Thank you for your notes today.
I apologize for being a little bit off my rhythm lately. The thing about depression is that it's so damn needy! In an odd way, though, depression and I made our peace a few years back. It has its own cycles; their timing is not always convenient but they do always complete themselves.
I don't suffer from depression any more. I see it now as just one of the many aspects of my whole self. I don't fight it, because that doesn't work. And fighting it is only fighting with myself, anyway.
Breathe, you offered. Breathing is circular, periodic, cyclical. Isn't it interesting how much of life is rhythmic? Hearbeat, respiration, sleep/wake, brainwaves, mating, seasons, music. I accept depression now as part of my unique cycle of life, the winter counterpart to my summers of creativity.
I have been so lucky in my life! You would have to look a long time to find someone with more gifts and good fortune than I have had. It's been a strange thing to live with at times. There have been moments when I felt afraid and ashamed of the blessings I have. I've even felt guilty about being here at all. But I do not feel afraid or guilty now. Not any more.
A few years back I started learning to welcome connections. I learned to relax, and to breathe. Before, trying to make relationships work was like holding my breath to get the oxygen I needed—nonsensical, unsustainable. I guess I had been afraid that if I released that one breath I would never get a chance for another.
But just when I thought I'd wasted all the oxygen I was entitled to, friends began to appear. Somehow I was able to relax and let them be friends. I let them love me even though I knew I was not deserving of their love. Sometimes I would tell them that, and they would just laugh gently and keep right on loving me. They changed me, forever. They let me love them, too. They let me find my way to discovering the difference between I love you, the gift, and I love you, short for I'm drowning oh my god please save me.
And every day since, then, even the worst days when depression demands its due, I remember that I am not alone and that life is cyclical and that there is more loving left to do. I relax into balance. I remember that depression is merely the flaw in love; without love, no depression. I am grateful for love. I remember to breathe.
So thank you, friend, for your unexpected gift of connection and encouragement. Thank you.