Recovery Journal: Becoming Aware
If you suffer from depression or anxiety, today is the day that I would like to encourage you to embrace life for all it is worth. I understand those moments when the darkness falls and you are unable to breath from an inch under water. The weight of it can be crushing, as though your very soul is being plunged to the bottom of the deepest sea. Don’t give in to it. Stand and face it, and follow that advice we all here. Get out, move around, drink clean water…live life. Forgive any hurt in your heart and set yourself free.
I feel like I am waking from a long sleep, one filled with dreams of some really hard times in life. It’s been a year since this all began, the roller coaster of stress, flairs, achievement, and so many tales that can’t be retold without reopening slowly healing wounds. But tonight, I discovered that I am still here. I have a voice, a soul, a purpose. No one can take that from you, or me.
It was a beautiful night. There were a million fire flies out as I drove through northern Rush County, home from my adventure today with the School of Theology and the NAC convention. It was a dazzling site over the tomato and corn fields that are just coming to life, the dance of the “fairies.” Becoming aware of the beauty all around you will help so much. Look for the extraordinary. The sunroof was open on the Scion, the music in tune with my soul. The air was fresh and cool, like the gentle caress from an errant breeze meant just for you. I coldn’t find it in myself to regret, or to worry anymore. There was a real, tangible peace.
For the first time since my last moments of deep burnout, I feel almost myself again, almost the person that I lost track of. It’s amazing how a hug from the people that love you, that know your story can change things. I hadn’t realized how very much I would miss my graduate studies until the perfect storm of my final semester. How one person can survive this type of pain, I don’t know…but I have. Love intact, self intact and wiser…possibilities on the rise. I am so very blessed.
I am still here. Depression can rob you of that elemental fact as can any disorder. It is not my definition. There is so much more to me than a simple process of neurons and emotions. I love my highs and my lows, the productivity of being a whole woman, the depth of relationship that is offered from those few who really know and understand me. I want that life, to be passionate and all in; I don’t want to die with anything left of the table. As I have said before, I want to live with honor and intensity, to suck the marrow from the bones of life and give all that I can give. I am honored to help so many people. I am still loved by this incredible, complex and wonderful man who whispers into my soul. No matter time, distance or circumstances, love will always be my lasting hope.
Thinking of him, I listened to One Republic – Come Home and other songs from the CD that comprise my overstuffed IPod. I’ve included the link if you’ve never heard them. I love the little sports car and all of it’s little tech gadgets. Driving through the night, thinking of the music I couldn’t help but feel blessed.
Like you, I am a survivor. I am blessed to be here to thrive in the face of depression. It doesn’t own me, and I am not defined by the medical parts of my life, by my past, by my mistakes. They are the secondary to the soul that is Alison. My “disease” is an at-ease if I chose it to be, if I recognize signs and symptoms and face truth when I need it.
Reminded of the work that is still to be done, and surrounded by the love of community, I am ending the day in a place that I longed to be. I love the process of becoming aware, of noticing every moment of the life around you. A smile between two strangers, an act of kindness. The amazing colors of the setting sun in the western sky, painting the back drop of life. Arriving here in this town I love I found that I am still in awe of it’s simple but profound dedication to community, to being a family over all. Through the park and past the well groomed high school I found myself smiling at the tree lined street I call home. Even this late at night you can see the comfort of people having conversation on the porch, the pride in their homes reflected in the vast array and color of flowers and lights. It’s an amazing place to raise a child. There are qualities here that you just don’t find anywhere else. Deep roots. There really is no place like home.
Tonight I pray that for those of you with depression and anxiety this simple thought. Look for the beauty all around you, and know that you’re not alone.