Ebb, Flow, Ebb, Flow

Life is an endless ebb and flow.

At least, that’s how it feels when I’m in a more positive mindset.

It’s the reminder that “this too should pass” or the sudden realization from time to time that, at least at this moment, I’m feeling okay again. Perhaps not great, perhaps life could be better or more fulfilling, but still okay: able to breathe, enjoying what I’m doing, feeling accomplished, etc.

I suppose more accurately this is the high in the highs and lows of untreated mania, if my college psych was correct that I likely have it.

Whatever it is or however you want to look at it, I’m trying to become more aware of these moments when they happen rather than letting them come and go before I can relish in the fleeting peace (while, of course, always hoping for/working towards/etc. a more content and less tumultuous existence). It isn’t easy and I’m sure I still miss a great many of them, but when I do manage to grasp onto them it’s such a beautiful relief. It’s like taking a breath of fresh air outside after having been in a stuffy, artificial space for a really long time. For me, it’s like the first day of autumn – my favorite time of year when I’m always generally happier – after a long, hot summer.

Today, it was being at work where I’ve been binge-watching an old favorite series from the 90s and just having this moment of: I really like this show; it makes me feel warm and at ease while I watch it. I relished in that feeling and although so very small, and perhaps escapist, it was a nice moment in a sea of uncertainty, stress, anger, sadness or just plain meh.

Other times it’s having a moment of clarity and determination. For example, yesterday it was the determined thought that it’s time to let something – some specific baggage – go and that no matter how uncomfortable that thought makes me I’ll be just fine, I can do it, and I’ll be better for it on the other side. This morning, recalling that moment, it was the determined thought that: the time for mourning has come and gone. It’s time to get up from the ash heap. It’s time to, metaphorically, start wearing pinks and yellows and blues and reds and greens again. Now, obviously, I have yet to actualize those determined thoughts. I still need to set them into motion which may be difficult. I may even fail. But that doesn’t negate the importance of those thoughts for my overall health and progress. If I can latch onto them once, then twice, I can latch onto them and similar thoughts again.

Even when these moments are few and far between, even when I feel hopeless that the dawn will never come and I can’t even see or enjoy the beauty of the stars and moon, I just have to try and remember that hope is not lost and for every ebb there is a flow.

photo copyright: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kellinahandbasket/

Author note: This entry does not endorse the harmful stigma that depression or mental/emotional health is merely a mindset. Positivity is merely one tool (coping mechanism, etc.) in a vast collection when it comes to dealing with the daily struggle of illness. I hope that I was clear that these positive moments are not the norm, not easy to pin down, etc. rather that one of the strategies I have been attempting to employ is paying attention to these moments to aid the overall process. For many, if not most, people a positive mindset is impossible to achieve without a lot of other tools in hand (including, but not limited to, medicine). 


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