working through depression

The Thing With Feathers

Yesterday I wrote a long post in this space, a post in which I laid bare some of the pain of these past months. I revealed that I was going through a “valley time,” a time of anxiety, sadness, discontent. When I had finished it, I thought immediately that I should delete it, should not dare to reveal this weakness, should not indulge myself in such blatant self-pity.

But I changed my mind. Let it go. Released it to the eyes of others.

And then. Then you responded. In comments. E-mails. Private messages. “Yes, me too,” you said. “I’ve been there. I understand."

Once again a connection was made through writing, words were shared that shed some light on my darkness, much the way the morning sun just this minute broke through pewter colored clouds still laden with cold. That brief flash of sunlight directly outside the window reminds me, as your words did yesterday, that warmth and brightness are still there, even if they are sometimes obscured by the heaviness of clouds around us.

I had thought I was alone, and you reminded me I was not. You listened, you heard, you recognized. 

There is great strength in that. Today there is a crack of light in the darkness. I feel empowered to start the climb upwards, away from the recesses of that darker place where I’ve been dwelling. With that feeling comes hope..."the thing with feathers," as Emily Dickinson described it. A gentle, fragile, feeling, but one with the amazing power of lifting our hearts and taking wing against the darkness.

Although I mostly dwell in this land of sensing and feeling (my Myers Briggs profile is Introvert Sensing Feeling Judging) I am a practical person, a person who needs concrete things to do. So this week I have been putting only good food in my body - no sugar, no processed foods, no alcohol, and no caffeine (well, just a tiny bit in the morning). I’ve walked every day because walking for me is “moving meditation” and gets the blood flowing through my heart and to my brain. I’m planning my days so I can accomplish what I need to, and trying not to let myself be sidetracked by the time killers that so often disable me... especially the Internet. I’m looking at the world around me with brighter eyes, remembering how to savor the small moments of beauty -  like my pretty coffee cup, the call of ducks in flight over the ponds, the smooth pages of a brand new book, the warmth of my little dog as he snuggles next to me in bed.

I’m trying to get myself back on the track, the trail that leads out of the valley and into a brighter place. 

 I’m grateful. For the connections we shared, for the hands held out to my as I opened my heart on this page. 

And I’m hopeful. That thing with feathers is perched in my soul this morning.