I've had a set back on that new healthy lifestyle this week. I lost a dear, dear friend who is irreplaceable. Exercise would probably have helped my grief and depression but instead I found myself just wanting to sleep and forget. This too shall pass. I'm already getting better, ready to head out in a few minutes to feed the horses and go for my walk/hike (since it is cross country and over some hilly, rough ground.) With the sadness I've had over my friend's passing and also beloved entertainer, Robin William's death, I've been thinking a lot about depression this week. I've had bouts of depression in my life and panic and anxiety attacks as well. I woke last night with a thought. It's odd how that happens. I woke thinking about how I've felt this week, how it was beyond grief. In my humble opinion, depression is not caused by sad and tragic events in our life; no, it is a predator that feeds on our dispair. I thought last night about how I've been feeling lately, not just extremely sad about losing Huston but extremely critical of my entire life and how I live it. I realized that the depression was acting as a magnifying glass, making the bad things in my life, the areas where I feel both my life and myself are lacking look even worse, larger, more dominant. I was feeling like a failure which isn't very motivating to exercise and eat better and improve your life because you think, what's the use? And then, my friend spoke to me. I didn't hear him with my ears but with my heart and it was something he said to me once after I'd conquered one of those dark spots in my life that were keeping me tethered and it mirrored the encouragement and love he showed me on my less triumphant days. He said, "I've always known you could do it. I believed in you even when you didn't believe in yourself." I still cry remembering him speaking those words but I also know, because of his friendship and love, that I am not a failure. And I'm going to set out to prove that because I will not let him down. The voices that tell me I'm a failure, that I'm bound to fail and I will never succeed in my goals, well I know who they belong to also but they don't belong to me any longer. The only voice I'm going to hear in my head from now on is my own and Huston's and they both only have positive, encouraging things to say.