Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On Climbing Out

Depression is stupid. It's insidious, like a secret lover. You don't want it. But it is like erosion within. You're watching the water rise, and suddenly you're in a landslide. Oh crap. And then it's tempting, to just go, washed along in its flow, folding in to the dark, sleepy warmth. You can see the thoughts cycling downward. Yes, you are really depressed. Yes, you are really sad. Yes, this is happening. It's like a fog had rolled in, a drug-like fog. And you're fumbling around for the regular things. But everything is piling up. Oh, dammit, the laundry. Oh, shit, the papers. And there are the dishes. Wow. Didn't I just do them? How can it be this bad already?

Well, today is my friend's birthday. And on Friday we talked for 2.5 hours on the phone. She is battling breast cancer with courage and stamina and strength. When I told her I was so amazed at her positivity, she said, "What choice do I have? Being upset about it doesn't help." She spent much of the conversation inspiring me because that's what she does. She cares for others. She is generous and giving and lets so many people borrow her strength. And for this I am grateful.

Well, this morning I found that she posted this on my Facebook wall:

She had told me on the phone that, yes, we sometimes stumble back into struggles we thought we'd already finished, but that obviously there was something more to learn from it. But the important thing to remember is that we already did it. We are already victorious. And to just figure out what we need to learn and get on with the learning because, "What choice do we have?"

So, this morning I was all mopey putting on my shoes to go work out, and I just thought of her heading into another round of chemo, and it was like a shot in the arm.

I already did it. I survived. I was strong, even at nine. I did it. I can do it again. 

Bobbi was like the Puddleglum from Narnia who remembers that Narnia exists and uses his bare foot to stamp out the witch's fire so that everyone else can get out of the fog and remember too. 

He says:
“I don’t know rightly what you all mean by a world,” he said, talking like a man who hasn’t enough air. “But you can play that fiddle till your fingers drop off, and still you won’t make me forget Narnia; and the whole Overworld too. We’ll never see it again, I shouldn’t wonder. You may have blotted it out and turned it dark like this, for all I know. Nothing is more likely. But I know I was there once. I’ve seen the sky full of stars. I’ve seen the sun coming up out of the sea of a morning and sinking behind the mountains at night. And I’ve seen him up in the midday sky when I couldn’t look at him for brightness.”
Thank you, Bobbi. So, for you, here is a song to commemorate being strong, to honor where we've been and where we're going and to say:
"Fuck yes. I am exactly the person that I want to be." - Amanda Palmer

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