These Ordinary Days

I am really struggling with the monotony of life these days. Maybe its that we don’t have money for special things or maybe its that we have hindrances to living a normal life. 

There is just nothing special here. 

I feel so wrong, so guilty for saying such a thing. Does it mean I value the people in my life less than I should? Does it mean I’m selfish? Where is the line between self-preservation and self-consumption? How do I care for myself enough and still care for others too?

So many good questions. 

Here is where I am supposed to be the Sherpa and make grand conclusions that enlighten everyone. After all, that is what would make this blog popular. 

I’m not going for popular. I’m going for real. 

I don’t know all the answers. No one does. When life seems the same over and over again, I wonder at the purpose behind it all. Where is the meaning?

Perhaps the truth is that not everything has meaning. Perhaps the truth is that a good portion of life is spent at traffic lights and sleeping and doing things that don’t amount to a full life. Perhaps it’s a bit normal and okay to be sick of the drab parts of life and to feel a bit directionless. 

I want to re-enchant everyday life, but what if everyday life was never enchanted in the first place?

Maybe the key is to do one enchanting thing each day until the enchantment builds on itself. Suddenly, two things are enchanting in my day and then three and so on and so forth. Maybe the key is trying for enchantment, not the enchantment itself. 

Candidly, 

Ash

Healthy Thoughts

I don’t feel like writing today. 

I’m not sure I have much to say. I feel good these days. Not too good, because that is a thing that happens to me. Just the right amount of goodness. 

I have that niggling sensation in the back of my mind that something will happen to screw up this goodness. I’ve tried ignoring it, but ignoring is not something I’m good at. I’m one of those people who  literally can’t give the cold shoulder. 

So I’m just acknowledging that its there. I don’t need to grasp it and hold on. I can just let it go. 

Maybe this is the sign of a healthy person – letting go of unhelpful thoughts. 

Am I healthy? 

I’m not sure its helpful to worry and agonize over that one…

Candidly, 

Ash

Resilience

I went to the doctor today. 

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I answered ‘no’ to the question. You know, the question about whether I was having suicidal thoughts. 

It felt good. 

He’s a new-ish doctor for me so he didn’t understand that it was a big deal. He doesn’t know how many times I’ve said ‘yes’ to the question. He doesn’t know how many times I’ve lied and said ‘no’. 

The truth is that I’m not depressed right now, anymore. I don’t  remember a time like this. Its a new feeling. 

And I’m waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. 

Because something is always coming. Something can always go wrong. 

But something might not come or, if it does, I’ll handle it better than I would have before. 

If I could get through all that I’ve gone through, then I can handle what is next. 

I believe this is called resilience. 

For the first time, I am resilient. 

Candidly, 

Ash

Victory through Depression

Victory over depression. Those were the words that triggered me. 

You see, I tried that for a really long time – to rise up, to fight. 

But there are some battles that can’t be won through fighting. My victory over depression doesn’t look like life going back to normal. My victory looks like everything changing.

Depression taught me. It taught me to listen, to surrender. It taught me to appreciate the unknown, value the  hidden. 

From the moment I entered therapy, I was counseled that my depression was a mystery – not a battle, not a problem, not a crucifix. 

It has felt like a crucifix. It has felt like a problem. It has felt like a battle. 

It has always been a mystery, a mystery I value. 

When someone says “victory over depression”, I must shake my head negatively and say – 

Victory through depression. 

Candidly, 

Ash

No Emergency Exit Here

I wish I had something insightful to say. I wish I could cull something deep and meaningful to the surface.

I do not have insight.

Today, I sat on my bed staring out the window in a haze of apathy. On the same window, I noticed a sticker that says “For Emergency Exit”. It basically tells how to open the window.

I was struck by the words, because I have wanted to exit life. Life has felt like a plane dive-bombing due to lost engines – full emergency mode.

But there are no emergency exits here.

So my insight today is that life sucks. Things feel bleak. I suppose this is depression.

Hello, old friend.

Candidly,

Ash

Honor the Girl Inside

I used to push through things. Difficult things. Easy things. Dwelling on problems or negatives didn’t solve anything. I had to keep going.

After my stay in the hospital that all changed. In therapy, I was able to recognize that part of the reason I wanted to end it all was that I had pushed through things too many times. I was living a life that I didn’t want.

For most of the time since then, going on four years, my goal has been to listen to myself and honor the things I feel. For several years, this meant waking up to suicidal thoughts, sharing them with my husband and him staying home or calling a friend to stay with me. It hasn’t been an easy road.

These days, I don’t wake with suicidal thoughts very often. I believe a steady practice of listening to myself has helped me create a life I want to live.

Like (probably) many people, I still have days when I wake up without motivation, not wanting to do the things the day requires of me. Today was one of those days. It has me walking around sad, consuming caffeine to feel strong and equipped for the next thing. It hurts to push myself, but maybe sometimes that is okay?

Harder than pushing myself is discovering what I need, because it feels incredibly like something is missing. So I go through the motions and I try to listen to the sway of my feelings, while still keeping up with the day. I find this to be infinitely harder than the pushing onward.

Honoring the girl inside.

THAT is the real struggle in these days.

Mysteries of Sadness

The sky is cloudy today and that is how my heart feels. Clouds of sadness come and go.

Why am I even sad?

I wonder if I am the only one who experiences mysterious sadness. I don’t even know where it comes from until I sit with it for like ten hours. Perhaps that is how badly I had boxed in my sadness. I used packing tape on all sides of that box.

I wonder if there will ever come a time when all of my past sadness stops bubbling to the surface.

As I sit with this sadness today, I know it is about being enough. I have seen other children grow so that their autism doesn’t affect things as dramatically as Evan. I have stood next to moms and hashed out the problems. I have done the things they have done.

But he isn’t cured. He isn’t healed.

And I can’t help wondering if it was me.

Maybe I didn’t push hard enough, try enough.

Maybe it’s me.

Maybe I don’t have to buy into those thoughts.

But what would that even look like?

I cannot say.

Candidly,

Ash