The Black Dog

It seems like a long time since I’ve sat down and put my thoughts into my blog. I’ve had plenty of things that I wanted to say and lots going on in my brain but they never made it into the written word.

And it’s because I’ve been struggling. Struggling with my self-esteem. Struggling with my weight and my health. Struggling with… just everything. Some days it just seemed like all I could do was get to work on time and then make it home and crash on the couch. While it’s true that I’ve had a bad cold, and it’s really hard to work out when your lungs can barely cope with regular breathing, I also recognize that more was going on. I was sad, I was beat down, everything hurt. I was …. depressed. There, I said it.

Depression! The black dog of depression that weighs so heavy on one’s heart, mind and soul that can be such a heavy burden. It sucks the joy out of everything and makes every day just so difficult to get through. I remember being horribly depressed after 9/11 – not exactly sure why it hit me so hard, but it did and it took a very long time to get through it. I have recognized my current state of mind and am working to get past it. And because I was only a little bit depressed, I have been able to start getting back to where I need to be in order to life a fulfilled life. It will take time to get through, and lots of patience with myself but I will get there! I know that there are different levels of depression – some people (like me) just need a little help, a little nudge to bring back the sun. But many others need counseling and/or medical intervention and there should be no shame or stigma associated with that.

I saw a terrific meme about depression on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and it really made me think. Depression is a disease, much like any other but because it’s a mental health issue, it often isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. WHAT IF WE TREATED PHYSICAL AILMENTS THE WAY WE DO MENTAL ILLNESS?

I read two really wonderful blog/articles in the last week that helped me lift my spirits and start putting my health and well-being back in perspective. One, was this one from my favorite yogini –

Almost Killed My Spirit

This one line I just could NOT get out of my head “I wasn’t the typical overweight, inactive, low-immune-system woman that usually has this type of pain. They couldn’t just tell me to lose weight or to change my diet.” Well I am that person! While I am somewhat active, I am overweight and my immune system sucks. And THESE ARE THINGS I CAN FIX! I struggle with IBS and asthma, but I know there are things that I can do to improve my quality of life and minimize symptoms. I CAN FIX THIS! Ps. Becca, the writer of the aforementioned blog is a brave and amazing woman and I’m blessed to know her.

Another article I read was called “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself (Right NOW!)

It’s an insightful article and I wish I could point out just ONE of these things that I need to work on but in truth, almost every single one of those things I have struggled with at one point, and most of them I continue to struggle with. There’s only one thing that I learned early in life and it’s something I do each and every day.

#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

I can find the beauty in almost any person, place or thing. I can and do frequently stop and smell the flowers – literally. I go out on my deck every single clear night (cold or not) to look for the aurora borealis. I stop to admire the colours and smells of my evening meal (sesame oil!). I marvel at the swirling patterns in the scales on my pet lizards. I see the beauty in a person who thinks that they have none. I adore the spirit of my friends and the light in their eyes when they are doing the things they love to do. I couldn’t make it through the day without giggling at something silly or sharing a moving moment with my wonderful husband.

Perhaps they are just little things, but to me, they are one of the things that make life beautiful. I’m already feeling better – more like myself, more like the person I want to be. And being able to find the beauty, and relishing it the small things, helps me find my way out of the fog.


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