Good stuff still happens even when it seems like the very bad stuff you’ve been trying to shake off has shackled itself around your waist.
If you just read that above line and you’re currently curled on floor of that nasty dank pit that depression or anxiety or life’s shitty circumstances have carved out for you, you have probably just rolled your eyes so far back in your head that you just saw your own childhood memories.
And while we are here talking about childhood memories, screw you Adrian for stealing my vanilla snack packs every day in grade 2.
You, dear person at the bottom, I know you rolled your eyes at my words because I’ve been at the bottom and I would have grimaced at the mere thought of someone saying that there was a speck of optimism in the trash that’s filling in the crevices of the wrinkles in my brain.
You see bottom for me was in 2012 but was located on the 2nd floor of the hospital. I was the lucky patient to get a window I guess. It faced an orange brick building with large antenna on top. I stared out at that damn spot, cried for hours, and then pictured the same scene – climbing to the very tip top – so many times that it often haunts me to this day. On that hospital bed, I scribbled out a list on a single sheet of blank paper all the things in my room that I could harm myself with. It was out of sheer spite. I was pissed off with the nurses for confiscating my spiral notebook because they said I could hurt myself with it.
For the record, not once did I do anything to myself while I was there which was a major feat considering I had been harming myself for weeks prior. They had every right to take my book away.
Every day, I tucked myself into the deep recesses of the hospital mattress like a scared potato bug and then shielded myself with layers of blankets. Upon doing so, I discovered that beside my bed there was glitter on the floor – something so synonymous with happiness. It made me wonder who the person was that occupied the bed before me. I wondered if they were OK when they left. They must have been. I wondered if I would be OK too?
Such a big four letter word when you’re on the bottom and in the dark.
Hope was shakily standing up from the bottom after 5 days, leaning on a loved one, leaving those four spiritless painted walls, and feeling the world hit me right in the face.
It was coming home and seeing that life still happened however, despite what my depression was telling me, I was needed.
I was needed here.
*Because no one cleans or cooks quite like mom does and….
I won’t forget that hug.
That grip, the smell of his hair, the way his smile stretched so far across his face that it almost swallowed his eyes.
I’ve been near the bottom again – not quite the 2012 “The nurse from the united states is spying on me and people are out to get me” bottom – but the climb up felt just as fierce.
I know it’s hard to find the good when things are so bad and when your brain is so ugly and loud but I ask you to just try.
To take a moment and pause and just think of one thing, just one thing that made you get out of bed today, that made you smile, that made you laugh, that made you feel anything other than sad, anxious, angry — what are you thankful for? Is it a friend, family member, your fur baby, did your kid say something funny, is it the coffee your holding, a good book your reading, a movie you just watched, the food on your table, did you have a good hair day?, was someone super nice to you at the grocery store?, did you discover a new song that makes you feel deeply…
…and then hang on to those things. Take them with you to tomorrow.
Because I want you to stay.
Because my rock rock rock bottom was 2012 and that was so very long ago.
I would have missed out on so many things.
Dreary winter days can make over-thinky brains like mine curl into dark yet very comfortable familiar spaces. You can keep spinning and sliding further when you focus all your energy on everything that is horrible. Looking for the good in your day isn’t a cure all for the winter blahs and depression and anxiety and life’s shitty circumstances but this is something that helps me when I feel like I’m not myself and the ugly thoughts get loud. It helps me to see that there’s more to life than what my depression is telling me – that there is good happening, that depression is a f***ing liar named Carol.
*Sorry Carol. If your name is Carol. Nothing personal. I saw a meme once. I’m sorry. I’ll call it Karen next time. Brenda? What should we call it?
Of course you need to seek help from your doctor if you’re not yourself – please do. Don’t be afraid.