Mountains & valleys…

For as long as I can remember, but especially over the past several years, I’ve had to deal with the constant up and down cycling of depression. Some days are great. Some days are alright. Some days are downright unbearable. Hardest are those days where my emotions decide to become a roller coaster worthy of the most avid thrill seekers. I can go from laughing and having an amazing conversation with a dear friend to needing to lie down on my bed in the fetal position with the lights out and no sound other than the ambient noise of the city behind me. The rapid transition from one state of mind to its polar opposite can happen so quickly that I find myself emotionally out of breath. For anyone who struggles with chronic depression, this probably sounds familiar.

These mountain-valley days can be grueling. On those days where my emotions are fairly stable, whether they be good days or bad days, I feel like I can cope fairly well. On those days where I both skyrocket and plumet, sometimes multiple times, coping is more strenuous. I’m often torn between surrounding myself with those I love most and running off into the jungle after deactivating all means by which to contact me and consequently disappearing completely. Usually, my happy medium ends up including pajamas, milk & cookies, and hiding under the covers while watching either Dr. Who, Steel Magnolias, Stepmom, or some other movie that will catalyze a complete and utter sobfest for me.

After last week’s therapy session, I ended up enduring a pretty intense mountain-valley week. There were high moments—meeting with my pastor to talk about ordination, dinner with a friend from church, lunch with another girlfriend—and low moments—one of my dearest friends moving away, a spell of intense anxiety, and another fruitless conversation with my mother where it was affirmed that she would never accept or agree with my choice to be with Frankie. It was one of those weeks where determining whether or not the mountains outweighed the valleys was incredibly difficult (which made for an interesting therapy session today). Alas, I’m still here. My Facebook is still there. My cell phone is still on. My bank account is still full. My wedding rings are still on my finger. My name is still on the mailbox. My heart is still beating and my blood is still flowing.

Blake told me this morning that I have much to be grateful for and proud of. I’ve come a long way in the last five years. I’ve made a lot of progress, experience a ton of growth, and most of all, despite not knowing the source of my energy, resilience, or perseverance, I seem to still have a lot of fight left inside of me. I hardly ever give up, and even when I do, it’s not completely or for good. I always bounce back. Something within me wants to keep seeing the good in the world. Something inside of me wants to keep fighting, which is what I’ll do. No matter what, Lord willing, I won’t ever give up. This is who I am…


~ by Michael O. on July 30, 2012.

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