Monday, May 8, 2017

Something to push against - depression - joy

I got a return call from my Aunt last week.  A call I made before Thanksgiving she told me that she had had another heart episode and the medication they gave her to calm her down had a side effect of a psychotic episode where she was seeing people and she was flying.  I told her people pay good money for those kinds of hallucinations.  Unfortunately she continued to take the medication and it took her into deep depression and that is why she hasn't called.

She said she would never be the same again and that she would never complain about being blue or sad for just a day or so. I related my own experience to her and she was shocked.  They actually visited me one day during that time a visit I barely remember.  I do remember making hot chocolate with mini morsels and canned milk for their granddaughter that came with them. She said it was the best hot chocolate she had ever had. It is the small things, right?  Apparently in the depths of despair and contemplating suicide I can make some mighty fine hot chocolate.

I can laugh about it now because I am not there now.  In fact I am better than ever and actually making plans. I have signed up for a cooking class on knife skills just to see if I can learn something new. I have had a cooking spark just below the surface and I am going to see if I can re-kindle that flame. In my old life it was a passion but since then nothing. For some odd reason I made beef stock last weekend and was binging Chopped the TV cooking shows. Little signs that something is stirring up something I thought was dead forever.

I am also drawing up a planting plan for my side yard.  I worked all day yesterday cleaning the space out.  It is about 15 feet wide and is terraced with four levels. The front of my house is at street level and the back goes down to an inlet off the river.  It is mostly been full of leaves and wild things since I have been here but I think I am ready to do something with it.  I have also had a sudden interest in house plants and I have filled my house with new plant friends. This was a passion I had in my twenties and basically haven't had an indoor plant since.

Most of my life I have been pushing against something.  I felt that life was about surviving and preparing for some unknown thing that was coming. I have had pockets of happiness but the fear was just below the surface warning me to not get too comfortable and in time, what a surprise, the voice was right. When my mind couldn't accept that it couldn't solve this problem and decided no more it sent me into long term sorrow.  Eventually even the sorrow vanished and I had only emptiness. When you experience this long enough you get to a place of acceptance this is all there is and you just keep moving. Many times I didn't see a reason to go on I did anyway.

When you live in crisis your mind is fully engaged it has something to push against. A constant to do list of time filling accomplishments. Valuable things that must get done to stop impending disaster. But when disaster comes anyway for me my mind blew a gasket. I bottomed out when I realized that bad things couldn't be stopped by any action I could take. I gave up and stopped participating in life what is the point?  Life just kept moving forward without me people came and left jobs ended an began life didn't really need me to do a thing. I became a watcher.

I watched while people stressed over the smallest things. I felt free to just be and not get too attached to the outcome.  I think now I am waking up to the idea that everything does not have to have great meaning.  I don't have to save the world or accomplish anything for that matter. I do have to accept life the way it is today and try to enjoy what is right in front me. To not judge myself so harshly when I just want to be, instead of do, sometimes.

I have a deep groove in my mind that was made when I was child.  It was that life is about doing something productive every minute and that life isn't suppose to be fun.  This is the default setting that I am up against every moment luckily I do find joy in making things beautiful it does involve work but I don't mind now that I can find joy doing it..



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