Through the Wood


I feel liberated!

Something happened today.  There was no click, or anything that proceeded it.  It came as a light trickle from an empty well.

I felt inspired. I started generating original thoughts again. The dense fog dispersed, and I could see once more. I awaken from an inky, dreamless slumber that lasted millenniums.  The breaths I took were like the first out of a dim room with recycled air.   The clouds parted, and the sun warmed my face, rekindling the fading fire inside.

I am still within the forest. But, the sun has penetrated. The path seems more defined. I may be on my way back to civilization.

I feel the synapses in my mind sparking. My body is energized. I am not yet with brilliance. It still filters in, trickling slowly through my veins, pumping eagerly through now beating heart. My shackles anchoring my soul loosen. The chain lengthens, and there is hope.

The bright, white, shining hope embraces me, and I nestle into it.  It has

There is a light in everyone's life that beckons.

been nearly two months since I was enveloped by shadows cast around my world.  I was sinking, anchors tethered tightly, nearly choking the very life around me.  I wasn’t living.  I was merely surviving from day to day.  Moment to moment. Nothing else could possibly exist in this world, for it was too overwhelming to even consider that the next second could contain such misery.

I crawled, belly on the ground.  I could not stand; the weight was too incredible to bear.  It prevented me from resuming life as myself.  It began to nibble away every morsel of my existence.  I took refuge in the shadows, receding into myself, folding once, twice, thrice over.  Until I was nearly a speck.

It, the shadows, the creeping, seeping darkness, took possession over me.  This horrible, unseen monster made the attempt to claim me.  Whispers.  Sever from this.  Sever from the world.  Retreat into me, and you shall not have to bear these incredible burdens.

I stood, breathless.  Tortured and tormented.  The air was in my lungs, but would not vibrate through my throat to create words.  I dared not refuse, but I hesitated to accept.  I refused to leave all of this, the wonderful people, community, and life I had built for myself.

Finally, I stood defiantly.  You are the burden that tears at my existence!  You are the shadow that blinds me!  And I refuse you, as I cast you away!

No longer do I feel oppressed, hopeless, and helpless.

It’s not as if my life has mended. The circumstances are much the same.  My grandmother is coming home, despite the fact that she is practically an invalid. My mother has been on a long bender.

I have $5 dollars to my name, and have been subsisting off of cup o noodles, doctored with some spices, accompanied by the last vegetable in my refrigerator. One more day. Just one more.

But, no matter. I am better than surviving, actually thriving in the puckered, sour face of stress and anxiety.  I am conquering, planting flags in remembrance of my victories, reclaiming my mind, life, and body. It is truly an incredible rush.

Invigorating, in certain moments. It provides the momentum to traverse these woods, and climb that mountain to take my place at the top.  Though the mountain is large, it is solid.  I walk once again upon solid ground, even if I am slipping on rocks that give.  I cling to the earth, determined to pull myself back to a vertical position.

I feel nearly free. The shadow has diminished, and I stand without it’s ominous presence. I am far from where I started, from in the beginning, still further even in these two lost months.  I have not backdrifted as much as I have deviated course.

Yet, a new path lies ahead.  It is forward, north and true.  Perhaps one day, it will cross my original path.  But, which will I choose to remain on?

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38 thoughts on “Through the Wood

  1. *hugs*

    It makes me so happy to hear that you’re feeling better! It’s never an easy path, but if it were, that would get pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

    • Thank you.

      I want to go through one day and do some translations of these kind of cryptic posts. A friend of mine said to me, “I love reading it, but I’m not always sure what context you’re putting it in.”

      I say one day, because I’m still doing the baby steps. At least I’m back to walking.

    • I was worried some people might view it as bragging, or it would discourage them in their own struggle. I’m relieved to know that’s not the case!

      How are you, Kevin? Please accept my apologies for inadequately keeping up. For awhile there, I just couldn’t manage it. I’m doing a little better each day. But, I’d like to hear about you!

      • Hi Lulu.

        Isn’t that one of the potential pitfalls whenit come to blogging about difficult situations or conditions? That we can be so aware of each other’s struggles that we are reluctant about sharing our better times or victories? I for one am, as I said, encouraged and don’t see it as bragging at all and I am just content to share in your joy with you.

        As for keeping up with what’s happening with me, there is no need to apologize at all. I understand that we all go through our own stuff and sometimes folk will have to take a step back from things. I have to myself sometimes and am just glad you are findig some improvement at this time.

