Morning Meditations #87: My Current Baseline

Every picture is of you when you were younger.  Ain’t that about time someone said that?” ~ Mitch Hedberg

Life seems to be moving with a quickening pace. Not that time is passing quickly; yesterday seems like a month ago. There is just lots to everyday. And the days feel professional, which is a nice change from my normal sad and regretful. Sad and regretful being my current baseline, I am amazed with my callouses built in response to depression.

I am not depressed anymore. I have no problem getting up and doing my thing. There are daily disappointments in behavior, e.g. drinking soda, few tears for a past mistake, or procrastinating an important phone call. A series of unhealthy daydreams may flow through my head, or I might miss an opportunity to meditate or practice yoga. Temptation for anxiety abounds, but I don’t freeze up, pacing my house for six hours. I am excited to have opportunities to create, discuss, and learn, and the moments of laughter are numerous in my life.

And yet, sadness and regret are my baseline. Is that depression? I don’t think so. I’ve read and listened to testimony from, done interviews with, and talked to others who have lived with or around depression, and I think considering myself “depressed” or “to be suffering from depression” would be disingenuous.

I am not filled with happiness and gratitude upon waking up, as well, I do not see a universe filled with hope and whipped cream. When I walk barefoot on soil, I cannot feel the Earth’s love for the life—mother-fuckin’ Gaia and shit—it produced. On the flip side, I no longer hate myself or feel that life is especially bad for me. Even when doubt seeps in, I don’t think that my projects and goals are unachievable. Quite the opposite.

MM 87
Last night’s blazing Ozark Plateau sunset.

When I reread this last three paragraphs, it seems to me that I am exhibiting quite a bit of balance right now. I try to see things that way. Its all bad and good. “It is what it is,” is possibly the most meaningless platitude in history, while at the same time, also being the most accurate. That fact of life and language infuriates me, and one would think there is something to be done about it. And the good news is, there is.

Be lucky.

That simple. Don’t be born into the wrong parents, in the wrong family, with an abusive or impoverished up bringing, making immoral friends, to make eternally regular decisions. Voilà, the easiest method for anyone to avoid having to deal with, “It is what it is.”

Outside of that, most are guaranteed to blindly find some balance between feeling pleased and motivated about some things, distraught and shut down by others. When the balance fails, and a person finds themselves pushed to the latter, there we find depression. From my understanding, depression isn’t a dark personality expressing negativity more often some others; depression is when your baseline, whatever that may be, is held hostage by a physiological condition from which one is unable to break free.

I don’t want anyone to think that is my daily perception. I know I crank out a lot of boo-hoo bullshit sometimes, but that is me trying to let go of things healthily, and at the same time, maybe provide prospective and comfort to those having better or worse times than I am. Some days are incredibly sad. My baseline predicts that is always a possibility. But it’s been a few months since I’ve had difficulty functioning for a protracted period. I know it could come back, and I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.

Nobody said healing would be quick, easy, or complete. Sometimes we can never get back to a hundred percent. I feel I’ve come a long way. If you feel the same way, remember to look in the mirror today and give yourself a smile, knowing you have the little bit of wisdom: it isn’t what it was.


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