“That is not your story”

I was told by my daughter today that people who are not depressed tend to be proactive. “I’m proactive,” I said. “Everyday I make plans and come up with strategies on how to get out of bed and accomplish things, like making it through the day.” “That’s not proactive, that’s survival,” she said. “That’s stupid,” I replied.

So, people who are not depressed get stuff done. Real stuff. Things that do not involve a master plan on how to get out of bed and stay out of bed. These people know what they are doing, and they accomplish those things. Who are these people? I do know people like this, and it is tough to watch them in action. I feel tired and underachieving when I watch them. Throw in the fact that I have the energy level of a sleeping sloth, due to medications and health issues, and my day is a success if I make out to the tiny house to write in the morning.

I think that when I don’t give myself credit for the things that I am able to do, I commit a grave injustice. I have recently been rereading the Narnia books. In the Horse and His Boy, Aslan repeatedly tells the characters that he is telling them their story and not someone else’s story. I think that I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at other people’s story.

In the case of the proactive person, my first response was to compare my life to theirs and hope that it comes out even (or, if I’m honest a little ahead.) I will never be ahead of anyone in that race because there is no race.  I have to live my life in a way that best represents who I am and what I can do. And not compare myself to someone else’s accomplishments. That is not my story. My story involves me feeling like a success because I got out of bed and had breakfast. Let alone the fact that I made my bed, which I try to do every morning. If for no other reason than to keep the cat off the sheets.

The thing that I am finding is that I am writing my own story. It may have bad grammar, and it may tell a very rambling tale. But, it is my story. I am the main character. And all my successes will lead me to the castle or the cave with the treasure. And that treasure is the culmination of all that I do. I will never be president, thank goodness, and I will never be a movie star. Neither of which intrests me, I am way too introverted to be that much in the public eye. I will try to be the best person I can be.

My story includes lots of encounters with shame monsters, anxiety anacondas, depression quagmires, and various other things that I fight off on a daily basis. It is an adventure that is my own to write. I think that I am as proactive as I can be each day. My version includes life-altering things like getting out of bed.


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