I've been asked this twice this week, "How are you Sarah? I mean, how are you really?" It's not a good question, it's a great question! It tells me that you really want to know, you don't want to just hear the automatic "I'm ok"...you want me to remove the mask and talk to you. Problem is, right now, I don't really know how to answer it.
I would not say that I am clinically depressed any longer, I mean, if I were to sit and fill in a depression questionnaire right now, I would score OK. I take care of my appearance (when it matters), I enjoy doing the things I used to, I even have some new interests which I love. I am interested in other peoples' lives, and the news. I am busy and always doing things, I don't want to hide in bed all day every day. But. It's an empty life. Busy, but empty. I am here, and engaged in what I am doing, mostly....but part of me is elsewhere all the time. I'm in limbo, somewhere between existing and living. I am not happy, I am not content, I'm getting by.
I've been camping on the edge of The Pit these past few days, and it's not a nice place to be. Today, I feel ready to begin the climb up the mountain again. It's very tiring though, to keep starting that climb over and over, and at some point, slipping back down, or getting knocked back down, somehow finding myself back staring into the abyss of The Pit. 14 months on, there are days where it feels like I haven't made any progress at all. I have, of course, I never get back as far as the tar, I always stop at the ledge, if I do fall in....but it feels like a never ending journey. Will I ever reach the top of the mountain and just stay there? Can I even be bothered to keep trying?
Last night, I offered a prayer of thanks that my heart felt a little lighter. That is what I felt grateful for. That, and the fact that someone else's good news didn't knock me down this time, that I was able to just feel joy for the person concerned. That's a very humbling experience, that being "fine" is what you are thankful for, even when fine doesn't mean the same as it used to.
There has to be more, right? There has to be something waiting for me at
the top of the mountain? Something willing me to keep trying to reach
the summit, or what's the point of even trying? It's really hard work you know, continually working at being fine, continually working at standing up, walking away from the edge and beginning the climb again. I used to be a strong believer in positive thinking, and I am still attempting to stick with that, with my meditation and CBT techniques, but it's hard work, I can tell you. Sometimes, we all just need something good to happen, to give us the boost we need to continue to hope and feel positive. Otherwise, it's just false, empty, meaningless.
Positive mental attitude. Who am I trying to convince? Myself, or everyone around me?