Appreciation ProjectDecember 23, 2010
December 16 AP 350– Winter activities/festivities. Snowmen, snowball fights, ice skating (and I don’t even ice skate, but I still love it), sledding, etc.
December 17 AP 351– Hummus. Garlic and roasted pine nut. On flat pretzels. Or pita bread.
December 18 AP 352– Holiday traditions. Santa Clause: love the magic and imagination! Rudolph, cookie decorating, TV specials, Coke Christmas edition cans, LIGHTS everywhere…
December 19 AP 353– Classic Christmas music. Bing Crosby, Vince Guaraldi, Brenda Lee Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, the list goes on and on and on and on… I love it ALL, and I love the mood it sets. We’ve had it blasting a lot in this house and I’ve loved every moment. I appreciate the ‘Christmas spirit’.
December 20 AP 354– The Christmas Story. Mary, Joseph, Jesus. The nativity. I’ve been going to church since the very week I was born without any breaks, and that story still gets me. Mary and Joseph’s relationship, Jospeh’s trust and obedience, Mary’s courage and faithfulness, their travel and hardships, Elizabeth’s conception, the star… and the shepherds. If I could be anyone in the story I would want to be one of the shepherds who saw the angels in the sky praising God, and then they got to go see the baby in the manger for themselves… their newborn king.
December 21 AP 355– Christmas shopping, (finishing my Christmas shopping!), gift wrapping, and ultimately watching Adry and others receive and enjoy their gifts. It’s a good feeling, no?
December 22 AP 356– Sucking it up: spending time alone. In the past I was never one to run from pain. I would get unbearably depressed or anxious or lonely and I’d suck it up and trudge through it and endure until it was over. I’d get in my bed blanket cave and I’d cry and wait it out. I’ve always had depression issues. I don’t need a failed marriage to make me feel depressed, and I can clearly distinguish grief from my usual depression. The BIG difference now, though, is that I run from it. I can’t STAND it. I feel it coming and I get restless and I want to crawl out of my skin. I leave the house, I cling to people and affirmation, I indulge in mind numbing activities to get a “fix”, and I refuse to be alone. But tonight I felt it- that gnawing depression- and I had the strongest urge to just LEAVE and do something to distract myself, but I sat through it instead. I stayed home and finished laundry and wrapped my presents for Adry and got the rest of my chores done. I came >this< close to texting a few of my friends and asking them if I could come over, but I didn’t. I stayed home with my boy, faced it head-on, and endured. And right now I’m feeling more like my old depressed self- depressed but content- rather than depressed and absolutely pathetically desperate.
And by the way, I’m not ashamed that I struggle with depression. NOT ASHAMED. And I WILL speak up about it. Because SO many people suffer from it and it’s NOT something to deny. And I say this because very recently, right when I was going through the whole marriage breakup fiasco, I was accused of being depressed as if it was wrong or my fault. Dude, I’m not even kidding. This person, with several witnesses in close proximity (as I was crying, mind you) accused me of several vile things, one of which was being depressed as if it was shameful.
It amazes me how, even with so many sufferers, Depression is so misunderstood and mistreated and ignorantly judged. I guess people who don’t feel it just can’t comprehend it… ? I don’t know. But I just want to tell anyone out there who might be reading this and needs to hear it::: Depression is not wrong nor controllable (though can be managed), and it is not your fault and you should never feel ashamed. And besides taking numbing medication with terrible side effects and withdrawal, there’s nothing you can do about it so you might as well embrace it. You can try to deny it, you can try to ignore it, you can try to run from it, but it’ll eat you alive if you don’t just accept it. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior or weak or faithless. You get up and you get through your day with a dead weight on your chest suffocating you… That’s not weakness; that’s strength.