I have felt the touch of the thief. The sadness, the despair, the discouragement and the bereavement. I have felt the self-loathing, the guilt, the lack of confidence and self-esteem. I have felt the need of withdrawal from everything and everyone. I have felt the never-ending pain of not being omnipotent enough to change the past. Of not being deserving of a future.
Depression is a harsh master that will control you if you allow it to. It will continue to steal from you if you do nothing to stop it.
But a tiny, fragile flame still burns as long as there is life and, if you nurture it carefully, it can become a raging bonfire. A beacon of light to guide you. A light that, if tended, can become a star in the heavens to shine down upon you, your family and friends.
I sometimes have to fight for every breath, every smile, every second because I can't change the past and I'm exhausted from fighting a sadness that is dark and crushing. I have been here before and now I know from experience that I must choose to either mourn the past or to chart my future. I must choose to give into the sadness and crushing darkness or continue to fight with a spirit that feels weighted down with lead.
The tide has yet again changed. I choose to chart my future. To set my path. If I sometimes get lost and lose my way, it's ok. No matter how many times I am stopped by a listless ocean, the deafeningly silent wind, or a raging tempest... I am my own Captain and when the deathly stillness or storm passes, I will find my compass. I will map another course. I will not give up.
The future holds sunrises, sunsets, distant shores, soothing coves and safe harbors. It holds the cool breeze of friendship on the hottest of days, the warmth of family in the coldest of nights, even when I am too numb to feel it. I KNOW it is there just out of reach. I just have to keep striving for it.
By my own inaction, I have allowed the thief to take something from me that I can never get back. Pieces of my life. Pieces of the lives of my husband, children, sisters and parents. It does not steal from only me. I have allowed it to steal from my entire family.
I feel such anger and frustration at the time that I have already allowed to be stolen from me and my family. I want to hoard what time is left, but alas, time can not be held or changed. It is what it is. And so to save those pieces of me and my family, I try to remember the sweetest of times. The milestones. The thought provoking ironies. The laughter.... ah the laughter, that is the true slayer of the thief. If I can just turn more of the stress, the sadness, the anger, the worry, the depression into something joyous or even bittersweet.... My recipe for lemonade has evolved over time. It has been tested. It has been tasted. It has been shared.
I have, finally, found that if I write the recipes down, the thief can't steal them. He can't touch them. They can remain cherished memories to share with those who will come after. They can light the way in a storm and someday, maybe, they can light the footsteps of my children. I hope I leave a better legacy than the past. A legacy filled with love and the ability to slay the thief with laughter. For laughter in the heart is one of the fuels of the fragile flame. The other is courage.
QOTD: "Nothing we can do can change the past, everything we do changes the future." Ashley Brilliant (1933-) American Writer