Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • And the days drag on
    Stainless steel skies
    Stone still moments
    Lost in layers of life’s daily dust
    I look for distractions that erase time
    Once bright and bold, I am an aging parasite
    Lazy and fat on fear,
    An indentured servant of the self.

    For many years, I was depressed. I saw it as a weakness, a tendency to give in to self pity rather than a chemical imbalance or response to being overwhelmed and exhausted. I compensated by being “up”, reasonable, compassionate towards others, grateful because I could always find someone who had it worse than I did. Inevitably, my nobility brought me to my knees. Dishonesty is usually a crushing weight to carry.

    A good and wise friend noticed this recurring behavior and suggested that I “Let go and let God.” It was the straw and as my back was breaking, I shouted out “I AM LETTING GO. I AM LETTING GOD.” She waited a moment and gently followed up by saying, “My dear, you have to feel your feelings before you can let them go.” So very simple a solution yet so very difficult to do. “How? I’ll do anything.” I whimpered. My friend knew I needed tangible examples, instructions I could write down for the next time I came undone. Here’s what I was told.

    Get a dozen eggs. (They’re biodegradable) go to the back yard or a park trail or wooded area. Find a tree and have at it. Don’t stop until the last egg is gone.

    Turn up the car radio and while driving through a rural area or somewhere outside your neighborhood, scream as loudly as you can for as long as you can.

    Even prisoners get out of jail after they have served their sentence. When I feel I have done some misdeed or behaved badly, determine what my sentence should be and serve it. If it’s worth two hours of the day, set the timer and during that two hours feel every emotion. Write letters (do not send), call names, say everything you would like to say to or about the person or situation, cry, listen to music that moves you, watch a movie or draw, find clay to pound. Spend the two hours, or whatever period you have sentenced yourself to, immersed in your feelings. When the timer goes off, let the situation go. If you’re feelings are intense and you are afraid, let a friend know so they can check on you. It isn’t a cure all but the feelings usually become right sized.

    Call friends. Talk about your feelings and talk about them until you just can’t talk about them any more (or until your friends can’t listen any more :)

    When I heard these suggestions at the age of 44, I very condescendingly said they sounded a little foolish for an adult. Again, very gently, she said that might be true but so was shouting at the top of one’s lungs and sobbing in public. She was right. Did I feel a little foolish the first time I threw an egg at a tree in my backyard? Very. By the twelfth egg, I was exhausted and laughing. It’s been twenty years and I still use my timer and no longer have as many bouts of depression.

    Image Flickr Creative Commons
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.