        As for me I am still plodding along as usual 🙂 My physical health is still bothersome but I do what I can when I can. I am still bogging and writing at least.

        The writing part of it is a great improvement (probably due to the Folic Acid I now take) and I find I am able to remember stuff a little better and to focus a little better too nowadays. So I have started writing the next book in the series. Which having not written anything in that series of books for some 5 years or more is very encouraging!

        So yes all is ok with me thanks 🙂

        Kind regards

        Kevin

    • I was hesitant to say anything. I feel like if I were to say something, I’d jinx it. I was going to write a post about jinxing when I was lower than here. I’ll bank it for later.

      Now, I can start chipping away at the 21 drafts I have.

      Thanks for the pom-pom wave!!!

      • I have to “chart” my moods on a calendar because it helps remind me when I get back to the happyhappyhappyhappyDEAD place that there is another side. All I feel is dead at those times. And happy seems impossible. So I have to chronicle the evidence! Pom poms, pshoo pshooo (that’s the sound I think they’d make)

        • I have a six year chronicle of this, but I’d have to sift through dozens of journals to even start charting.

          Hmm, good idea for a project.

          I just started charting again. I can never keep with it. I hit that point of hypomania where I’m like, “Forget this, I have better things to do.” And it all flies out the window.

          I’ve started charting everything now. Weight. Moods. Exercise. Cigarettes (trying to quit). Food. Medicine. Pretty much everything going in and coming out. Little diary entries are attached to most chart days. A short blurb about the great or the terrible of the day.

          I really don’t like being so obsessive about it, but I have to be. It has given me so much clarity in my life that I was sorely lacking.

          • I have zero patience. So all I do is buy a 99 cent store calendar each year (with something pathetic on it, like baby animals or kittens) and mark a smiley, frowny, sad, crying or whatever mood face. If I am bleeding, or whatever state my nether regions are in. If I did cardio, yoga or strength training. And then scribbles of any plans. That way it’s in one tiny little square. If I up a dose, I mark it. If I spot through my birth control, I mark it. If I have a headache. Etc. It helps me look back and see patterns. But it looks a MESS by the end of the year!

            • My memory has gotten so bad that I would look back to that and need a decoder! Seriously, I’ve made attempts like that before to minimize the hassle, and it always turns into a pile of garble.

              I have to have a memory attached to an emotion or a significant event to remember. I didn’t keep a journal for about seven years. I am still unearthing things from that period of time. Significant things. The Five W’s and the H matter, big time.

              For instance, I had recalled the most extreme parts of the biggest fight my ex and I had. But, there were things I didn’t remember. How did it start? When did it take place chronologically? What exactly happened? Things that helped me take some of the blame off of myself. Because the way I remembered it didn’t stand. He provoked me. How? A lot of things get me fired up in a day! Did I fly off of the handle over something mostly benign?

              No, it was serious. I’ll put it this way, I wasn’t the first one to start throwing punches. And I don’t understand why I spent the rest of my relationship apologizing for it.

    • I thought the picture was funny, so I posted it. It kinda showed a goofier side. Plenty of these picture exist.

      I’m exhausted right now, but in a good way. The weather wasn’t cooperating this morning, so I had to resort to Wii Fit.

      Wii Fit is awful. What a scam! I had to do an hour of high impact exercise to get what I normally get out of my daily, medium impact 2.5 mile jog! (I usually clock in at about 30 minutes on that one.)

      Oh well. No pain, no gain, right? Well, okay, I’m hoping for loss to be fair.

  2. **cheers** I’m with boldkevin: “I for one am, as I said, encouraged and don’t see it as bragging at all”

    As a fav author (Spider Robinson) of mine said

    “Pain shared is pain lessened; joy shared is joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy.

    I’m glad you shared.

  3. you are so expressive! I’m glad you’re feeling better…it’s no fun to be in that awful place for awhile. It’s amazing when the light shines again and the world is full of colors and possibilities. You survived and will thrive.

    • Thank you! The problem for me about being in the awful place isn’t just about being there. It’s about how it affects everything else. I can’t be as attentive and alert as I usually am. I walk around distracted and detached. That’s not fair for my son, husband, and my students. If I could just find a place to put that depression, even for just a few hours a day, I’d do it. Just so that I could be all of the things I want to be in my day.

