Remembering the Ma$e song today. Breathe, Stretch, Shake. I used to listen to it when I was a kid. I would think about dogs, and how they are always shaking. I genuinely thought that the lyrics were in reference to animals shaking off water, or bad experiences, little did I know they were needed for humans too.
I’ve always been depressed. It started when I was 6 years old. Suddenly the whole sky went from color to black and white. In an instant, I was beyond aware of everything. My grandmother, my first best friend, had died and I was unprepared to handle it at all. I screamed for hours. I couldn’t go to school. My emotions were all over the place. Someone would say anything to me and I would be inconsolable. I was a kindergartener with no control of her emotions. They told my mother I would soon return to normal after I had accepted my grandmother's death.
I accepted her death, but I was never the same.
I still cry every day. I have long crying spells that feel like they will never end. I have since been in therapy on and off over the years. I’m also trying a lot of holistic, mental health DIY things lately.
One of those things is meditation. When I meditate, the whole world feels like it’s screaming. The silence is so loud I have no clue how to handle it. My thoughts rush like a river and my whole body bursts into flames. I am suddenly the itchiest person in the world.
I use some meditation apps on my phone but recently I learned a really cool lesson from an app called Headspace. I learned that the chatter is okay. The chatter is apart of growing like stretching or using a new muscle. It is hard to accept that the chatter in your mind is okay. But it is.
I want to be better. I am fighting to be better. I hear stories of those who don’t make it with mental disorders and I understand completely. Every day is a new fight. There is no magic pill that is going to save us who suffer in these ways. We just have to continue to show up in different ways. In therapy. With our medication. With our meditation. With our yoga. With our dance. With any outlet that isn’t self-harming or dangerous. It feels like hell but we can do it.
There is a light at the end of our depression. I don’t see it yet, but it is my mantra to say I believe that it exists, even on days when I don’t. Faith in what is seemingly impossible feels weird but it's the only thing I can do now. I’m sad and it’s okay. Breathe. Stretch. Shake. let it go.
The animals that breathe, stretch, and shake do not live with hate. They also don’t forget the terrible things that happened in the past. They just choose not to dwell on them. They remember not to walk down the same path with predators. They remember not to touch fire or to swim out too deep in the pool. They shake off their fears in the wild but the trauma remains. We as animals are finding our own ways to let our issues go. We are our own shakers. We just need to find our own particular ways to do so.