Like every day, I got up at 6 am, struggled to find energy to brush my teeth and wash my face. Today I couldn’t shave, I looked at the dried brush and razor and just didn’t have the energy to do it. I went to the kitchen and poured some coffee my wife had already made, I sat at the table with my daughter while she had breakfast and we talked for few minutes about simple and silly things. This is what saves my life every day, every morning, her face, her world full of future and also uncertainty, her dreams of becoming this or that, the little stories she tells me about her friends.
When I get up in the mornign and see no sun light through the window I feel a dark night still covers my mind and I retreat to dark places inside myself. I just wait, anxiously, for some signs of the sunrise. Then, a weak clarity can be seen over the mountains and I know there will be light again. Like a cave man 50,000 years ago, I ask Nature to please bring light, bring sun and a blue sky over my head.
In the last 2 years of depression I have learnt not to trust my early morning feelings. When I get up they are always somber, fed by areas of my brain in charge of old, reptilian mechanisms of defense: FEAR. Yes, fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of what might happen or not happen… Fear is a basic mechanism of defense, of readiness. Our body prepares to fight or to run away from a fight. Fear is wired in our brains and behaviors, yes. When you are depressed, fear is a big and dark monster able to freeze us, to eat our will. Then, one day, you decide to take your own life and an enormous sense of peace flows through your heart. You see all that pain will cease soon, once you do it. But with a bit of luck you still have some light inside, some tiny inner voice telling you to look at your daughter’s eyes in the morning, or to your sife, or perhaps it is a sense of God or godly presence, or it is your favorite sports team… Whatever it is, GRAB IT. Grab it because it is the only lucid thing in your damn mind/life.
In my case, I need to see my daughter’s eyes in the morning, hear her complaining with her teenager’s view of the world. Then, when she is gone to school, I need to grab my morning coffee and just sit by the window waiting for that first light, the promise of a possibility, of perhaps some energy to fight back a bit, to make some room inside myself so I can breath.
That frist light allows me to see the empty canvas I am now. Emptiness is a lot of pain, yes, but also the promise of POSSIBILITY: I can have some hope. Yes, my life is in ruins, there are only liers and vultures around me (this is what happens when you are weak and cannot defend yourself), yes I made mistakes in my life, yest I trusted the wrong people. But that first light also allows me to see I am a human being so I can be reborn from my ashes. I can see I have a spirit, a mind, two healthy hands and still some will to live, not to kill myself, not today, not now… I have made mistakes, yes, but I have also done great things: I have tried, I haved given all my money, my time and my health to help others and that is a good feeling somehow. Yes, I must fix many things inside me, yes, but I have some good materials left after the storm.
Never trust fear, always wait for that little, weak and early life, grab your coffee and allow light come through the window…