So, yes, the chaggim were a bit...much. More to the point, this entire fall has been a bit much, which is why I haven't been writing. I've been too busy trying to navigate my brain chemistry, which has been a little temperamental due to a shift in medications. It is not an exaggeration when I say that there were some days when managing my mood felt like such a monumental task that taking a shower seemed a cruel and unreasonable additional chore. Oh, you want me to enter assessment data into a spreadsheet? You want me to make travel arrangements? You want me to go to a social event? I'm busy SURVIVING here, people. I'm in full canary mode, sensitive to everything and feeling all the feels.
I don't think it's a coincidence that my mood started to stabilize right as the chaggim were winding down. Cheshvan and a neutral mood--quiet on all fronts. I'll take it.
Since I'm feeling more even-keeled, I've been able to actually stop and think about items that catch my attention. One thing I noticed recently is that we just had a change in one of the parts of the Amidah. Beginning on Simchat Torah, we add the following phrase to Blessing #2, which focuses on Divine might:
Come to think of it, my entire eating disorder--the rainiest years of my life thus far, for sure--may have been a complete emotional washout, but it was also where my best growing came from. I am absolutely certain I would not have become the person I am today without my journey through recovery, which would not have happened had the eating disorder never occurred. Once again, G-d gave me the rain I needed in order to bloom. I am NOT saying that, "everything happens for a reason," or some other platitude to brush over the very real and very damaging pain that I went through, or that others have endured. I'm not suggesting that we just put on our rose-colored glasses and thank G-d for all our suffering. What I am saying is that if we're going to go through a rainy season, we might as well reap the benefits. And I do believe that from every flood, every collapse, every breakdown, something new can grow up from the center of the destruction, if only we allow it--and it might be even stronger and more beautiful than what was there before.