Last week, I went through a fog of depression. I fought it at every turn, and felt every emotion, and let myself accept it, and push through it. It sucked, but it was very present, and I was too. I am sure the ever-presence of my low dose Lexipro helped me tremendously, and it also reminded me that, although I’d like to, maybe I’m not ready to phase that out yet.
Triggers to it:
- Political climate – this god-forsaken election and all the trouble it brings. The fact that certain sections of my family believe in voting for someone that I strongly believe sends the message that women are beneath society, and that rape culture is acceptable, and that we are laying this groundwork for our daughters and sons. This led to fighting the instinct to hate or resent them because of it. Understanding that I’m not even sure what I believe, and doubting my own instincts as to what I believe is right for the country. Dreading November, and dreading what messages our culture is sending to our youth, and adults alike, and to the rest of the world. Truly, from both sides. I just can’t navigate through it right now. So I’ve given it up to God.
- The heaviness and exhaustion of work, combined with full time momming in my spare time, to two beautiful, but complex individuals who need me more than I can provide, this week especially – where I wasn’t emotionally present, even though I really wanted to be. My daughter asked me yesterday, “Mom, why are you so sad?” Who knew four year olds were so intuitive? I asked her, “Why do you think I’m sad?” She said, “because you are talking very quietly.” I smiled, and reassured her I was fine. Maybe I lied a little. But I need to be strong and provide her stability. Plus, fake it till you make it, right?
- Needing more time to myself, and not receiving it; more sleep, and not getting it. Wondering if I’m on the right track in my life, and questioning every decision I’ve ever made regarding my career and whether I’m doing what’s right for my family, or not. In other words, OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING.
It was a heavy week, and it was all due to the stress I was creating in my head. I really think that a lot of people that have the tendency toward drinking too much, do it because they can’t slow their mind down naturally. It really is a practice. I’m working on it. I’ve been reading a lot lately. It’s my new self-medication. I read whatever piques my interest, and for the past few weeks, it’s been Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
I was amazed to find out that she is sober too. That like me, there was no real “rock bottom,” it was more of a “high bottom,” and a desire to live her full life and FEEL everything. Recognizing that numbing the pain is not working. This, once again, reassured me that in order to really live, we must always be present in our minds and hearts. Even when it’s really hard.
“I definitely believe that genetics and neurobiology can play a critical role in addiction, but I also believe there are countless people out there struggling with numbing and taking the edge off because the disease model of addiction doesn’t fit their experiences as closely as a model that takes numbing processes into consideration. Not everyone’s addiction is the same.
…I’ve spent most of my life trying to outrun vulnerability and uncertainty. I wasn’t raised with the skills and emotional practice needed to “lean into discomfort,” so over time I basically became a take-the-edge-off-aholic.
and finally – “When we numb the dark, we numb the light.“*
It was a cloudy week this week – both outside, and in my heart. But I chose not to numb the dark. Today is the first day the sun came in the morning. I feel it in my heart as well. I fought the dragon this week, and I’m coming out victorious. It won’t be my last battle, but each battle makes me stronger, and more ready for the next one.
*Brown, Brene, The Gifts of Imperfection (Hazelden Publishing 2007), p. 71-74.