so that I could hide away from the world with a big scarlet letter D for “Don’t speak to me” and “depression”. Keep out the world.
As it turns out, I was keeping the world out anyway, and while I understand why the world operates the way it does, I have no desire to block the world out. Quite the contrary, there’s a thrill in telling people out there what you’re made of, then not being afraid to actually live up to it. People change the world how they can, wherever they see the most troubles. I see the trouble that is caused to our own human hatred, I see problems with governments, and racism, and civil rights in general, and a violence in the nature of no…not women, but femininity itself. A violence that has echoed out to Mother nature, our planet,exposing the pollution of our minds, developing a civilization that enforces hurting our bodies…And all of that is absolutely terrifying, but not so much that I sat there not doing nothing, like I so felt for many years. (The ego is such a funny little thing.) I had actually spent my life doing something, which was observing and understanding. There was hurt everywhere, what could I do? Feeling so completely tiny and insignificant, truly accepting that, first took understanding that greatness does not come in size, but in potential.
So I observed, and I celebrated each time I met (or heard of) a person or many people who were doing good.
You know, just a general “doing-good”ness. Like working to explore our galaxy, to further science, to encourage peace, to lessen our damage to nature and the planet and each other in any way, and heighten the goodness of the planet. To feed others, or offer shelter. People who were simply good, and nice.
And the way that I was going to do that, was by the thing that I had practiced the most doing my entire life and that was, at the most basic level, opening myself up to any Truth I could, and learn to communicate. To communicate that truth, somehow, so that people could remember to feel good, but really. Really Do It. That it does take effort sometimes, but that it’s all worth it, to be good. Changing your perspective DOES change the world. Not completely, but enough to give you hope.
Because all of the problems in all of the things that happen happen at the heart. And so we can all work differently, the architects and politicians and heart-healers and head-listeners and musicians and artists and sculptors and all the doctors and teachers and entertainers. The sex-workers who do their jobs with heart, the officers who tried to be just and fair, the journalists who try to report things that contribute to change, the servers of the food industry or retail who do their job with a smile, the ones who are unseen every day and still give their best. We can all just do whatever we can at that moment to contribute in however significantly tiny or powerfully great way we can.
So how could I do that, if it turns out I had what the doctor suspected I may have? I knew doctors have different opinions and this was just one, with one important test, but he felt right. He felt true. He was warm, and professional at the same time. Intuitive, and extremely clinical. Equal sides science and heart.
I decided, a few days before, that I would not in fact use it as an excuse. That I would trust him, and then use it to continue to understand the heart in all of its sides. To teach myself to go through clinical terms and into the heart of the matter, in all senses of the word. To finally look for solutions that would help me do more, be more. I went into the office hopeful, and fearless.
He confirmed “Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD”.
He even said “chronic” right before depression, to tempt me even more, to fall into the “well I’m depressed so I won’t try” which I was so terrified of falling into. There was deep validation. My entire life I felt like I had been trying so hard, and that people thought that I wasn’t trying at all. I am self-proclaimed queen of letting things go, of making my mind up and just doing it. I hadn’t been able to shake this off for some reason. I shook off the voices, instead. I am not lazy. I am not “not trying hard enough”. It was equal measures heart and psychology, and I had just not applied the psychology part yet. But I would keep trying, and now this was a part of it.
If I was the only person holding myself back, I wasn’t going to do that anymore. This was just that, a clinical understanding of how my brain worked, but not a sentence on how I had to feel and be for the rest of my life. Besides, I’ve always known the intensity in which I feel things, was it really that strange that the depression would be “chronic”?
I lessened the impact on my heart and surrendered into the knowledge that it would play on ever explaining things to people, in how it would aid my relationship with my family and friends to understand how I was, helping us all cope together.
Knowing that there are
out there with the same thing, and they were leading happy productive lives where they didn’t spend every minute of the day thinking about this Thing.
And so how amazing could it be if I kept on healing my own heart, learn the different forms of self-empathy, become an even bigger expert on self-forgiveness and truly understanding Joy from such a deep level thanks to the understanding of what being away from it is.
I am not saying I will or will not take anything, but I am saying that I will show myself the love that I always know I deserve in helping myself easily access that happiness that lives in all of us, that we drown out with the intoxication of what we’ve developed as a society.
And you know what else is great?
I stopped being afraid to say it out loud. Embrace the goodness that we can all experience together, and let go of those who don’t wish to see this path. We’re all in it together no matter which way we go.
All my love,
PS: If this post left you feeling a bit exhausted, read the ever so hysterical Hyperbole-And-A-Half’s take on depression (parts one and two) and go down her “Best of” Column for just pure comedic genius.