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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Manual Transmission

 How many times do I have to say it? How many times do I repeat the words, the mantra of recovery, this fight song? Is there that moment, that singular fiery moment, epiphany, a supernova of healing? The moment when I stand up, facing the future, eyes alive, and say, "I am free of this blackness. I have won!". It seems there must be and if I look hard enough, hold my head just right, I can see the flicker in the distance.

I deserve to be happy. It is the birthright of the free, the refuge of we who deny fate its due, who take control of our lives and our minds. It belongs to me, this happiness, it is mine and mine alone, I have only to find it, to pick it up where I left it, to sling it on my back and walk on. There are setbacks, the lies I still tell myself, the pictures in the hall, their color fading, yellowing, fraying at the edges. I still feel them, hear their whispers, see the flashes, but I will not let them stab quite as deeply. I am the curator here, I run this place, not them. I will not take them down, they will hang there always, reminders of the past, facts now, simple reflections of what was, not some power I cannot control.

Last night, I slept fitfully again. I flopped in my bed like a landed fish, listening to the night sounds, my mind like a DVD on fast-forward, disjointed visions out of sequence. I worried, I planned, I wrestled the damn pictures. I got out of bed, knowing I had a busy hour ahead readying the children for school, showering, shaving, little rituals, and my mind downshifted, allowed me to focus. It allowed me to forget, temporarily, the hallway, the fast-forward. There is a lesson there. I know I can adjust the lens, change the focus of my thoughts. This is something I think many people suffering from depression do not immediately realize, that they have a choice. The tricky part is actually allowing yourself to do it.

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