Around this time a year ago I began my downward slide. At the end of April I helped my friend, Felice, with her booth at the Arizona Whole-istic Living Conference. While there I told her I felt heavy and not myself. A few days later I fell into anxiety. Depression followed soon after. It would take me the rest of the year to pull out of that dive and ascend again. Truth be told, I’m still healing from that whiplash of my soul. But Wahe Guru, Praise be to God, I am happy again. Joy is so much more delicious than I ever knew before.
Last week I found this photo my sister took last summer. It stirs up so much stuff inside of me and sends gratitude leaking out of my tear ducts.
I remember this day well. It came after a month+ of mental and emotional anguish and a few weeks of two psychotropic medications. We had gone to dinner at my sister’s house after church. I brought my own food, as usual (salmon, rice, and vegetables… ’cause that’s pretty much all I ate for the entire summer). Then we went into the front yard where they have a tree swing. As I helped my kids swing, something wonderful happened.
It just appeared.
And with it came a tiny spark of joy. Miniscule compared to the abounding joy I had known often in my past, but huge in comparison with the bleakness of the previous weeks and months. My husband looked at me with an expression I can’t really describe, and he said, “Look at that smile!” For an hour or two, my family saw me smile. I felt myself smile. And laugh. And to us it was like the most beautiful thing in the world.
There were still months of agony ahead of me. Gruelingly difficult months. But those windows of respite, those shafts of light, were such a gift. I ached so deeply to give my family their mother, wife, sister, and daughter back. And every once in a while She would appear, and smile for a bit before leaving us to drag our bloody feet and knees over some more rocky road.
But She came. She always came back. Even when I wondered if She was gone forever, She would show up again. And again. Until finally… finally… She could stay.
Today I thank God with every molecule of my being that She… that I… am here to stay.