I had this thought that writing when my head was not in a happy place would not be such a good idea. Like the measure of any decent blog entry comes from a tediously healthy and sparkly place, not one that might be muddied with the here-and-now of life.
But I am feeling low. Really low, and I can feel the weight of my decisions and the burden of responsibility crushing me from the sides. I feel heavy footed with sallow skin – my serotonin has left the party.
I am making green smoothies like Snoop Dog packs a cone. I’m swimming laps, running on the beach and meditating on the beauty of Nature. I’m reading affirmations but from behind a veil, they sit on the surface of my mind but bear no weight – they’re not sinking in. This is my depression, I know it and what I don’t want to hear is that this is a choice between good and bad, happy and sad, or black and white. I am a normal, healthy, inspired, and motivated woman. I am living with the flow of life but like drift wood in a river I am caught in the rocks, pressed against the chemistry of my own brain.
Over many years I have perfected the ability to ‘perceive’ this head space. I am sensitive to the small changes that occur in my negative self-talk and sudden lack of intuition. I start to question my self and my ability to do things; foot hills become the Swiss Alps and small tasks are overwhelming. I recoil from helpful gestures out of guilt and I lose my power.
Everyone looks better than me. Everyone is smarter than me. Everyone is happier than me.
Smaller, smaller I become….drift wood in water.
I spent years bobbing around the rocks as a teenager here. You wouldn’t have known it, I was a professional actress – the next Merryl Streep. But I am too busy to perfect my performance now. I shut down and fold inwards – it’s a conservation of energy; an internalisation of awareness. And that might sound all Ghandi – but it is actually a pretty lonely place to be. And it’s meant to be, because it is here that I can hear the insipid whisper of sadness. The weight of reality and the fear of the unknown.
I have a well-versed strategy for the muddiness of my self perception and I use the ensuing numbness against the resistance to fight – which is an effort in itself. I push the veil of disconnect between who I need to be and who I THINK I am not. I go for that run and watch the sunrise, I look long and hard at the beautiful things and people around me, I smile even when it rains for days. I force myself into fear so that I can feel – alive. I meditate on compassion because these are the moments that connect me to the hearts of those who find themselves in this position, the grey void. After-all, healing doesn’t come from being pious and perfect – it comes from sharing and feeling our truth!
You see I come from a genetic pool of depression and anxiety. I have endured both at times. One usually begets the other… my neurological chemistry sometimes fails me. It is like an old dreary friend popping over for a visit but staying well after they were due to leave, loitering in the corners of your room. Sometimes they lay in your bed, or sit across the dining table from you. You try to ignore them but they continue to stay….
Depression is walking into a room with a view but only seeing the curtains; it is seeing the sun on the water but not the sparkle of light. It is hitting the ground and missing the free-fall…..it is breath without life.
But I have the heart of a wolf and I rule with wellness. I sprinkle my thoughts with forgiveness, and as I pave that road I discover a dance of honour and growth in this chapter. I embrace the void for what it is, for the teachings I may uncover as I roll from side to side in my insecurities. Who I am in my weakest moments defines me far more than the impermanence of my glory.
Be gentle, be gentle. Rest and love. This day, this hour, this moment.
So be it.
Melanie Robinson ND BHSc is a healthy and happy human being who sometimes suffers from low serotonin levels. That does not make her an wierdo or a whack-job, it makes her real. Depression and anxiety is an social epidemic and sadly still taboo within the community. She is okay. Here she is reflecting on her experiences only – but will take kind offers of loving support. Why? Because they are really nice to receive and they transform our communities into family.