Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Know the Enemy

There is something to be said for knowing your demons, for recognizing the monsters that hide in your closet before you see the whites of their eyes. Knowing the enemy, it helps.

On those mornings you wake up and can't quite find your enthusiasm for a new day. Or even a glimmer of joy for a day full of unknown possibilities. You know what each hour will hold, at least this is how you feel. And each hour is going to be full of boredom and fatigue and there really isn't a good reason to get out of this warm and comfy bed.

When you know the enemy, you have the weapons to fight. When it starts to feel pressing and heavy after a few hours of work, you grab the day by the horns and take a walk. When you start to feel lonely and useless and small, you reach out to someone. Not to ask them to alleviate your feelings of crushed being. But to remind them of their own beauty and joy. Because when you shine a light on someone that light bounces back and suddenly your day is filled with those small rainbows on the wall, Sunshine glinting off the shiny ring of friendship.

Sometimes the enemy at your door is really a wake up call. It is your body saying, "Wake up! Help! Please, I need something different. Something better. A little more care." And, since you now know the enemy and how it breached your defenses, you recognize this distress signal and marshal the forces of change and better well being.

I know my enemies. When the ugly, sluggish shadow form of depression begins to ooze under my front door, and anxiety beats its frantic wings against the window, I know them. I used to blame these feelings on life, relationships, work. But now I know, these enemies slipped past the outer wall. The guard dogs and moat weren't quite enough. And that means that something needs to change. Something isn't right. I know how to keep the enemy at bay.

I go through my defenses. The drawbridge is weak - I need more sleep. The usual vigilant dogs are lethargic - more exercise and fresh air. The moat is dry - less sugar, more nutrient dense foods. The sentries are overburdened - time to take a break and renew myself.

I know I will win the war. The enemies may be staring me down now, but I know how to beat them. I know what to do. I will bolster my defenses. And with a steely determination and an army of support today's battle will be won.