Secret Strength

I’ve been finding mornings exceptionally difficult lately. I’m not sure why, but since the turning into Winter Proper (ie when the clocks changed), I’ve been finding it harder to get myself together and get on first thing. I’ve been feeling far more myself come evening, with the sunset bringing calm, the darkening skies like a beautiful, cool blanket.

However, most of the world seems to function during the daytime, so this hasn’t been helpful. It’s been interesting to see what I’m pulled to do at different times, with more creativity and inspiration in the darker hours, but increasing challenges during the day.

Today, I’ve been feeling the difficult thoughts trying to rise as I go about my morning routine. I’m meeting a lovely couple about a Handfasting later, so have to sort myself, walk the dogs, and so on. But my mind is incessantly telling me how I simply can’t.

This is my depression in action, by the way. I’m not making it up or being difficult – the Voice of Depression really doesn’t have your own best interests at heart (despite the foundation of ‘fight or flight’ that it apparently comes from). Its’ demands are often deeply irrational and usually unhelpful. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but this is where I am – not just the regular ‘Monday blues’.

And there – see? I’m justifying myself. It was tough enough to even pull out the computer and write (because who wants to hear about this, shut up, stop, you’re just boring everyone with your whingeing). There it is again, in the background. I suspect this is familiar to some of you. It’s ok, I get it. In a way, I hope you don’t understand, as I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

This morning, I’ve been reading about lovely friends and their adventures, seeing their happy pictures on Instagram, bouncing footage from concerts on Facebook, tiny Tweets of ‘good morning!’ I can feel that connection across the media that is so prevalent in our world.

Last night, the words of these friends made me so happy, I sent out my own image, a Selfie taken at Stonehenge. I don’t do selfies generally, but this one made me smile, and I wanted to share me looking out of the screen at all of you lovely folk around the world.

The voice was still going, mind you. ‘Don’t do that, nobody wants to see it. Urgh, look at you, you’re so tired and worn-looking.’ etc etc etc.

But people did enjoy seeing my smile, as much as I enjoy seeing theirs. I’m hopeful that you enjoy reading my words this morning – hello! Image a virtual wave as I raise my coffee cup to you.

Blogging on a Monday was initially a kick in my rear to get writing again, with a deadline of sorts, a commitment to do something to share each week. But it was also with the wish of wanting to send out words to help those who also have difficulties with these early hours, or even the regular working days.

I may sound like I’m whingeing, above; but I’m more trying to show what those voices within can sound like. I don’t really mean it, and wouldn’t say it aloud. They don’t need that kind of power.

I’m nervous about presenting this publicly, so I’m typing super-fast in order to get it out before the doubts stop me. Backspacing only for typos. So I hope this is ok.

Oops – there’s that justification again.

I know that banishing negative thinking is a modern industry, but it’s not in any way as easy as the self-help books would have you believe. It’s finding what trick works for you, and that may change from day to day. What buoys your mood, what gives you strength? Maybe me sharing my nonsense voices; maybe looking out of the window on your commute; maybe greeting workmates or neighbours with a smile and a friendly word.

And sometimes, the tactic is more subtle.

I’m slowly giving myself permission to dress in a manner that I want, as I did as a fearless youngster. Ignore the voices that tell me my arse is horrible, my hair all over the place, that I’m too old, too fat. I’ve been looking at my smile, my woman-curves, remembering the value of a hug or a hand taken with love. I hold on to the look on my husband’s face when he sees me and is happier.

I’m trying to wear or use an item each day to keep reminded of my strength. It’s difficult to even type this – but yes, my beauty too. We all have it, absolutely. It’s just hard to remember.

I’m sending shawls to folks today, for them to be comforted and pretty. Sometimes lip-balm or colour is a tonic, to remind me to be aware of what I say, and to keep smiling. I have particular rings that I can grip, boots to stand tall… weapons and armour that I choose to wear and work with to maintain my Self. Especially when the bad thoughts come knocking.

What item do you have today to keep you going? A necklace, a wedding ring, a favourite hat or coat? This is part of you. It makes you feel better, raises a smile when you catch sight of it. It may inspire others too, as they are actually pleased to see you. This is your magic in action. Really really.

We need our strength these days, folks. And know that when folk speak kindly to you, they do mean it. Tell those inner voices to sod off, or just laugh in their (not really there) faces. See, I can do it too!

This is me. I bid you a Happy Monday, and know that I will be stepping out of my door soon with determination. And excited puppy dogs, fearless and glad to see what the world holds today.

Much love, my friends.

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5 Comments »

  1. Here’s a story. Tom and I were walking on Saturday, and we came down a very scary muddy slope, all loose rock, and pools of water, nasty underfoot. There were reasons we couldn’t avoid it, but it wiped me out, and I got to the bottom mentally and emotionally exhausted. And then I saw that what I had to do next was cross what looked like a pretty deep pool, by means of a couple of slippery logs. Now, for many people, for the sure footed mountain goats among us, this would have been a non-issue. Tom had no trouble doing it. Apparently the wood wasn’t as slick as it looked. I stood there and cried, because I had no idea how to do it, how to make my body even try. I’m sharing this because when I read your accounts of the morning struggles, this is what it reminds me of – facing a slippery crossing of a cold, hazardous body of water. I got through it not by forcing myself, or putting myself down, but because there was gentle, reassuring advice on how to proceed, and hands to help me.

  2. Winter said

    I am forwarding this to a covenmate of mine that is having some depression issues …

    I am so connected to what you were saying about being more alive in the dark – it is 550am here right now and I just got a message from an elderly woman I know that she was having to put her cat down today – she said ‘you sure are up early …’ and I was like ‘up? Dear I’ve not gone to bed yet …’

    For me part of it is that it is hot here a lot of the year and it is better at night (I have air conditioning but it still feels cooler at night) but I’ve always been a night person … more so when my mental health stuff gets out of whack – it’s easier to sleep during the day …

  3. micallewis said

    Sending You Many Blessings and Thank You for your Bravery and Determination. ❤

  4. Tracy said

    I was just listening to an interview with you on Druidcast just now and came looking for your blog and find you here, talking about depression. I too have suffered from depression at a few points in my life and periodically still find myself using everything in my toolbox to keep it at bay when I can feel it dancing around my edges, as I have the past few months. Sometimes getting out of bed is the most difficult thing I do all day because it means saying yes to all the difficult things the day will bring. Thank you for having the courage to write about your current experience. As you know, it will eventually change, just as the waves come in and go out upon the shore. From another Dru/witch across the seas in Salem, Massachusetts.

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