After work today, Arlow walked in, went to the pantry, grabbed a dog bone, went to the living room to eat it, and then fell asleep on the couch where he is currently periodically farting.
Replace the dog bone with a beer and my dog is a 55-year-old man.
I told a couple people today that I feel like a flashlight in which the batteries are dying. I still put off light, but not enough to illuminate anything.
When I told my therapist that tonight, she paused a moment and then said, “Do you write this stuff down? Because sometimes I hear a book in you.”
I hope so.
Midday today I found myself driving in the rain, surrounded by gray. And, for the first time in my life, I was not only annoyed with the rain, but I was actually pissed off at it. Like, angry enough to want to raise my fist to the sky and yell: “I am sick and tired of your sh**. Pull it together!”
Thankfully, I’m crazy, but not so crazy that I believe the rain can hear me, so I just silently fumed rather than actually giving the rain an earful.
Still, every time I got out of my car I felt angry with the cold and wet and lack of sunshine. I was raging against it, refusing to surrender to what was, and it was making me miserable.
So I decided to try to embrace it. I took my hair out of its ponytail, stood outside my car, tilted my face to the sky, and I let the rain fall down on me. And I breathed. I felt the coolness of the rain on my skin, my hair curling as it grew increasingly wet, and slowly I felt myself starting to smile. Because how often in adulthood do we take the time to stand in the rain? And really, water falling from the sky? It’s kind of incredible when you stop long enough to wonder again at the things we have become so desensitized to.
And so there I was, smiling at the sky. Once I stopped raging against the rain and decided just to accept it, I suddenly didn’t feel so angry.
I talked with my therapist tonight about how I think my panic is often the result of me trying to rage against the depression, particularly when it settles itself on top of me like a heavy, wool blanket. I try to kick it off, try to get out from underneath it, try to see some light, and I can’t. It’s all heavy blackness. And I can’t fix it . So I panic.
But when I don’t try? When I just accept that this is where I am right now? When I remind myself I haven’t always felt this way and won’t always feel this way? When I stop raging against it, stop saying, “I CAN’T FEEL THIS WAY,” and instead focus on breathing? The panic is much less likely to be next in the series of events.
Radical acceptance. Mindfulness. Thought monitoring.
I prefer sunshine.
But the rain won’t kill me.