On and Off Again – regression and picking yourself up
Why is it that the drive to write comes most when I feel at my least?
When thoughts are heavy, the flowing of time seems slowed to each aching heartbeat ticking by through my chest. When the pleasures and brightness of life seem muted and dulled to an out of reach haze, as if clouded by smoke-like cotton wool. I’ve tried to write for the past month, but nothing seems to fit. Yet, here I am – thoughts straining to come out, words itching to be written. If only they were something more light hearted.
Thoughts that cross my mind include:
Is 6.30 too early to go to bed?
I’m not hungry. I should eat. I don’t want to eat. But I SHOULD eat.
I thought I’d forgotten this feeling. I wish I’d forgotten this feeling. I don’t want this feeling.
I thought I was past this.
The road to recovery from feelings of depression is full of roundabouts. You feel empowered, independent, stronger than you have in a long time – you feel heady on the feeling of being better. And then sometime later you’ll start to feel the slow decline. The withdraw. The lethargy and the forgetfulness. The apathy. The sadness. Before you know it, you’re sitting alone in your house, curled up on your couch and clinging to your dog, while the tears roll ceaselessly down your face and the sobs slowly escape out of your chest. You feel like you’ve gone right back to the beginning.
So what do you do when this happens? What do you do when you’ve stumbled and fallen back down the hole? How do you get out again?
You remind yourself that the feeling does not rule you. The despair is temporary, and the decline will only get worse if you give in to it. Even though it’s so hard, you remind yourself that you are stronger than your regression. That maybe not tomorrow, but soon, you will feel better. And it will probably happen again, this slip backwards. But you’ll keep on pushing past it, because you know you deserve to feel good again.
And you write yourself a Haiku, because poetry is speaking to your soul particularly loudly right now (and you’re teaching it in your grade 5 English class).
A Haiku for Recovery
smash through the ice, reach the sun.
Banish the winter.