Walking Toward the Light

When wading hip-deep through the Swamp of Depression, I thought I was just hurting on the inside. Now that I’m exiting the swamp, I can see a panoramic view of my depression.

This morning I saw a photo of me during a recent volunteer activity for a political candidate, and I saw my physical size honestly for the first time in a long time. I knew I’d gained weight, but I didn’t realize how I looked. I’ve always wondered how I could look in a mirror and see what I want to see, but not in a photograph. Easy to stop that reality from sneaking in: no photographs.

 

Little Girl

 

My recovery from depression has much to do with changing behavior patterns. I go shopping to buy food and choose foods that I think I will enjoy consuming when I buy it, but the next day it doesn’t sound appealing. Then I realize this was another of my soothing, feel good food choices. Also my tastes in food have changed with my medication.

As I was driving yesterday I found myself cussing about the slowpoke drivers clogging up the left lane, and I stopped and reminded myself that slow drivers are not the enemy, despite my having thought of them as such. Many of those I have directed my anger toward in my adulthood were not the people I was truly angry at anyway. I was actually angry at those adults who didn’t protect me as a child.

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Hissy Fit Jones

I told my therapist during my last visit that I didn’t care about glory. Instead I am content to work behind the scenes and let some other, more charismatic face enjoy the limelight. But I have since realized that is not true. I’m used to being invisible and ignored, or having others take credit for my work. I didn’t think I was worthy of recognition. But my fantasies have always been of me finally getting the credit I was due, even if I did have to go above and beyond. If recognition is what I truly want, I have to find places where I will be valued, and not taken advantage of.

The beauty of therapy is there is someone who believes me, and encourages me to own my truth.  I can tell my story to with no judgement or pity, and learn to live comfortably in my skin.

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Yella Fella

Medication helps too. I was out and about yesterday and was amazed at how I am now able to enjoy looking at the clouds hanging low in the sky, the flowers in bloom, and the birds grabbing a bite to eat before the heat of the day.

Cats also help. Yesterday morning Hissy Fit Jones gave me some licks on the side of my arm. That doesn’t often happen. Graybie Baby and I are sitting together as I write this post. We are all close and they are so generous with their affection. They always have given generously, but I have not always been in a space to be so accepting. Today I am, and I am grateful.

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Graybie Baby

The journey continues.

18 thoughts on “Walking Toward the Light

  1. My husband also sees slow drivers as “the enemy.” I find them annoying, but they infuriate him at a level way beyond mine. I suspect he was another child who was never protected and who had to learn to protect himself in a world that didn’t much like him. He found his way into TV, got notoriety and praise and even a little bit of fame — and he is still depressive and insecure. Mind you, he is very fond of all of his awards and still loves being “recognized,” but the bottom line insecurity is still there as is the depression. At least he is no longer self-medicating with booze.

  2. I also can speak to the value of “kitty therapy” when coping with depression. It’s also good to have that other person who will listen to you without judgment.
    Oh, and I love your cats’ names! ❤️🐱

  3. Speaking from experience – the kitties are a good reason to get up every morning. Keep on keeping on.

  4. This is a beautiful and encouraging post, Jen. I’m glad the medication, therapy, and cats are helping you be able to see some of the good things that are around you.

  5. I’m glad you’re making it out of darkness. I can appreciate the winding journey through self-awareness and comfort with yourself; it sounds wonderful!

  6. Glad to hear happiness is creeping back in with little kitty paws! Love those kits but mine always needs puppy paws. In pursuit now! Enjoy.

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