Depression is a thief.

by lizhuston

I wrote that line, “Depression is a thief” in my journal one bright day. It was a rare day of clarity, when the sadness had lifted just enough for me to realize all the joy, love, creation, even achievements depression had stolen from me in this life.

I’ve written about my depression before, but never when I was in the grips of it. I’m in deep today, and I write this because I desperately want out of it.

It’s a hard day, emotionally. Another in a long line of difficult days – and I can’t even tell you why. It’s my day off, so to speak, I should be enjoying it. This is a day I am not expected in my shoppe, a day where I can be in the studio sun-up to sun-down if I so chose. Or I could hike all day, or clean my house, or just read a book, or run errands or see friends. But it’s afternoon now, and I haven’t so much as left my bed.

I have been thinking of my childhood a lot lately – not because I want to blame anyone, but because I am looking for the original wound. I am looking for the injury that caused this sad, skewed view of life and of myself. I am looking for the brain injury so I can heal it. But…maybe there isn’t one. Maybe my brain is broken and all I can do is try and work with it.

The way I remember it – I grew up deeply frightened, abused, neglected, misunderstood and isolated. Trauma after trauma visited me, and already being a sensitive creature, I didn’t have the tools to deal with any of it. So I isolated myself further and tended to hurt myself. I hated myself, I was ashamed of myself and I just wanted to vanish. Which I did. Not wanting to bring anyone down, not wanting to burden anyone with my nameless pain, I suffered alone, always.

Somehow I found a way out of that darkness. Part of it was an official bipolar diagnosis when I was 20. Outside of that, I had to learn to save my own life. A lot of my healing had to do with finding a creative outlet – first in writing, then singing, then filmmaking, then photography, then mixed media and looking forward, painting. There were a handful of spiritual teachers over the last twenty years who taught me meditation and mindfulness. They modeled loving behaviors and taught me shamanic journeys. My spiritual path healed me in ways I still marvel at. A lot of it had to do with the birth of my daughter, too, who still brings the greatest joy to my life.

Wow, that’s interesting. I already feel better. I already feel like I want to get up and out of this house – feel the sunshine on my face, the earth under my feet. Maybe sometimes the depression comes when there’s a kink the prevents output. Like a hose that can’t shoot water because of a kink somewhere.  Maybe depression isn’t a thief, maybe it’s just a kink.

I nearly edited all the real time shifts out. But I have decided to leave this blog as it is. A record of my downs and ups. I think maybe if we saw less polish and more authenticity, we’d be a healthier society. I know that if I stumbled upon similar words, I would relate and appreciate. So I leave it as is.

May you be well.
May you be happy.
May you be free from suffering.

~Liz, June 6, 2017