Telling the Blues

Starting Here

You wouldn’t know it by my writings I am extraordinarily private about much of my life, especially if it is imperfect in my own eyes. I intimated I was struggling in my last somewhat personal writing, here Introversion and the Blues, still, it doesn’t tell the entire story. I find I haven’t had the words, my voice simply silenced by my internal war with depression. I could not find a way to tell the story of my own fear, melancholy and my failure to be compassionate toward myself.

The truth, while this isn’t the first time I have been laid low by depression it has been one of the worst. It was exacerbated by external influences, some over which I had control but chose to push to the limits and others over which my control was limited if not non-existent. I allowed others inside my world, wanting to believe they had my best interest at heart, even while knowing they did not. I dug my hole deeper, shook my soul harder turned myself inward, allowed myself to be hurt, time and again and ultimately doubting myself, questioning myself, my value and my worth.

There were days when the sun came up and I despaired that I had woken with the sun. There were nights, I lay down and prayed for that one last seizure that would stop my breath and heart.

Terrible, I know. Terrible to write the words. Terrible to admit that I felt this for so long. Terrible to acknowledge there are times I still feel this way some nights, some mornings.

The truth is, my blues had gripped me hard this time and initially I had not realized just how hard or for how long they have had me in their grasp. I kept thinking I am out of it, the fog is lifted I am moved beyond this thing but the truth is, I hadn’t. I keep looking for the starting point, that place in time I can put a stake in the ground, in my soul, in my psyche; when did it start where the Y in the road had appeared and I took that path that led here, to this place right now. Honestly? I don’t know. There are so many intersections over the past five years, so many points in time.

I am so grateful there are a few beloved friends and family members who saw my despair and continued to stand by me, shake me now and then, reach into my self-imposed bubble of silence and demand my participation. They did this even when I retreated further into my natural state of isolation. It would have been so easy to stand aside, let me draw my darkness closer and allow me to withdraw further knowing my introversion was simply part of my personality but that this was different. They saw me and saw this was more, this was dangerous and they sometimes kicked the shit out of me and other times just gently prodded me into the world, if even just for an hour or two.  These diehards, who dug in knowing I was closer to the edge than I would ever admit to withstood my rejections, my absolute and outright sometime lies of “I am fine, really”. They threw lifelines and drug me through and demanded I stay in the world, even when my one true desire was to give up when the world seem pitiless and I wanted nothing more than to get up and get off.

depression4

Am I beyond this funk, this fog, this blue? No, really I am not yet. But I know it has been clinging to me and I get that I have been reacting badly, letting too much of my life be taken over by this terrible. I know I have made some horrible choices because I was hurting. I know I allowed others to hurt me because I was hurting and thought they were the most I deserved. I know now I nearly broke myself because I didn’t heed the warning signs, I didn’t listen to my own heart and soul when I screamed. Thankfully, even during this time, I have made some great choices too. I have done some good things for .  myself though I nearly took myself to the brink of destruction and lost it all.

Is it over? No, not yet. I have recovery to do. I have to find those doors to walk through, those steps to take to recover what I have lost. I have to find ways to be healthy, to embrace what I know and allow others to take care of me when I need it. It is time for me to start the slow climb back, emotionally, financially, physically and elsewhere in my life so I can live with all the choices past, present and future. It is time to re-engage the world on my terms, without apology or recrimination. I have to recognize I am subject to the Blues, not let them overtake my world, destroy what I build and be proactive or one of these days I won’t have the opportunity to say no more.

For those who suffer from Depression, I get it. This is hard. It is always hard. We lose so much every single time. Do not do this alone, reach out if you can and if you can’t let others reach in grab the lifelines they throw.

Comments

  1. Dearest Val, my dear blogging friend I so understand the journey you are travelling though.
    Until you suffer severe depression you can not know what its like..
    The times people would say, snap out of it to me.. And I would scream back, don’t you think I would if I could..
    Its not easy, I so know this..
    And I have told you before how my depression and stress and my allowing others to bombard me with pressure loads of work.. Led to my nervous breakdown..
    Thankfully that was in the past in the 90’s
    But I still get the Blues, those times of darkness.. And the energies recently in the world have not helped us..
    And for a time too, I got so low.. I had to take myself by my shoulders and give myself a good talking too.

    I know how hard it is to pull yourself back up Val..
    But I know you will and Can do it..
    You are strong, Yes you are.. Only today have I really felt a difference inside of me.. Whether it’s the Full Moon effects I don’t know.. But something shifted .. And I know something too will move inside of you..
    Keep nurturing yourself, believe in yourself.. LOVE yourself, for you are more than worthy of that love.
    For all that you have given to others, for all that you have suffered..
    Know that your physical family love you .
    And know that your WP family Love you..
    Take care.. And take all the time you need..
    Much love and Healing sent your way Val..
    Love and Blessings Sue xx

    • Sue, thank you. I didn’t see this till now. My inattention is one of the more obvious parts of this. I simply seem to lose sight of things I would have never done this previously, but now I simply do. Things will move, I know. Things will shift, I know. It is just so slow and I am simply so damned impatient sometimes.

