With apologies to those who are tired of me sharing about my current journey with depression and anxiety, it is however my reality at the moment and something I am walking through, you are of course completely at liberty to stop reading and to ignore any or all of this. Please know, that, that is not me who is being passive aggressive, it is simply me being me, I truly appreciate all of the kindness and prayer and care that people have shown me.
Alongside the kindness and prayer I have been in regular touch with my GP, accessed talking therapy and CBT, it is the last one which on my GP’s advice that I am finding most helpful, I am accessing it via an online platform and going at my own pace, I check in with a supporter also via online messaging weekly. It has given me the skills to engage with my thinking, and my needs which are so often buried, because I am a serial people pleaser! For those who understand I am also an Enneagram type 9, so putting myself last, and then letting people down when that is the last thing I want can be part of how I am.
Of course I don’t want to let people down, but that can lead to me giving myself away when I can least afford to, and running upon empty by slapping on a mask, and a smile and getting on with life. The trouble is, as I wrote the other day, my mask is no longer working, it has crumbled, and while I am able to smile it quickly becomes wearing if it is not an actual smile, which does of course happen.
So, at last I find that I am engaging with the stuff in me that needs healing, I am not covering it up, but am dealing with it, and that might mean, that like today I send somebody a message saying, I know we had planned to meet, but I am just not up to it today. The amazing thing is, that this is me getting better not worse, by saying I can’t do this I am owning how I am and not play acting a coffee/ chat routine that will leave me exhausted. I am also not beating myself into doing things, yesterday for example I felt that I ought to go out for a walk in the sunshine, but I simply didn’t have the energy to do so, so instead I chose to go out into the garden and do a Tai-Chi routine, I was out in the sun and exercising without the problem of bumping into people and making small talk, I have always found small talk exhausting- yes I am also an introvert.
I will probably always have people pleasing tendencies, but at last I am learning to love and maybe more helpful, to know myself, to be able to voice what I want, and who I am, crazy that I had to reach 60 before I could do this, but I guess we all take different roads. I am throwing out the ought’s and should’s, and trying to live with integrity again being more honest in prayer which is often wordless. I am also not putting pressure on myself to be better, to get back into things, nor am I trying to pull myself together because of a subtle but very real pressure to do so. I am also concluding that I am not letting people down, a part of my vocation is to love and care, but that is not possible when I am empty, I need to find a balance in life, a balance that I have neglected for far too long.
This is in a sense both a journey of discovery and a journey of returning, very appropriate for Lent, which I have concluded may last slightly, or massively longer than the prescribed length for me this year, but hope is alive, and resurrection will come, it always does, and will keep coming until that day when there is no more dying to be done, and all will be well.