I think most artists have this innate need to create, and there are so many times we feel as if we’re not doing enough. In my head, I’m never doing enough. I lamented recently to a friend that I had only completed two songs since last summer. Her response: “That’s incredible! I’ve never written one song.”
Back in March, I mentioned that it had been 8 years since I went public about my struggles with depression. In the past year… well, almost a year… I’ve undergone a lot of changes, mindset shifts, growth, which has been great. And very interesting. But as with anything, it doesn’t mean I no longer have down days.
You’ve probably heard, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” (That actually inspired the first line of my song “Liquid Heart” – “They say it’s the journey, but I’ve been losing direction…”) And this journey I’m currently on doesn’t mean everything is great all the time. It has given me more tools, changing thoughts, and… drum roll… perspective.
Learning the difference between empathy and compassion is helpful. Seeing the difference between love and attachment is helpful. Knowing the importance of words and the power they hold is helpful – the First Agreement is “be impeccable with your word” in fact.
These tools help navigate this reality that we call life. It doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel like we’re slipping into old habits when a bad day or situation arises. It doesn’t mean things are magically OK for all eternity now.
And in all vulnerability and honesty and openness – that’s really hard right now.
It’s hard trying to undo decades of depression and self-hatred. It’s hard to surrender and go with the flow. It’s hard to be in the moment and not fall prey to intrusive thoughts and negative thought-patterns.
I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress. But sometimes I still have moments where I feel stuck, unworthy, unloved, unlovable, discarded, worthless. I sometimes feel like I’m going backwards – the whole “two steps forward, one step back” kind of thing.
Thankfully, when those feelings stop in for a visit, they don’t seem to camp out in the living room of my mind for weeks or months on end like they used to. But they still stop in periodically.
About three years ago I had someone tell me that I absorb things like a sponge. I feel what others are feeling (or the closest I can imagine to what they’re feeling.) And when you read about a kid getting shot for ringing the doorbell at the wrong house, a kid getting shot in the back of the head while playing hide and seek, kids getting shot at a birthday party, daily mass shootings… shit fuckin’ sucks.
Last year, a friend lovingly explained to me that you have to feel it and then let it go. But that sponge analogy makes the “letting go” part seem difficult and damn near impossible sometimes. Not that holding onto it helps at all – I get that logically. But I feel things for longer periods of time that seem “normal” (whatever “normal” is.)
It can feel dark and hopeless at times, even when we can have so much to be grateful for. And people who have never dealt with depression many times don’t seem to understand that.
Yes, I can be well aware that people love me while still feeling unloved and unlovable. I can understand that I have many friends that care and still feel alone and discarded. I can know that people value me, my presence, or my perspective and yet still feel worthless.
Trying to undo decades of depression isn’t easy, and results aren’t immediate and overnight. Like I’ve said before – work in progress.
But for anyone reading this far or going through similar things or having similar thoughts or struggles, I want you to know:
You are not alone.
You are loved.
You are valuable.
You are worthy.
I hope this helps someone. Thanks for reading. Much love.
2 thoughts on “Perspective”
Love this and love your posts. Growth, whatever kind, is good for the soul. Love you!
Thank you so much! Love you too!