It is snowing here today. Big flakes are floating gently passed the window as I write this, giving the neighborhood the semblance of a snowglobe. And as I watch the flakes fall, I can’t help but think that is an apt analogy for what is going on in my head.
Because snowglobes only take on their peaceful, snowy appearance when things are shaken up. And that feels like my mind of late, thoughts floating around in a confusing tangle as if someone has shaken my mind up. Yet unlike the peaceful serenity of a snowglobe, the jumble in my head casts shadows, casts darkness that anyone who has had their own battle with mental illness can understand. It troubles me, but I cannot let it stop me.
Yes, there are times when the stress pushes my anxiety and depression to a breaking point. There are times that my mental illness lies to me and tells me that the people in my life are better off without me. Yet mindfulness isn’t only about letting those jumbled thoughts settle, the way fake flakes in a snowglobe eventually do, but also about appreciating the simple moments, like real-life snowflakes falling outside my window. It is letting those moments refresh me and drawing even the smallest amount of joy out of that moment, a joy that can brighten by darkness just a bit.
Eventually, the snow accumulating outside will melt, but the shaken thoughts in my head know no season. Like the flakes in a snowglobe, they are forever trapped. However, they are still my thoughts and being mindful of them I can learn to understand them, learn to accept the battles I have with them, and learn to move forward.
The snow outside doesn’t stop the world. School still goes on, much to the disappointment of children eternally hopeful for a snow day. The mail is still delivered. People still go to work. And though my mind sometimes seems to be burying me in a blizzard of troubling thoughts, I go on as well. Because I know that mental illness lies and I won’t let those lies stop me. Rather, like learning to live with winter, I put on my mental coat, stitched together from my medication, and my therapy, and all the management tools I have acquired, and I trudge through the mental snow, hopefully, one day finding the same peace I have watching the flakes flurry by outside my window.