To celebrate turning 40, I’ve challenged myself to blog for each of the 40 days leading into my birthday. This is post number 19. You can read all the posts here.
One day in 2012, a completely absurd situation presented itself and, instead of dissolving into tears, I burst out laughing.
I realised, with a shock, that it had been a very long time since I’d been able to do that.
Depression had robbed me of the ability to see the funny side of anything. It was like walking around ensconced in cloud. Just like Eeyore. I could go about my daily tasks well enough, but everything was observed through a fuzzy grey filter.
I didn’t question that state.
I just thought, “This is who I am now.”
Followed by, “I hate who I am now.”
It took a breakdown to shock that thought out of my system.
Saying ‘No’ stopped all the frantic rushing I was doing and opened up space and time for self-awareness and reflection.
Unconditional love from family and friends gave me a safe place from which to take two steps forward, one step back, one step sideways. They accepted regression and self-sabotage were part of the process and didn’t judge.
The day I realised my sense of humour had returned was the day I knew ‘I’ had returned.
I felt almost unbearably light and free.
I knew if I ever had to find myself again, I had the tools to do it.