Even on a journey that seems crystal clear, we can easily become derailed. The last 4 months have been one of the longest stints of emotional clarity I’ve had in a long time. My purpose and focus, my motivation and rhythm, have been clear and attainable. Yoga has been a guiding light during this process, and I feel grateful to the universe for enlightening me with the practice. This does not mean I am without low points or bad days, but I have been fairly stable and self-motivating.
What I have yet to master, is the act of pushing myself to get back on my mat, to practice wholeness and wellness when the walls of my emotional well-being are shaking and crumbling. I have battled depression for nearly 10 years now, all of my adult life, and still it overcomes me and surprises me when my disease gets the best of me.
All sorts of things can happen when I find myself submerged in my own misery. This weekend I spent hours shaking with anxiety, laying on my side trying not to cry any more. I watched TV, ate unhealthy foods, and tried to hide from my inner turmoil. When I am rational, I can see the correct actions to take in these moments. I understand that getting on my mat, drinking a large glass of water, meditating, practicing, breathing, can help me recover and recapture myself. I understand, but still I cannot act. I am paralyzed at times by my disease, by my own mind, and come morning it’s just a reality I have to live with.
My heart feels low in my chest. My eyes feel heavy and tired. My body feels weak and exhausted. Underneath my physical appearance and spiritual rawness, I feel guilt and shame for the kind of misery I let myself fall into this weekend. This is the perpetual fight against depression.
Those who know me, or believe they know me, often say things like, “You don’t seem depressed. You’re so chipper, outgoing….[insert vanilla adjective here]” This mindset is frustrating, ignorant and hurtful. Sometimes I think I am more outgoing, positive and upbeat because of my disease. When depression, true life-questioning depression, is deep inside of you, the costume you show the world seems more important, more valuable.
Don’t let the way I’m acting be the way you see me, especially if I’ve told you how much I’m hurting. Don’t tell me to just smile, to just cheer up or to let it go. Don’t tell me it will get better or that you don’t understand why I’m stressed.
Just tell me you’re here for me.
Tell me you love me and that you’re sorry for the pain I feel.
Tell me about your life, open your soul and let me feel another human spirit.