Depression is a Thief

Depression steals things from you.

This weekend I was standing on top of the hill where our compost bins are and I looked over into our woods, and… I realized that I own some woods.

This is a really difficult moment to try to describe. I really like woodsy areas. And here there is one on my very own property. Of course, I haven’t literally been unaware that those trees are there. But I’ve lived on this land for 3 years and yesterday was the first time I laid down on my own forest floor and soaked in the sunshine and listened to the rustle of the leaves and felt renewed.

I’ve been having a different experience with my depression lately. I have stopped taking Zoloft. I’ve been thinking really deeply about the idea of radical mental self-acceptance. I’ve been trying some self-help depression treatments. I have been off of Zoloft for about a month, and in that month I’ve had one depressive day which I think I handled really well. And the rest of the time, I’ve been pretty darn happy.

Last night I sat in a chair in the middle of my pasture with Dylan on my lap and just sat. We pointed at the moon and talked about the ducks. But mostly we just sat there together, and I was happy. That so rarely happens for me.

It would be nice to stay at this increased level of happiness. Doing so involves a couple of big tasks.

One is intensely staying in the moment when I am having a good mood. It’s too easy to analyze it away, but I am practicing my living-in-the-now.

Two is practicing radical forgiveness when I am in a bad mood. I just try to hang out with my mood and be kind to myself.

I’m thinking right now that another step may be mourning what depression has taken from me. Whether I spend more of my future days happy or sad, I will always be a person who has been shaped and bruised by depression.

Mourning the loss of all the days gone by that could have been full of forests and quiet moments may be necessary to enjoying what I discover now.

This is not my property, but this accurately expresses my mood over the weekend.