There’s been a lot of difficult stuff happening, not just recently, but seeming to build like a snowball rolling downhill for the past few years. In no particular order, the past few years have been punctuated with deaths, horrible world events, personal lows (mentally and physically), misunderstandings and communication failures, professional doubts, anxiety, and expenses. All this is enough to stomp even the most optimistic unicorn’s heart into a pile of bloodied glitter and broken spirit.
Life can be better.
Burying the positive things that have happened beneath the dark shadows of the negative stuff is too easy. Almost seductive. Like wandering through a dense forest, it can be difficult to focus on the light struggling to part the trees or that the path has to go through a terrible bog before the clearing. I have spent the better part of the last few years in the worst mental and physical health of my life (except for that pesky cancer thing a bunch of years ago), and lately – through last winter to now – things have felt so very heavy. So heavy that suicidal thoughts have become too frequent, desire for self-harm difficult to ignore. Retreat. Hide.
Life can be better.
I have a good life, in general. I live in a beautiful place. I make enough money to survive (not on my own yet, but as an equal partner). I make art for a living and it is all I’ve ever wanted to do my whole life. I wake up every day near someone who loves me. I just had a delightful, fifteen minute chat with a delivery person in the sunshine. I have some really great stuff I aim to achieve in the very near future (professionally and personally). I have friends. I have a car that keeps running. I have exactly five of ten nails without chips in the polish. I just petted a cat.
So life can be better, but the focus has to be on the better, not the unfortunate. I struggle a lot in this body of mine – my brain isn’t wired to behave, my body is not efficient – but I keep going. I am, perhaps annoyingly so, optimistic and positive. Even now, as I sit here typing this and with several fresh and painful days of tears and depression behind me, I am looking for that light between the treetops.
I am doing the best I can.
Be kind. Be good to each other. Take time to talk. Take time to rest.