Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hello from 8350 feet

Today I climbed to the top of a large mass of rocks protruding almost straight up from the earth. It was a beautiful, blue sky day in northern Colorado. We scrambled, hiked, and even crawled our way to the summit where the view was clear and uninterrupted for miles. I had flashbacks to happier, younger days; days spent exploring the shores of Lake Superior--scrambling, hiking, and crawling over very similar rocks. It felt great to test my balance, strength and agility in that old familiar way. I was free. Freedom and exhilaration, sweat and scrapes, smiles and laughter, and it all culminated with a push-up on the top. Don't ask me why. I just had an urge.
Climbing is so satisfying. My journey to the summit bears no resemblance to my journey with mental illness. For example, when I climbed today there was a defined beginning, middle and end. The end was exhilerating, mostly because I knew when I was there. My reward was tangible, visible, beautiful; which reinforced every step I took to reach it. But along the way, each step was also its own precious reward, and not one of them was pre-determined. I was free to step, hop, jump, or crawl wherever I chose. There were no hoops to jump through, no papers to fill out, no one to judge if I chose the right path. I was free. I was free.
I'm pleasantly exhausted now. My lungs are filled with crisp, cool air. And best of all, my brain is refreshingly vacant! What a treat!


Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

Sounds incredible!! :-)

Beth in Halifax said...

we have a lot in common except I don't like AA anymore. I feel really judges. I never really liked it but I was grateful for my sobriety and all of that. I guess I just don't like feeling like I need to fix myself and/or a sense of emeshement I feel at meetings. I have been so caled sober for 17 years but stopped going to meetings for 5 years and for several more of those years was not that active becauseI hated it. It's a hard spot to be in because there is so much rhethoric and dogma. Anyway, after about 1 year of trying to re-enter and having to negotiate all of that craap including the perfectionsim I have decided not to go again! I have just had a 2 year bout of depression- off meds- wow, it almost killed me! I am trying to stay off meds becaue I am super sensitive and I have taken up yoga. I am hoping that my very holistic approach works but I amopen to meds if I need be. Anyway, super coool that I found your page. My dog has been great-- for getting me out talking to people about dog stuff! later! beth

Marissa Miller said...