Sometimes it’s hard being me

I had a love affair with Earl Grey tea during traditional Afternoon Tea when my husband and I stayed at Fairmont Château Lake Louise. I sat in the Lake View Lounge and spent my afternoon looking out at Victoria Glacier.

Little did I know at that time, Earl Grey tea would return to soothe my soul just as it had done that afternoon almost ten years ago.

I sat quietly on the couch earlier this evening with my hands wrapped around a hot cup of Earl Grey tea. The aroma took me back to Lake Louise as it always does. The taste of bergamot lifted me up as I watched my daughter read a chapter book next to me. She sipped a cup of Pear Blossom, a herbal tea to calm her before bed.

I had been in a dark fog of depression for the last five or so days. When the fog lifted late last night, I told myself that it would be the last time I would have an episode. The thing is, I tell myself this every time the fog clears.

I have tried journaling and tracking my moods and triggers but I don’t see any rhyme or reasons to the patterns. Maybe there is just something I don’t see that triggers me. My medication keeps me fairly level and I really do have a fulfilling life. I have a loving and caring husband, a healthy and smart daughter, a nice home, a good support system, adorable dogs, and a job that I enjoy. I invest immense amounts of passion into my hobbies.

Beneath it all lies a dormant darkness that rises when I least suspect it. Why do I have a mental health problem? Why do I struggle for days on end to get out of bed? Why do I struggle to look my own family in the eyes and keep my head down? Why do I talk myself out of having a shower and eating a wholesome snack? Why does my brain do this to me?

I spend a great deal of my time outdoors and it was a bike ride yesterday evening that awakened my spirit. I soared for 12 km of freedom and did not feel tired. I felt like I could go for hours more. Bless the flat prairies because a moderately paced bike ride rejuvenates me.

I wanted desperately to find the strength a couple of nights ago to take my dog for a walk on a nearby trail that is only a ten minute drive from my house. I couldn’t bring myself to leave my bed. I felt absolutely nothing, void and numb. Depression does that to me. It strips emotion away from me and leaves me raw.

For now, I live my life out loud and soak up every beautiful moment that I am fortunate to be a part of. The weekend will bring camping with my family, bike rides, and short hikes. It’s just what the body, mind, and soul needs.

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