My latest consideration in search of a new life purpose is spurred by a memory.
My family has lived in the same home for 20 years. Living on a cul-de-sac, even a long one, for a couple decades, you get to know your neighbors, especially our little slice of heaven. We’ve had progressive dinners, street barbecues, and celebrations of graduations, benchmark birthdays, and wedding receptions for the little kids who are all grown up somehow.
Several years ago, following a bout of major depression, I ran into one of my neighbors at the public library. I smiled and waved, walking over to where he sat reading newspapers. We exchanged pleasantries very quietly for a bit, remarking how good it was to see each other. He smiled and said, “You’ve got your sparkle back!” I hadn’t thought of my recovery from depression in those terms, but it certainly fit well.
Any sparkle I had in November of 2019 was certainly doused by the suicidal depression that befell me. Despite subsequent optimism that this course would work itself out as two prior episodes had done, the general anxiety and depression are not concluding. This blog was begun to document my journey out of the darkness, but I was expecting to travel by car or maybe train, not on foot. This trip back to the light is taking waaay longer than in the past.
This go-round I’m older and slower, the severity of depression at onset much worse, and current circumstances complicated by my protracted struggle to accept being chronically ill. I’ve supposed that identifying a new purpose would assist in recovering from depression. Remembering, now, that encounter with my neighbor, I’m thinking I may need to find my sparkle before I can share it.