I have shared over the past couple of days about my struggles with seasonal depression and feeling very triggered. This went on for a solid 2-1/2 weeks. It kicked off with numerous emotional triggers on top of physical illness (two back-to-back colds). I had lots of little things happening that kept the triggers going. Over the weekend, I was in a pretty dark place, which was when I wrote my blog entries for Monday and Tuesday.
I woke up at 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning and could not fall back to sleep. I finally gave up and watched a TV show. It had been a long time since I just sat and did something nice like that for myself. (My son was sick with a 102+ fever for a week last week, so there was no time to nurture myself.)
Then, I did yoga, meditation, and mudras for contentment and to relieve anxiety. All weekend, I just felt the need to cry uncontrollably but never had the privacy to do it. I was able to release some of this emotion as part of the yoga and meditation process.
Through meditation, I zeroed in on the lie that was kicking my tail – the lie that I would be abandoned over the holidays. As a child, the holidays meant that all contact was cut off from those who were positive influences (teachers, friends, etc.), and I was left 24/7 with my dysfunctional father (when he was around), abusive mother, and my mother’s abusive friends.
Being sick followed by Thanksgiving followed by being in isolation with my sick child set that lie off full force. No matter how many emails I received inquiring about my son’s condition and no matter how many phone calls I received from friends, I felt abandoned and alone.
I turned to my faith to help fight the lie. I wrote Joshua 1:5 on an index card and recited it multiple times throughout the day. Whenever my mind when anywhere unpleasant, I stopped “The Voice” and replaced it with this Bible verse.
I also went to see a movie with a friend on Monday – something that had been postponed first for her sick kid and then for mine. There was a scene that triggered the abandonment “voice,” but I immediately shut it off with the verse I had memorized.
For whatever reason, everywhere I went on Monday and Tuesday found me running into someone I knew – someone who was sincerely happy to see me and wanted to chat. I think this was grace – helping me to see firsthand that I am not abandoned or alone even though we are in the holiday season.
I know I am making this sound simple, but believe me – it was not easy. By Sunday night, the darkness was enveloping me. This is a huge battle going on inside of me, and I feel like the weary warrior who keeps getting knocked off her feet and has to keep finding the courage to stand back up and face down her demons.
Photo credit: Hekatekris