Not really. For one, we moved out of the property that I worked at off and on for twenty years. That is an important step and quite possibly essential for me to progress out of my depression. As long as my organization was there, I still felt responsibility for what they did, and it lingered in my mind.
I feel as if I were carrying many different boulders of responsibility over the years. I have my house, my family, bills to pay, teaching and writing. One of the biggest ones was the property and the management there, both the continuing work that needed to be done as well as the result of the decisions I made. This week, taking the rest of our property off of the land, I can wash my hands of the whole thing and it is no longer my responsibility. What happens there or doesn't is no longer mine. We have paid what we needed to pay and we have fulfilled all that we said we would do. We even met our long term policy, "Leave a location better than you came to it." What happens to Red Barn/Sanctuary now is out of our hands.
I should feel freed, but I don't really. I have a job now which I can leave and not have to think about at home. I am paying off the bills more consistently than I have for decades. My family is (mostly) doing quite well. So why don't I feel better?
A couple things.
First, losing the Red Barn is losing what I poured my life into, somewhat for twenty years, but especially the last six. It was all-consuming, and it was the purpose of my life. I did what I needed to for my house and family in between times of supporting that work. It was overbearing and eventually I saw that no one could hold onto all the pieces, but still, it was my baby. To give that up is like losing a parent, losing a spouse. My depression makes sense because I am grieving a loss. A loss other people can't feel or perhaps understand, but it's still there. This is why I am going back and forth between sadness and anger, it's all a part of the grieving process. I need to acknowledge the loss and take the chances I can to move on.
Second, I have lost a way of life. My wife and others pointed out that I dove in too far, swam too deep in trying to help homeless folk along with many others. I need to slow down and take care of myself. However, I organized my life to be a helper and support to those in the greatest need. I arranged systems so that I could overcome my deep social anxiety to connect with and support those in need. Now I am at sea. Without the structure and support inherent in the system I created, I don't know what to do. The inability to have a place to help people paralyzes me. I have a smaller system of food distribution that I am running, but the benefit of this system is seeming less important. I don't know if this is the positive work I'd like it to be.
I feel as if the motivation and drive of my life is missing. Animals have instinctive work they do and they accomplish it without thinking. Humans need to have a system which they are a part of to establish motivation. An entrepreneur like me, who loses the business that is their life, leaves a void. What is the reason for getting up out of bed? I'll do what I must, but beyond that, what's the point?
Pretty existential questions, but depression forces one to confront them.
If God would tell me, "do this" then I'd have my next action. But to command "rest" is to leave me adrift and unmotivated.
I must motivate myself. I must find something to do with my time and focus on that. So I will focus on writing. I have a theology of Jesus I want to write and essays about my experiences with the homeless. For now, that will have to do. I hope to have a more focused motivation or another system to plug myself into. In the meantime, I need to do something.