Tuesday, May 3, 2016

On Depression and Anxiety

I hadn't thought about delving into my Season of Depression publicly before, but it happens to be National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week.  So why not?

Happy National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week!  An oxymoron if there ever was one ;)

Depression, Anxiety, Recovering from a Trauma, big or small...we all deal with this. In some form or another we all have experienced a time or are currently living through a time when The Fear and The Grief and The Overwhelm seem so so Strong!  For me, when my children first came home, we went from zero to three kids...instantly. 
I felt like I wasn't ever going to come out of the pit of The Overwhelm and Anxiety was my constant companion whispering new fears each day.  My adjustment went from survival to numbness to anxiety and into deep grief, and would cycle through again.  I no longer have the DSM codes memorized, but I'm pretty sure I qualified for a Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode (don't worry psych majors, it was without psychotic features of course ;).

I don't believe that these emotions, or what caused them, or even that time, were a "gift" or a "blessing in disguise".  But I am beginning to believe that the underpinnings of my anxiety have been Fuel and Fire for creative uprisings...the exciting things I have gotten to do, the people I have gotten to meet. And the future things I will get to do that will bring me Joy and Fulfillment. 

We cannot control what happens to us, but we can dive deeper into seeing our True Selves and valuing Who We Are.  I'm also beginning to understand depression is our TRUTH that the world needs to see and acknowledge, validate and help us bear.  For me, I didn't begin to see relief at the end of the tunnel until I excavated and admitted hard truths to Trusted Others in my life.

So often Depression and Anxiety are birthed from a Lack or Denial of Truth:

The true us...Who are we?
The truth of what happened...Have we experienced trauma and no one has heard it fully?  Do we keep pushing it away?
The hard questions we don't want to ask....What if we are lacking?  What if we were responsible?  What does this grief mean about me?
The people we don't know how to reconcile with....What if we had obvious pain, yet others refused to acknowledge our pain, or even acknowledge us!

And yet, so often Depression and Anxiety reveal Truth

Some Hard Truths of My Depression the I have discovered along the way:
I was not a "Good Mom"
I was not a "Good Wife"
I couldn't rescue well and be their Rescue
I couldn't heal them fully and be their Healer
I was not all the things I wanted to be for them and for myself
I didn't really know who I was yet

The Easy Truth of My Depression, however, or what I'm leaning into now, is discovering this:
I am Eryn Jones.  I have a true self that is valuable, in spite of how well I can or don't use my gifts.  I have inherent value as a person.  I'm unique.  
Also, I'm just like you!  I experience shame, grief, loss, anger, sadness, fear, and the whole ray of emotions common to us humans. 

So Dear Friend, if you are in one of these times, have experienced loss, or are living in the middle of An Overwhelm, I want you to know you are not alone What if these things, these things that result from hard times, traumas, and loss, these feelings that feel like they might over-take us, what if they can't be "stronger" than us if we join forces?  What if these feelings, these emotions, happen not in order to, but for the possibility of us to experience more Freedom?  The Freedom that comes when we Overcome and use these emotions to our gain?  The Freedom that comes when we Speak these things to Another and the feelings feel a little... well, less? 

Today, let's live those truths, shall we?  Let's discover and live Who We Are, you and me, separate from all the things we can and cannot do!  Lets acknowledge these hard feelings we have to Someone Safe.   Let's say to a friend who is having a hard time, "Me, too! I know how you feel!"   Let's embrace both our common humanity and our individuality.  We all have a little bit of depression and anxiety in us.   Some of us live with it Full Blown, and others of us live with it in pieces, short moments.
This is my "Me Too" to all of you.  And may you also feel a little lighter today as you share and lean into the pain and the Truth that is Yours and yours alone <3

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