Depression

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I’ve struggled with depression all of my life. I never identified it as such until the last five years, but its always been there. I’ve become undesirably acquainted with this mental state. When it rears its ugly head I think to myself, “Fuck, not again”. 

For any of you who have suffered from depression you know how crippling it can be. People will try to solve the problem for you by telling you what they think you need. While their intentions are good it doesn’t help. The only thing that can be done is to wait it out. I’m lucky, in that my bouts of depression come in small spurts; one day, maybe two. Once it fades I feel like a new person; ripe with energy and ready to take on the world. But when it hits me it hits me hard and I never know when it’s going to.

I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to move. I just want to lay in bed and zone out to tv….immersing myself into a functional fictional life so I don’t forget that I’ll have that again soon. 

It’s a truly terrible feeling. And the negative self-talk overwhelming. I’ll be forced to cancel all plans and as a result I see myself as a failure. I call myself lazy. And I feel weak for surrendering to the depression. Sometimes it can feel like I’m drowning.

Since my accident these dark visits are more frequent. I guess it’s because my brain is working so hard to heal itself that sometimes it can’t make the happy chemicals. The only things I know to do, the only thing I can do, is shut everyone out. 

It’s a strange experience. To be so pulled to adventure and being around others one minute to wanting just the opposite the next. I start to feel like I don’t know who I am. Wondering which one is the real me? Doubting my ability to accomplish something real when I’m always unsure and worried when this will hit…afraid I will let others down. 

This is my battle. It’s part of who I am. I’ve learned to accept it. As I lay here in bed like I have been for the past six hours I know it will pass. My grandmother is in the living room, she comes and checks on me…asking if I am going to come out…I can’t explain this to her. So, I come out and try to feel something…but theres nothing there…just guilt for being this way.

It will pass, like it always does. But right now I’m in the thick of it. For anyone who is suffering from the same thing I’m not going to give you advice. Just letting you know that you’re not alone. 

Ride the Swell Podcast w/ Me

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To listen to the first episode visit:
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-416762976/rts-1-introduction-to-ride-the-swell
Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/surf-the-swell/id1436983441?mt=2

I finally did it! I started a podcast!!!!

I’ve been talking about doing this for years. I was always waiting for the “right” time. But really I was scared…I was afraid nobody would like it. I was afraid people would think it was stupid. I was afraid people would think I was stupid. But after going through what I went through I realize life is too short to care what other people think.

Anyways, what better time to start than now; when I have a lot of time on my hands? I’m in the midst of my recovery and am without the distraction of paddling/surfing.

Over the past month I’ve had lots of conversations about river surfing. I decided the community needs a platform. I know I’m speaking to a very small audience but it’s for the people I really love. River surfing is going through a lot of growing pains right now…there’s lots to talk about!

This podcast won’t strictly be about river surfing. I am a lover of stories and want to share some of mine plus others I meet along the way. All of this will be done from my van for the most part so I’m sure I’ll be encountering some interesting people to have on the podcast.

If any of you have suggestions of people I should interview or topics you’d like to be discussed on the podcast please let me know in the comments. I’m really excited about this new project and I hope you enjoy it!

I'm a Mother F#%king Lion

Photo: Guillermo Loria

Photo: Guillermo Loria

I use to tip toe through this life like a mouse. I had a fear of upsetting the balance and creating confrontation. So I would move through space softly and quietly. Its been years of conditioning that have led me to believe I was always doing something wrong. And I would believe every single person that told me I was. Instead of pondering the question “maybe its them and not me?” I accepted every accusation as my fault, and trust me there were many times that it was. This did result in major growth, many opportunities to learn. BUT I didn't realize that many times those pointing the finger at me were really pointing the finger at themselves. And instead, I would lower my head, accept it, and take the beating. 

As we get older our tolerance level goes down in many ways. Our tolerance for late nights and little sleep, loud obnoxious music, alcohol, and bad reality tv (well for some of us ;) gets smaller and smaller. But most importantly we adopt an unwillingness to put up with bullshit. An intolerance that comes with the realization that life is really short and someday we will die. Many people are surprised when they learn I was an extremely shy girl growing up. I would rather take an F on my book report than get up in front of my class and read it out loud. I lived so much of my life in fear. I would cower from confrontation and was always concerned with what people thought of me.

This is why I became a people pleaser and a yes girl/woman. I may have broken out of my shell but that girl that was always afraid of  upsetting the balance is still in there and she's working really hard to break through that. 

For some reason I tended to surround myself with dominating figures. Being a person with this people pleasing tendency can mean you put up with a lot of abuse whether it's physical or verbal. I've stayed when I should have left many many times. It meant apologizing and taking the blame because the fight just wasn't worth it, they were too powerful. This resulted in merciless negative self-talk and shame. I made the same mistake of not standing up for myself over and over and over again. It took me a VERY long time to learn my lesson. 

I'm writing this because I know there's a lot of people out there like me. And I want you to know that you can let this fear go. You can accept that sometimes you are absolutely going to fuck up. But if you take each fuck up as an opportunity to learn and become a better version of yourself that is the best you can do. It doesn't mean that if you mess up once, twice, or three times people will be waiting for you to do it again; and if they are then forget them. It takes a warrior to own up to your mistakes and do the work to learn from them. Be proud of that and stand in your power! Those are the people I choose to surround myself with. I am no longer a mouse! I am a mother fucking lion!