Once upon a time I was very depressed. I say once upon a time. Actually that’s a huge lie. A lot of lies start with Once Upon a Time don’t they? Anyway, in the interests of honesty lets say I have been, on occasion, very depressed. Much of the detail of those hours, weeks, months is lost, but there are moments of it that I have not forgotten. Perhaps one day I will be able to weigh out and measure those horrors in words. But not now. The point is, the memory of those moments allows me to go easier on myself when I’m not quite the person I want to be, when I can’t seize the hour, when I retreat instead of stepping forward. Remembering that ‘once upon a time’ it was a struggle just to keep breathing makes getting dressed of a day a victory.
I want to say I’m well now, but that’s not a sensible statement to make – better to say I’m pretty steady, that I am not a stranger to contentment. But I keep the distress flares close at hand because…well, because this is the nature of the beast; It is predictably unpredictable, and it can quickly become bigger than you are. And it can be deadly. So far my curiosity, my desire to know what happens next, has just about matched the beast each time. But I don’t take it for granted.
Keeping an eye to the beast is exhausting stuff, even when the days are good. So I try go easy on myself, it’s harder than you might think. But I’m breathing, what more do you want?