I’ve been mulling over mental health a lot the last couple of months, especially since my yoga training ended. There have been a lot of good changes: It’s warm! It’s officially beach season! I’m a certified yoga teacher! I have a new boyfriend and he’s an angel! Honestly, there haven’t been many bad things. Objectively, things have been going really well. Which is at least one reason why being depressed for the past two months has been so frustrating. Then last week. Kate. Anthony. It hurt.
I know most of you personally, or at least you’ve been reading these letters long enough to know that I’ve struggled with clinical depression for over a decade, over half of my life. There are lows that belong to another me, who is so far removed from where I am now, that it’s easy—even painless—to speak about it. But this current low? It belongs to me. I am in it. I already know I will get out. And through this low, I have known that I am worthy of love and that I am loved. Today, yesterday, this week: it’s more than enough to keep me afloat. But that’s not always the case. Often, it’s not about self-worth but rather, today just hurts too much.
Because I am still climbing out of it, because I am still processing, I don’t have much to say. There rarely is much to say anyway. To be honest, when it gets bad, trying to talk to someone has often left me feeling worse. Sometimes they want me to explain and it takes too much energy. I’m already running on empty and there’s no rhyme or reason and there’s nothing to say.
I’ve done this enough times to know that, in order to speak with clarity, in order to make any sense of it, I must first sit with it myself. I have to untangle the knots in my stomach and in my throat. I have to sand down the sharp edges. I know it will get worse before it gets better and I have learned how to prepare. The people who need to know, know. It’s important to me to share, process, and resolve with my inner circles first, before laying it out for everyone else. It is important because it’s how I put myself first, how I put those I love first, my ultimate display of trust.
And when it gets to be too much, these are the people who pick up where I leave off. The people who show up, do the menial tasks that seem so difficult, do the things that make it easy for me to jump back into my life when the storm passes. Sometimes they just lie down next to me. They reach in, because there is no way in hell I can reach out.
I hope you have these people. But if you don’t, consider this my way of reaching in. You allow me to invade your inbox once or twice a month. The least I can do is return the favor.