Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter of the Soul

I went out in my pajamas and slippers this morning and took photos of the trees and the snow from my front porch. It is so stark. So cold. So unforgiving. So unwelcoming. Just like these last 6 months.

In August, I discovered that my workplace was about to be decimated and have spent the last six months in the process of that. Having worked there for over 15 years, this is very personal. To watch my friends leave en masse has been devastating. To watch patients leave their homes (the hospital has been where they have lived for years and years and years) to be shoved into a cab to go to strange places in terror of the unknown has been so sad. And though I am grateful to have kept my job, my pay was cut. I like to live right on the edge, so a pay cut was not a good deal for me. Then my car conspired with the fates and cost me several more thousand dollars... and still was unfit. And the economy is terrible, so although my credit is very very good (amazingly enough) my favorite credit card for vacations and other fun stuff decided to lop off my credit limit at just about what I owed. Et Cetera. Ad Infinitum. On And On.... it is boring.

And I can hear my younger self tell my older self that "these are a higher class of problems." Well, OK, younger self. I will grant you that. And I am grateful for so many blessings in my life. I try to put my gratitude into action rather than words. Sometimes I try to put my gratitude into action even when I am not feeling the feelings. I find that feelings will reliably follow the actions, and seldom will it work the other way around.

I am a person who takes a great deal of comfort in nature. I delight in the seasons. I normally get out and run in all seasons. I look forward to each change of season. Autumn is my favorite with its glorious colors, smells, and sunshine. Late winter is my least favorite - it impacts my ability to get outside and it is grim out there, but not normally as grim as this year is. dAAve was here on the day that the green leaves froze off the trees. They just froze and fell off the trees. Then they rotted on the ground. A couple of trees here and there changed colors, but most of them didn't. Winter does not normally begin in October in Colorado - oh, we get early snows, followed by late autumn days of summer-like heat and sunshine. And then we get those spring-like days in late winter. But not this year. It is just cold, unrelentingly cold. And snowy.

I haven't run outdoors since October I believe - with the exception of two races I have been in. Every day I look at the sidewalks and see that they are still covered with snow and ice and decide that it simply isn't worth the risk to this old lady to get out and run.

There have been other things that have piled on. It is not worth chronicling here. None of it is that fun to read about.

So yesterday I worked hard to get all the stuff done that I needed to have done so that I could truly take a day off today. When I woke up this morning I made some coffee, said my prayers, did my meditation, took those photos, and went back to bed and read. When I got up, I took a bath and it occurred to me that I was loving this bath. After I dried off with my green towels, I painted my toenails lavender and it occurred to me that I love having lavender toenails. Then I got out my credit card and ordered a new sports bra, which I needed desperately. Its color is guava!

I think color is coming back into my world. If I ever described depression maybe that is how my experience of it would be best captured - the color goes out of everything. I think it is coming back.

But no matter what, no matter how grim, I always knew that God is carrying me through each day, and that I am loved. And no matter what, I have a desire to be sober, with every breath I take, I want to be sober. I believe that desire was placed in my heart by God. Because I could not produce it. And since that first day I walked into a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have not had a drink of alcohol. By the Grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA works.


Anonymous said...

The situation at your work is so sad. I take my hat off to you for trudging through it in the manner that you have. It is never boring when it happens to us, Mary, please don't ever stop sharing the good and the bad.

I find buying a new bra is a very uplifting experience no matter what color it is! LOL!!!

Syd said...

I remember the green jacket you wrote about. I think that you like color. It is much better than grey.

Kim A. said...

Having battled depression most of my adult life, your description fits mine exactly. No color. No texture. No meaning. I am so grateful that I didn't give up and the doc and I found what works for me. Colors are beautiful..even guava!


Scott W said...

I love that photo! Black and white photography is my favorite.

I have never owned a guava sports bra.

Mary Christine said...

Scott, you should come to Colorado in the winter if you like B&W. That is actually a color photograph!

dAAve said...

At this moment, there's nothing really wrong. There's always gnna be things we don't like though (as i understand it).
Let's just be happy, joyous and free.
Color me optimistic.

Ed G. said...

I'm sure you'll look lovely in guava and lavender.

Here's to spring - soon.

Blessings and aloha...

Pam said...

I'm going to think of a way to put a little color in my
I might stop and get a small bouquet of flowers for my desk at work!!!