The break itself is the beauty

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written here, and it strikes me as fitting that the last thing I posted were inspiring TED talks for when you’re lost and hopeless as that was EXACTLY where I was. Lost, hopeless, disbelieving that I could figure a way through this intact. Every time I tried to sit and write, the panic would come, the words were stuck inside me. I was too busy trying to sort out the madness inside my head to be able to put anything to paper, coherently at least. Even now, I don’t really know what to write, still not sure where I am.

Right now, the tears are flowing, the heavy weight of depression is crushing on my chest. That horrible sense of hopelessness is waiting for me to stop doing so it can overwhelm me. Yet it was a good day, actually a good couple of days. My mood has been light for the most, I’ve done yoga, I’ve eaten more than just rice cakes, I’ve tackled some work, the kiddos school work, sorted another load of jobs in the house and garden – got life back on track {again}.

It’s almost like a trick, a couple of good days, you find your footing again, think maybe, just maybe, you’re on the up this time. Then BAM. Back down you go with one hell of a thud. I feel like a painted horse on a carousel, going round and round, and up and down. I keep reminding myself that recovery isn’t linear. It’s ok to fall, to stumble, that bad days are inevitable.

It feels like the worst of this time is behind, I can feel the veil of craziness has lifted, the all-consuming desperation has eased, the tears have slowed, the fear and dread eased just enough for me to breathe. Part of my silence is wondering if I should just package all this away. Put it back in a box, pretend it never happened, go back to being ‘OK’. That’s one thing that I am good at – pretending and putting on a front. Saying the right things, doing the right things, acting that part. I realised tonight that that’s what I’ve been doing, saying the right things, doing what ‘is expected’ – playing the part of someone who is fine. A lifetime spent pretending to be fine is such a waste. Even at my best times, I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety, even when I told no-one, and often tried to deny it to myself. Most of the time I can hold it together, put on a smile and keep all those plates spinning, never letting the facade drop, at least not in public.

So even though I feel stuck, the words that once came easily are not flowing, I’m standing put. Not putting on a mask to hide behind. Being OK with being where I am and who I am. Getting out of my own head, back to filling my days with activity. Where before I needed stillness and peace, now I need to be busy, keep moving, for when I’m busy my head can’t start thinking. In some ways, it was easier to avoid thinking before, a month or two ago when I was still in the midst of it, escape was easy and there was always someone there checking in, someone to talk to, someone to tell me it would be OK. And now, when darkness falls and I finally sit down and stop doing, it’s just me. When the tears are flowing, and I would give anything for a hug or some comforting words, there is no one.

I can feel the ease of better days, whereas once it was bad day after bad day, then the occasional good day snuck in, now, mostly, the days are OK. I’ve grappled enough control back to be able to live a life, to go through the motions, even sometimes make plans for weeks or months ahead. But I am changed. I am not who I was. And that is ok. Like the Japanese art of Kintsugi – the art of patching broken pottery with gold, I’m putting myself back together. The cracks will always be there on display, but they will be part of the beauty. Celebrating the times I failed, the times I tried even though I didn’t quite make it, taking my gilded scars as proof I have been changed.

There is no need to sweep all that has been under the rug. No need to run away. In truth, I know that the depression and anxiety will always be a part of my story, I don’t doubt they’ll ever fully leave, and that’s OK. Only in great sadness can we truly appreciate joy and happiness. Only when we’ve been to rock bottom can we begin to climb back up. This time around, there will be no pretending. No saying I’m fine when I’m not.

I’m grateful to be here. To have another chance, for I nearly didn’t survive this breakdown. The last few months brought me so close to not making it. I have absolutely no idea where I’m heading, or what the future holds. I’m trying to climb out of my head and not think or worry about every little detail, to be here now. To live now.



  1. Stanley Sorenson
    April 13, 2017 / 01:06

    wishing you the best. Found your link on the Bloggess group.

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