      • I know, impatience with ourselves can be frustrating even more.. But you are doing the right thing by nurturing yourself.. Take care of yourself Val and so happy to see this reply.. xx

  2. Dear Val,
    I had wondered where you were.. after reading all your other comments, I can only offer you this Buddhist blessing I sent my son when his beloved step-daughter ( 19years) fell off her horse and became a tetraplegic some weeks ago…’ May you be happy, may you be free fro suffering, may you come home to your completeness.’

    • Oh Val, I am sorry about you granddaughter (family is family whether by blood or love). Terrible.

      I love the blessing, it is lovely. Believe me, I am working through it all.

  3. I hear you. This year has started out with a lack of emotion for me, a numbness. I’m thankful for the honesty of your words. xx

  4. I despise the fog, the darkness, that black hole, the claws.
    And I find it amazing how we can crawl back out because of love, words, hope, God, friends….
    It hurts so f*cking much to stay inside.
    Love you from MN.
    I am here if you ever need to talk. x

    • I love you back. It is funny, or maybe not, I know there are so many who would pick up the phone yet I have so difficult a time reaching out. It is frankly part of my struggle.

      I love you back, you are one of my rocks. ❤

  5. I know the feeling, Val. I’ve battled with depression since childhood also. I finally realized a while back that it’s a lifelong struggle. I’ll never just ‘get over it’ – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. There are no easy answers and no easy means of dealing with it. We just have to work through it in our way and on our own terms. We don’t all need a Dr. Phil-type of remedy (and he’s too busy handling the worst television has to offer.) We each have to realize our individual value to the world around us.

    Last year was the worst, what with the deaths of my father and my dog within 5 months. I just joined a new gym and learned that I weigh 172 pounds and have a body fat of 26%. I’ve never weighed that much in my entire life! And my body fat has always hovered around the 10% mark.

    But, over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to start turning things around in my life. Aside from the new gym, I’ve resumed work on some new stories and reconnected with some old friends. I know if I died today, the sun would still rise tomorrow. Years ago I told a close friend who intimated he was suicidal that, if he died, his loved ones wouldn’t just be hurt; they’d also have to resume their own lives at some point. “The world won’t stop because you died,” I told him. And that seemed to snap him out of his funk.

    Now, I’m telling myself the same damn thing. Please don’t misunderstand me, Val. I’m not trying to minimize your personal struggles. For one thing, you’re not alone. But also, you produce some great writings on your blog. I’ve found your poetry outstanding and believe you should publish them in a single volume.

    Stick around! You’re worth something! Damnit! 🙂

    • I have always known the world would continue, always. Having had a couple of friends take their own lives, I have also always understood the devastation left behind. I hope I never do this to those I love, I hope my compassion is always there so I always remember.

      Loved the Dr. Phil comment, made me smile. He is such a schmuck.

      Depression, what it does to us and those around us is difficult. What we do with it, I think first is acknowledging how much of a stranglehold it has on us. I simply can’t face life with drugs to manage my world. So now I am climbing a mountain of how; this is truly the core of it. How to use my emotional world, my intellect, my strengths and even my weaknesses to not let this take me over repeatedly.

      How to write. How to paint. How to do all the things I love and even the things that sustain me. This is where I am now. The first step was speaking truth, not hiding.

      Sticking around? Yeah, trying that on for the fit.

  6. Glad to hear from you but sorry the Blues have been getting the best of you for a while. Thankfully you do have friends and family who care – do not push them away. I can’t fully understand but I have dealt with family members who have gone through depression so I know it is real and can be debilitating. You are a strong woman and we need your strong voice!

    • It isn’t the most fun I have ever had, but it isn’t the first time I have been here. I simply failed this time to recognize what was happening to me. Thought it was just the world in general instead of me. I am so very fortunate in those who love me, they love me through the very worst in my bad. I have been truly blessed. So, strong I don’t know but I am surely going to try to start writing, speaking and thinking again,

  7. I refuse to go away. I love you too much. xxx

  8. Oh Val. I was wondering where you’ve been, but at least now I know. No … I’m not going to say that I understand, because I don’t. Well, I’ve been there once, but I not in the way you’ve described. So fight on to be strong. …. and a hug for you.

    • Oh Frank, thank you. I am here just quietly trying to figure it all out. Maybe I need a small button that reads, ‘no really, I am to damned old for this shit’. Okay, a big button.

      Right now though, one small step at a time for me.

  9. Depression is the silent shackle.

  10. I have been there and know how hopeless it can all feel sometimes. Sending hugs and best wishes for your struggle and recovery.

  11. So sorry you’ve been struggling. Any comment I can make is insufficient to your pain, so just know that I read your words and they touched me. May you continue to find your way to the light, and good on you for taking help when it’s offered.

    • Thank you Carrie, I find it difficult but between my sons and friends, they aren’t allowing me sink. I am working right now not give in, identifying that there really is a problem, well hopefully that is a first step.

  12. With “only” the ascendency of Trump, I have trouble too. When there are things more personal adding to that weight, I understand. But I am confident that you will find your way out of the well and back to the light. Peace and love.

  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I’m so glad you are reaching out! Across the distance I’m here with your coffee and my tight, Latin hug! ❤

  14. You don’t need to face anything alone, We are a community that will always back you up in all you do and will cheer you onwards through your journey away from how you feel, promise 🙂

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