Recently one of my friends commented how well I looked. I enjoyed the compliment. It feels good to know that the efforts I make are paying off, even on the hard days. The funny thing is, that despite looking really well, emotionally I have spent the past few weeks wavering from feeling just about okay to quite depressed.
I have been reading a book by Pema Chodron called ‘Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change’. Last night I got to the chapter titled ‘Nowhere to Hide’ and that was when I realised that I spend a lot of my time hiding. For me that means, I appear to be quite normal, confident and outgoing.
This cheerful manner is a natural response and mostly, quite easy to maintain. That is, until I open up to others by talking about having depression. Then it’s scary. I am always surprised by how vulnerable and fragile I become in these moments. I can feel the mask slipping, after which I am pleased to get away to be on my own for a while.
It is an uneasy balance. I don’t want to drag people down by talking about my fragile state and at the same time I want to be honest, just as I would if I had a physical illness.
Then last night a good thing happened. I felt reassured by these words from Pema Chodron’s; “Feel your heart and sense that this unpleasant place is workable, that sanity exists here. Allow yourself to soften and become tender, more approachable, and more inquisitive.” She talks about leaning into the fear a little more each time, until one day it may become easy. That’s what I hope for.