I’ve been searching for an advent mantra.
Isn’t this the season of waiting with hope? Isn’t this the time of year where the light is ignited amidst the darkest night? Isn’t it the time to resurrect old hymns of rejoicing and celebration?
For this year, for this season, I’m in a desperate search for a mantra, for an incantation that can lure this spiritual slumber of my soul away.
To be honest, it’s not just my spiritual slumber that I want to awaken from.
I’m searching for a spell to rid my literal slumber.
It started with a light-hearted joke to a friend: “If it wasn’t for my laziness, I would learn to get out of bed more often. But my bed is just so dang comfortable!”
We were talking about self-care. You know, the thing that weds “life” to your “soul,” and “purpose” to your “existence.”
I had confessed to her that this semester started off with an energetic and eager Leah, one who was thirsty to find what brought joy to her life, and had a genuine hunger to learn for the love of knowledge.
However, after several months the routine of it all started to get mundane, a little boring. Suddenly, a once-lively Leah felt dry and without purpose. My solution was to take refuge in my bed.
“Leah, do you think you might be… depressed?”
My friend had whispered those words so no one else in the crowded room could hear. My friend was well-meaning, so I didn’t take too much offense.
“Oh, of course not! You underestimate how lazy I really can get.”
I brushed off her concern, only to remember later that she knew what depression looked like — it was a demon she had to face in high school.
The weeks after that got harder — my bed became softer and my school work became tedious. I started to become more snappy and irritable. My to-do list had been piling up exorbitant amounts of guilt and frustration as it steadily grew.
I had been toying with the idea about depression — did I have it? According to checklists I found on Google, there was a chance I did.
It scared me.
Heck, it still scares me. A lot.
What if I do? What will that mean for me? What if this my empty well of joy has left me dry for far too long?
Being tired makes me tired. I am weary from this perpetual state of weariness. But this, whatever this is, is a demon that is hard to shake off.
But last night, while I lay cozy in my bed, I decided, “I’m narcoleptic.”
Spiritually speaking, of course.
You see, I have bad days and good days.
Some mornings, I wake up with a new-found energy, and I’m ready to squeeze all the lemons life can throw at me. I could even start my own lemonade business!
Other mornings, I refuse to get out of bed. And that’s the end of that.
But my good days, my lemonade-filled days, have been a reminder, that depressed or not, I still have joy in my life. I still enjoy having coffee with friends, I still enjoy laughing with my RA staff, I still enjoy watching the Christmas spirit unfold rapidly this season, I still enjoy writing and learning, I still love people, I still love (and I mean love) food, and I love dancing mindlessly when I get bored. I still enjoy the little things.
And in these things, in these “lemonade days,” I find hope, as unexplainable as it is.
I am spiritually narcoleptic, I decided last night.
Yes, I tend to fall asleep every now and then… and it is dang hard to wake up from the slumber. But I can still wake up from the slumber. No matter how long it takes, I still wake up every. single. time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still shit scared. What if this isn’t just a spiritual funk? What if something is really wrong with me?
And because I am scared, I have to keep reminding myself that lemonade days still come for every sleepy day.
For now, that is enough hope.
No matter what is going on with me, *gulp* depression or not, I will say my mantra, hoping the chant will shoo this narcolepsy away.
“Let lemonade days restore your hope, sweet Leah. Just let the lemonade days restore your hope.”