I have the song, “I saw the sign”, by Ace of Base, going through my head (and it’s probably going through yours now too, sorry about that!). If I was being honest with this post, it should be titled “I missed the sign” because I did. I missed a sign that was staring me in the face for over a week because I was focused on the day-to-day detritus of daily life, not the broader world. Let me explain.
I posted earlier this year that I was facing depression and had to choose amongst three options (My seven ways to respond to depression // Choosing between three depressions // Deciding on my way forward). I ended up opting for a very aggressive “F*** the Universe” approach, which was not about saying “screw everyone”, although at least one person thought that’s what it meant. No, I meant that the universe seemed to be sending me signals about certain things, and rather than listening to them, I chose to give the universe the middle finger and pretend everything was a raging success. Literally telling the universe itself to go screw itself, not the people in the universe. Astronomy was one of the areas where the universe was messing with me, but there were others (FtU Update – 30 days in). But regardless of what method I use, the depression still sits there. Maybe mitigated, maybe not, but it’s there until it’s not. The only way out is through.
I’ve been on holidays the last two weeks, which has been good for my mental and physical health, and I have detached so much that I’ve actually forgotten my password for my work phone. Either that or it’s just futzed on me and won’t accept my password. I’ve got one more day and then I’ll be back at it on Wednesday, so the IT people there can figure it out for me.
But just over a week ago, I was back at home after a busy couple of nights doing star gazing, I was doing some planning for a few things in the next six weeks, and I was feeling overhwhelmed. Stressed even. And I missed the sign.
Oh, sure, I saw that I was stressed. That was easy. I could even articulate some of it. But I missed the sign.
I was stressed. STRESSED. Something I can’t feel when I’m depressed because it dampens everything down. I’d broken through the depression (some areas of progress that will likely be part of future posts, perhaps) and I hadn’t even noticed my emergence, partly because I was ignoring any signals from the universe. I was feeling better, more upbeat, more optimistic about my ability to do certain things, and I was slowly starting to ratchet back up my planning for various events and habits. Of course, I’m still physically depleted energy-wise, and so I was feeling overwhelmed quicker than usual, but I missed the sign that feeling ANYTHING, even STRESS, was a sign.
♫ Life is demanding, without understanding.
I missed the sign, and it opened up my eyes, I missed the sign. ♫
A weird form of progress, to be sure, but progress never the less.