Oh Poor Me ~
Reflections on Depression, Healing and God Loves Me Even Though
Sometimes the most mundane things can be significant in very transforming ways. Recently I blocked a phone number and removed contact information [all from the same individual] from my phone. What’s the big deal? Good question!
As I get older, besides forgetting stuff more frequently, I find myself caring about birthdays only ending in zero or five. That seems to be a good way to mark milestones and to forget the time in between…some of which is pretty forgettable anyway. It’s almost like being born on February 29th… but not quite.
This is a “five” year that has nothing to do with birthdays. This year, this month, marks the 5th anniversary of being diagnosed with clinical depression in addition to a whole lot of other stuff. A year which I’m certain triggered my falling over the edge into the dark hole of hopelessness, denial, and what the fuck is going on. I’m still surprised that I managed to put the shovel down and stopped digging long enough to begin healing. In case you’re wondering how I managed to put the shovel down it took considerable coaxing from a team of wonderful caretakers. Yes, getting well takes a team and in my case a small city. Eventual I crawled out, saw the light of day, learned to manage my depression, befriended my demons, shared my story with anyone who would listen, and yet still find myself occasionally being nudged and sometimes pushed toward the edge of my personal abyss. Five years later I’m healthier and have learned to manage my depression pretty well…well most of the time and I’ve learned some important lessons along that way.
- · I’m not the only one – so “poor me” plays to an unsympathetic and limited audience most of the time.
- · It can be a valuable tool to grow and learn about ourselves when we’re willing to become truth tellers. Yeah…that truth thing is a biggie!
- · If you can survive childhood, dysfunctional families, puberty, a couple of broken hearts along the way, a rejection or two, you can learn that it’s OK to be a mess.
- · Being a mess is a good thing and cleaning up after yourself is even better.
- · Don’t forget to factor in the physical, spiritual and emotional components of healing. It’s one big package.
- · It hurts really really bad sometimes, but learn to tell yourself that you’ll survive. It worked for Gloria Gaynor and it can work for you ~ if you’re old enough to remember. If not, you’ll have to trust me on that one.
- · Know in your heart of hearts that God loves you “just” the way you are, in spite of yourself and as my buddy Gerald likes to say “even though.”
- · “God loves me even though”…. if necessary tattoo that on your arm so you don’t forget.
- · That “God loves me even though” thing is so important that I’m mentioning it again.
So what’s the big deal about blocking a phone number and deleting contact information? Learning to manage depression is learning to recognize triggers that set you off and start you searching for the shovel. If you don’t deal with them, believe me you’ll find that old shovel and start digging. How many times do you want to clean up the same mess?
A few weeks ago, I noticed a missed call on my phone. I’m glad I missed it, but my crazy self-got all up into my head and started obsessing over the caller. No way I wanted to speak with well let’s call him Sam; although the thought of calling back crossed my mind more than once. The truth be told, Crazy Eddie was still holding on. I never revoked Sam’s easy access pass to my head and was still allowing him personal access and permission to stir things up. It may have taken me five years to do what I should have done back then, but it got done…no more easy access for you Sam. Healing is not a single event in time. Healing is a process.
It’s never too late to do something mundane and have it be a significant reminder that you’re better then you were and not as good as you’re gonna get. And just in case you’ve already forgotten “God loves you in spite of yourself and even though.” Deal with it!