Monday, March 5, 2012

My definition of faith

All right, that's enough feeling sorry for myself.

I have to put a time limit on having the blues, because I can really let myself sink way down deep into the darkness. It's too comfortable in there, all safe and alone inside my depression. Eventually, I've got to drag myself back out into the brightness of the world, whether I want to or not. Besides, I've got a lot to take care of right now.

For starters, I obviously need to go back to my doctor and discuss upping my meds again. I may no longer be suicidal, but being bitter and nihilistic doesn't mean my depression is cured.

There are bills needing to be mailed, groceries to be bought, a play to write, and my book publishing company to be focused on. There is more ASL to learn and a girl named Queen Teen needing my attention. No more hiding in my room listening to Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. It's Spring in Mendo. The birds wake me up at 6:00 am when the first glimpse of sunlight brightens the eastern horizon. The yard is shaking off the winter frost and stretching back to life. Weeds are popping up thicker than the perennials. The worm bin is overflowing and my lettuce starts need room to grow. It's time to get my hands dirty outside.

I had an epiphany yesterday while washing the dishes in my cluttered kitchen. All of the sudden, the concept of faith popped into my head. From my earlier posts you've probably gathered that I'm not religious. I used to be "spiritual" but even that has vanished, leaving me feeling uninspired by much of anything (depression again?). So it seemed odd that I'd be pondering the meaning of faith like that. But in that time, I created my own definition of the word.

Faith: the belief that life is fine just as it is. 

I may not feel it right now, but I have faith that the people and things in my life are good. Life is fine.

This is different from blind faith, which is pretending that everything is fine even though you haven't changed the things that need changing.

Real faith in your life comes from the understanding that you've done everything you can to solve what needed solving and what remains is life. I can not change Queen Teen, but I have done everything possible to help her. Therefore, I must have faith that she is okay just the way she is.

My definition isn't all that original; it's a cross between Buddhist mindfulness and The 12 Steps of AA. But it helps me. Taking a deep breath and focusing on faith is a very hard thing for this Type A, depressed control nut with deep abandonment issues. It's going to take me a while to really absorb my newly discovered faith in life.

And probably a little more help from my shrink too. But it's a start.


Shannon Drury said...

Terena, you read my latest column, right?

I think we were sisters in another life--even Pema Chodron would agree!

Terena said...

thank you for leaving the link. I'm way behind on my reading, so missed this. Really beautiful. Chronic anxiety is so debilitating sometimes (I have both GAD and depression. fun!)