Zack and I celebrated Christmas today at my parent’s house in a fashion that was very much in keeping with my family’s longstanding tradition of never doing anything the same way twice. Holidays are very exciting around my brood.
After Zack and I returned to our home this afternoon, I hit a ferocious energy streak (good sign!) and simultaneously started about 38 projects. One of the many clean-out and re-organize projects that I started (and dang near finished!) was to pare down our book collection by only keeping the books that we a.) loved, b.) would read again or c.) couldn’t live without. We removed three sizable boxes from the bookcases (progress!) and in the process of doing so, I ran across a stack of journals from years past. Knowing that some of those were from the time in my life when I was in Counseling: Round One, I cracked them open to see what they contained.
All of that has been to tell you this: even though I would have never described myself as being ‘depressed’ back then (2005 – 2006), I can retrospectively see that I was dealing with the same problems then that I am now. Because, buried deep within the pages of one of my old journals was a quote that struck my core the first time I read John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. All alone, centered on a page was written:
“Oh, strawberries don’t taste as they used to and the thighs of women have lost their clutch!”
Then, I appreciated the quote for its literary value–the succinct way in which it described the character’s entire life perspective in only one sentence. Now, the quote stopped my page-flipping because I saw it in a whole new light. I saw one sentence that aptly described the experience of my depression. There are still strawberries and thighs of women, sure; but somehow, they just aren’t measuring up anymore.
Some days, it’s good to purposefully remember what you’re fighting for. Today, I feel better than yesterday. Today I feel good enough that I thought to myself that if I feel like this forever, that would be okay. I would take this forever over ever feeling again like I did on Day Four. But no matter how much ‘better’ I am than I was yesterday, I can’t stop here. I can’t be complacent. Because, Oh, man. I can remember what the strawberries used to taste like, and I so badly want to taste them again.