Friday, March 20, 2009

Not Depressed

I'm happy.

I really am.

My life is going so well.

One thing that sort of cheers me up when my life is a huge drama is I think to myself this would really make a good novel.

I felt that way about our Australia trip in 2007. It was fun, but there was all this drama. Conflicts within myself and conflicts with other people.

The spring and summer after we returned was awful for me. I already had a lot of baggage....stuff I brought with me to Australia. And Australia wasn't kind enough to let me keep it there. She made me take it home with me.

I came home with so much angst, but also so much love for Australia. My heart was in Australia. And I felt this pressure from other people to let go of Australia. Okay. Your holiday is over. Time to get on with your real life. Move on. Get over it.

I was really depressed.

I read this blog of someone who describes her serious debilitating depression. It's the type of depression where you can barely do anything. It's a task just to get out of bed. It's nearly impossible to brush your teeth or take a shower. I read this and thought I've NEVER had anything like that before. My sadness has never debilitated me. I still go on with my life. I eat. I sleep. I read. I take care of my child. I take trips to the zoo. I keep up with my emails. I do the cat litter. So, I thought.... I must have never really been depressed.

Everyday I read my private spiritual/dream journal from a year ago. I've been reading my entries from March last year and now I think....No, I really WAS depressed. My feeling is maybe there's a functional depression. It's where you feel awful inside. You feel like complete shit, but you still manage to go on with your life.

I got through my depression, but it was hard work. It didn't take drugs or therapists. It took temporarily hiding deep inside my turtle shell, huge fights, big mistakes, long emails, brutal honesty, new friends, a lot of extensive soul-searching, and this blog.

This blog really saved me in many ways. Through it, I found a connection to people who would let me talk about Australia as much as I want. Through the blog, I started to feel permission to be myself. I felt permission to love what I wanted to love.

By the time we went to Australia, most of the drama in my life had greatly decreased. I mean my life's not perfect. I still have problems. And our Australia holiday wasn't perfect. There were fights. There were tears. But I remember sitting there in Australia one day and thinking. There wouldn't be enough drama on this trip to write a novel. There's not enough conflict. We're having too much fun. I'm too happy. At best, all I could squeeze out of this is a quirky travel story.

And as Australia wouldn't keep all my depressing baggage when I left in 2007, this time she refused to keep my happiness. She let me take it home with me.

I still feel all the love and joy I felt there.

My marriage is better.
My relationship with my sisters and parents seems better.
I have new friends that I'm madly in love with.
I feel closer to my old friends.

I get a lot of questions these days about how I feel to be back in America. I think people are surprised to see me happy because last year I was so sad.

I think the main reason I'm happy is for the reasons above. But I also think writing these trip reports has helped. Jack asks me if I miss Australia. Right now I really don't that much. I think it's because for an hour or two everyday, I'm there again. It's like I'm reliving everything. And it's so fun discussing everything in comments.

I do wonder if I'll be sad once I reach the end of our trip. Maybe then I'll mourn a bit. But then I get to write more biography posts. I look forward to that....although it does stress me out a bit. Those things are hard work.

Anyway, thank you to every single person who reads this blog--especially those of you who read it on a regular basis. Your support has given me a lot of validation; something I need at times.

Thanks to all the Australians who were brave enough to meet me, Tim, and Jack. Our home is open to any of you....if you're ever crazy enough to come to Texas ; )

Also....thank you to ALL my family and friends...

I love all of you immensely.

I dedicate this song to everyone.