Tag Archives: depression

What I Yearn For

Standard

I’m discovering that I need people to be happy.
I’m noticing that when I’m around people
I feel good.
I eat.
I laugh.
I feel happy.
But when I’m by myself,
I become depressed.
I don’t eat.
I feel worthless.
I’m trying to bring more
meaningful connection
into my life,
but connection takes time and energy.
And motivation.
How do I find the energy and motivation
to connect
when I’ve been alone for so long
that I’m feeling heavy and depressed?
What came first…the loneliness or the depression?
I sense that I’ve had this feeling for a long, long time.
Even as a child some part of me knew
I needed deep, meaningful connection,
and when I was made to be in groups
where only superficial connection was taking place,
I felt drained, listless.
I decided that I was better off by myself.
I labeled myself as an introvert,
and I’ve spent a lot of my life just wanting to be away from people.
But now I see a distinction to be made.
Connection is so much more
than being with someone for the sake of not being alone…
It’s being together with a sense of purpose,
engaging in co-evolution, exploration, sharing, growth.
Relating heart to heart, mind to mind, soul to soul—
this is what I yearn for.

This Life

Standard

This life.
This tender, fragile, vulnerable life.
This perplexing, demanding, chaotic life.
This fulfilling
this disappointing
this crazy, ever-changing, remarkable,
normal, exceptional, precious life.
How my heart breaks for this life.
How my heart swells, bursts open,
bleeds for this life.
How I’ve had to be strong for this life.
How I am grateful, so grateful,
ever so grateful for this life.

********************
My heart is heavy tonight as I think of a dear friend’s partner who just last night succumbed to the story of his suffering and chose to bring an end to his time on this planet. I’ve been forthcoming about my own depression on this blog, imagining the peace that non-existence would bring. I feel so humbled and so shocked to hear that this brother took action on those same kinds of thoughts. In my darkest moments I’d always see my children’s faces and feel a deep conviction that I could not do that to them.

But this man had no children.

Recently my dear friend had wanted to reevaluate their relationship and had stepped back in order to redefine herself, her goals, values and priorities. I’m guessing that in the face of this change, he felt deeply lonely and believed it would always be this way. My heart breaks for him.

I remember that when my marriage ended I was flooded with feelings of worthlessness and shame. I kept wondering what I had done wrong, what was wrong with me. I kept asking what I could’ve done to avoid my husband leaving. I remember that feeling of loneliness and brokenheartedness, crying until I had no more tears, so much anger, the belief that the suffering would always be this intense. I remember the lonelieness and the pain of isolation.

But I was so fortunate. I had a therapist that I had been seeing for a while. I found my way into CoDependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings. I had friends and family, and even though they didn’t always show up in the way that I wanted them to, they nonetheless provided support to get me through. And then there were countless beings out in my community, here on this blog, on FaceBook, on Instagram, on Insight Timer, in the yoga studio, teachers far and wide, mentors, guides and wise ones who provided words of encouragement, prayers, well-wishes to get me through the darkest moments.

I reached out so many times for help, and I got help, and still there were times that I just wanted it to be over. There were times that the pain was so intense that I didn’t want to have to live through any more of it.

So in a way I completely understand the reasoning behind this brother’s decision to just be done with it once and for all. I understand in a way that perhaps most people cannot possibly understand. And so I feel so shocked, so sobered, so humbled by this event. I want to be there for my friend. But there are no words that can make this better. Only breathing, one moment to the next, just taking care of basic things like eating a meal, taking a shower, trying to sleep, just one thing at a time.

Friends, hug your loved ones close. This life is so fleeting, so precious, and you may never know who is struggling on the edge of oblivion, trying to decide if they can keep going…

A Miracle for the Fourth

Standard

I was preparing myself
to be alone and miserable on the 4th.
No one had invited me to anything.
I was ready to feel angry at my ex
for leaving me and
taking all our friends with him,
angry because my kids are with him this year,
leaving me all alone.
But then I had a conversation with myself…
How do I want to feel?
I want to feel happy, connected.
Who could help me feel that way?
People who are earthy, who love nature,
who celebrate with music and healthy food.
Who do I know like this?

