|DEPRESSION IS A FOG
It’s early morning and I’m sitting here looking out the window.
There’s a white haze that’s encircling and flowing around everything and the sky is the milkiest of milky whites. I can barely see the houses around my own except for the green lawns and black street pavement that separate us.
In short, it’s foggy outside.
Fog does something to you. It makes you go inward. It causes you to question your abilities and foresight. After all, if you can’t see, how can you make informed judgments?
Yet at the same time, there’s something beautiful about fog. More on that in a moment.
As I’m peering out at this foggy morning, I’m thinking about staying inside and not venturing out. I’ll just sit in frozen silence amid blank space and stare. I think I’m having an Edward Hopper moment. I’m questioning whether I’ve got the skills to handle the world as it is today. I don’t think I can navigate life with all of its natural uncertainty. Now, throw fog into the mix and we’ve really got confusion.
The fog is weighing heavily right now. It feels like it’s putting limits on me and my possibilities for this day. Although, it’s milky and bright, it seems like a dark cloud and a cloak of depression. I’m questioning everything - even my ability to cope and write these very words. I feel stuck. I feel limited. I feel hopeless. Not hopelessly hopeless, just a little hopeless. I feel like I’m in the dark hole. This is what the fog is doing ... I can only see so far.
But is it the fog or is it me?
Today is Saturday. It’s the day after Christmas. I’ve got no pressing commitments today or for the next few days. In short, I’m free. I can sit here, trapped in my own head and caught up in my own theories OR I can venture outside.
Hmm. The fog is taking me on a tangent …
Just last night, I was chatting with a couple of relatives about someone in our family. We were trying to make sense of this person. This individual’s life and behavior remain a mystery to all of us. This person seemed to be caught up in the fog of alcoholism and depression and anger and bitterness and irresponsibility – at best - and it affected the entire family.
By the time we ended our conversation, we concluded that this family member had come from a culture and environment where they knew no better. This person was simply reenacting what he had grown up with.
However, we also knew that this person was WAY old enough to know better and do better. It’s up to him to change. Not us. We’ve decided that we can still love this person and be there when need be, but we cannot entertain this person’s bad decisions or behavior. We can LOVE and LET GO at the same time.
With that, last night, I felt that a fog that clouded my entire life up until that point had lifted. By getting out of my own head and talking with others, I got a brand new perspective. All of these years, I wasn’t in this alone. I thought I was, but I wasn’t.
While I had long made peace, I realized that there was still indeed a tiny part of me that felt depressed and not good about the past, but now, even that remnant of fog has lifted. It lifted because I decided not to continue to host it. I couldn’t banish it, but I wasn’t going to let the fog stop me.
I’m looking back outside the window now. This milkiest of milky white haze is actually beautiful. It has everything shrouded in mystery. It’s a messy mist. It’s not quite London fog, but it’s fog nonetheless.
At the risk of sounding oh so cliché, the fog is beginning to lift and believe it or not, it looks like the sun is trying to emerge. Sunshine was the unseen, secret sauce of this fog. It’s still foggy, but you know what? I’m going outside and if it’s still foggy when I get out there, so be it.
I am going to embrace that fog. I refuse to be stopped by mystery or my uncertainty about my own abilities. I am going to leave this room. I am simply going to go out there and DO IT. It may be sloppy and messy, but I’m getting ready to make my move.
I’ll simply take it step by step and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see where I end up. I don’t need to know the future or see five miles ahead of me anyway.
On a clear day, I might SEE the sun and it might shine on me, but right now, I’ll BE the sun. I’ll take a chance on myself with all of my failings and faults. Do I have any other choice? I am not everything, but I am enough.
Oh look … I do declare … the fog is vanishing and the sun is shining on me right through this window. Sun … you are giving me life.
This is my full blown Edward Hopper moment.
I Am Enough