Thursday, April 16, 2015

Finding the beauty

Depression wants to get me down today, but I will not let it.
It wants to creep on my shoulders, settle in my ears and around my head, but I will not let it

I climb out of bed, pull on my clothes, keep moving
I am tired, but I need this run

I hit the streets.

Another day. Another day stretches before me.
I feel bleak at the prospect, broken down.
Head bowed as the day looms, daunting
It threatens to swallow me, crush me, leave me crumbled
But I know this need not be so.

I hammer on, determined to outrun it.

There are days when I can see the beauty in the world, other days
when I must struggle to find it.
I am so tired of this struggle, it feels perpetual. But what other option is there?

Will it be like this forever?

See the beauty.

I feel a pang of desperation as I realize I cannot.

Keep running.

I run harder, towards the hill. My legs feel stiff, a little strained from the night before (and perhaps from not running at all the week prior), but I will them forward. I churn steadily up the hill.

See the beauty.

I look off to one side, in the distance. I search for the skyline. Industrial power lines dominate the foreground, hazy skies hang beyond. Morning traffic bustles by. The world is grey and coated in grime.

See the beauty. You will die unless you can see the beauty.

I keep moving up the hill. I feel the slight strain on my legs, feel licks of despair inside.

Stop fighting so hard and be here.

I let go, my mind becomes blank. My thoughts turn to nothing. I keep moving up the hill. I reach the top, stop to walk - this is my turning point. I tip my toe to the edge of the curb, the equivalent of touching a wall before turning around, then glance over at a tree to one side.

The tree is rooted in the dirt, a small square amid the concrete. It is not tall, but its stance makes it appear formidable. The branches reach skyward, curve confidently, saying "Look at me." The branches are full of tiny white blossoms. Minimal leaves and fuzzy buds dot dark brown limbs, but it is the white blossoms that dominate. They reject the grey and dust all around, blooming prettily.

The traffic rushes by.

To the north side, a busy road, drivers oblivious. To the south, cracked sidewalks, a run-down business. Here between them, this tree, full of white blossoms. Blossoms so pale they might have been camouflaged against the light morning sky, but they cannot hide from my eyes, my eyes that are searching for something beautiful.

I put my hands on my head and start to cry.

Oh, you have really lost it now. What is it with all the crying. Now those people are looking at you.

I look at the people in the cars driving past - a few catch my eye, look briefly, then are gone. Most do not even look. I do not care.

I feel lighter. Time to go home.

I run down the hill, relaxing now, letting gravity take me. I pass a man I see regularly. He is sweating, wearing three layers and a hoodie. He always dresses this way for his runs. I give him a smile. Good for you, sir.

I look past him, to the hillside of foxtails, gleaming in the light. I am beginning to see the beauty.

I wonder briefly why I cried. Stress? Too many emotions? It doesn't matter.

You are lucky you have running.

Running can crack you open. On some days I feel numb, feel nothing at all. On those days I run with the hope that it will crack me open, get at my insides, make me feel - then be there as I pick myself back up.

Other days I feel the opposite, I feel everything at once. My thoughts whirl and storm. I feel too much. On those days, I run to try to make it stop.

This morning, I run for both. I run to feel something real. I run to stop feeling so much.

Running can crack you open.

I run home, considering my day. I will see the beauty, I am determined. It is here all around me, I don't need to look up to the sky and the trees, it is right here in this community, in every single thing I pass.

I will do more than survive this day, I will rise about it.

I will connect with the people around me. I will look at the person to my right side, to my left, and see how they are doing. I will try to make a difference, try to help, just in my everyday conversations. I will learn five new things, reach out to three friends I haven't spoken to in a while.

I will do more than survive this day, I will rise above it. I will thrive.

Depression wants to get me down today, but I will not let it.

5 comments:

  1. It's a crazy world out there. You write with great emotion. Always gets me thinking. Make it a great day Tiffany!!

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    1. I am glad it gets you thinking :) That is a good thing! Have a great day too, Jay! Always good to hear from you.

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    2. I am glad it gets you thinking :) That is a good thing! Have a great day too, Jay! Always good to hear from you.

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  2. Isn't it incredible that we are but a sum of all physical processes taking place inside us. I'm absolutely not aiming to reduce your experiences to medical jargon. But...please, agree, that much like our metabolism is a sum of all chemical reaction in our organism, our emotions are a sum of all the physical & chemical reactions in our brain. How incredible it is then that we can't orchestrate anything inside us yet we feel the end product so intensely. We are very inventive with ways of self-medicating. We don't want to feel THIS but rather THAT. THIS hurts. And we can't do a damn thing about it. All we can do is FEEL.

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    1. "our emotions are a sum of all the physical & chemical reactions in our brain. How incredible it is then that we can't orchestrate anything inside us yet we feel the end product so intensely." I could not agree more. It is a mind-blowing thing. I love this comment.

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