I spent some time talking to a friend tonight going through a hard time. I wanted to just shake her out of it… I’ve been there… I know how it feels to want to curl up and burrow. To hide.
But then I realized – it doesn’t matter how much I talk to her. It doesn’t matter because unless she’s willing to make the first step – unless she’s willing to pull herself out of her funk long enough see that she CAN pull herself out of it, she won’t.
I remember hiding in my bedroom. I remember being unable to leave my bedroom. Paralyzed. Stuck. Until I was shown that I CAN leave the room. I CAN make that first step. And frequently – that first step, being the hardest, is the one that will cause another.
You know walking is just controlled falling, right?
When you take a step, you control the fall by catching yourself and taking another step. You control it.
Mental illness is nothing to make jokes about. It is a debilitating disease that leaves one feeling mentally and physically drained of energy and life.
But take the first step. As someone who has BEEN there, as someone who has been unable to see the light, as someone who could not see life as a happy place, I know that the first step is the hardest. Once you take it though, the rest of the steps will follow. They’ll be hard, they’ll be painful, sometimes it will seem like you want to give up, but they will follow.
My escape out of my bedroom came from 2 sources. One – my husband who requested that I teach him a skill. Two – a friend who was willing to walk beside me. Quite literally. He would walk with me and beside me outside of my room and outside of my house.
I just had to tell myself it was ok to fall.
At roller derby tonight, I stayed with the “vets” and practiced what they were practicing. The freshies were practicing stops and falls, and I’m fairly proficient in them.
So Coach says “start with a duck run, or toe stop run then weave in and out, hop over and then do step weaving”
Its ok to fall. I must remember that. The weaving and hopping were ok. I did them. I kept in mind that it was ok to fall.
Then he says “lets practice turning around and stopping”
Ummm… say what?
My first reaction – NO. I can’t do that. Ah, but I can. Not gracefully, not confidently, but I can physically turn around and stop. Because its ok to fall. We’re taught to fall forward. The practice of turning and stopping, if we do it right – ensures that if we fall, we fall forward.
Its ok to fall.
Its ok to fuck up.
Its ok to make mistakes.
Its NOT ok to stop trying. Keep on keeping on. I will keep getting up, keep moving, keep trying.
There’s a saying I’ve heard/read:
“Whether you believe you can, or you can’t, you’re right”