“The steps you make don’t need to be big; they just have to take you in the right direction.” - Gemma Simmons, AOS
I’m in the process of getting caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D right now, and this may be my new favorite quote. Today, for me, it’s one I needed. It’s hard, sometimes, to remember that a little progress is still progress. Depression makes small progress feel like nothing. Anxiety makes life feel so huge and overwhelming that even the tiniest bit of happiness or success can be overshadowed.
But I’m trying to be better about remember the steps I have taken, the ones that, while small, are taking me in the right direction.
Getting on anti-depressants was not something I really thought I was going to be able to do — not only because I’m a poor, uninsured person, but because of my own anxiety about going to the doctor in general. I was terrified, going into that office, absolutely certain that I would be turned away and told to come back after a psychiatrist had formally diagnosed me with depression. I was sure it wouldn’t matter that I knew I was depressed, or that I’d had days where non-existence sounded like bliss. I just knew that it wasn’t going to happen for me because I wanted it too much.
I wanted to get better, and it felt like it was never going to happen because I wanted it.
I’m now on month two of my meds, and, while life certainly hasn’t magically become perfect, I can see the ways in which it has begun to improve. Sure, I’m still depressed and anxious, and it’s still really hard to believe I’m worth a damn, especially when compared to the people around me. But it’s getting easier to say thank you. It’s getting easier to look at my face in the mirror and not hate every inch of it. It’s getting a little easier to not want to die, figuratively and literally.
By the end of today, I will have had my first driving lesson in years. Being able to drive has been something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and have not been in a position to do, beyond a handful of short lessons spread out over the course of a decade — and when I have the money to take actual courses, something happens and the money is gone. So this has been another thing that my brain says I’ve wanted too much, and because I wanted it too much, I wouldn’t ever get it.
I don’t think I could ever begin to express how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. Because of them, because of the innumerable ways that they’ve supported me and helped me, I can pursue this thing that I didn’t think would happen for me.
And sure, I’m still not published. I’m still struggling to get words on the page — fictional ones, anyway, apparently — but I’m beginning to feel that spark of faith that says the words will come when I’m ready. I’m beginning to feel like it’s okay to focus on other aspects of my life before I focus on that.
The simple fact of the matter is that focusing on my health — mental, physical, financial, etc — can only positively impact my writing goals.
So yeah, my steps are small, but they’re taking me in the right direction.