One Year Later

Exactly one year ago I was getting ready to leave Lake Placid Brewing Company and walk back to my motel room with my belly and my growlers full of beer. I was feeling good about all the hiking and winter camping I’d been doing for the previous several days. I was also fat and unhealthy and depressed.

I haven’t had much experience with depression. Up until about two years ago, I’d spent my whole life being annoyingly happy. So while I was sitting there at the bar in Lake Placid, I was in the middle of something I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel like myself, or why I wasn’t doing the things I needed to do in order to get better.

It didn’t help that I was sick, and didn’t know why. I wouldn’t discover the allergen sources in my apartment for another month or two. So all I could do was sit there and drink my beer and try to feel happy about the invigorating hikes I’d taken and the breathtaking beauty I’d seen. But I wasn’t happy. Not only were those hikes pathetic compared to my previous vigor, but they didn’t change my fundamental feeling that I didn’t know myself.

I’m probably about forty pounds lighter than I was that night in Lake Placid. And I’m vastly more healthy in both mind and body. I’m in pain over the death of an old friendship and over difficult family interactions. I’m sad. But it’s me. I’m in pain. I’m sad.

I feel like myself. I know myself. It feels wonderful. So I’m sitting here feeling that. I’m feeling how much better off I am than I was one year ago tonight. I’ve gotten better. And if I’ve gotten better, than I can keep getting better.

Happy New Year!

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