They told me to work out. Go for long walks. And not so long.
At one point I was handed this book, the first chapter began with the story about a former politician who had spoken out publicly about his depression and how everything turned out oh–so well with all the good help he got from friends and family.
I put the book down. Somewhere, deep down, I was happy for him, not bursting with joy or anything but,.. you know. And doubtlessly the fact that he spoke out about it was a positive thing, if for nothing else but break the silence, at least poke a bit of a hole in it. Reading on didn’t appeal to me though.
Put the hiking boots down too, for the most part. Neither had any effect anyway.
Well, being out on a walk was as nice as it got, I suppose. Mostly because it meant being out of the house, which was something I rather desperately needed to escape from time to time. Still, the hikes were as murky as everything else, more or less. On good days, dark grey–ish.
It’s been a few years now since they told me to work out and go for walks and handed me books. Much has changed since then. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to deal with it, my depression*. Or, perhaps it’s myself that I’ve learned to deal with. At least depression no longer has the power it had before, the power to cover everything, literally everything, with its thick black curtain of misery and whatnot. I won’t claim that I haven’t noticed it since then, in the corner of my eye, or that I’m able to ignore it completely, but I can pause and question its actions, influences. Its authority. And—most importantly perhaps—allow myself a greater amount of the control.
*I’m noticing how I try not to say it, depression. There’s an awkwardness about it, embarrassement, that leaves me hanging, a little. Like if in a second or so gravity will get me and slam me down.
This was the long intro to something much shorter.
Friday a couple of weeks ago I went for a hike. Some weeks prior to friday a couple of weeks ago I’d had a setback, it felt as if I was back to previously known territories, covered in a cloud of misery, more or less, for some weeks. Didn’t count them, really.
The hike was nothing epic, nothing you would send to the outdoor magazine, just a few hours walk on the local mountain. Half an hour or so into it it was as if light was starting to get in. Sorry for the cheesy metaphor but as if with each step the sky cleared, just a little.
The difference between now and those years ago?
In fact I do feel a little daft about this because in a way it makes perfect sense, but for the life of me I can’t put my finger on the causality.
But I suspect training, not intense but slow and long training in how to deal with the damn thing, or myself?
And the magic of moving one foot in front of the other—sometimes.