“Not all who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkein
I was sitting alone in a movie theatre on New Year’s Day when I wrote the original post. All the fun of Christmas and New Year’s was gone and the cold dark winter had set in.
I really was feeling lost.
It took me writing it out to help me work through it. When I got home, and I saw my kids, I had the realization the life is really a verb, not a noun. It isn’t something you can think about as an object that you can control or shape. It is something you DO.
When you are busy living your life you don’t have time to worry about it, nor do you need to because you are already fulfilled by the act of truly living. As I hugged my kids, and was so in love with my husband for not only letting me go out but setting up our new shelves and organizing the storage room while I was gone, I realized that I am truly happy, I just sometimes forget. Sometimes when I get depressed I have this idea that I am not living life because I am depressed when the truth of it is I am ALWAYS living life, that never stops, it’s just how I am choosing to live it.
I considered just trashing the post, but I decided to share it anyways with this preface in case there is anyone out there who feels the same. I can imagine someone with PPD might feel this way. So if you do, know that you are not alone.
Once you have been so high, how do you move forward with your life and stop looking back at the past craving to have that feeling again?
According to Urban Dictionary, the phrase chasing the dragon goes like this:
It starts when you have your first high, the world is peaceful, everything is perfect, you’re numb, but in the best way possible. But, soon, it starts wearing off. Fast. Your mind races, you’re pulled out of your dream world. You crave the drug more and more, wanting to feel the same way as you did on your first high. You go to the dealer and buy the same amount you had the first time, and smoke. Still feels good, but not as good as first time. You go and buy more. Closer, but not quite there. You’re stuck, you don’t know what to do. You want to go back to that little dream world and stay forever, but your body is already developing a tolerance. You panic. You use all your money to buy more and more and more, but still nothing compared to what you had on that first, magical time.
Lately this has been me. No I don’t do drugs, I never have. I rarely drink and sometimes smoke an occasional cigarette. This post is not about that kind addiction. It is about my struggle to let go of my happy past and move forward. Yes, it could be a lot worse, since I am trying to break free of positive things, not negative things like some people, but in the end, it can weigh you down just the same.
I never knew for sure if I wanted children, but I always thought if I did have them I would have two. Once I did have my son, I knew for sure that I wanted two.
After lots of tears and heartache and a year of living in depression I finally got pregnant with the twins. I went from rock bottom to sky-high and I stayed there throughout the whole pregnancy and their first year.
Now that is over. Time marches on and life continues. Don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy because I am thankful everyday for the million blessings I have in my life. I just feel like I have hit a wall. 2013 was, without a doubt, one of the best years of my life. It was filled with so many happy things, achievements, milestones and more. I look forward into 2014 and I see nothing.
I know that isn’t true, because I now get to live the awesome life I worked so hard to create for myself, but for some reason that isn’t good enough. I thrive on being pushed to the edge and giving everything I’ve got to reach a goal, but to do it just for the sake of doing it seems so much less gratifying.
I wouldn’t say that am depressed but rarely a day goes by where I don’t find my mind wandering back to that place of extreme joy, anticipation, ecstasy, I had during my twin pregnancy. It makes me feel sad because I think I will never feel that way again. And it’s not about being pregnant or having another baby, that’s not what I want. It’s that feeling like the world is yours for the taking, you stand on the edge of everything, a queen of your destiny.
I understand that my high was created from a year of suffering and that’s what made it so surreal. Of course, I don’t want to go through another year of suffering again, but sometimes I almost want something bad to happen, another challenge to be thrown at me that I must overcome so that I can again achieve success.
I know that life isn’t like that.
It’s not punctuated with successes and failures it is one continuous sentence, but that doesn’t mean it always feels that way.
There is really no one I can talk to about this because I am sure if you haven’t been through something similar you would think I am crazy, or that I don’t really have a problem, but after months of wrestling with my mind, I think I do.
At least a bit of one.
I suppose I could just make up a goal, but I don’t feel that creative. Reacting to a situation that is thrust upon you is not the same as creating your own challenges (at least for me).
Since going back to work I have stepped up my Buddhist practices, and I think that is helping me find the joy in every moment rather than only on certain “special” ones, but still…
They say it takes about a month to start or break a habit. I had almost two years of bliss so how do I walk away and start fresh? I constantly find myself reverting to my old habits perhaps subconsciously thinking they will make me happy, but they don’t because my situation is not the same. Browsing at baby shops is so exciting when you are expecting, but almost depressing when you realize you are doing it because you are in no rush to get home to the overwhelming situation of the three kids you already have.
In a way, it’s not even a habit, it’s self-identity. When you do something so long you become it. Since I was so big the first thing people always saw was my belly before they saw me. When talking about myself, before any other adjective I was “pregnant with twins” or “mom of newborn twins”. Now with that person gone, I am always wondering who I am. Buddhists say there is no self, that we are all part of one, and I agree with that, but unfortunately I find it doesn’t help that much with the practical applications of setting goals and having dreams. I know, I know, live in the present moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t even think about the future.
I have read about brides feeling kind of like this. After years of planning a wedding and looking forward to being married, once it’s all over and the plain reality of life sets in they get disillusioned.
After some reflection I realized my situation is also similar to that of someone who has recently broken up their relationship. They long for that person back because they loved how they felt when they were with them, and their identity had become that of a couple, not a person. Thinking about it in that way I remembered how people tend to remember only the good, or the way they perceived it to be, not necessarily how it really was. Is that part of what I am doing? I have taken parts of my life and elevated them to a mythic status in my mind, that is actually far detached from reality? Yes, there is probably a bit of that in there too.
Yes, I really would like to talk to someone about it, but with no time and money and my overwhelming need to put everyone else before me, I don’t see that happening any time soon.
So my fellow bloggers, now that you have read this, if you managed to get through my ramblings, what do you think? Have you ever felt anything like this, do you have some advice?