Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Tiger, a Vine, a Mouse and a Strawberry

Here is one of my favorite zen stories...

One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger. He ran but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice. As he hung there, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine.  Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. He plucked it and popped it in his mouth. It was incredibly delicious!

I think I like this story because it reminds me of my depression journey.   Lately, I feel like I am walking though a wilderness and running into some very vicious tigers.   It seems as soon as I run I fall into a pit and as soon as I find a rope some mice come along and chew it up.  But I never find a strawberry.?!

Today was a very hard day for me.  I woke up tired, depressed and lonely so asked a friend to the park, then I took her little guy home for a little bit but then loneliness hit me like a rock.  I didn't have anything to do, no where to really go and all I really wanted to do was cry.  Then the phone rang.  My mom, of course, called me after a depressing email I sent her while I was sulking.  We talked for an hour and a half.  By the end of the phone call I felt alive again, not as depressed and the loneliness was gone.  But, honestly, my first thought when I got off the phone was "now who will I talk to". 

I've been told by my mom and my therapist that I need to start giving myself credit for the little things Ive been doing.  I need to give myself credit for the baby steps I've been taking but I can't seem to do that.  I am always searching for the strawberry.  I realized today, after the phone call, that I won't ever find the strawberry if  that's all I am looking for.  After all, he didn't find it until he climbed the rope he found, right?

So, my goal for the next week is to give up on my strawberry search and start keeping track of what I do on the way up the pit.  I am going to appreciate my good things without instantly getting sad they are over.  I'm going to TRY! 

To be continued...