      That’s why I wanted to retreat into myself. But, when I’m in a state, I can’t be trusted. I mean, I can’t trust myself. On one hand, I’m thinking that I need a lot of introversion to ease the depression. On the other hand, I think it’s a dirty trick my mind is playing on me so that I’ll isolate, and the problem will get worse.

      I really think the magic claw that pulled me out was investing back in myself. Getting out there, exercising, losing some weight, and feeling better about myself. I think being able to reach some goals in depression, maybe things that a person wouldn’t normally think of, is a good thing. On the other hand, it’s a dangerous game. If those goals aren’t reached, then it could be disastrous.

      Or, maybe it’s just that my body started feeling better, and my mental health followed. I’m stronger and faster. It feels good to be able to climb three flights of stairs up to my classroom and not feel winded!

      • Depression (and mania) are Catch-22 states. Our behaviors walk a fine line between helpful and harmful. I also liken it to a spiral staircase, either spiraling up or spiraling down. Also, kind of like the chicken or the egg…which came first? Does the mind and thinking change because the body is? or vis-versa. When I ponder, as good as that can be, I can’t get stuck in the why? sometimes it is as it is when it is (Elisha Goldstein, PhD. The Now Effect)
        Glad you’re feeling, doing, being better. And when not, don’t beat yourself up (says she who has to remember not to put the boxing gloves on herself).

        • Hypomania is easy for me to manage in the trust department. My husband keeps me in check on that one. Good idea, or bad idea? Sometimes, if my husband is feeling adventurous, things can get interesting. If I’m dyphoric, he can keep that in check.

          I rely on him for that. He’s really good at keeping that under control, and understanding that when I rail at him for telling me no, or holding me back, I’m not being me.

          As for depression, I’m on my own with that. My husband has anxiety disorders, so depressive fits are inevitable. He doesn’t know how to handle his. How could he possibly even know where to start with mine?

          I don’t blame him. He’s not my keeper. Even if I were to advise him on how to handle me, I don’t know if it would be right. Is holding me and telling me that it will be okay enabling me? He’s tried tough love. That backfires badly. It makes me feel worse, and then I alienate him and isolate myself.

          I generally have an idea of how to conbat depression. But, putting some of those plans into action is really difficult.

    • The doctor thinks I really bounced back very well. I saw him again this morning. He asked if the Lamictal jump made any difference. I told him that it took awhile, but I’m back to me. He remarked, “That was quick!” I guess the 2 month depressive episode was minor in the mental health community. That makes me feel so empathy for those that are suffering longer bouts than that.

      • Great! I don’t think it’s unusual the Lamictal turned you around quickly. I had the same experience (with Abilify) a few weeks ago. Let’s just thank [insert deity of choice here] there are drugs like these out there.

  4. Hi Lulu,
    Sorry I haven’t been around for a bit, life has been busy, not doing anything particular, just living really.
    I’m another who doesn’t think you are bragging, just keeping us up to date with how you are, and how you are doing.
    It’s great news, and hopefully the start of your journey back into the light 🙂

    Good luck with your journey of liberation Lulu, I hope the light keeps shining for you
    take care and be well
    love n hugs
    xxx
    ps love the photo 🙂 x

    • Thanks! Thanks for dropping by, too. I know how it is. Not blogging is sometimes a good thing. It means that you are out living your life. Nothing wrong with that at all!

      I am a little shaken up today. I skipped the Vitamin D dose to see if it was actually improving my mood. My son wasn’t cooperating, so I didn’t get to do my daily jog. And it seems I’m aggrevating a surgical wound with that. I lost one of my favorite gloves. I keep trying to tell myself that they needed new stitching anyway. I’m better off just buying a new pair.

      Puh, a lot to deal with in one day. Just shaken up. Thank god my spring break starts tomorrow. I know the first thing I’m going to do when I get home tonight.

  5. I am so incredibly happy for you. My heart is just so full. You made it through, and you found what seemed lost and irreplaceable – your beautiful self.

    Love to you!

    • I can’t say, that even after all of this, I’m in a terrible place. I’m not in that misty, canopied forest. I’m out there, very much in the open. And I think that’s part of the problem. I’m out in the open now, fresh meat, still kind of vulnerable, easy target.

      It was really like this veil had lifted. All the world became brighter. Everything didn’t seem to hard, and I was liking my life again. I was liking myself again. (Note: Not contingent on my progress in training or weight or anything). It was a breath of fresh air. All it took was something new. A way to reinvest in myself. It was a way of saying, “I care about me. I want me to be happy. I want me to be healthy and I want me to really live.”

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