I was driving the baby to day care this morning. The drive from EJ to Boyne was beautiful this morning with the fog and mist laying low among the trees. The world was filtered with a blue-ash haze that always reminds me of mornings on Walloon that I took for granted my whole life. The kids were quiet and I was reflecting as I was driving. Reflecting over the last year + and all the changes we have gone through. All the ups and downs I have experienced physically and mentally. As I was reflecting I was asking myself a lot of reflective questions and soon I was giving myself the full clinical work-over.
As I answered these questions to myself I realized that without a doubt, my depression is back. Things like not wanting to shower, not wanting to do activities, not being able to sleep at night and then just wanting to sleep all day…
My answers sounded like a commercial for an anti-depressant with those little sad cartoon characters.
I’m grateful I’ve learned enough to know what do do to take care of myself. I’ve learned to find joy even when my mind goes numb. I’ve learned how to walk my body through the motions of getting better until I start to feel better. I’ve learned to breath.
Up until recently I hated my mental illness. I wanted to overcome it completely. I wanted to shed off my trauma like a skin and become a new person. I do believe we with mental illness can get better and find healing. But most of the time healing in mental illness just looks like self-awareness.
I no longer hate my trauma and my mental illness. Because through it come some of my greatest gifts. My hyper-vigilance makes me productive and it allows me to see and consider options that no one else sees. My trauma allows me to be able to handle the darkness in me and with others with ease. My desire to “not be here” A.K.A. suicidal thoughts, actually make me appreciate so much in my life that would seem mundane. On top of it all, everything I have experienced connects me to a huge population of people who just need someone to say, “I see and hear you. You are valued.”
My depression is back, but this time around I am able to see that my greatest weakness within myself is actually the fuel for the flaming sword God has handed me to go to battle with for him.
Let us fight on my mental health warriors. Trust me. I see you. I hear you. You are valued.