It is with great sadness and reverence that we say our dearest goodbyes to Depression, a longtime confidante, friend, and sometimes lover.
And though we’ve known of their absence for quite a few months now, nonetheless, we grieve. We wail. We tremble.
For this companion, ever present, ever dreary, was still a kind of comfort. They were familiar and all-encompassing, seemingly omniscient and omnipotent. We could rely on them to always be at our shoulder, always at the ready to beat us down, to make us quit, to make us despair.
We can’t say when we first noticed when our Depression had disappeared. It had been a little like driving through a slowly fading fog. Gradually the world became clearer and more vivid, and it felt like it had always been that way.
The pandemic threw the whole situtation into the spotlight though. Ordinarily, Depression would have kicked us when we were down, but they were nowhere to be seen. We could keep charging forward without Depression holding us back. We could handle this pandemic. We could process the range of emotions thrown our way without being overwhelmed.
And that’s how the year has passed and it’s now December 2020. With us striding confidently into the light.
I don’t know what that is up there. Would you believe me if I said that was some stream-of-consciousness crap? I admit, I’m pretty stoned, and that is more comprehensible than it should be.
I can barely keep my eyes open. Biko & Niko, my new-ish kittens, are asleep at my feet, keeping my toesies warm.
My parol sparkles in my kitchen window. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m without another human’s warmth for the first time in 34 years. I think I should be more morose but I’m handling it well. I called both my parents today, as I do nearly everyday. I drove by a friend’s home for homemade tamales. I had a Zoom call with the Cabrera side of the family.
I am fairly content. But I can’t escape the teeny, tiny nagging voice in the back of my head that never stops saying, “This isn’t real.” This will not last. The depressed, anxious schmuck you were is the real you.
It’s always there. I can ignore it most of the time because I now practice gratitude in my everyday life. And this part of mindfulness helps quiet that voice. A hard lesson learned, but a necessary one.
I’ve also learned to trust myself and my instincts more often, which has led to an increase in self-confidence.
All this to say that I grew a lot year, amidst a global pandemic. It wasn’t easy but it hasn’t been the struggle I would have expected either.