Hope and Depression

Day Seven: Hopeful

My depression is really low today. It’s always present, but today it feels like a 2 out of 10. Maybe even a 1 out of 10!

I can’t describe how wonderful it feels to have a good day. A day that is not drowned in dark feelings and thoughts. As I’m writing I’m looking out my window at a field of grass, sunlit and sprinkled with the first fallen leaves of the season. The Spanish moss is dancing and waving in the old oak trees, and fresh cool wind is blowing into my room. It feels like the autumn wind is blowing through my body and soul, chasing the shadows away. I feel some peace. My panicky heart is still in this moment. I am calm enough to look at the blue sky and actually lose myself in the scene and imagine positive possibilities for my life in the future. I think this feeling is called HOPE.

It makes me smile to hear myself think the word. Hopeful? Me? Haha!

But I think I am. My husband is actually in the process of applying for teaching positions now that his dissertation is almost finished. I actually really like my job at the fitness center and am making new friends for the first time in five years. In fact, my job makes me so happy that I actually feel like I have enough positive energy and emotional well-being to think about my future and hope that I can finally get on a career track before the end of the year. I know this is probably dreaming. But on such a beautiful, peace-filled day, I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, my life is not ruined and I can salvage my experiences somehow. If I could only figure out how I can take my current situation, and the tumultuous experiences of my past, and move forward on a path that will lead me to security and fulfillment.

I know so many people from my past who have successfully achieved great careers, and healthy marriages, who have houses now and savings accounts and even babies and families of their own. It’s painful for me to see myself at 31, working for 8 dollars an hour, surviving a rocky relationship, mourning a family that’s been torn apart, with nothing but a ton of debt and a community college education and a hodgepodge of experiences working at part-time jobs. I have no idea what to do with myself.

Just thinking about straightening out my life has made my head hurt. The only possible directions that I can think to take include: (1) volunteering with an organization, (2) applying to a graduate program, (3) moving someplace to look for a better job. But I still have no idea where I belong, or what kind of work will make me happy/will enable me to survive with all of my sensitivities and challenges. I need a career, a life’s work, that will bring peace to the world and also cultivate much needed peace and healing in my life.

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