Messy Thoughts: I can be both grateful and grey

Here is my truth of today, It could change by tomorrow, the next hour, the next minute. Here is my truth of now.

I must acknowledge my position. I am in paradise, blue skies, sunny days. A chicken squawks as she pecks and claws at her nest. I have no responsibilities, other than the ones to myself and the dog. The twenty pound, white furred elder pup wants my food, the occasional rub, and a lift up to bed each night. I have been handed a dream, a house, a car, and the summer ahead. I sit in the swiveled patio chair, feet up on the bird feed container, looking back at the Bob Ross painted sugar cane fields as the white egret gimps across the yard.  

I am grateful, inexplicably, gaping mouth, wide-eyed, shockingly grateful at where I find myself. I am grateful for time and space, for mind and body, for rediscovering the stars, for watching the days end with the sun painting herself across the sky. 

I am grateful for my self awareness. I can hold this gratitude, the deep knowing of my privilege and relative peace and also know that murky watered, grumpy gook, soul sucking depression lurks in my corner. 

I know gratitude because I know the depths of the hole my mind can go to. People, things, moments can be like a tossed rope to the bottom to be pulled up. But if I don’t hang on, grip the rope, it’s a useless effort. Gratitude is how I find the rope. One finger at a time gripped, one good thing acknowledged. I know light as well as I know the darkness of my mind. I know the high of body buzzing, fully present, deep breathes and I know numbness. 

Depression is the devil that sits on my shoulder, feeding me thoughts with putrid acidity. The softest whisper, he begins. I barely notice the presence because I have grown accustomed to the weight he holds. It is not until he is screaming profanities that I realize something has leached on to me. My thoughts are not my own. By that time, the dementors have sucked my soul, my spirit drained to the ghostly figure above that breaths me in, until I have nothing to breath out. 

Depression is antsy, dissatisfaction with sitting still. 

It is comatose drool, eyes glued to the Netflix screen asking me an absurd question, “Are you still watching?”

It is eating snack after meal after snack until I feel as heavy as my mind does. I feed myself desperately, mindlessly, incessantly. This food, once intended for nourishment, is now my drug. No longer nourishing, it aids in numbing. A drug that never satisfies until my body processes it, I slip off into sleep, the one escape to oblivion. 

Depression is awareness of all the ways to help myself, and being gutted by the guilt of falling ill despite it. It is the shame of having every reason to be happy and then closing the blinds, turning off the lights, blocking out the sun. 

Again and again. Again, I must rise. 

Where do the days go? Left behind. All but the faded memory of yesterdays. Maybe I can leave bits of me behind too. The parts that make me forget to be alive and how I am not promised a tomorrow. Can the riptides of doubt be a faded memory as well?

Surrounded by the sun, I craved the dark today. Illuminated in green, I wear black. Knowing the yesterday’s of happiness, I wait through the lackluster isolation of today. I acknowledge the intentions needed for my tomorrows.

Again and again. Again, I must rise.

Here is my truth of now. I took the blissful sun for granted, naively ignored her setting, I faded into the dark. I stepped into the trough of disillusionment once again, having unrealistic expectations to overcome my humanity. I thought blue skies and sunny days and two months of online counseling and yoga at the beach and meditation on the back patio and restless nights spent looking up at the stars meant I should finally BE HAPPY. Sustained, rock solid, contentment.

What is this should? Do I have an obligation to happiness? Is there a duty to check all the boxes and be owed such a feeling?

It is delusional. 

The delusion lies in this Disney channel movie idea I have for my life. Where I finally learn the lesson, kiss the boy, win the race, get the last touchdown while the rain pours and the crowd goes wild, fireworks go off while a motivational bop plays in the background. This bliss that marks the end of a movie is some fictional fantasy I have chased around the world. When the bar for a good day is epic, movie worthy material, it gives too much room for a day at the beach reading a book to be deemed a bad day because it doesn’t measure it up. 

I feel like a contradiction. They skies are blue and I feel grey inside. The sun shines and I wish it would rain.

I can be both grateful and grey. I can know joy and know longing for something more.

Here is my truth of today, it could change by tomorrow, the next hour, the next minute, here is my truth of now.

Again and again. Again, I must rise.

And, I will. 

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