It’s been so long since I wrote a post, I’ve almost forgotten how. I barely even visit my site anymore. Hardly ever check my comments or update the site in any way. And if I have any loyal readers still waiting out there for the next words to flow out of my fingertips, well, God bless you for your patience but really, I don’t blame anyone who’s moved on to a better blog. You know, the kind that actually gives you something new to read once in a while.
I can blame all kinds of things for my absence from the blogosphere or my almost complete disappearance from the interwebs as a whole. The mundane and usual excuses, work and my schedule taking up too much time. Exhaustion. Laziness. Lack of inspiration. But I think my main reason for letting go of my passion for writing this past year has been the recurrence of a demon from my past, the great big monster that silently encroaches on your sanity and overtakes you before you even know it’s there. Depression. That enigma of a mental illness that still confounds those who’ve experienced it and those who haven’t, mental health professionals and us common folk alike.
Now before everyone starts in with but you have a job (read, money) and an amazing daughter and your health and friends and family supporting you and you can do so much, just suck it up and try…yeah, we know. We as in the millions and millions of people affected by depression, fighting each day to not give in to its overwhelming siren song of defeat, fighting also the feeling that we’re ungrateful for all that we DO have. I know how lucky I am. I thank God for all of the blessings in my life. That doesn’t mean doubt and negativity don’t have a place to rule my heart. Quite the opposite actually. That all of those wonderful things exist and I’m still not satisfied, that I still feel a measure of failure, that makes me angry at myself. And anger at yourself is a major trigger for those of us who will always be fighting the darker, heavier burden of depression.
So what do I feel I’ve failed at? I’ve failed at some very basic promises to myself. Promises like not allowing my voice to be silenced, by anyone. Promises like challenging myself instead of allowing myself to ever reach a plateau and just stop. Promises like knowing my own strength, accepting my weaknesses, and being kinder to myself than I am to others. It sounds very vague and even a bit silly. But here’s why this matters. Two and a half years ago I told myself it was time to look for a job and truly start over. And I did. And I was happy, proud of myself, enthusiastic. But the other part of that was a timeline in my head. Where I’d be 2 years later, and 10 years later, and all of the ways I’d improve the quality of my life, and by extension, my little girl’s life. And now it’s 2 years in August and somehow I find myself struggling to remember what the next step was supposed to be. I look around and feel like there are no opportunities, like working until I’m too tired to think is the status quo, and like there will never be anything else. That just isn’t true. But I feel it. And it sucks.
So I’ve chosen to shake myself out of it. To remind myself of the person I am. To keep reaching and hoping. Because the alternative is letting myself give up, give in, to lay down my single mom sword and wave a white flag and then slowly suffocate myself with it. I refuse that alternative. Remember, I’ve got that steel strength in me, that core that has gotten me through all kinds of tough times before. And I’ve got my writing. My release. My respite from the fight. I won’t let my doubts and disappointments drag me back into the endless spiral staircase of depression. I will find my way back up before it’s too late. For me. For Zahara. For all those people whose love and support has been with me for so long. For all the dreams I have yet to see realized. This isn’t an empty promise. It’s a rousing call to arms, a renewal of spirit. And I don’t know how many cliches I can throw in there. 🙂 But it is. It’s my stubborn unwillingness to let my life be just okay. I want more than okay. I want monumental, passionate, deep experiences that will be a legacy of happiness I can share with and ultimately leave for my daughter. I want my life back. And hell yeah I’m going to get it. Stick around and watch. It’s going to be worth it.