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A not-so-rapid reintroduction

Hello! I've been reflecting on my recent pace and content as I've been crawling up through the other side of a valley that is depression.

My intentions, as always, are to use this place to share what I am learning and what I am creating. I want to explore the world and what it has to offer, but be sure to know myself and the Lord well enough to keep in boundaries of influences I trust.

Last year was exhausting for me. I don't need to justify or explicate each thing that added to my load (I'm choosing not to do this so that no one compares their woes as worse/better and diminishes any feelings), but I have been consistently saying to my old friends "I'm back again," and "it is so nice to be present." I have been reaching out to community and fostering social connection; being active in the Lord's creation; and cultivating rest through mindful creativity. (On the note of mindful creativity: looking into The Artist's Way... anyone have any thoughts?) I am living my life again and reclaiming every ounce of energy and emotional ability I see within my reach like a dog scrounging every morsel of kibble (no, my dog does not stop to chew her food). The leaves are being blown away, the rain is washing the dust, and the sun is keeping the dark away.

But it is not passive work. Sure, psychiatric help lightens the load (and this was a last-ditch effort before placement in more intensive therapy. I tried working out, meal-kits, cold showers, cutting alcohol, cutting sugar, reducing my expectations of home-keeping... I really was not in a great place), but it cannot effectively be a band-aid solution if the wound is never cleaned and dried. Swiping cobwebs from the hard-to-reach places of my head takes effort. Talking about the issues of the heart is difficult for me even now. Metaphors flash in my head of jaws of life with crowbars tiredly cast off to the side. The word "broken" is not one I want to use for my heart a year ago as that conjures images of unrequited romance and intimate loss; likewise, "frozen" feels too dramatic and decidedly cynical.

As someone who has spent her life being told she feels too much, too strongly, and too personally, the best way I can describe severe depression is to simply feel like there is no heart. The blood keeps moving through your body, sure. You can feel that with every breathing exercise you learn and try to keep on hand. But that thing that provides heart ache? The organ which flutters with nerves before a presentation, skips a beat seeing your loved one after time apart, races as the plane takes off... the organ that sets the waltz for our lives. If our heart beats serve as the metronome for the unheard soundtrack to our lives, depression is when the speakers get disconnected.

I've been doing so much work over the last few months, and fallen so far behind on so many things as a result of it. As a result, this little spot for me to reflect and share and document and catalog has been pushed onto the back burner.

But! I'd like to be back more permanently. I have a lot of drafts started and sitting around. Heck, this post took over a month to sort out! I've been cooking more, trying new recipes, and exploring things around me. I've been taking care of my sweet little abode with my crazy little puppy. I've been having girls' weekends, going to weddings, traveling to visit people, and working to just keep life as usual.

My name is Rachel, and I'm an artist at heart. I live in a tragically digital world where I do corporate user-experience design, dreaming of days out in nature on hikes, cultivating my own food for new recipes, and looking for little creative outlets everywhere. I am dearly obsessed with my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and cheese. I find I struggle to operate between minimalism and art-deco maximalism as I'm making my home a comfy, functional, relaxing space welcoming to all. I live in Texas right now, but I have the nervous system of an East Coast girl and the desire to explore mountains like a West Coast girl. If we're being truthful, though, I dream of having my own apartment in Paris or Florence and getting to spend my days enjoying a simpler version of la bella vita. I am aunt to one amazing little niece, sister to my three siblings, and daughter to two incredibly sacrificing parents. Welcome to my little spot of the net.

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