~ A vulnerable post about depression ~
I couldn’t sleep. I spent half the night awake. A 37% sleep score. Ugh. Depressed, full of anxiety, overwhelmed, empty, alone, isolated. Feels like everything is out of control and amiss. Why can’t I just control my brain and be cool? Be happy? I wasn’t working the next day but had plans to volunteer at a local farm that morning. But just couldn’t do it. So I cancelled. I needed to clear my head. How to make my brain feel better? Get into the mountains. Go to my happy place.
I left Vashon Island pretty early without even looking at the forecast. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the sky was overcast and rain was on the horizon. I opted to go to the nearest decently high mountain – so went to Mount Si. Maybe avoid the afternoon rain. Si is typically overrun with crowds on the weekends and therefore not necessarily the best hike since it’s so close to Seattle. But this dreary Wednesday would be safe and unmobbed with relatively few others out there.
I felt amiss but hoped the mountain and the trail would bring me clarity. I parked and made my way up the 3150 ft and 4 miles of switchbacks toward the top. In such a shitty mood. I hated everything. Why is life so hard for seemingly no reason sometimes? Is it just me? You know when you’re really exhausted and really hungry and life just feels really, really hard? That’s what it’s like. Maybe you get it, maybe you don’t. I feel like I’ve described this feeling to more people who have no idea what I’m talking about than who do, so who knows. I was really banking on the smell of the trees, the peace and quiet, the solitude, the endorphins and fresh oxygen to make it all ok. I felt like crap but hiked on.
I wanted to turn around when I was cold but kept going instead. If I kept moving I’d stay warm. And more likely I would regret quitting in the middle than being slightly uncomfortable, so I plodded ahead. Tears in my eyes, I tried to suck it up and look normal whenever another person came into my proximity. Hello. Hi. Yes, how are you? Good. Fine. Hike. Hike. Stay warm. Hope for no rain. Hike. Hike. Overwhelm. Hike. Hike. “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” (the Cat Power version) and “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls play in my head.
I reach the top, snap a few pictures. Change into a dry shirt. Head down. Still feeling shitty. Halfway down. Argh. Can’t it just get better? What’s wrong with me? What am I going to do? Fuuuuuck. I look up into the trees pleading for help. The treetops waft in the breeze. I am immediately overcome with a feeling of calm and peace and a sense that everything is going to be fine. Ok. Yes. Clarity. Thank you nature. You’re right, everything is going to be fine. Get out of my head. Love, I think. I need more. To give more and receive more and open myself up to it. Maybe that’s it. And with that I can breathe and relax. I focus on a loving kindness meditation of sorts for the remainder of the hike down and feel ok. Ok! Good. Tired, under-rested and worn down, but feeling ok. Thank you tree god universe nature.
Breathe, love, keep going, spend more time in nature.