The last 5 days have felt like dancing on the edge of a pothole.
There is a really great poem called Autobiography in Five Chapters in which life is described in 5 beautifully short chapters of the process of learning to make changes. From falling into a pothole, learning to get out, learning to avoid the pothole and then, finally, learning to take a different route.
I love this poem because so often depression feels like falling into a pothole for me. Last week, the pothole opened in front of me and I have been dancing on the edge of it ever since. I keep trying to figure out what causes the pothole to appear. I know that depression and loneliness are doing their own little dance around the edge, intertwined in their downward spiral that often takes me with it.
I try to pull them apart, to separate their co-dependence. To convince my heart that the depression will pass no matter how much it hurts right now and that loneliness is not proof that I am unworthy of being loved.
And then I try and do my own dance of healing. Staying away from numbing comforts that sideline me in my own life (hello internet!), reaching out for support, writing about it, getting out for a walk, eating well. Trying to be gentle on myself and reminding myself that I am not a failure as I do each of these things imperfectly.
Trying to take the word “just” and “should” out of my vocabulary. Cracked.com had a great article recently on the 5 most useless pieces of advice ever given. Number 5 was adding the word “just” to your advice. You know, “you just need to snap out of it” or “you just need to eat less and get more exercise”. If it was that simple, trust me, I would have done it by now!
I know that this will pass. And, that like a dance, it is complicated and dynamic and changing. It is a chance to understand myself better. A chance to figure out how to adjust my sails in the wind.
As I dance around the edge of the pothole, I know that this time I didn’t fall into its depths. And, if I do, I know I can get out.
Maybe someday, I will know how to walk down a different street.