Sunday, August 30, 2015

A long long time ago

A long long time ago, in the distant past, I was a college student.  Anyone else remember a million years ago to when you went to college?
Last night, I was laying in bed, wrecked with anxiety remembering college.
Don't get me wrong, there were lots of wonderful times in college and I made some of my best friends there, but, overall, it was not necessarily a "good" time in my life.

I remember spending nights crying, hyperventilating, while having horrible memory flashbacks.  I remember drinking for the 1st time and never knowing how NOT to drink to excess.  I tried drugs for the 1st time in college and it would take those 4 years plus one more to stop.  At my worst, I was getting high several times a day and doing whatever drugs I could find.

I didn't care.
I wanted to not feel
to feel normal

My whole life, I suffered from depression.  I suffer from depression.  It hasn't gone away.  I just take medication and spent years in therapy learning how to cope.  Learning how to breathe through those nights like last night.

Nothing triggered me last night.
I simply went to bed.
And they came...unasked...and I couldn't stop them.  I had to breathe through them.  All the horrible things that happened to me and all the horrible things I did.


and remember that I am not my past.  I am not my past choices.
I am today
I am tomorrow
yesterday brought me here
it did its job
but I am not defined by it

When you are suffering from depression, things that might not make sense to anyone else make perfect sense to you.  Those very things that make complete sense to you make no sense to people not suffering from depression.  They say they are egotistical thoughts or selfish behaviors or dumb or crazy.  None of that makes those things NOT make sense to you...they just make you feel more and more alone.

I hurt a lot of people.
my family

but mostly
I hurt me.

I was just a girl...
so lost
so alone in a crowd

I am so much older now...and wiser...and calmer...and medicated :)
I have been clean for 20 years.  Almost half my life and still...
I have night like last night where it hurts to breathe and I feel myself getting sucked down
drowning in anxiety and depression

The difference is, I have tools now.  I can remember to take deep tell myself to relax with each exhale.  I can not stop those waves but I can surf through them.

I did not drown

We can't not change the waves but we can learn to surf.
~ Jon Kabat Zinn

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