AGAINST THE CURRENT

Monday, January 31, 2011

   Growing up in rural Indiana presented some pretty idyllic activities. When I was a little girl, and it was really hot outside, my mom would take my sisters and I to this special place. We would drive the back roads for a bit and come to a red covered bridge (like something straight from a calendar page). The bridge was the passageway to our destination; A sprawling creek we would wade around all day in. I remember on one occasion, lying down on my back as the water lapped gently around my head. I closed my eyes and could feel the sun warming my skin. I must have laid like that for an hour. It was perfection.
   If you walked up the creek a little bit, the water got deeper and the current got stronger. I once tried to go where my older sisters were and the further from the shallow waters I went, the harder it became to walk against the current. My feet would occasionally slip on the rocks below and my muscles ached from pushing on, but I was determined to make it. At one point I fell and went under the water. I was frustrated and scared and had to turn back.
   I often think about this experience, because I compare depression to walking against the current. I can do all the things everyone else can, but some days I have to push against the current to accomplish tasks while others walk in the shallow end. The current can become quite strong when life circumstances are more difficult than usual.
   The past while has been a pretty strong current for me. We are preparing to move to Pennsylvania in a few months so that the hubby can go to medical school. In the mean time we live in a 550 sq. foot apartment (the hubby actually got out the measuring tape this time) with three kids. We don't want to move to another apartment in town when we are so close to our permanent move. So, we are just trying to be patient while living in a closet. All day long I trip over things and boss baby is constantly waking up from naps because of the noise around him. Add winter into the mix and you've got a family of five cooped up an awful lot (I think I can...I think I can...). Just to make things extra fun, one of my kids decided to bring a sickness  into our home/closet that keeps getting tossed from person to person (including the baby).
   Last night I tucked the kids in bed, said good night to the sick hubby, rocked the stuffy baby boss to sleep, and then laid down to the sound of the Commander coughing every two minutes. I felt so bad for them and I'd done all I could to help. My thoughts began to race and I knew it would be a rough night. When things aren't going well, my anxiety kicks in and I can't sleep because my mind won't leave me alone (this is how I describe how I feel when my body is exhausted but my brain won't shut off). I become my own worst enemy, unable to escape my thoughts.
   I'm lucky though. I have my faith, medication that works well for me, the best husband ever, insight and understanding into depression and anxiety, and wonderful friends, family, and kids. All of these things make the current feel weaker (Or, is it that they make me stronger?).
   As my childhood progressed and we returned to that creek, I'd become stronger. It was no longer as difficult for me to go against the current to get to the deeper water.
   Walking against life's current with depression can be extremely frustrating and often causes me to slip and fall, but I've become a stronger person who is able to reach deeper, richer waters because of it.
   Last night, I was once again longing for lasterday, wishing I could be alone lying in the warm shallow waters with the sun on my face. But, my friends, that is not my reality right now and that's okay. Because, I know that  difficult phases pass and there is always some joy and peace to find in each day. Like sipping a diet coke, reaching across the Internet to friends through a blog, watching my baby smile in his sleep, or getting a hug from the hubby (he is the best hugger in the world). I think I feel a little better already.

P.S.- I will be posting the winners of the e.l.f. make-up brushes later today, so there's still time to win.

  
 
 
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