Wild ride

One thing about being depressed that always surprises me is the feeling that this is going to last forever, a sense of ‘no way out.’ And then there is a way out, even if only for a while. Drawing in deep clear breaths while being ‘out’ helps to have the kind of conversations that lift up rather than press deeper downeven more.

And so this is a period of ups and downs. Yesterday I left work early, deeply depressed and all teary, not seeing any way out, pitying myself, always on the verge of tears. I remember one of my first bosses at MSH, a woman, saying to me over twenty years ago that crying was unprofessional, especially for women as it would ‘hurt our cause.’ It stuck and I so I held my breath until I was in the car, driving home, bawling.

But then there are the uplifting conversations, the kind that reframe situations or allow me to see hitherto unseen possibilities. One such conversation was with Sita. I asked her for advice on the design of a visioning workshop I will be doing in Kenya in a few weeks. It is the most exciting and satisfactory thing to receive professional advice from one’s child. I think we would make a good team – in fact I already know we do since we last worked in Kabul, now five years ago. Sita has a vision of a family business. Maybe.

I also talked with my new supervisor who put things into perspective, painting a picture that is realistic and sobering. Thoughts about loyalty and entitlements are irrelevant in this picture.

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