TrustFebruary 23, 2011 at 11:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Sometimes, the most mundane of tasks – walking down the hall to make a photocopy, checking a voicemail, even going to the restroom – are impossible. I sit glued to my chair, frantically flipping through web pages looking for a solution, frenetically refreshing my Gmail in the hopes that an email from someone, somewhere, will pop up to save me. I am heavy and limp and tired. I do not want to eat, nor do I want to talk to anyone, especially a colleague who, for whatever reason (mostly imagined), might make me feel worse about myself than I already do.
Depression is the rocks in the pocket of your raincoat, weighing you down, tempting you to dip your toe in the ocean, perhaps walking out further. There are no solutions because you are trapped. Well-meaning suggestions are futile. In the past, I have literally leapt out over this wall: moving to the mountains, ending a relationship, changing jobs (again). The first two are no longer feasible, so of course I am currently fixated on the third.
But, now, I am older and wiser, and despite my outward protestations, I do know that the job is an easy excuse. It’s an immediate target for all of the usual self-doubt, blame, and uncertainty that seem to bubble up from time to time: I’m not smart enough, dedicated enough, focused enough. (Enough, enough, enough… it’s never enough.) It is also all too easy to let the mommy wars suck me in: why am I paying someone else (a great deal of money) to take care of my children? Why can’t my 3-year-old read (if I were home, sounding out letters with her, she would be reading, right)? How can I live with the fact that I see my sweet baby boy but one waking hour of each work day?
Why am I not happy? Why am I not satisfied with what I do have – which is so much? Why am I so negative? And, thus, the spiral of self-hatred begins.
For 30 years – since I was old enough to realize that life can bring prolonged periods when nothing seems to go right – I have been visualizing a roller coaster. A metaphor of life’s sines and cosines. I picture a car inching up a rickety incline, and I tell myself to hold on, even though I know that once I’m back on top, at some point in the near or distant future there will be another drop. It’s physics and calculus – unassailable, hard science. I have difficulty waiting out the troughs, of course. I want to jump start my life. This time, however, I just have to trust that things will get better. Not that they will change, necessarily, but that they will get better.
My internet wanderings recently led me to this post about Bhakti, or self-love. “This is me,” I thought. And I’ve been trying, I really have, to stifle the constant self-hate of whatever chemical, seasonal, external, situational trough in which I find myself as of late. But to turn on some mythical switch and love oneself? I find this almost impossible to comprehend. So I just have to trust.