Saturday, 22 April 2017

Second Winter - On Perfectionism and Depression

Yesterday we ate pizza outside on the deck in our shirtsleeves. It was glorious. 

Spring doesn't come in like a lamb on the Canadian prairies. It comes in like an indecisive terrier, prancing here and there until we're smitten and then scampering away leaving piles of poop to step in.

You're welcome for that poetic imagery.

This morning it's snowing steadily and I'm contemplating the carbs in my cupboard. 

Inside is fun too. Right?

In Canada, we get second winter every year, but I'm still always shocked and a little miserable when I see it.

Does it kill the ticks and mosquitoes? No. Just our spirits.

Okay, nothing kills their spirits... especially when there's hot chocolate.

A few months ago I talked about my recent exercise regime and it's true that at age 34 I feel the strongest and most physically capable that I have ever been, but I also always end up sabotaging my physical progress. I stop working out. I eat enormous amounts of sweets before bed. I stay up way too late and wonder why I've become a sluggish miserable person. It comes on quietly and then suddenly I'm wondering why I can't fit my legs in my pants.

Physical health isn't about a certain weight on the scale but if you're anything like me, you notice when your pants don't fit. It gets awkward in public.

My physical health is often a direct reflection of my mental health

After any personal victory (physical or otherwise), I have a mental second winter that sweeps in. Small setbacks become a storm of failure worth throwing my hands in the air in despair and sitting despondently in the chaos. Perfectionism tells me all is lost. It sounds ridiculous out loud but that's what's going on inside. 

It makes me quiet on the blog because who wants to hear about a cycle of BLAH? 

It makes me hesitant in life because why can't I just beat this small stuff and stride forward in victory?

I wrote this over on Instagram recently:

Morning has broken like the first morning. ☀️

This last year, I've spent a lot of time and energy trying to banish the shadows of depression and anxiety in my life.
Lately though, I've been realizing that maybe we all live with our own shadows and it's more about where I place my gaze. 
My shadow can amplify and distort reality. It can take up so much space as it stretches away from what's important. I'm slowly learning to turn my face back to the sun instead of dwelling in the darkness. We don't get to choose our struggles but when I bring my shadows into the light of God's truth, they lose a lot of their power in my life.

Surrounding myself with God's truth knocks me out of my own fretful little narcissistic bubble. It's too bright. It hurts a little but when my eyes adjust, I am so so glad have my face in the sun. 

So here I am again. It might be second (or ninety-fifth) winter, but the author of light assures me spring is still coming.

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.

Psalm 143:8

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