This week I have been grateful to feel my depression lifting. As I type this, it’s becoming easier to breathe with each passing minute. When I listen to the birds singing, I actually hear them singing again.
I had therapy last Friday, my second session with the adorable and very bright woman, and I wasn’t nervous, I was hopeful. I still felt the prickles of shame bounce throughout my body as I walked into the entrance, but I was also proud of myself.
I am proud of myself not only for showing up today to therapy but also for preventing a downward spiral that could have occurred for a number of reasons. I received news this week of another person I know committing suicide, another very well-loved man. (I have another post in the works about this, but that’s for another day.) When I saw on Facebook of this man’s passing, I instinctively knew he committed suicide. I scoured the Facebook page, sifting through family and friends expressions of love and prayer looking for proof. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what happened, how everyone was feeling, what his kids were doing, etc. I felt the fear creep in that this is what my brain could do to me too.
I explained this to my therapist who said, “I am not worried about you. Do you know why? You wouldn’t be afraid of this, if you didn’t want to live. Your fear means that you want to live.” She said this in a light, cheery voice that indicated her full confidence. I felt a gust of comprehension that made me shake my head and I felt my eyes pop open in revelation. I suddenly wanted to hug my fear, grateful for its presence and its proof that my body ultimately wants to live in the most primal of ways. I have never wanted to hug my fear before today.
This goes for fear about anything. I am terrified to post on this blog, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m terrified that you’ll all judge me, shame me, completely ignore me, or think, “who does she think she is!” But I’ve figured out what I fear the most about this blog. It’s not judgement for my depression or my vulnerability, it’s not fear that you won’t accept me (although these fears are present too), what frightens me the most is that you’ll judge my writing. I’m afraid that you hate it and I’m afraid that you will love it. I am still exploring this, but in the meantime I need to write this:
There are some days that the writing just flows and I can create some of the most beautiful pieces of writing that I’m proud to call mine. Other days, it’s difficult getting a sentence out, let alone a decent one. This is part of the creative process. Not every post is going to be as beautiful as Temporary Stop or Reflections and Rice Cakes. If I’m going to continue to post, I need to be okay with this. But I’m also very vulnerable. I’m writing this here, now, to remind myself that it’s okay. It’s all okay! I’m writing and I’m creating and I’m putting it out there. My fear is just trying to protect me, but that doesn't mean that it needs to control what I do. I'm familiar with this. I mean, I didn't quit my job, go to graduate school at 30, or move to another country without fear. I've never gone out solo-traveling completely without fear, I just don't let the fear make decisions for me. I'm not letting it make decisions for me now.
If you, like me, want to create something, anything, and you’re looking for permission. This is it! Some of what you create will be beautiful, other times it will not be as great. This is how creativity works… really, it's how life works.
Now, go play!