Hmmmm…
And then suddenly I remembered a friend
from kirtan and drum circles,
a friend with whom I sat in ceremony.
I felt vulnerable and pretty pathetic
having to ask, but I asked…
I asked if he was doing anything for the 4th,
and would it be okay for another person to tag along.
No pressure, I said, just thought I’d ask.
And he answered that he’s going to a gathering
at a friend’s house…a potluck, with a cacao ceremony
and kirtan…and he invited me to join the goodness!
YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I have plans for the 4th.
It’s a miracle!
(HAPPY DANCE)

Try Surrender

Standard

The abandoned one (A0)
and the yoga teacher (YT)
have a conversation:
AO: I can’t do this. I’m too hurt. I’m too scared.
YT: Just breathe. In this moment you are safe.
AO: I hate him. I am so angry at him
for doing this to me.
YT: Breathe. Slow down. You are safe.
AO: I will never be happy again.
YT: You can only be happy now.
AO: I am broken. No one will ever want me.
YT: You are inherently whole and complete,
just as you are. Feel this. Feel this breath.

AO: I am depressed and anxious. I want to die.
YT: This is temporary, like the weather.
You will live, and this will change.

AO: I am worthless. I am so ashamed of my choices.
YT: You are alive! How fortunate. Breathe into
the center of this hurt, this sadness. Give it room.

Feel it, and then let this feeling go.
AO: This is too much work. It isn’t fair.
YT: This moment. This breath. Feel your body.
Feel your heart beating. What a miracle!

AO: I’m about to be homeless. I’m terrified.
No one is going to rescue me. I don’t know what to do.
YT: Slow down. Breathe. You are going to be just fine.
There is a roof over your head right now.
Love this moment. This moment is all you have.

AO: I’m just so tired. I feel so beaten down, unwanted.
YT: Put your hands over your heart. Close your eyes.
Breathe deeply. You are infinite awareness.

AO: Why me? Why this? Why now? It isn’t fair.
YT: That’s only one part of your mind talking.
Listen to the part that is grateful for change.
Listen to the part that loves you.
Listen to the part that knows you are powerful.

AO: This is too much work.
YT: Yes. Struggling is a lot of work. Why not try surrender?

Choose To Keep Living

Standard

Dear God,
Haven’t I suffered enough,
Or do you want to break me even more?
I feel like I’m already mostly dead.
Do you want me to die all the way?
I am a ghost in a body struggling to live
and it feels like a burden to eat.
And yet I must feed this body,
because there are two children
relying on me to be here for them…
and they deserve a living, breathing mother
who can help smooth their way through
this rocky journey of life.
Is enduring this pain the sacrifice I must make?
Is this torture of terror, uncertainty and homelessness
the very thing that’s making me strong
and ready to change?
But how can I change
when I lack the energy
to meet my most basic of needs?
When it feels like a burden to be alive,
how do I choose to keep living?

In This State

Standard

Our brains are hardwired
for love, connection and belonging.
In the absence of these,
our system goes into
fight or flight.
I have been chronically isolated
for two years now.
Besides my children,
I have had no regular contact
with caring people.
I have been in fight or flight
for two years.
When your brain is in
fight or flight,
your human ability
to think and problem solve
is hijacked
by your reptilian impulse
to survive what is threatening you.
I have been operating
from my survival response
for two years now.
When you are in
fight or flight
for extended periods of time,
your system shuts down.
This is the burnout stage of stress.
I am burned out, traumatized
isolated, and terrified.
How am I supposed
to recreate my life in this state?

The Strength to Climb

Standard

When you’re 42 years old
with two young children,
recently divorced,
celibate for the last two years,
yearning for human contact
but trusting no one…
When there’s just $35 in your checking account…
and your AC has been broken for two weeks
and there’s a wiring problem in your house
necessitating running extension cords
from your refrigerator and freezer
to outlets in another room…
When you’re feeling
tired, angry, and lonely,
but you’ve made a commitment to sobriety
to try to claw your way out
of this pit you’ve fallen into…
When the only direction you can go is up,
but you’re so damn depressed that breathing feels hard—
HOW DO YOU FIND THE STRENGTH TO CLIMB?

Update:

Friends, that last question is not rhetorical. I quite literally want to know how YOU, you who have made it through tough circumstances and who have come out stronger, how YOU did it. I need some hope. Please share your experience, strength and hope with me.