Sailing through Life

Sailboat in a Storm.jpg

Our lives are supposed to have a purpose. Or so the experts tell us. I’ve been looking for my purpose for most of my life and I haven’t found it yet.

I’m sailing through life with no clear direction waiting to find my purpose, my passion, my mission. Dealing with depression and anxiety, my goal most days is to get through the day being somewhat productive. Some days I succeed and some days I fail miserably.

If life is like the sea than I’ve had my share of storms. Waves so high I thought I would be swept away forever. Long periods of time where every day was another storm to be endured. Days that turned into weeks and weeks into months of relentless storms. Weak and battered all I wanted to do was lay down and die. I had no strength left to fight.

But I wasn’t alone in my battle. My children lived in the shadow of my pain, fearful of what would happen to them if I left them. Changing them for the rest of their days. I clung to my life raft with an intensity only a mother understands. Cold, wet and beaten down I hung on screaming into the darkness.

When the storm was over I was thankful to be alive. The sea calmed and the skies brightened. I was going to make it.

Maybe, my purpose is simply to survive and carry on. Living a simple life. Staying alive to show my children that no matter how messy life gets we can get through anything.



Too Anxious to Commit

When I Can't Do Something

Committing to anything is difficult for me. After almost 20 years of dealing with depression and anxiety, I’ve learned a great deal about myself and what level of commitment I can make.

Too many times I’ve committed to a social function only to call and cancel. The dread, although irrational, was very real to me. I was unable to cope. Caught in a vicious cycle of committing and cancelling my self-esteem suffered.

I’ve lost friends because I can’t commit. An unfortunate side-effect of depression and anxiety. But I am fortunate to have a large group of supportive friends and family who understand. They are quick to forgive me when I cancel.

Now that I’m older and wiser I’m slow to make social commitments. I know what I’m comfortable attending and what I’m not. And I no longer feel guilty for saying no.

The secret, I find, is to know my limits and work within them. This is a good thing and I something I can truly commit to.


Waking Up with Despair

I woke up crying today for no reason and I can’t seem to stop. Drove to Tim Horton’s to pick up a coffee because coffee fixes everything, but not today.
While I write this I’m eating half a grapefruit. I don’t know why it is that grapefruit tastes better when it’s cut in half as opposed to being peeled and eaten like an orange, it just is. It’s sweet and juicy. Perfect for waking up my taste buds, which in all seriousness might be the only part of me that wakes up today.
I’m going to have some leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast. A zucchini, tomato, and mozzarella dish sprinkled with parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Delicious! Leftovers are great for days when I don’t have the energy or desire to open a box of cereal.

I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I made some big changes recently to improve my life. Changes that should make my life easier and give me peace of mind, but I feel the same. Selling my home and moving to the country was a good financial decision that also brought a decent measure of calm. I love a man who cherishes me. We have common goals and dreams, and our time together is filled with love and laughter.

It’s funny how we look outside ourselves to fix problems on the inside. I’ve looked to meds and cognitive behaviour therapy to alleviate my symptoms. I’ve turned to God, drink, and love to make me happy. I lose myself in facebook, internet games, and television to escape myself. I make plans for the future because when the future arrives I will be better. Right?

When I get right with God, when I align my thoughts, words, and actions with the universe, when I take up yoga, start meditating, eat a clean diet, practice mindfulness, find my purpose, find my passion, do random acts of kindness, etc., my world will be right as rain. But it won’t, will it?

We are a society bombarded with self-help advice that I honestly don’t have the energy or motivation to act on. If I had it I guess I wouldn’t need it.

I’m starting to feel better as I write this, that and eating breakfast. It won’t always work. There will and have been days where I get up, eat and go back to bed. And sometimes those days turn into weeks and then stretch into months. An existence, that for anyone, will take its toll on one’s self-esteem.

When I woke up today, I didn’t think I would make it past breakfast. But here I am feeling stronger and ready to do a few chores before I take a nap. My belly full, my story on paper and my tears dried. Maybe, for today, that’s all I need to find a little happiness.