My first lengthy depression hit in high school. There is a period that I recall as simply black and foggy. I have had two or three in the 20 years since then (Matt might say there have been more but that is all I can remember). Self analysis is not always such a bad thing. Over the years I have been able to recognize the onset of a depressive period for what it is and, more often than not, have been able to keep myself from falling in. If I don't catch it before it really gets going then I must ride it out with apologies to those around me.I know it freaks some of my family members out when I write about personal stuff, especially shortcomings. But, here's the thing: I was raised in a community in which households went to great lengths to project perfect facades. It drove me crazy. At best, the most perfect families were held up as examples to live by. At worst, when problems in those families came to light they were subject to the gossip mill with a little more glee than was seemly and also, it felt like being lied to. I guess my tendency to engage in what some may call over-sharing is a knee jerk reaction to past annoyances. If you haven't heard enough of my internal workings here today, come for a visit. I will give you a lemonade, sit you down on the back porch and we can self diagnose for hours! Sound like fun?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Welcome to Our Back Porch
Isn't it inviting? I LOVE it. Maybe even as much as I love my window seat. The house has reached a point on the timeline of completion where it has ceased to be an abstract in some distant future and is beginning to become a reality in the present. I truly cannot believe that I am going to live in this beautiful creation.
It is not possible to understate the depths of our naivete at the beginning of this project. The trip from then to now has been one giant learning experience. And, strangely (at least to me), not so much about learning physical activities. It has been more about learning my limitations of spirit and confidence. I spend way too much time analyzing the mess going on in my head and in doing so have learned what activities I instinctively turn to when I need to refocus myself. I have learned that when I don't have the access or the will to engage in these activities, my self confidence to tackle and relate to everything around me spirals downward. And once the downward spiral begins it is a matter of riding it to the bottom in order to bounce and head back up again. The usual response when I mention this cycle is, "well, why don't you just (insert refocusing activity here)?" and get yourself out of it. It sure seems like a "well, duh!!" solution doesn't it? And I guess all I can say to that is this just might be the layman's description of the difference between depression and a garden variety bad mood.