Finding the Key

Today is a great day. That may seem like a generic statement for some, but for me it’s a tremendous admission. Something I not only think, but believe and feel to my core. Something I haven’t been able to admit for quite some time now.

I’ve had some “good” days, but good is subjective and my overly obnoxious inner critic almost doesn’t want to believe they count. In the long road of mental illness they all should but in a land of limited self compassion, they barely scratch the surface.

Working with my psychologist, we are trying a new strategy. The past month was a rushed decent into darkness. A harsh fall from the grace of light I experienced in August. So in keeping with my strategy I’m going to focus on the positive. Dissecting all the negatives and fears until I can see the light.

credit: Rocky Lake Photography

Here are some reasons why today is a great day:

I’m not watching the clock. For what feels like forever I’ve been staring that lonely bugger down. Praying the day to just be over with so I can go back to bed. As if I’m beating my depression by forcing myself to stay awake until a “reasonable” bed time. Today time is an infinite concept. I’ve accomplished so much, relatively, and yet there is still so much day left.

Finally I’ve finished a project for a client/friend. The proof is in the pudding folks, whatever the hell that actually means. My project took me just over a week, a perfectly reasonable amount of time. Despite all my fears and self induced road blocks I finished something I started.

This is a wonderful feeling. Relief and a sense of accomplishment doing the dishes just can’t compare to. Not only do I feel relief that I didn’t disappoint a friend, I proved to myself that I can accomplish what I set my mind to. Some days this project only received five minutes of my time truthfully. Despite the realities of my mental illness it still was finished and better yet I’m proud of my work.

Not only did I finish one project I also made great progress on a personal professional project. Today I actually had the patience to play with my design, full on trial and error. Scrapping what wasn’t working and starting anew without feeling defeated or inadequate. I’ve forgotten that feeling of freedom, how lost in my creativity I can get when I’m not counting the minutes.

Today I also learned that my camera weighs the same as my dog. It’s true, I swear. Silly thing to admit, but I do so with pride. The correlation only comes because on this beautiful fall day I juggled both on our midday walk. Instead of going for the obligatory potty break, I got behind the lens. Took time to appreciate the warm sun, the crisp breeze and the fall colours glittering in the afternoon light. Taking this time is not something I’ve done for quite awhile so today’s adventure is important.

Laughably I ran a couple of errands. As any depressed person is familiar with, my mantra has been “I’ll do it tomorrow”, repeated until I absolutely must do something days later. Today was different, today I thought I should so I did. It didn’t hurt, it wasn’t hard, it was just something that happened. There is that.

I’m engaged. Keeping up conversations with friends and family via online, social and text. More often than not I’ve been leaving my phone in the bedroom on silent under the pillow, existing with my computer turned off at all times. Today is different, I want to respond, want to engage and I’ve not yet been derailed by the pings of the electronics at my side. Actually answering the unknown number, sure it was an telemarketer, but yay me!

Lastly if you’re reading this I’m writing again. This is a big one as you can see I’ve neglected this blog just as I’ve neglected myself this past month. To be writing from a creative and energetic place instead of torturing myself to produce the words is huge for me right now. Finally writing feels good again. Sitting here with my feet up on my desk, pad of paper in my lap, music playing softly while I just write. Periodically I catch myself humming along, a joy welcomed considering the past month.

credit: Rocky Lake Photography

These are examples of what has made today a great day. Small victories to many I’m sure, but mountains to the shell of a person I’ve recently been. I wish I could tell you what the key to today’s success was but I can’t. Not the type to make something up or string you along, I’ll offer this simple truth. I took a photo of key blanks a week ago and loved it. Turning a pile of nothing into something.

Staring at that photo today as I finished up my project opened up some internal door and the rest of my day felt inspired. If I knew how to bottle that for the world I would, but alas I’m not an alchemist.

I can only offer this, when the good days come and they will, embrace them with open arms and count all the victories no matter their size. You are in a difficult place dear reader, and sometimes just accepting the good is all you can do one day, that’s okay. Tomorrow could catapult me back to darkness, this is just the nature of my illness. Instead of worrying about tomorrow I’m going to enjoy today and continue to live my life one day at a time.

Sending you light,

Meaghan

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