I've been dreading this post. The whole point of the 'open' tag is that it gives me permission to tell the truth about myself when I might otherwise want to gloss over things. It allows me to show my warts. And it allows you to look away. But wart showing and honesty at Christmas are not always encouraged. It's a time of good cheer, whether you like it or not. Unless, of course, you are our often-immitated friend George Bailey.
Like George, I've often wondered if the people I care most about would be better off without me. I've never attempted to do anything about it, but the thought alone scares me. I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 16, and fought it with exercise (half-heartedly), and community, and counselling and finally medication. It wasn't until 2006 when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and started to recover from my resultant malnutrition that I actually got some relief. In fact, within months I was feeling like the me I'd forgotten - gregarious, optimistic, in action, and out to save the world.
I definitely still have down days, but that's because I'm human, not because of bad brain chemistry. But lately, for the last month or so, I seem to be having more bad days. And right behind every one of them is the threat of the wall of grey ascending again and obscuring what's really so in my life.
Life is incredibly good right now - one might even say 'wonderful.' I have a job that I truly love where I get to be part of something so much bigger than myself. I have a boss and coworkers who love and encourage and pray for me. BB2, having battled his own grey clouds, is working harder than anyone I've ever known to create the life of his dreams, and he even appears to be having some fun doing it. BB1 doesn't want me to talk about him, but he's safe and well and taking on his future as well. I have friends old and new who love and support me.
And yet, it's hard to shake the feeling that every silver lining has a cloud. It's been 4 years, and still the fear is right there. I don't want to be that person again. And at Christmas more than ever, I just have to remind myself -
It's a wonderful wonderful life
I guess I always knew
It's everday in what you do
That makes a wonderful life.
(PS - I found this video in a YouTube search for the appropriate scene from the movie. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think this music video is even better than when Clarence gets his wings).