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BillyRayValentineChainBelt

Billy Ray Valentine ~ Chain Belt Kung-Fu

Every time I sit down to write about where I’ve been the last several months and why I haven’t been around ~ the darkness and anxiety of SAD, exacerbated this time, it turns out, by medications that were supposed to help with other things ~ every time I go to tell you why I’ve been gone now that I’m coming back, Billy Ray Valentine (of Trading Places) speaks up in my head, saying: “karate man! bruise on de inside, don’t show dey weaknesses!” Silly, the kinds of whacked out PSAs your mind serves up to you from time to time.

ANYway, that’s where I’ve been. Those of you who know me know I’ve struggled with SAD most of my adult life, but ever the optimist (sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?), I often think the most recent episode is the last ~ I’m cured! Yay me! . . . and then the darkness sometimes takes me by surprise, as happened this past year.

On the heels of a year of the Chinese curse (“you shall live in interesting times”), more like a couple of, really, a year that saw a lot of activity, including a lot of accomplishments achieved, I really thought I had my life in order. I knew what I wanted to do, I had a grip on how I intended to proceed, and I had joined a successful coaching program to help, so I thought I wouldn’t be having much in the way of SAD episodes this year.

So it was that this cold and snowy January 2015 slid through even an even colder February and hence into another bitterly cold March before I realized that I had fallen into a very deep black hole.

By the time I realized I was stuck, I had sunk so deep in the quicksand that just the prospect of climbing and clawing my way back out was overwhelming in itself.

Fortunately, I knew where to look for help ~ friends and loved ones who shone their own particular lights into the darkness, lighting handholds and signposts by which to help me navigate my way back up and out. And since I’ve been here before, I knew that I could climb out, with time, patience, and believing. My three better angels.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. And it’s been said that it would be useful to others to see that even I ~ believer in the ever present light; certain as I am that your life is the story you tell yourself, so you might as well tell it how you want ~ even I get lost in the darkness. So, finally, here I am.

I’ve wanted to tell you ~ honest ~ but then there’s Billy Ray’s injunction to keep the bruising on the inside, don’t “show dey weakness.” This pop-up memory is only the most recent of the obstacles my mind throws into my path, but at least it’s funny.

We’re both motivated by the same thing, Billy Ray and I: fear. But where he hides his fear with bluster and braggadocio, I just hide, period . . . though I do prefer to call it “batten down and weather.”

The thing is, it _will_ pass, the darkness. Honest. But it does go easier if you find those keepers of the light and ask them to shine on those handholds and signposts.

So, do that.

And then come find me and tell me about it if you want ~ if I’m not yet on the beach, I’ll be on my way there. 😉

And I’m always up for company.

See you on the beach.
Rebecca

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