i think i'm all betterFor years, and years, and years, I have been depressed. You can imagine my surprise when twice in one year, I heard from my caregivers (yoga teacher and therapist) that "My energy has changed."
Since I think "energy" is kinda bullshit...
(actually, I don't at all, but I am embracing this skeptical phase of my life wherein science and empirical evidence could more readily explain spiritual phenomenon, which of course it can't. you can see my bifurcated dilemma) I had to ask them more pressing questions.
"I seem happier?"
"Should I stop coming to therapy?"
"Should I discontinue use of my antidepressants?"
So I suppose I am happier. But am I cured?
I just know what helps when I feel the miserably futility of this life on this planet. Gorgeous and absurd, though it is. We are born, we love, we learn, we drink and eat, we work, we play, we read, we have sex, we make children, we make art, we eat and drink some more, we die. Then our children love, learn, drink, eat, play, read, sex, art, procreate and die. Then their children...
But it's glorious in between.
I live for that in between and have staved off the cold scientific reality of our fate (which I am still working on finding comfort in, as my husband does) with a few tools. I thought perhaps I'd share them with you, should you be looking for a way to remove some TODO from your life and add some TOBE.
TOBE Activity List for the Warding Off of the Sisyphus Complex:
1. Read. A lot. Don't buy books. Max out your library card with book after book which will then give you a time limit for actually finishing these books. Take notes on these books. Post reviews on these books. Keep track of and share what you learn. Learn something totally new. If you have personal gaps in your education, fill them yourself instead of assuming paying a University Ks of dollars is the only way to be an expert on something.
2. Demand solitude. A lot. Do not say to your friends who are good at being alone "You are so much better than I am about finding time alone." Do not martyr yourself for your children or for your work or for your friends or for your obligations. Just get a babysitter and go to a coffee shop and read. Just decide to go to lunch by yourself and write a letter to your mother or old friend. Just be okay with leaving your husband with the kiddos (or pups or house-ish responsibilities) and truly leave them...then take your solitudinous self out to stare at bugs on a lake or take a class you've always wanted to take but have instead martyred your desires to your children, work, friends, or obligations. Do not fill your rare moments of solitude with junk TV or dead routine.
3. Therapy. Antidepressants. Wine. Friends. Love.
4. Stop multitasking. If you go on hike and find the most precious bird carcass, don't update facebook until you get home. Be in the moment. There is some disagreement surrounding photography and if it removes you from or immerses you more in the moment. It immerses me, but I do have a tendency to be impulsive about sharing it right away. I've tried therefore to take the photos, but share later.
5. Stop deciding that the most important thing in your life is to help someone ELSE be great. If you raise your children in that example, they will only ever do the same. Teach them instead that a woman cannot possibly do it all on her own, but with help and a strong village, a woman can stay smart, stay stylish, stay learn-ed, stay active, stay passionate, stay independent, AND be a kickassmother.
Just be great.
Those tots (or friends or work or obligations) will keep up.
Trust them to allow you your own greatness.
I've been reading a lot. My life has built-in time to do so, but that doesn't mean it's easy. I could just as readily spend my reading time doing a myriad of other things that need doing, but SUMMER IS FOR READING. There is a whole world of creative non-fiction I didn't even know existed. Shame on me for being so closed minded for so many years. Don'tassumethismeansI'llreadeffingharryporker.
I am happy, but I think I'll always be more comfy in shadows. That's okay. Black is my signature color.
p.s. If all else fails, kiss a baby's cheeks.