Last weekend… ugh. Ya know? I’m feeling much better now, thank you. Thank everyone who helped me, and there were many of you. And God helped too, because I asked, and she’s cool that way.
So then I posted that Open Invitation and no one responded, which is also cool ’cause maybe someone will see it some day and it will help them and that’s all it’s there for.
But then someone I love called me today, I won’t say who because this is her private journey and I don’t know how much she’d want to have “out there,” but let’s just say that I’ve loved her a long time, and that although the age gap is enough that one of us could be the other’s mother, her journey has been very similar to mine and we’ve always felt like soul sisters. I’ll call her Ruth. Anyway, Ruth called me today and she’s having a very hard time. Her shame and anxiety and the constant shame triggers she lives with are making her miserable. We talked for a while.
Then I went over to one of my favorite blogs, a very very very very very funny comedienne, Allie, who does these hilarious comics about life and stuff, and she had finally finally posted again after a super long time and I was super excited because she always makes me laugh. And guess what? The reason she hasn’t been posting is that she’s been depressed. Which sucks. And she wrote this funny and sad and awful and beautiful thing (with illustrations!) about her experience: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html
And so… I guess that’s it. Just … Seems like a lot of folks I care about are dealing with this ugly anxiety/depression cycle. And I want to help them all. I want to hold every one of them in my arms and tell them how beautiful they are. Of course I DID tell Ruth how beautiful she is. She is so beautiful! She said I made her cry. That’s a good thing.
My friend who writes about recovering from alcohol abuse says that when we allow ourselves to grieve fully, then our losses grow into wings. Some of us are so afraid we’re not good enough, so afraid that we’re rotten in our core, that we’re afraid to look at ourselves. We look sideways at the hallucination of a rotten core and think it’s ourselves and then we blame ourselves for feeling like shit. But when someone gives us a mirror and shows us to ourselves, and we see how beautiful we are, then we can see also how hurt we are so that we can grieve.
So here’s my challenge: Next time you feel bad, give yourself permission to feel bad, recognize that you DO have a reason, the FACT that you feel bad is proof that you have a reason. But the reason IS NOT THAT YOU ARE A BAD PERSON. You may look sideways at your illusion of yourself and think, “Oh, that’s why I feel bad–because I did that awful thing.” Or, “Other people are depressed because of something that happened to them. All I have to be depressed about is the fact that I’m a loser and unworthy of good things.” But you’re wrong. You are good, you are pure and wonderful and beautiful. Yes, you. YES YOU. You. Are. Worthy.
Since I can’t do it, please give yourself a hug and permission to cry. Find a picture of yourself as a little girl or boy and look at that little innocent face. That child is still in you, and you are still as beautiful as the day you were born. Have compassion for yourself.
When you’re ready, you can get up and go again. I’m not suggesting that we all curl up into balls for the rest of our lives, tell ourselves “poor me” and stop trying. In fact, this entry is me getting up and going again, after my recent bout, and offering what I can to others. What I’m suggesting is that we stop beating ourselves up for taking a break to recognize the pain we have suffered and are suffering. I’m suggesting that we take the time to grieve our losses, have compassion for our beautiful inner selves, so that our losses can grow into wings and we all can fly.