Sunday, July 3, 2011

Another Dawn

A year ago I thought this was a sight I would never see again, that I had seen my last Fuji sunrise. But it was not. I managed to get my depression and anxiety somewhat under control, and so didn't leave Japan. Fuji is still here, and so am I.

I'm tempted to go over all the things, mostly about myself, that I am unhappy with. But after reading a superb post by Jen I've decided to look on the bright side of life instead.

In the last twelve months since I started this blog I have been through a lot, and I have pushed myself as much as possible to try and shake, or at least partially domesticate, this black dog. I haven't really made amazing progress, but I have made some. I've tried to be healthier in general, eating better, exercising more, trying to sleep well. Physically, I feel better after Mt Fuji this time than I ever have before.

I've rediscovered some hobbies, and tried to reach out socially. I will never be a social butterfly, but I have been really trying, and it has helped a little. It is hard trying to keep my depression under wraps as much as possible, as my first instinct is to just blurt everything out. But I know from past experience that this is not really a good idea. I'm trying to come out of my shell a little bit, but not too much.

Living in a place where I don't speak the language well no doubt contributes to my depression, but while I am often unhappy, I am in a situation that lets me meet interesting people from all over the world, from all walks of life. Most people I know on a very basic level, but sometimes it is deeper. And when we get past the skin color, the language, the country of origin, we are all basically the same.

We are all struggling with life. Everyone has issues, whether they be with family, work, alcohol, money, or whatever. For some of us the issues get to the level of making us dysfunctional, but everyone struggles with them to some degree.

While I never quite identified it as such, in the past I loathed myself, the ways I lack, the life I have led. And I felt that I needed forgiveness and acceptance from others to make me whole. But it doesn't seem that things work that way. I'm not sure that anyone else can make us whole, I think that it is up to us to do it.

And whether or not we are on Mt Fuji, each day brings a new dawn. The sun rises, the clouds part. Light fills the world, and we have a whole new day to try.


  1. " But I know from past experience that this is not really a good idea."

    It's that way with chronic pain too, which is why I bring it up so much anymore. It's not that people don't care, but that they really have so little to offer. Then too, when I focus attention on my problems, it makes it harder for people to talk about their's, and that is what they're most interested in. That's just how most of us are most of the time.

  2. It seems that rather than looking for forgiveness and acceptance from other people you are now forgiving and accepting yourself TDR. Awesome. I'm happy that you remained in Japan and are taming your black dog. I wish you continued success and positivity xx

  3. Such an amazingly beautiful picture and such and awesome post TDR. You have a good attitude and your perserverence is to be greatly admired. I think the most important thing as Borderline says, is that you accept and forgive yourself. I often wonder about people who are in new relationships and say that the other person "completes" them. In my opinion if they weren't whole to begin with then there are going to be problems in the future.

    Never give up against the black mutt. Your life is worth fighting for.

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  5. @Snowbrush - Yep, people are most concerned with their own problems for sure. When it comes down to it, I think we are all basically convinced that we are hard done by and have things worse than other people.

    @Borderline Lil - I don't think I'm really forgiving and accepting myself, but I do recognize that being able to do that is important. Actually doing that seems a difficult thing.

    @Stephi - I know what you mean. I know we need to be healthy inside ourselves, but at the same time I would love to have someone that completes me. But I'm something of a mess, and I know I need to sort out my own issues before ever getting into a relationship. The trouble is, I don't seem capable of doing that. It is something of a catch 22..

    @Dian - Thanks for commenting. I checked out your blog, but I'm afraid I'm not really into cars. Good luck with your blogging though.

  6. "I will never be a social butterfly, but I have been really trying..."

    I "struggle" with the same introversion, to the point of researching it and coming to value it. The first thing I noticed was that social encounters leave me physically exhausted. I found out it is because introverts draw their energy from within, from their minds, through thinking, reflecting and analyzing, whereas extroverts draw their energy through others, through conversation. So we are exhausted with other people and need time alone to regain our energy and solve problems, and do our best work alone.

    Introverts think carefully before they speak -we literally put the sentences together in our heads before we allow ourselves to talk (maybe the source of social exhaustion), we are better listeners and are generally calmer people (at least on the outside).

    I thought introversion was a poor leadership trait, but on the contrary history shows introverts have made very effective leaders, some of the best. Because they listen and think before speaking and acting. Their actions and words are more thoughtful.

    If you are not a social butterfly by nature, depressedreader, no amount of effort will ever make you one. Instead, you should embrace the many wonderful traits you do possess and use them effectively.

  7. Hello shyguy,
    I'm not sure if I am a particularly good listener. Hell, most of the time these days I can hardly remember what someone has said two minutes before.

    Being with others mostly means that I can't really be honest with them. Being along means that I tend to feel lonely. It is somewhat of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.

    As for leadership, I'm don't know about that. Most of the time I just want to be left alone, or to be taken care of, rather than to go doing any leading.

  8. Maybe because you are at a low point now. But for all that, I see excellent leadership qualities in you and a clear head in making decisions. You just don't give yourself any credit. As for being taken care of, in my experience there is nobody to do that for you, unfortunately. Children are taken care of and fight it every step of the way until they are adults. This society is dog-eat-dog, and until that changes nobody has the time or resources to take care of others, they are too busy struggling to keep their heads above water.

  9. Yes, I'm definitely at a low point. But as you say, everyone is struggling to keep their own heads above water. It is a damned shame that things have to be that way, but there doesn't seem to be any change on the horizon, so I guess we just have to keep slogging away and hoping that things will get better.