Alright, bloggees. I’m about to get real….
Today’s been a SHITTY day. I’m not even going to get into it. But I have a feeling it has a little something to do with this. Anyway… it’s been rough. And after getting home from my internship, I saw where my night was headed: a half-eaten box of Chili Cheese Wheat Thins and a tub of Greek-style hummus was calling my name. I was going to sit in front of my TV, watch The League (until I decided I wanted to watch something I could cry over), and consume that ENTIRE damn half-box/tub duo. I was in pretty deep. But I stopped. With about 10 crackers left in the bag (and a lot in my belly), I heard a voice: “You deserve better than this. ESPECIALLY on a day like today–when things just don’t feel quite right.” This voice was filled with love. She directed my attention out my big bedroom windows, and reminded me I had a few hours of daylight left (the best few hours, in fact, right before the sunset).
With much hesitation, I put the remainder of my “snack” down (YES, there were only 10 left, but it was time to STOP!), peeling my body off the chair, feeling double my actual weight (because of the depression–not so much the Wheat Thins ;-)). I changed into some comfy walking clothes, and headed out the door with my iPod in hand. I turned on one of my very favorite podcasts–The Mental Illness Happy Hour–and listened to the truthful, honest, and darkly comedic words of Stefanie Wilder-Taylor as Paul Gilmartin interviewed her about her struggles–from depression to an eating disorder to overcoming a drinking problem, all the way through the truth about motherhood and what true love is.
In the spirit of being honest–I do love this podcast, but I haven’t listened to it in quite some time. I think deep inside, even though I KNOW hearing others talk about their struggles always helps me get through my own, I’ve worried what listening will do to me. When I’m capable of it, I like to keep my negative thoughts folded neatly in a corner of my brain, where they can be left alone, and forgotten. But shouldn’t we all know by now–that never works.
To my surprise (not really), I felt comforted and warm while listening. I laughed and I cried, sending myself on a true roller coaster of emotions throughout this particularly long two-hour show (NOT complaining). There were parts of it that made me hurt, and parts that made me realize I was ok enough to be loved. But the thing that helped me most was realizing what Paul has been trying to show his listeners all along–I am NOT alone.
I am NOT alone.
We are NEVER alone.
No matter what you’re thinking, no matter what you feel, no matter what awful, terrible, embarrassing, disgusting or weird urge, desire, or thought you’re too ashamed to talk about–SOMEONE has thought it before, and more people than you ever believed possible WILL relate.
As a result of the combination I allowed for myself–a little exercise, some fresh air, and tuning into a podcast I worried would send me on a downward spiral–I changed the course of my entire night. I did not go back to those tasty little conniving, addicting Wheat Thins. I did not mope myself to tears. Actually, I came home with a smile on my face, my cheeks still pink and flushed from the cold ocean air that was rolling in after sunset. I cleaned my room and put away laundry which had been overwhelming me for weeks (if you don’t get it, ask someone with depression and/or anxiety–I’m 95% sure they can explain it to you). I even cleaned my kitchen, did the dishes, and cooked myself a wholesome dinner out of REAL food.
I feel great. And I know tomorrow might be rough. And I know I HATE my depression, and still have a voice that loves to remind me that IT’S NOT FAIR. But the difference between me now and me 3 hours ago is that I now feel prepared to deal with it FOR NOW. I can tackle tonight. Tomorrow morning I’ll see what I can handle. I’ll get out of bed, and carry on to the best of my ability. And I’ll do the same thing the next day, and the day after that.
Commit to your own recovery–whatever that is for you. If you try, and you bring yourself toward the right path, there’s no way for you to fail. There’s no way you won’t come out 1 step further than you were when you started.
Also, if you haven’t–check out the Mental Illness Happy Hour! Download it off iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, or go to mentalpod.com. I am not lying when I say it has literally changed my life.
Goodnight! Love yourself.