At Crossfit on Saturday, I was really challenged by one of the exercises.
(To be fair, I’m challenged by nearly ALL the exercises at Crossfit. Crossfit is no joke.)
I was sweating and panting and red-faced and getting lapped by everyone else in the group. I felt weak and frustrated and left behind. I felt like a failure. I wanted to cry. I did cry. I was mad and exhausted and my arms and legs were shaking. My only thought was, “Just don’t quit. Just don’t quit. Just don’t quit. You can suck at this, you can go slow, you can hate it but you CANNOT quit.”
All the while, I was seriously considering quitting.
Just then, the instructor came over to me and asked, “Does it hurt? Or is it just hard?”
I looked her in the eye.
“It’s just hard,” I said.
She said, “OK. Good.”
And she walked away.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot: some things are just hard. But as long as no one’s getting hurt, it’s worth it to keep going.
I wrote a longish post on Facebook last night that’s gotten waaaay more likes, comments and shares than anything else I’ve ever written.
Apparently, I hit a nerve.
So I thought I’d share it with you all, too.
NOTE: there is strong language in this.
As you know, depression is a black-hearted fuckshop of a disease – insidious and all-enveloping. After being mostly symptom-free for the past year or so, the last few weeks have been kind of a nightmare. It was a bit shocking to me how swiftly I hit bottom.And because I have “atypical depression” – which despite its name is actually quite common – I can function well in public situations. Atypical depression is not the “can’t get out of bed and crying all day” kind of depression. It’s the “inside a glass box” kind – it looks like everything’s pretty normal, but on the inside you feel utterly alone and completely dissociated. It turns the whole world into a horror show.
I hung in there, though: fought it when I could fight, and laid down quietly when I could fight no more. I prayed, I walked, I did all the stupid things people suggest you do when you’re depressed (take a walk, do something nice for someone else, get a massage, make some art…) all of which are like throwing pebbles at a dinosaur.
Finally – yesterday – the cloud lifted and so far I’ve had 24 hours of non-stop joy.
Here’s what joy looks like: I can taste food. I can breathe. I can feel actual gratitude for my actual life. Nothing fancy. Just the amazing sensation of experiencing energy and desire and being able to think actual thoughts rather than just drown in a sea of self-loathing all day.
Normally I would keep this kind of thing quiet, because it’s private, and in many ways, it’s none of anyone’s fucking business. But I realize that because of what I do and the books I write, people sometimes think that I never have a bad day. Which would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.
So, to everyone who is forced to make the choice, every day, to stay on this grassy, ocean-y planet no matter how much it hurts, I salute you. I wish you forgiving friends, loving partners and soft landings. I bless your beautiful sensitivity, your aching heart and the spiritual mastery that you are demonstrating every time you don’t just give the fuck up.
I don’t have any advice, because advice is bullshit. But I will remind you of this: the tragedy of depression is that it convinces you that you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever feel better. And that is a giant fucking lie. You will feel better. Maybe only 1′ better, but still – better. And you matter. You matter to me.
We love the story of life as a road. (Success is a ladder. Time is ever marching forward.)
But we know it’s not true.
We are on shifting sands, sliding forward and backward and sideways and diagonally in our thinking, our feeling, our learning and our lives.
Time swirls about us endlessly; effortlessly sweeping us back to That Day in the Third Grade…That Picnic by the Lake…That Long and Horrible Night…no, certainly time is the most unreliable of all the unreliables.
If we think of our lives as being linear, we cheat ourselves out of the fullness of our experience.
Plus, it’s that foolish linear thinking that leads to self-immolating thoughts like, “I should be more successful by now” and “Look, that person is more successful than I am.”
We know these thoughts are lies, too, but if you only measure by the clock it is all too easy to slip those lies into your pocket and carry them around as part of your belief about yourself.
The more we learn about our art (our love), the less we know.
The longer we live on this earth, the more the years seem to pass in a day.
As our fortunes rise and fall, the more we recognize that money and status are no more accurate a marker of success than a new crop of tomatoes or a big hug from an eight-year old.
Today, challenge yourself to notice the ways in which your life is a gyre, moving in many looping directions all at once. And how that is good and meet.
It’s really hard to ask for what you want in sexuality and relationships if you don’t know what to ask for, or how to start the conversation.
In our sex-negative culture, what would it mean to express your authentic sexual voice?
Many people don’t know how to talk about sexuality because they have no idea what they want.
Many don’t know how to have a conversation with others because they are so confused in their conversation with themselves, stuck in self-judgment, confusion, frustration or thinking something is wrong.
My friend and colleague Amy Jo Goddard does amazing work as a sexual empowerment expert and teacher and she is hosting this webinar on 2/24 on “Finding the Sexual Voice”.
We all have a sexual voice. Some of us need to find it, some of us need to express it, some of us need to shift it so we can get more of what we want and less of what we don’t.
In this 90-min webinar, you will learn:
the difference between the internal and external sexual voice…
the top sexual stories that get people stuck…
what gets in the way of finding your true voice and inner “Yes”…
steps you can take to tap into that inner Yes…
how to bring your inner Yes into the outer world so you can get more of what you want in sex and relationships…
I support her message and I hope you will sign up and share.
TWITTER – include link to https://cc100.isrefer.com/go/voice/sbennett
.@AmyJoGoddard is teaching a webinar on 2/24: “Finding the #SexualVoice.”
How can you tap into the power of your unique #SexualVoice? A conversation with @AmyJoGoddard
It’s hard to talk about sexuality when you don’t know what you want. @AmyJoGoddard’s webinar on 2/24:
My friend & colleague @AmyJoGoddard is teaching this webinar on 2/24: Finding the #SexualVoice
.@amyjogoddard is on a mission to banish sexual voicelessness — please join!