420: peace is every step

melissa averinos

August 13, 2010

Even after all these years of struggling with Depression and Anxiety, I am still taken by surprise at how quickly those jerks tiptoe up, tackle me and drag me toward The Abyss if I'm not paying attention.

Had a couple of down days this week.

Not too bad, really. But after a couple months of feeling pretty dang good most of the time, even being a little low feels scary.

Nothing was wrong, nothing was going on, I just started feel like I was... dissolving. Crumbling like a sugar cube in hot tea. Only not as sweet or charming. More like a urinal cake, maybe. Do those crumble? Probably not. Well, anyways. You get my meaning.

So, I could feel myself crumbling, dissolving from the inside out. Heart heavy. Sad eyes. Low energy. Lost. Hope draining rapidly.

Again, it wasn't as bad as usual (even though it does sound pretty bad!) I think I am just noticing it sooner now. Like when you catch the tiniest hint of the scent of something before the smell is undeniable or overpowering, you know?

I did not want to end up in The Abyss or staring at the bottom of an empty Ben and Jerry's pint or overwhelmed by the B.O. of Depression, so I had a little talk with myself.

Me: What's up, buttercup?

Sad Me: meh.

Unhelpful Me: ugh, she's the worst.

Me, (ignoring Unhelpful Me) : no, hon. not 'meh.'  Let's figure this out before it gets worse, ok? Why are you  feeling so down?

Unhelpful Me (interjecting) : um, because she sucks?

Me, (to Sad Me): Just ignore her. Is something wrong?

Sad Me (doing her best  to ignore unhelpful me) : Hmmmm... nothing that I can think of that isn't there even when I'm feeling good. Nothing new.

Me: Ok. This is what we're going to do. Since there is nothing really going on, it's probably just that free-floating Anxiety mofo. He is just making shit up and we are just going to try not to buy any of it, ok?

Sad Me: We can do that?

Unhelpful Me (taunting Sad Me): You can't do that. You are doomed. DOOMED! (turning to you guys) Dude, she is totally doomed.

Me (disregarding unhelpful me) : Yes, we can do that! It's not easy because Anxiety is very convincing and Depression  tries to sit on you and squash you, but we are just going to keep in mind that we haven't been getting enough exercise this week and that's what  usually keeps the bastards  from showing their nasty faces.

Sad me: Yeah, I know. I know. I always get this way when I miss a few workouts.

Me: Right! See? It's ok. We just have to make sure we do what it takes to stay strong. And we have to jump back on track as soon as we notice we've been tackled by those guys.

Unhelpful me: Um, yeah. She's not gonna do that. She's just going to sit there and let Depression use her for a bouncy house and then hate herself for it until she implodes.


Where did she go?

Me to Unhelpful Me: She went for a run!

I started to write that out as a dialogue just between Me and Sad Me, but there was definitely a voice missing!

See, not only do I deal with Depression and Anxiety, but then there is Unhelpful Me who judges me for having those problems which just compounds it, of course. Awesome.  I do know that Unhelpful Me is just those dudes wearing a mask, but still. Not cool, guys.

Also,  now I sound like a Total Crazy Person. Let's not call these 'The Voices In My Head'. How about 'My Internal Monologue'? Does that work?

Can we agree on that?

Oh, good. We all  thank you.

So, I did actually go for a run yesterday. A five mile run! And I did it again this morning! And wouldn't you know it? I feel much much better. (Take that, bastards! Ka-POW!)

With every run, every yoga or pilates class, I feel better. With every step in the right direction, I release anxiety and I find peace.


'Peace Is Every Step' is a  quote/saying by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen monk. It's also the title of one of his  books.  I haven't read him in a while but this phrase has always stuck with me. And why not apply this phrase literally? I do feel my internal peace growing with every step of a run, with every posture held.

I did this design last week, using one of my photos from that  trip to Provincetown last fall and some hand lettering that I scanned in.(Of course, I had to make a tee shirt out of it.)

I blogged the Buddha photos in a different post, this one, where I talk about that old "I suck" feeling. It's worth mentioning that the "I suck" feeling is a result of not catching the whiff of depression like I did this time! Progress, yay!! I assure you, if I had let it go this time, I would have been camping in "I Suck-Ville" within a few days.

Next time I'm crankified or down, I am going to try to remember that Peace Is Every Step. And I hope that by saying that to myself, I will be inspired to throw on my sneaks and run (or a walk or go to pilates, yoga, zumba etc) and find my peace. You too?

xo, m

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