“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” -Rudyard Kipling

When I walked down into the woods in 2007, I didn’t have a pack. When I walked away from the woods I needed a pack more than I knew.

Can I have just a little bit of grace for myself right now? Depression has been all-consuming. I haven’t given up, though I’ve wanted to, it has just been very hard to continue to even get up in the morning. But I have. Gotten up, that is.

Depression makes it almost impossible to break down my walls. I throw them up for protection, and in some ways feel like I have to stay in the depths of it partly out of punishment and partly out of self-preservation. If I come out of it, what will I see? What hard things will I have to talk about to move on? What will I realize I’ve been missing, and feel guilty over? I don’t trust myself in this place anymore. I am too impulsive and exhausted.

But I do trust the wolf pack I have now. I want to push the entire pack away when I’m feeling despairingly low. I need them, though, the most in these times. I need to let them surround me. Maybe even though I feel like I can’t lean in, I can just be and let them help. I don’t have to always arrive in recovery-mode (I am not always in recovery-mode). And I don’t have to judge myself for it. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing, just part of my process.

I want to intentionally take a step back from the ledge I’ve been standing on. I want to let my wolf pack create a barrier at the edge of the cliff. I don’t actually want to jump. At least right now. But I think I have to work super hard when I don’t want to jump, in order to be able to reach out with ease when that urge comes around again. Honestly, though I don’t feel as heavy as I did the last 2 weeks, I still feel it kind of hovering. I’ve been getting wrapped up in trying to contain my depression to the 7-10 days everyone has come to expect leading up to menstruation. I tell myself it’s ok to feel sad then, but not at other times when I should be experiencing relief and happiness. But that’s not healing. That’s pretending.

We are meeting in the woods, because that is a piece of what fuels rock bottom. I want to meet there, because I have a pack and it is strong and grounded in God and we can move through it together.

I want to let my wolf pack love me. In the end that is what I need most of the time. To know I’m loved because it’s difficult for me to offer that to myself.

Just let them in. I can show up exactly as I am. Always.

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