I woke up this morning plagued by demons. You’d think that having finished the first draft of Bree#3 (yet unnamed) I’d be feeling great. But no I was feeling displaced. There are some reasons for that, but I firmly believe that life is what you make of it, and the chemistry in my head wasn’t making lemonade. I felt trapped with no way of escape.
On the way to town I plotted my entire blog post about how demons make some of us incapable of celebrating the good stuff in our lives. That no matter how many successes we have, no matter how good our lives our there is always a tiger riding our backs. Or not a tiger. A tiger is a fierce creature we could do battle with. Depression is sneaky. It doesn’t come out and say “You’re no good!” Because if it did we could tell it “You’re full of shit!” and move on. That would be tiger like and straight forward.
No, this is a whisper, a feeling, a nagging. It’s amorphous and when you try and look directly at it it slides away into a different hidy hole. It whispers, so low you can barely hear it “this discomfort will never end. That thing you really want? It will never happen. No one will help you. You don’t have time. You’re not good enough. Your family thinks you’re stupid.” But mostly, “you’re trapped. you’re trapped. you’re trapped.” Over and over again. It wears you down. It feeds the discomfort in your belly and spins your head until you can’t think straight.
That’s where I started today. But I needed to go to the post office and the bank, so I drove into town, and while I was there I thought I would check in with my hairdresser who is making a cameo in my new book. I wanted to listen to the caidence of her speech and ask her if she wanted to see the book before it was published. So I did.
And you know what? My next door neighbor, who I hardly ever see (you understand that where I live I can barely see the neighbor’s houses) was sitting in the twirly chair getting her hair cut. We had a lovely three way conversation, the two of them and I. I began to feel better. Then Denise said something about being invisible. How we are sometimes invisible to our families, or other people in our lives. That was like getting hit in the depression with a hammer. Yes. Invisible. Our needs, our wants, our health issues. Invisible.
We talked more and then it just so happened that Denise had a few minutes so she cut my hair, which is always a mood lifter for me. So I came away feeling much better. Not elated, perhaps, but connected. Understood. That small connection chased some of the demons away for me. Sent them elsewhere.
Isn’t that a wonderful thing? That friendships, connections, unexpected conversations, can rescue us. Connect us. And the connection somehow makes a difference. Makes us better. Gives us strength. Gives ME strength. It hasn’t solved my problems, or changed the basic screwed-up-ness that is both my brain and my life, but that small shared experience pulled me free of the web. If only for a moment I’m okay.
So take a minute and send some gratitude in the direction of your friendships. The shared connections. And if you don’t think you have any? Well think again. Ask someone to coffee and begin to chat. I guarantee that there are connections there if you are willing to look for them.