Emerging From The Darkness

I am emerging from the darkness. I am once again feeling stronger. After a few weeks of being down, dancing between two emotions; numb or melancholy, the fog is lifting.

Every so often I slip into a low. As my mother puts it, it is like a blanket that covers me and keeps me from being myself. I agree with her, partially. It is like a blanket, or a fog, or a haze that descends upon me. The usual happy go lucky demeanor takes a back seat. I get introspective, contemplative, quiet, and yes- moody.

However, I am still me, this is a part of me. Is it mild depression? Is it just part of my personality? The need to pull back now and then and take stock of my life? I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me, not too much at least. It doesn’t bother me because it doesn’t last. The only time it ever lasted I was on the wrong meds/too strong of a dose. Then I withdrew pretty much all together and spent any time not at work lounging or sleeping in my bed. That is not where I am now. That is not where I have been for a long time. 

To me, there is a certain beauty to darkness. I think embracing it now and then is important. Is it painful? Yes, but it also leads to growth, to joy, to a stronger version of me. Embracing it, as long as it is not stopping me from fulfilling my responsibilities (much), or totally cutting everyone out of my life, or having suicidal thoughts (which I don’t), then I say, embrace away. 

Still, there must be a balance. The dark cannot overtake the light. I mustn’t dwell for too long. Life is too precious, too fragile, too beautiful to focus on the misery and the sadness for an extended period of time. 

I was sort of due for this little segue into the land of sorrow. Uncle John’s birthday was just a week ago. There are other changes going on in my life that I was not thrilled to hear about. I have not been focusing on maintaining a positive attitude. There are a few stressors that had been weighing me down as well. Mix that all together and it’s a perfect recipe to backslide a touch. 

Besides, if I get too comfortable in life, if things are going too smoothly, it makes me a tad uncomfortable. I spent so many years overwhelmed and miserable due to my undiagnosed anxiety disorder that peacefulness can actually be unnerving at times. Realistically I suffered from my anxiety issues for years (at least seven years totally undiagnosed, three of those years experiencing panic attacks that scared the bejesus out of me). Just as I began to learn about my anxiety disorder and seek treatment the health of several relatives went into decline, one right after the other. 

In some ways, I’ve had a rough go of it since I was 17 years old.To be clear, not as rough as many in this life but this is my life, my journey, and my issues to deal with. Sure there were pockets of calm in between but also a lot of chaos, a lot of stress, a lot of… well… a lot. Not to mention the amount of growth a person does in those years regardless of other factors. 

So here I am, learning to adjust to a new normal. One I never imagined but one that I am content with. A normal that sadly doesn’t include people that I assumed would be around a lot longer than they were. A normal that still battles anxiety and depression. A normal with more amazing friends than I dared to believe possible when I was younger. A normal that includes healthy relationships with my family. A normal that is all mine. Yes, I am emerging from the darkness once again.

Destroy

I want to run away. Far away. I want to wreck everything I have built. I want to fall, into the abyss that I’ve outrun for so long. I want to break free from the restraints. I want to let the gray overtake me. I want to wallow in the sadness that is floating at the edges of my life.

But I can’t. That’s not what grown ups do. That’s not what I really want. It is just what I feel, a little bit. I am scared. I am taking stock. I am borderline unhappy at the moment. I am plotting my next move. So my instinct? My urge? Run. Wreck. Destroy. Topple all the pieces. Why? Because I can. Because then the slate is not clean but it is a fresh start.

Life runs in cycles. I am currently in my low. No, I am not bi-polar or manic depressive. At least not that I know of. I am missing Uncle John. I’m missing Grams. Aunt Marianne. Papa. I have odd dreams of them, some of them, or all of them. I have dreams of living relatives in odd situations. I have dreams that the ones that have passed on are still alive, even though part of me, even in the dream, knows they are gone. It is so odd and confusing.

There are changes happening. Changes I cannot control.

Unhappiness is important sometimes. It forces us to take a good, long look in the mirror. It is time to get really honest with myself. Come up with a plan. Not a “life plan,” that is too extreme. Maybe a year or two plan. What are my next steps? Where do I want to be?

In the meantime, I will just fantasize about destroying it all…

Eff Body Image

Body image. Thigh gap. Thinspiration. Websites devoted to worshipping Ana (anorexia). Get thin fast; remedies/pills/exercises/etc. Every single day we are assaulted with unrealistic ideals of what a woman should look like and what she can do to get there. It is crap. Men are quickly catching up too. It used to be they were kind of left out of the whole body image, mind game assault but nowadays there is pressure on them as well. 

I am done with it. I will no longer participate. Which means I will have to fight, every day, to not judge others for their bodies and even more difficult, to not judge myself or compare myself to anyone else (unless done in a positive way). 

If I were to look at my BMI, a number that is the holy grail of healthiness and sometimes referred to as insanely flawed, I fall into the “overweight” category. Sometimes this would make me feel bad. Sometimes it doesn’t. Now, my focus is shifting to how I feel. 

Here is my reality: for the sake of better health and wellness, I need to eat better and move more. Whatever size that leaves me at, whatever weight, I’m going to do my best to not be stressed by it. Whether I am fuller (as I am now) or thinner, it is essential that I love my body just the way it is. 

The older I get (and I am aware that I am not “old”) I am becoming, sometimes slowly, more comfortable in my own skin. Thanks to shows like “Girls” or “The Mindy Project”, that star women with fuller figures, it is challenging the status quo. Now I am not saying we all need to pile on the pounds but we need to accept what is natural and real. We need to quit buying into the disgustingly over photoshopped images on magazines. We need to focus on health, wellness, and joy. Eff body image.