Monday 13 May 2013

"Oysters and Life"

"The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all." from Mulan, Walt Disney Corporation
In my last post I wrote that the recovery from mental illness is rarely a straight line. You don't wake up one day and everything is all better. Done. Finished. Chapter closed. Moving on.

Yes, some days you wake up and you feel much better. Some days, perhaps just a little bit better. Then, sometimes, you feel like you are back where you started. I have had a few days of the latter recently.
Yes, I have been reminded of the very words that I wrote just last week. It feels frustrating, infuriating, maddening, tear-inducing - all of that. But that is the reality of depression. It doesn't mean that I am not getting better, it just means that I have to remember a few things. Like how I need to put less pressure on myself to "hurry up and get better, already!" (my own words to myself in my low moments) and just take things one day at a time. Somehow, I seem to have temporarily forgotten my own best advice.
Despite what I am feeling, I know that I am not back at square one - far from it. I also know that this feeling and this stage of my illness is temporary. I know that because I am a hopeless (or hopeful?) optimist and I have been here before - I know how this story ends. But I also know that because the signs are all around me.
Signs, signs
Everywhere are signs
~ Signs by Tesla
As I have said and written many times, there is inspiration all around us, you just need to be open to it. On Saturday I treated myself to a trip to one of my favourite stores: Chapters. A book store is a slice of heaven and it is difficult for me to feel sad when I am in one.

As I entered the store I was offered a coupon - buy a greeting card and receive from 10% to 40% off your purchase. I didn't need a card so I declined the coupon. When I got to the cashier to pay for my book and magazines, he said to me, "I am just going to see if I can save you some money." Nice, right? He grabbed a card, scanned it, then scanned the coupon. If I purchased the card, I would end up saving about sixty cents in total and get a free card.

I looked at the card that he had grabbed. Written in bold letters: The world is your oyster. Um, yes, please - I'll take that card!

On my walk this morning I encountered another sign. Literally, a sign in front of a restaurant read "maybe things didn't happen the way you wanted them to in the past because something better is meant to be." It was a message that I needed to see in big, bold, black letters right in front of me. There it was, a sign if I ever needed one, to let go of something from my past.

Letting go of hopes or things that happened in the past can be incredibly hard. It's something that I have worked very hard to do before - successfully, thankfully. Now I am giving it another go because I know that I need to. How will I ever open myself up to that better thing that is around the corner, that oyster that probably (undoubtedly) has a giant pearl in it, if I don't let go?

For some people depression is a chronic brain illness and for some people it's the result of a stressful life event. The common theme on the road to recovery in both cases is taking ownership of what you can: eat well, exercise, build strong social connections, seek treatment from a professional, and, not the least of all, try to eliminate the negativity from your life and your brain.
So what is the next step for me? Onwards and upwards, as my mom would say. Stay in the moment, my former psychologist would say. You've gotten through this before and you will again, my dad would say. I love you and I am always here for you, my best friend would say. Maybe I'll listen to these wise people and persevere, as I always have.

One foot in front of the other, as I would say. The world is your oyster, as the card would say.

KB xo



  1. This post makes me smile. Things are hard, but I love the idea of signs, and that the world is your oyster. Great images.

    1. Oh, I am so glad that it made you smile! Thanks for taking the time to comment, as you so often do.

  2. Once again a great blog. I totally have been there and I understand the frustration and tears and the "I want it fixed now" that goes along with it.I gave a presentation to a class a couple of weeks ago- grade 11&12 students-and I told them" I have been down to the bowels of Hell and back so many times I should get frequent flyer points" Good for you for understanding this is part of the process, part of the illness. It is not who you are, its something you are going through. Hang onto the signs of hope, because hope can be a very powerful thing. Once again I will share your blog on both my personal and Building awareness about Dissociative identity page- on that page people from England have liked your article. Keep up the good work.

  3. I love the frequent flyer points analogy! Thank you for your comments, Suzi, and for sharing my blog - it's greatly appreciated!

  4. Your problem..


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