Depression is such a conundrum. This past week, due to being fired from Delta Airlines for my politics and facing complete and total loss, fear and uncertainty…I collapsed into a deep depression. I laid in bed and thought, “I can’t do this. I’m finished.” I made very bad choices when it came to health–eating entire pizzas, for example. Pizza is so damn good. Why oh why?
I kept up with my regular responsibilities–my podcast, for one. I recorded my episode with enthusiasm and perkiness I didn’t feel at all–then went back to bed and cried. I’m very good at putting on a show even when I don’t feel like it. But in my defense–that’s a sign of strength and determination. “Fake it till you make it” is one of the BEST mantras ever.
So last week was hell. But on Friday night my niece showed up to my house unexpectedly. I hadn’t taken a shower, I was a mess, and I can’t say I was thrilled to see her. I smelled like…a hamper. Pizza boxes were on the floor and my poor kitty’s cat box was basically….let’s not go there. My cat Reine des Neiges Congelee deserves better. But she (very forgivingly) still loves me. Side note–pets save lives. God sends us his unconditional love through animals.
My niece and I talked until 1 am about life–and I realized that I wasn’t alone. If you have a depressed friend or family member–show up at their door.
The next day I focused on basics. I cleaned my apartment, paid bills, and made a LOT of to-do lists. Lists are one of the best tools for people struggling with mental health. Write down the basics, even if it’s “wash the dishes and take out the garbage.” Crossing off an item feels SO good.
The next day I went to my niece’s house for dinner, even though I didn’t really want to. But when you’re single like me, you need to talk things out. Her kids are precious and we made some Barbie dresses. Keep your hands busy. Crafts and conversation with family can do wonders. “A problem shared is a problem cut in half.” When you’re depressed–this doesn’t seem true. DO IT ANYWAY.
I’m writing this (exposing my weakness) because I know that depression and anxiety in America have increased to horrible levels–suicide is worse than ever. The culprit is covid 1984 and losing our sense of control and security. The masks are symbolic of oppression and the robbery of our human connections. Not good. So I’m stream-of-thought typing this for anyone who may feel hopeless or depressed right now.
My message? Hold on for one more day (I hope I get that song stuck in your head– it’s a great song). somedaysomebody’sgonnamakeyouwannaturnaroundandsaygoodbye 🙂
So I’ve spent two days taking care of basics and giving myself permission to acknowledge baby steps as colossal achievements (I brushed my teeth! YAY!)
The past two days I’ve been out walking with my 5 pound hand weights (like a dorky housewife, but don’t knock power walking, people– running is bad for you!). Saturday and Sunday power walking was sheer will power. But tonight, somehow, the magic set in…
I was tired and fairly discouraged today. It was sunny and gorgeous–but this evening a storm started. It became dark and cloudy and the wind started to blow. I knew a storm was coming (rain then snow tonight).
I went outside to walk. This is where my awakening began–the cold wind, light rain, and the fresh and thick smell of renewed earth somehow entered my soul. Of course I was listening to the soundtrack of Frozen 2: All is found, Do the Next Right Thing, Into the Unknown, Show Yourself…and it all came together.
The smell of rain invigorated my soul.The light raindrops blown onto my face by fresh wind awakened my senses. The clouds descending on the snow-capped mountain tops in the distance gave me a feeling of eternal wisdom.
I was better. I was alive.
When we lose perspective and give into the darkness–we don’t see a way out.
But today I realized that we’ll always have our moment of awakening if we just hold on. Are all my fears and problems still there? Of course. But they seem insignificant tonight. I was washed by the wind, the cold air, the rain and the storm.
If you’re feeling hopeless–give yourself the freedom to collapse. Lord knows I spent days sobbing and cuddling with my cat, thinking I’d never feel better.
But we do. If we hold on.
I know that I’ll face these feelings again–but tonight I’m liberated. Liberated by the force of nature and God’s mercy given to me in the form of refreshing raindrops and wind.
I used to think “winter is depressing.” But if you look around you at the artistry of bare trees against a foggy mountain–you’ll find the beauty. Each season has its beauty and teaches us that everything is cyclical–even depression.
Hold on, guys. If I can lose my job, instagram, friends, health insurance, income, stability and security–yet have a MAGICAL evening like this–you can, too.
Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.
#freebritney