When I first started this blogging aspect of my journey a little over a year ago, I was in what felt like a miles deep pit of hopelessness, despair, anxiety, and apathy – I was in the throes of depression and I was fighting and scrabbling just to hold on and breathe each new day.
There is a lot that looks and feels the same as it did a year ago. The temptation to accept what is obvious on the surfaces of my life and believe I’ve made little progress and that all the words I’ve written and all the actions I’ve taken have been meaningless and futile, is huge for me. It’s too easy to want to believe these lies.
I have changed and I have grown. My inner darkness is interspersed with rays of light. The inner terror has been tempered with moments of peace. The black hole of despair that weighed me down so heavily isn’t the gravity well it’s felt like and I am not constantly in its depths, as I once was.
I still have a ways to travel on this crooked journey from where I was to where I want to be. It’s effortless to look ahead into the shimmering distance without seeing the destination I desire and believe I have not made any progress, especially when the landscape appears the same as I remember it being in the past.
However, there is evidence that progress is being made and that I am not the same, despite the apparent resemblances between then and now.
I may not necessarily be full of joy and good cheer about tomorrow and how things look in the near future, especially when it comes to my relationships with those important people in my life. However, I’m not filled with dread and the absolute certainty that things are never going to change.
I am able to open myself up and receive more of the good that is in the world around me. I am internalizing less the issues and concerns of others, and learning the boundaries between where they end and I begin.
I am stretching myself by reaching out and interacting with others who are engaged in pursuing wholeness, acceptance, and well being, not just on a personal level, but in a way that brings these things into the world around us in tangible ways.
I may still struggle with the darkness of the depression, the pain and fatigue of the fibromyalgia, as well as the added layers of difficulty they bring when interacting with others and my efforts to clean up my side of the street when working through my relationship challenges. At the same time, though, there is renewed life growing in me. A revival is happening in my spirit. Emotions and thoughts are being repaired. Interests and passions are being restored.
There is a new dawn on the horizon after my long period of darkness. It’s not quite here but I sense the lessening of the darkness that whispers of its arrival. This is what I am celebrating this Christmas.