• Sorry for the pause, guys. When we last spoke, I was talking about taking a rest. Well, it’s gone a little bit beyond that. I’ve spent the month since we last spoke battling some pretty deep depression. I guess my feeling of a need for rest was the precursor of this.

    It’s nothing serious. I mean, I’m not jumping off a cliff any time soon (there are no cliffs in the Netherlands!). But I have been very quiet and anti-social lately, which you know is not like me.

    I know why it’s happened too. To be brutally honest, everything is over. I’ve been in flux for nearly five years. First I had to move my family back from the Caribbean to help my Mum. Then I had to sort out my Mum’s life and get her settled. Then I had to move my family away from her damaging influence. Then I made preparations to fulfill my dream of living in Europe. Finally, there’s terrific news:  Last Tuesday I got my permanent residency papers approved!

    And I was immediately hit with a depression so deep I didn’t want to get out of bed.

    Strange? Well, not really. If you consider that I’ve been running pretty non-stop for the better part of half a decade, it’s no wonder I feel like falling over in my tracks now. Now all those things I’ve been working so hard on have been accomplished. The race is over. I can stop running.

    What do sprinters do at the end of a race? They hit a padded wall!

    So I hit a wall.

    Luckily it’s been absolutely beautiful here so I’ve been taking Shmi out for at least a 45 minute walk every day. And this week, the pool guys are coming to open the pool for the season. So I will be able to swim every single day. And that makes me happy.

    But I’ve been neglecting you. I do miss you! And I’m sorry. But sometimes even extroverts need to be alone.

  • 10 comments

    ((((Virtual hugs))))))

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    Thanks, darling.

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    You need what you need. Waypoints are stops on the journey, except in Kass world there are Shmi's and good prose - it's not like you had a tedious Tom Bombadil sidetrip, just a necessary respite. One thing over. Gather yourself for the next chapter. :-)

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    How well you know me, Wendy! Thanks. Yesterday, it was like the world was new once again. I powered through a bunch of revisions I've been putting off for three or four years. And I uploaded six new Kindle books to Amazon. I felt like could conquer the world. The fact is that, in Kass world, it takes sinking all the way to the bottom of the pool so I can push off and break through the surface. By the way, our pool opens this Thursday! Grab your snorkel and Rob and come over.

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    Hey, you owe nothing to anybody save yourself, Bob, and the puppies. You take all the time you need for you. We'll all be here and hanging on ever nugget of wisdom that drops from that exquisite brain of yours. :) Love you, lady. Glad you're feeling better.

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    Thank you, darling, for being you. And the "exquisite brain" stuff? That helps too. =) Sometimes I start to think that I need the lows to get to the highs. Frickin' Libra...

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    Oof, do I know the feeling. Congrats on the major milestone! Love and kisses...

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    Thanks, doll. I appreciate it.

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    I believe the body keeps on going but the minute the pressure is off, its as if you finally have the time to be authentic and respond to what is happening. In our busyness, our focus is on what needs to be done - rather than how we are feeling - and it reads to me as if you have finally got to a place where you can be - authentically you, responding to what is happening with a mental 'ouch'. Reading what you write you have gone through a lot! You would not tell a child off for crying when they graze their knee, so we have to learn to allow ourselves to respond authentically when we have been emotionally hit by one thing after another. Tears contain cortisol, so when you cry you are letting go of the stress hormone, it is why it eventually calms us. I know my fear, when I am feeling depressed, was that I would never surface from that feeling of being a walking dead. Depression to me felt like an absence of feeling rather than sadness, an apathy to all the joys and sadnesses in life alongside a sense of hopelessness. The lesson I learned from this, is that no two days are the same, once I gave myself permission to be authentic, wether that was having a cry, or feeling low in need of comfort, I just accepted myself just as I was. Self compassion suggests the question to ask ourselves is 'what do I need right now?' and give it to yourself. (as women we are too hard on ourselves, but treat yourself as you would one of your own children and be kind). I found that once I expressed all the sadness, once I wrote out all the jumble of thoughts into a journal - (which is never judgemental) I surfaced again. I found joy and happiness and I felt back from the dead. I think my greatest fear was that if I began to release the torrent of sadness, and emotional baggage it would never stop, and I would be stuck forever in the dark place. But, it is really like entering a dark wood at night, - you cannot see things as they are - bushes and trees take on terrifying shapes, but in the end, your eyes adjust to the moonlight, and you find that really it isn't all that dark at all, and the things you feared, were just harmless trees and bushes. Good luck on your journey, I wish you well.

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    You've got something there, Susanna. I've often thought that depression was the body's way of saying, "It's time to shut off for a little while." I too don't exactly feel sadness, but rather nothingness. In the early days of my depression, I wondered aloud to Bob if I had simply become incapable of enjoying myself anymore, as if that were something only "young" people did. But it wasn't that. It was just as if there was a wall between me and "fun". I came out of it. But maybe that wall serves a purpose. Maybe it is telling us, "No! I said you need to rest NOW!" and it forces us to do so. Sometimes I think the quickest way to get over a bought of depression (in my personal experience) is to give in to it for a limited time. If I am feeling that far down that I think I can't function, I stay in bed and read and avoid the world. Usually by afternoon or the next day, I feel a lot better. And having a husband who doesn't demand that I "act normal" or "cheer up" is really helpful. Of course he's experienced this too so he understands better than most. I think there is a real danger of allowing depression to overtake you. I used to call it "the black, velvety arms". It beckons. It wants you to stay with it. I think that by giving in to it in a time-limited way works for me. I get the rest but I don't stay down. The best thing of all is that after a period like this, I become wildly creative! I just uploaded six of the Getting Dressed Guides to Kindle on Amazon and I did covers for nine more! You can see them here if you like: Getting Dressed Guides on Pinterest Anyway, thank you, Susanna, for making me think about things and for understanding so well. SMOOCHIES!

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