Posted on : 06-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Heart Talks
Tags: Holiday blues
Yeah, this time of year is pretty crummy for many people but for the first time in a long, long time I’m feeling very happy. I’ve even started mailing off some Christmas cards. I’m not sure exactly what pieces of my puzzle moved into place to help me to feel fulfilled and happy right now, but whatever they are and however they moved I’m very grateful!
Only someone who has suffered from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD and phobias can really understand what it is like to weather through the onslaught of all the happiness and cheer that is tossed around this time of year. It can be really painful physically as well as emotionally. Tonight as my husband and I were watching a French flick and both dogs were curled up on either side of me with a roaring fire in the background, in the middle of feeling all happy and grateful, I had a very quick flash of remembering how afraid and totally alone I felt–definitely when I was living on my own before we got married and sometimes even during those blue depression times long after.
Something we humans don’t talk with each other about a whole lot about how durn scary and sad it can be sometimes as we are traversing through this life of ours. Even when the sun is out and warm through the shirt on our back, we can still have times of feeling as if the world could care or less about us. It’s as if we were standing on the outside of the snow globe of life looking in and knocking loudly but nobody can hear. When you’re feeling blue and/or afraid then people around you acting all happy can feel especially jarring or grating. When I first began seeing a therapist years ago to finally confront the depression and anxiety that I had been walking around with for so long, I described the way I felt to her in that my life felt like I was walking around inside of a B-rated horror movie. Nothing felt good. Everything hurt or was scary at some level and in some way. Thank God that within a very short while of talking things over with her, I began to feel a release inside of me that had been gripping my heart and stomach which allowed for me to see and experience some good things in my world at least some of the time. I didn’t always feel it and there were many days and weeks when it was all I could do to show up for work and then come home to curl up with my dog and cat and watch television until blessed sleep took over. But I kept pressing on. I had remembered sparkles of feeling good when I was younger and I was determined to feel that way again. I was not going to let this dark cloud have control over my life and I was willing to go to therapy every day for however long it took if that is what it would take for me to get better.
Today, I’m grateful to report that many of the pathways I began years ago towards helping myself get better such as therapy and various 12-step programs to address addiction and spiritual/religious programs to expand my understanding of God, all of these helped me to release the bondage of the past so that I could live in the peace of today.
The good news about feeling blue is it means you’re sensitive which means that just as you can feel the fear and sadness about your life, you can also feel the beauty and joy. It’s such a bitter sweet thing to be human. I’ve written before about a memory I had one day while I was driving through Zilker park which is located down by the river here in Austin. I pretended that I was talking to an angel and I asked this angel why we humans have to feel so much pain and the angel began asking me if I even understand how truly miraculous it was to be human. He said that in the world where he lives, he cannot feel the intense beauty of the heart, soul and flesh in the way we do here on Earth and went on to say that even the most searing experience that breaks our heart is achingly beautiful to those on the other side.
Well, I don’t know if I was really talking with an angel or if all my egos (Id, super, etc.) were creatively working out my quandary to help me find peace….but I did feel better after looking at my life as if I was seeing and feeling it through an angel. Everything became that much sweeter when I thought of my life in that way. I still remember how beautiful the sun looked glinting off the leaves of the trees as I drove down the street having this conversation in my head. That’s how I feel this Christmas/Hannukah/Solstice season….very peaceful and with a simmer of happiness. It’s not a manic excitement or tipping point joy but rather a very subtle feeling of hope and wonder.
I invite you to write me your comments about how you feel this time of year (even if you don’t celebrate any of the holidays happening now). Would really love to hear from you