Cardinals and Mental Health

We have a deranged cardinal.

He came with the new house in Austin.

He spends a significant amount of time each week fighting his own reflection in our windows and nothing we have done can dissuade him.  I've researched the issue--we've put up reflective decals, we've lowered the blinds, I've explained to him that this behavior is not even SEASONAL --but nothing works. (Here's a great article about the issue.  We haven't covered all of our windows, but we've tried most of the other things.)

Maybe it's just a habit of self-destruction, but I'm worried he's going to do himself some serious harm. I think he's been fighting himself so long that there's a chance he's done himself permanent damage.

Which is pretty much the perfect metaphor for my own mental health issues.

I've been depressed recently.

I think there are some extenuating circumstances --like the move away from my healing yoga community in New York, away from the ocean and the seasons that match the cycles in my heart. But, you know, depression doesn't actually need a reason.  I tried giving myself hundreds of examples of good things in my life right now, but you just can't reason with depression.

And, you know, part of me is so dismayed to find that I'm still susceptible to depression after all the yogic work I've done on being present, unfiltered, unattached, etc.. On not letting other people affect my own path. (If you're new to the blog, here is my story in a nutshell.)

I'm still such a work in progress.  I think I thought I had moved beyond certain struggles and then here they are again.  I haven't even been able to write. I've just been creeping around my house, feeling invisible. Change is hard, and not just on the teenagers among us.

It's just hard.

I was so focused on making my family's transition as smooth as possible that I forgot to take care of myself. But I did find a new acupuncturist, who is BRILLIANT, and slowly, I'm building a community of Love Ninjas.  It takes time--I'm trying to give myself time.

I'm going to try to blog every day during the month of November, focusing on gratitude.  Today, November 1, I'm grateful for that time --time to heal, time to recharge, time to adjust to a new environment, time with my kids, time to grow and stretch and change.


smalltownme said…
We had a bird that kept attacking the car mirrors. I made mirror cozies.

Take care of yourself. You are important.
Kathy Ireland said…
Let's call it 'Blovember'. It sounds oddly sexual, but I think it still works.
Anonymous said…
Barb, thanks for sharing. My 20 year old daughter is also struggling right now. With college classes it isn't good to be unable to produce work. Hugs to you. R
Give yourself time. It is so discouraging to find yourself back at square one, as it were; but the trip back to where you want to be may not take as long as the first time!

Also, transitions...I think they are just harder on some of us than others, no matter how many pep talks we give ourselves.
tanita✿davis said…
Gratitude is always, always, always the best response.
psam ordener said…
I am sorry that you are depressed. We've learned a lot about depression since one our children was severely depressed. He learned to meditate, to take Vitamin D and to get outside in the sun (without sunblock) for at least 15 minutes a day with exercise.

I'm sure you know all that. Maybe you need reminding?

If you need a good chiropractor, I can tell you that one is moving to Austin soon. She's mine. She's part of the PG group. She's AMAZING.
Luna said…
This was so good to read right now. Thank you for being so brave and honest to address depression.
Luna said…
Yes. Every time after I have a spiritual/psychological growth spurt I think that life will be better because of those great lessons I've learned. Then some "not blissful" familiar feelings come creeping back in and I feel that I've regressed or worse yet, failed.

I've figured out that it seems like life cycles, but it's really more like a spiral. You see the same scenery but your perspective is slightly different. You're on the next level. Because you've learned the great lesson you're ready for the next lesson, same subject matter just more challenging.
Barb! So good to have you back. Baby steps.Stop and smell the roses, do the yoga, be kind. Random acts of kindness and eat and sleep well. CHOOSE to be vulnerable. CHOOSE to be light.