Depression, tending, and coming back to shore
I love how you capture here the intense physical experience of depression: the aching knees, the skipping lunch, energy flagging, the hunched shoulders, etc. It's not always what comes to mind for people, but these are some of the most foundational aspects of that experience and you describe them beautifully.
I think I could pick out your voice from thousands of pieces of writing. You are a North Star for many of us and I am so grateful to have found you in Instagram years ago and now here. And as a mom to a nearly 2 year old who is recognizing this latest wave of depression and battling the shame spirals, I really loved reading this.
Thank you for this 🤍 it reminded me of a quote from Georgia O’Keefe I reflected on earlier this summer -- “I have done nothing all summer but wait for myself to be myself."
"Yes, this is the eternal renewal, the incessant rise and fall and fall and rise again." The Waves, Virginia Woolf
“When countless people have shared how much you mean to them, how important your newsletter is to their weekly ritual, how wise you are, how much your words nurture and mend them, it’s hard not to feel like you’re failing when the words don’t come” while this brings me so much joy each week, I never, ever expect anything from anyone whose work I enjoy, especially not to push themselves to create content for people they don’t know. I just simply appreciate every time you post. Thank you 🙏
The endless tidying as means of control/sense making: deeeeep relate. Holding you in my heart, friend 💜
Such a beautiful depiction of this part of life! Your writing has a tempo, a rhythm, that reminds me of poems, each line beginning the same way: "There is..." And that rhythm itself is soothing, reassuring, because it enacts the life-rhythm of going in and coming out again—as if just speaking it this way helps that rhythm come to pass. I like that. Words ARE powerful; they do make things in the world. I too have to be gentle with myself about the pace—never as fast or productive as I wish, in my case because of needing to take it easy physically, not push too much. Your piece gives me company, even if my own limits are not exactly the same. Thanks for enacting such gentle respect for your own ways of being.
My wise partner reminds me to think of depression like a cold. I don’t feel ashamed of having a cold. I’m not angry at myself for having a cold. I don’t try to pretend I don’t have a cold. All good to remember, hard to put into practice, but trying.
“ I find myself worrying about when I’ll feel myself enough to return to sharing writing in ways that are meaningful or less drab” the honest and gentle accounting of your journey and struggles is neither without meaning nor drab. Thank you for your open sharing what many of us struggle in the dark with. Shining a light into that place and allowing us in on your journey is very meaningful and supportive to me. Thank you
Thank you for gracefully writing through all of these assorted feelings/behaviors I recognize I have been reticent to categorize under "depression" even though I recognize it. I relate so deeply to not having the energy to feed myself and losing my capacity to read (my favorite activity) and it can be hard to admit to myself, because I have been taught to always orient toward movement, busyness. Thank you 🤍
This was soothing to read and very relatable. Thank you.
This is such a vulnerable, tender sharing, it’s very powerful for me to read - and to witness from a afar - how you hold yourself, how you practice speaking to yourself in this challenging moment. I recognize so much honesty and courage in your words. Sending you a big virtual hug.
"There is the willingness to write my way through what limits me." - This. I am scrawling this in my notebook today and holding it near. You have such a softness and respect for your own complexities and struggles that comes through in these posts. Writing is the place I go to process and find the truth that I need to hear. Thank you so much for what you share here.
“...grief that depression is still a familiar companion, one I haven’t yet figured out how to ascend beyond or leave behind, one that always seems to reach its arms just far enough to find me again”. This. If I heart this particular passage a million times I would. Thank you for putting it so eloquently Lisa 🌿
“I want to be one of those people who has a story to be gobbled, a triumphant narrative of overcoming, of finally getting past the hurt, of moving beyond themselves and turning into the hero of their own life.” I feel like every time I experience a wave of depression I think it will be the last, and that if I can find new ways of understanding how it works for me, I’ll have officially cracked the code. That and this incessant need to want to alchemize into a message for others to learn from...like you said it can become this strange way of skipping past the need to tend to ourselves first. And yet as writers and artists this is also somehow how we also are able to navigate it... thank you for taking the time to write and share this even though I’m sure it felt so raw, I can clearly feel how it must have helped, including giving yourself the grace to send this out early as opposed to Sunday. sending you care and hoping you find some rest and nourishment this weekend ❤️
"There is no longer feeling the need to wait until its all “better” before I can give it some air, let it be known, let it be witnessed." - Let it be. These are words I've been trying to live by and with these past few months. It's become a mantra, telling myself in all things and situations, good or bad, to simply let it be. It removes my self from them, calms me and helps me keep my own depression/anxiety at bay. Thank you for this beautifully written piece. It's the first time I've read anything that made me believe someone else knows almost exactly what being in the black hole feels like.