Tuesday, July 8, 2014

winds of change

it is amazing to me the saying, "it takes a village..."

all this time, I've tried to do it myself. without help, while outwardly appearing to accept support, but too proud to even take assistance from myself at times.

i feel a change is coming.

it feels as though i am turning a corner. not to jump ahead of myself, i am feeling pretty good. not PERFECT, but pretty good. and i'll take it. i'll actually take it any day of the week, any week, month, season of the year. but regardless, i'll take it. i don't doubt that it has something to do with my accepting help from myself, my baby step in acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, there is something bigger at work here that i can't get a grasp on for a lifetime without outside counsel coming in and doing something to shift a situation that may always be just a tad bit off, a tad bit lacking.

i'm talking about depression. i'm talking about a chemical imbalance.

as anti-medication as i am...as anti-assistance as i am...as much as i ask for help, i am not good at taking it. i'm not always great at admitting that i suffer from the human condition. from fallibility. i am GREAT at admitting it when i am - low and behold - feeling pretty good. but when i have been in the thick of things, my instinct is to hide under the covers, to withdraw, to live in the rain alone until the storm has cleared - because it, too, shall pass.  it is just my plight in life to have to sit through it, right? then, once things have yet again become manageable, i am free to shout from the rooftops how WE ARE NOT ALONE, and that WE SHOULD ALL SUPPORT EACH OTHER, and profess to those who seek solace to BE EASY ON THEMSELVES. PRACTICE FORGIVENESS.

well...ain't that the kettle.

i believe it, though. there is the kicker. it is only recently that i am beginning to truly connect the dots between the fact that if i don't support myself, if i am not easy on myself, if i don't forgive myself...how can i expect to treat others the same way? or if i am able to do that for others, what is it about my own psyche that prevents me from believing that i am worth the same level of love, of support, of self-esteem, that i try to foster in those around me?

enter genetics, stage left.

i have at times refused to acknowledge that i am like my biological family, that i have inherited some of their not-so-appealing traits. genetically, i have a grandfather who was at least at one point a functioning alcoholic, a grandmother who was depressed (god bless her, SHE HAD 11 CHILDREN, who wouldn't be?), and a mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, whom have suffered at least some form of it, even from an outside perspective. bi-polar disorder, etc...the truth is, it's there. and after such a long road for my own survival, after digging myself out my marriage, out of the whole in which i was for almost 7 years, i found myself sliding into another one, a different one, but oddly familiar.

now, though, now i know better. now i know and recognize the signs.

and i choose to change directions. i choose to crawl and fight and claw out rather than keep sliding because gravity dictates that is the way i should go, because dna determines that i am to suffer from this, even in small doses. that means work, that means emotional growth and development, that means awareness and accountability, and intention. that means believing that life doesn't happen to me, but that i play a hand in what happens as well.

knowing that, reading that, seeing on paper that i allow myself to change my path simply because i dictate the quality and integrity and type of person i would like to be and life i want to live...it is incredible how freeing that is. something so simple and unspoken for most...it is as though I've not ever given myself permission to do that, and it is fucking empowering to own that. with god's grace, natch.

i challenge all of you to do it, to love yourselves FIRST. before anyone else. it is so difficult for me to practice, but thankfully, i am in a good place. today. tomorrow, it maybe different, but i won't stop trying.

a friend this morning told me a story about a Jesuit professor she had. he said that "every day, bring your reasonable best". she found it hard to relate, being the go-getting, type-a personality that she is, that we are, and realized later how true that is. some days, our reasonable best is 100%. other days, our reasonable best is only 70%, or 40%. whatever that percentage may be on any given day, bring it. OWN IT. and then, at the end of the day, rejoice in having brought your best. don't chastise yourself for not having brought 100% when you only had 40% to give that day. you brought that 40% with all of your might, and in that you can be proud of yourself and rest easy. it is futile to try for 100% when it is not there to give, and realizing that is the first step. kindness, empathy, compassion, they are worth the most when we can gift ourselves with those things and then, only then, pass them on to others wholeheartedly.

gracias, papa dios.