Who am I kidding? It’s the pre-holiday blues. It’s during-holiday blues. It’s post-post holiday blues. It’s summer, it’s winter, it’s fall blues. It pops up so much, that when I’m actually happy, I either take a selfie or record it in my journal, or buy a coffee to exacerbate the feeling so that I can somehow remember later, in the darker hours, that happiness exists…in me.
But what feels particularly dark about now is that it’s the NEW YEAR. It’s a beginning. When I’m supposed to leave the depression behind and be free – wild – happy – expansive – connected – and…NEW. So, how come I don’t even want to get out of bed?
Like yesterday. I tried so hard to keep sleeping. But, I had too much mental energy. And when you lie in bed with too much mental energy, it turns against you. Your own thoughts become bigger than you, til they rule you. And your judgments about how your life is lacking in everything you dreamed it was supposed to be – start to cripple you.
I had to get up to walk the dog, because he, in his dog language said, “I have to go to the bathroom. Now.” I looked at him, like Are you sure? But he said, “This is not a discussion.” When we came back, we played “Undercover people,” you know, where you sit under the covers like a tent and don’t come out. It was my way of hiding from life. And it felt comfortable. Just like when I was six, and my parents were downstairs fighting about coupons not being used at Pathmark, or Macy’s, or Baskin Robbins, where my birthday cake had to be returned because it was too expensive.
So, with my dog next to me to make me feel like I wasn’t totally alone in the world, I listened to a guided meditation on my iPod. It told me to ‘breathe as a person with high self-esteem.’ It told me that I was worthy, valuable, and unique. And I fell asleep. At least there I could temporarily forget about how much I hated how my life looked. How little my big dreams had come true, and how so much time had passed anyway.
Later, I was forced to leave the house to go to my @#$* waitress job. I gave myself some time to indulge in an ice coffee and chocolate cupcake at a café near my job. I mean, who cares about calories when you’re so low that you’ll reach for anything that’ll deposit a drop of happiness into your spirit? I texted for help to a trusted friend out of state. And, I can’t remember if it was what he said about my thinking, the coffee pumping blood to my brain, or the book on a powerful near-death-experience that had been tugging at my heart for a few days now – maybe a cocktail of all three – but with chocolate frosting on my face – I had an epiphany. I mean, this was a game-changer.
And it happened yesterday.
I realized I had an enemy.
And I realized who it was.
I mean, my life was not absent of lofty goals and big dreams, but now, in my 40’s, I had not achieved them. I was so angry at life for not giving me what I wanted, for not giving me the recognition that I deserved, for not seeing that of all people, I should have it! The enemy was in my way.
Which made me feel powerless.
Which, in turn, made me so…depressed.
I realized who my enemy was:
I was born into this world with it. Like an Olympic athlete born with a defective leg.
I had allowed myself to be crippled by this enemy instead of challenged by it.
And I suddenly saw its purpose. This was a challenge to rise to the occasion for.
I wrote a F-You letter to Doubt.
“Dear Self Doubt,
You have made me feel small my entire life. Like I am not good enough to have the big things I want. Not good enough for an amazing partner. Or worthy enough for great success. You have made me feel like I am crazy and dysfunctional and only deserve discount cakes.
F— you! You are a phantom and I’m blowing you out like a birthday candle. Good bye. No, wait. Stick around. You’re going to inspire me to do even bigger things! Whatever you say is doubtful for me to achieve – I’m going to do it ten times bigger and bolder. I’m going to dress you up like a boxing coach and put you in the corner. I look at you and know that fear means GO!”
There’s a saying in Nicherin Buddhism: “Turn your karma into mission.” That means whatever your challenge is – use it! That thing that you think is your life-long impediment…is actually your gift. Use it. That’s your means to success.
So now, I am excited to look doubt in the face and do everything to DEFY it.
Whatever scares me, I’m going to do it. Whatever I want, that I think is TOO GOOD for me, I’m going to claim it. No permission needed. That hot guy who might reject me – I’m going to talk to him.
Waiting til you’re good enough is a delay tactic – used by the enemy. The one inside.
You see, there is a time to stop playing small. Playing small and staying ‘comfortable’ will only lead to depression. The depression is your heart calling to you, saying, Let me live! I want to expand! You’re keeping me contained!
Because you’re afraid.
Have the heart of a lion and face YOUR enemy.
At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, you’re going to read my book called, HOW I KICKED DOUBT IN THE ASS.
What’s your book going to be called?
(If you want a few laughs and haven’t seen it yet, check out the web series first episode):