Wednesday, July 27, 2011

sunshine on a cloudy day

Change Your Thinking by Maryellen Smith (Trust 30 Prompt 5)

“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?
Oh my gosh ... really? This is today's prompt? Gah ... so ... okay ... funny story. I've totally been at the mercy of my thoughts all week ... longer than that, really. See the thing is, the thing I don't talk about that much. The thing I kinda just think I have to beast through and deal with and pretend isn't there. The thing that's as glaring as the giant zit on your chin that nobody mentions but everyone notices, is that I'm prone to depression. 

I was first diagnosed when I was 16 and awkward and chubby and on the outskirts socially and wanted a life a thousand miles away from where I was. And then when I was married to someone for the wrong reasons and felt trapped in a life I never wanted. And then when I ended that marriage and stepped out onto a tightrope of school and single parenting that seemed to have no net. And then when we moved to Victoria and I had my first real taste of poverty and a particularly nasty relationship. 

I like to think I was cured - 100% and forever - when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. And it, combined with doing a fair amount of personal development, did make a world of difference. For years. So many years that I had half convinced myself all those prior diagnoses were wrong. But then last year I turned my entire life upside down. And I was just adjusting to my new life and starting to regrow some margins when February happened. And then March. When the things I fear the most came out of the dark and lunged at us closer than I could stand. 

And, since then, every little incident has made a mockery of my pretended resilience. A tough conversation at work lays me out for days. The clutch going on my car seems insurmountable. Even the stack of dishes in the sink feels beyond managing. 

And yet, somehow, I thought no one really noticed. I thought I was doing a good job of pretending to be okay. Of smiling at least when people were looking right at me, and being as invisible as possible when I couldn't keep the profound sadness off my face. I hid out in safe places with someone who became my sunshine. And I tried to keep the pretense up. It's been exhausting - for him as well as me - but there have been so many moments when the sunshine got in that it's also been a bit magical. 

I can't do it anymore. Diva Moe, true friend that she is, came over last night. And she sat and listened. And she held me while I wept. And then she sat me up and said "you are not okay. You need help. This is not you. You are not this person." And then she did my dishes, bless her heart. And for some reason, just the fact that she saw it and named it and made me promise to do something about it turned things around. 

Sunshine suits me.
Not really around. I still cried most of the day. I'm still crying now as I write this. But I'm also waiting for a friend to pick me up and spend the night creating with me. And I made appointments today that will make the difference. And I told people who know now to watch for me. 

It's one things to change a thought when your mind is well and it's just a fleeting thought. It's tougher when your balance is off and the thought lingers and festers. But it's impossible when you can't even admit that the thought needs changing. 

I'm more grateful for Diva Moe and for Shiney - who called just before Moe arrived. And for all the support I have - than any of them will ever know. 

I guess it's time now to do something about creating my own sunshine. And maybe spreading some for others. 


  1. so beautiful! just like you!
    you are one of the strongest people I know!

  2. Thanks, Moe - that means a lot coming from you.


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