Thursday, November 17, 2016

True Confessions of a Jack of all Trades

I will never be Michelangelo. Or Tolkien. Or Picasso.

It's no secret how much I love to pursue new interests. I'm always looking for something shiny and new to wake up my mind. It's what I love. It's what makes me tick. It makes me happy to be alive.

Unfortunately it also has drawbacks. Each interest stops being new at some point and begins to be old and tiresome.  It becomes work and my ADHD mind no longer classifies it as as a priority. Thus I always tend to cycle out of an interest at some point and start looking for the next shiny thing.

I've been doing this for as long as I can remember. I have a list of skills as long as my arm. People tell me that they're amazed at the number of different things I know how to do. I don't say this to brag. I'm quite competent at many things, but I will never be Michelangelo.

Here is some painful honesty. I cycled out of writing a year and a half ago.

The more I denied this fact and the harder I clung to it the more miserable I became.  Miserable, depressed, and frustrated with myself for not being stronger. For not having the passion I see in others who have found their calling and have laid their souls on the alter. I'm am in awe of you, and a little jealous. While you are becoming Tolkien I will still be chasing after the next shiny thing and becoming merely competent.

There is good news in all this. I always tend to cycle back to my greatest passions. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes years or even decades, but I always come back. Perhaps over the course of several cycles I will grow past competence and become good or even great. I don't know yet.

And just for the record, this doesn't mean I'm swearing off writing completely and shunning friends and the community I grown to love. It just means I'm giving myself a break. I am, as of this moment, giving myself permission to be passionate about something else and stop trying to force myself into a box that doesn't fit right now.

I may never be Michelangelo, but I am Christauna, and today that is enough.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Back in the Light

It's amazing how bright the light is when coming out of the dark.

Years of darkness. Deep depression, medium depression, and even slightly blue is no way to live. In fact you don't live during those times, you survive.

I'm happy to say that I'm back among the living.

Since I've been open about mental illnesses up to this point, it's only fair I finish the story. A few months ago I found myself at a point of medium depression that I felt I would never be able to shake. I wasn't lost in the black hole, but I wasn't living either. Everything was gray. It was a time of "no" for me. No, I don't want to go to that activity. No, I don't want to write. No, I don't want to read. No, I don't want to do much of anything other than eat, sleep, work, and the occasional date night with my man. Unrelenting medium depression is a blah existence.

One morning during yoga (yes, yoga every Monday morning at six for the past 3 years...which I didn't want to go to) I found myself praying. I was tired of my gray existence. I knew God could heal me, and I pleaded, with tears dripping onto my mat, that he would do so. And I got an immediate answer.

"Be thou healed."

Be thou healed. A gift from my Heavenly Father. Healed? Me? After all this time, all I needed to do was ask? Maybe. Maybe I hadn't prayed in earnest before. Maybe there were things I needed to learn in the dark years. Maybe it was just time. Whatever it was, I believed that God could and had healed me. I just needed faith and action to accept this gift.

With great faith, and not a little trepidation, I took action.

I went off my antidepressants...

No one panic. This story has a happy ending. Or beginning, however you want to look at it. Over the next couple of months I slowly weaned myself off the drugs. And very slowly over the next couple of months the gray fog bank evaporated, leaving nothing but bright sunshine in a cloudless sky.

It's been well over a month since I kicked my antidepressants to the curb and I'm having a tremendous time rejoining my life. It's taking effort, but all the No's in my life are becoming potential Yes's once again.

Thank you to my sweet family and dear friends who have hung in there with me through my black and gray years. And thank you to my Heavenly Father for giving me back my life. It's still going to take some time to rebuild myself, but for now I'm just happy to be able to turn my face to the warm sun and smile again.