That calm, clear feeling arrived two days ago. Even having the oven stop working after I used the auto-clean feature hasn’t dulled my sense of “I’m Ok.” I am enjoying this feeling. Understanding that this will not last forever, I am soaking it in. And the sense of balance is still with me today, as I start day three.
Having balance does not make me feel special.
I am not out to set myself up against or measure myself against anyone else. There are days where I am down and days where I am up. It takes most of my energy just to be me, without using that energy to point out comparisons to how others are doing.
Building oneself up at the expense of others is short-sighted and mean.
Even during my darker days, where the abyss was calling, I have prided myself in not belittling others. My depression and I have a relationship that I am continually addressing. The question I have is not, “how am I doing versus you,” but rather “how am I doing versus how I was doing yesterday?”
After all, I grew up being taught “treat others like you would want to be treated.”
You cannot do that consistently, year after year, and not be in balance. Treating people with respect and understanding is not a problem for me. I start getting into trouble when I listen to depression. Depression doesn’t like it when I talk to people. It gets jealous and spends its time showing me that I’d be better off not talking to anyone.
Keeping secrets and being alone is where my depression excels.
Instead of balance, depression tips the scale towards not talking to anyone. Plans, ideas, decisions that may affect others are off-limits in my depression’s world. It wants complete control over my thoughts, which leads to depression being in control of my actions.
Yet depression knows when the train is about to wreck, and it conveniently gets off a stop before destruction.
When the train derails and crashes, there I am lying on the tracks, alone. And depression has gone on vacation, feeling no remorse or any responsibility for helping me recover from the crash. It had convinced me that the path to destruction was my idea. Worse, it convinced me that only it had my best interests at heart. Time after time it tells me only my depression can show me the way to a balanced life.
And every time I listen to depression, I end up utterly alone and off the scales.
Balance in my life has always been a goal. Until I discovered SMART Recovery, I had not actually articulated it in a formal way. Now I use their slogan as a personal mantra.
My goal is to live a balanced life with depression.
Today is the third day of feeling in balance. It is just before 8 AM, and I am sitting on the front porch, with my coffee and my laptop. The view includes my front-yard bird feeders and my neighbor’s tree line. There are cardinals, wrens, indigo buntings, blue jays, and the occasional Downey woodpecker taking advantage of the feeders.
To my right, near the orchard, I have been watching a rabbit select the perfect wisps of grass for breakfast.
And from the back deck, we have been watching a mother deer and her two young fawns. They have been coming through at least once a day for the past week. One of the youngsters is braver than the other and will venture off on her own. Of course, as Mom heads into the tree line, she scampers along to follow her.
Lack of significant rain has much of the non-forested parts of the property “crunchy.”
A benefit is I have not needed to mow as much this summer. The downside includes the lake getting lower as runoff from the mountains above us has slowed. Even the stream that feeds the lake is only a trickle right now.
Oh, a raucus hummingbird battle just took place in front of me to make sure I include them in my blog post.
Understanding that the universe keeps everything, it makes sense that balance can shift. What worked for me in the past, may not work in the future. And what I consider balance today, is different than what my balanced life looked like as a teenager, a young father, or a general manager.
The sun has burned off the morning fog and the rabbit has crossed the gravel driveway, heading towards the trees.
Last night I wrote out my day-off to-do list. This included time to sit on the porch with my coffee and laptop. Writing is therapy for me. Getting my feelings out in a written fashion has been my practice for 2 ½ years. Seeing my thoughts written out gives them authority. I can use them to see where I have been and then decide where I will go.
Achieving balance is very important to me.
It is clear to me know, that controlling some events from happening is out of my control. Things like our regional vice-president walking in 2 days ago without notice. Or my oven and stove giving out just because I ran the self-cleaning option. I cannot control this.
What I can control is my attitude towards these events!
And being in balance, I made better choices about both situations. I am looking forward to the day and to working on the rest of my to-do list. This includes finishing power washing the back deck and doing laundry.
I’m going to start the power washing before it gets too hot. And remember, I have depression, depression does not have me.