I have been dealing with depression. Again. This is not a new phenomenon to me. I have been dealing with It all of my life, or at least as far back as I can recall. I call It depression in order to explain it to people. But I have come to understand it more and more as simply energy. Energy from my own system, energy that is mine and is not mine at the same time. It is an outcry. It is a soul strike.

This depression requires of me that I stay at home, alone, with only the company of my cat, Miracle. If I am out and about, and it hits, this depression demands of me to pull out of My Life and go home. If I am at home when it hits, It will not let me leave. There is literally a magnetic, heavy pull. A dragging down. An exhaustion like a huge, thick blanket on my body and in my heart. My belly is tense with a sheet of iron-like tension that I keep trying to release through awareness and breath. I get it to relax a moment, but as soon as my mind wanders, and I return to it, it is there again, hard and steely.

Its’ requirements? No outside interruption. No demands. No stressors. No people. Quiet. Solitude. Just me with all the me’s I have ever been. One or another of them needs my own attention and caring. Some part of me needs to be heard. To be seen. Sometimes, to be saved.

I fight It. It has been years that I have fought against hearing these inner needs, these lost parts of me. I used to use things to try to drown them out. To try to shut them up. They felt so overwhelming to me. I had no way of dealing with them, because I wasn’t capable. I had no core self from which to do such a thing from. I wasn’t grown up enough to mother anyone.

Over the last 11 years I have worked hard to grow myself up, to find my core self, to heal. In the last four years, I have worked hard to know all of my selves and their needs, to become more accepting of these times when my own system just shuts me down. It has been a painstakingly slow but incredibly crucial process.

Today I needed to write something hopeful, encouraging and acknowledging to my self. A combination gratitude and brag list, two practices that have been extremely helpful to me.

I am grateful:

For trusting my own process even when my spirit and body and soul parts feel disparate.

For my intelligence and my lack of knowing it all.

For my inner-knowing and my lack of intelligence.

For the parts of me that I think are ugly and mean and stupid: the “Loser” parts so quick to rise up within and flood my system – they are constantly looking for evidence in the outside world that will mirror back what it forcefully tells me – that I am fat, a loser, stupid, shy, weird, misshapen, disgusting.  These parts that bully me (as some bizarre kind of protection of some other very raw parts inside) – they are precious and worthy and are such important parts of me.

I celebrate them and brag about how wonderful they are in hopes that they will hear me and let my heart hold their pain and their shame so that new life can fill them with love and light. I say to them:

I am not shy. I am sometimes shy. How beautiful I am to feel that way sometimes.

I am not stupid. Sometimes I do not know things. Sometimes I do stupid things. I say, “Brava, Me!”

I am not fat. Sometimes I put on protection. Sometimes I fall into old ways of comforting myself. How human of me. What a vulnerability that proves that I have inside me. What soft crevices I contain that crave such filling. I love that about me.

I am not a loser. I am not ugly and weird looking. I am wondrous and epic and multi-faceted and one of a kind. I am me. I am my own shape. I am my own timbre. I am my own expression of the beauty and wonder of the world. Every single cell of me is a miracle and I celebrate the magical wonder that I was born into this world at this time in this form.

Today I dance with depression. Maybe tomorrow It will quiet down, and I can once again go back out onto the skinny branches, and live out loud again.