Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Vitality

I have depression.
I've written about it before and will continue to do so. There of course is a lot of shame that comes when divulging such things. That is a completely normal feeling so I make intentional effort to let it pass.
As someone who strugglessss with perfectionism my normal response to anything less than perfect is naturally to try and hide it. I hide out a lot 😬
So. The opposite must be done!
The truth is, it's obvious. To anyone who knows me well I'm not hiding anything. To anyone I know well who shares this struggle, you're not hiding it either.
Shall we hold hands? Kidding! I am an introvert with OCD. I'm not holding hands with anyone! 😂 My 13 year old son always wants to do special handshakes with me and I'm like, "nooooooo! Ok, but have you washed your hands recently!?" I'm ridiculous and I know it. Anyway.
Admitting I struggle with depression is hard. But I am making effort to accept this about me.
The truth is if I dig deep deep DEEP into my life I can identify that my depression started when I was around the age of 12. If you read far enough back into this blog I've already written all about it.
I feel like it's been with me consistently since then other than a small span of time when I was around 20 years old until I left on my LDS mission at 21. Other than that it has been there. It has had a constant presence in my life in varying degrees. Sometimes it's barely noticeable at all and sometimes it's like holy cannoli she's going explode like Mount Vesuvius. It's rare, but that has happened a time or two or threeee 🌋
Awhile ago I listened to a podcast on depression. The host explained that the opposite of depression is vitality. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. This time of year is hard. In addition to depression I have SAD.
So what exactly is vitality?
It's to be ALIVE! It's energy. It's to be strong and active. It's doing life with a bounce in our step and excitement. It's vigor and vim and all the energetic, spritely words you can think of.
For me it's the deliberate act of giving purpose to the day or an activity.
I can gauge now the state of my mind solely based on this word. I can feel when I'm slipping and feel when I've totally slipped, fallen and splat 🌫
Those who suffer from depression manifest it in so many different ways. I don't typically live at baseline. Day to day I am not sad at all! I am simply tired. I wish to stay in bed. All the damn time. Getting on with life and my responsibilities DRAIN me. Appointments, housework, conversation, and self care are chores and require an enormous amount of effort some days.
BUT!
Those are the exact things that keep me going. What can I say? It's complicated 🤷🏻‍♀️
I don't think my depression will ever be healed. My goal moving forward right now is not to try and tame the beast but to increase my vitality and drown it out. There is a such a difference for me between the two. I feel have more control over the latter.
I'm constantly working towards identifying the activities in my life that make me feel happy, productive and alive .. like sitting by the sea is at the top of my list 🌊 But it's also me sweeping the floor with a pocket full of legos I've picked up off the floor putting on a private Lady Gaga concert for my dog and cat 😜
I am focusing on day to day activities like cooking for my family, listening to music, cleaning and organizing something always leaves me feeling really good, soaking up sunshine, spending meaningful time with my mister, reading to my kids or playing a game with them, or participating in ANY activity THEY enjoy, going out with a friend etc.
And writing. I feel alive when I write. It wakes all my senses.
So hello 🙋🏻‍♀️
The end.

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