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.

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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.

Introversion and the Blues

My silence is indicative of my battle with the blues and my aversion to making it public. Isn’t it odd, I have known for years I battle this insidious and all-encompassing emotional sea. This time, I let the waves take me further out, nearly sinking me. This time, I gave free rein to my nature and thus failed to notice as the blues silenced me and built my walls higher and stronger than they had been in years. This time, I looked out of my already well-built bubble of introspection and introversion, shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘fuck it, I am fine, I am good; I can’t care’.

My silence is indicative of the hurt of the past few years. For far too long I have cared too much for to many only to be told it isn’t enough. It has broken me emotionally, financially and worse it broke my trust in others, long nurtured is finally broken as well. I always believed if I was good to others, it would be returned; I was wrong. Time and again, I was wrong.

My silence is indicative of fear. You might ask me what do I have to be afraid of, but that would show you only know my name and not who I really am. I don’t blame you for this, it is who we are as a people, who we have become. Uncaring, unjust and focused entirely on ourselves, unconcerned with anyone outside of a small circle of ‘just like us’. Unwilling to hear anyone who speaks critically, asks questions, or offers any other voice but what is inside the echo chamber of our own narrow thinking and vision. Willing to lash out at friends and allies of years, name them as enemies and call others to do the same when they question the echo.

My silence is indicative of fatigue, both personal and social. This year-long season of the American Horror Story has worn my patience and my hope thin. There is no critical analysis that can be done in the political arena of today, no justification for what the American public is offered as options for President. We argue over who is worse, not who is best. We have become a laughingstock 20ab55a5576cffe1dce94c2fc4b236b0on the world stage when we aren’t a diplomatic nightmare. Our politics and our politicians belittle the dream of America and turn us into a Reality TV show for the amusement of the world. We have lost our way, our demons are on the stage and we must select which one will lead us into perdition.

My silence is indicative of my despair. Yes, I said it; despair. Despair for all of us that we are falling down a hole of ugly we will not be able to recover from. That we are drawing lines we will not be able to erase for decades. That we are allowing the fringe to speak for all of us, rather than standing up speaking up and screaming ‘Shut the fuck up’ when the extreme ratchets up violence, animosity and nativism without a single voice of dissent. When the extreme causes friends and neighbors to call into question the loyalty of decades and shed those alliances and friendships simply to appear more ‘correct’. Where once reasonable people on all sides joined together across political, gender and racial lines to form alliances for good, now those same people are using the language of the extremes and burning down the houses, without care demanding a return to what once was without understanding the consequence of their demand.

My silence then is the only response I have, the only response I am able to offer in this time of terrible turmoil. My silence and my tears as friends of long standing turn on me and call out for others to do the same because I question within the echo chamber. My silence and my tears, as I come to realize how terribly used I was in my time of weakness and sorrow. My silence and my tears, as I watch the nation burn itself down. My silence and my tears, as I watch the extremes on both sides grab the disenfranchised by the throat and shake mightily until out of the pile of brokenness walks the fury that is seen protesting senseless deaths on the streets of our cities or the Trump supporters screaming ‘Make America Great Again’ as they ignore his casual ignorance, racism, sexism and all other ‘isms.

Will my silence continue? I hope not. I hope I can begin to write again. I hope I can start taking an active role in my own life again, become part of the world again. I hope, honestly, I can start interacting with the world again without simply wishing to curl up and crawl into myself. Each time I have tried lately, it has not been an overwhelming success. This world, well it dumbfounds me. I love it less and less. I pay for my interactions within it on more levels then I am happy with. Nevertheless, I am part of it and should not give in to my overwhelming desire to simply retreat, it is far too easy.

black-and-white-girl-nature-photography-favim-com-356563My silence is indicative of the blues. I understand it is easy when you combine a natural introvert with the blues it is easy to do what I have done. So now, I will try to knock the wall back down. So much of the time I feel so very much alone, so very much as if I have to do this on my own. This I think, this reluctance to open the door and let others in, let others help me, let myself be disappointed again; this is another part of the blues.

I hope you are all well and I will be trying to visit.

Not Strong

1343863240_3320_fearIt is all I can do not to stay in bed all day every day. That seems to be the safest and most secure place in the entire world, my bed. I do not want to get up, for anything but a fresh cup of coffee and now and then some instant soup. Once a week I strip the sheets, replacing them with clean linens. I have a king sized bed, covered in pillows. I sleep on one small part, the furthest away from the door. It takes me less than two minutes to make the bed in the morning because I barely move in my sleep, barely wrinkle the bed covers.

It is all I can do not to stay in my bed all day every day.

I am on the brink of throwing my hands in the air and giving in, giving up. Just saying fuck it all, why bother.

It has been seventy-six days since my husband, the one I called Dearly Beloved walked away from our marriage without a backward glance or a good-bye. It may be more but that is how long it has been for me.

It has been fifty-eight days since I have had an income. I will admit this is my choice, but who knew it would be so difficult to find another contract. Who knew, certainly not me or I might have chosen differently. I might have chosen to continue to be miserable, bullied and treated disrespectfully for the privilege of a paycheck.

At my age, perhaps that is the best I can hope for, the market certainly seems to be telling me I have no real value and my experience is not worth a damn.

It is all I can do not to stay in bed all day, every day. Some days, I give in and I do.

I am becoming what I do not want to be, what I fight hard not to be, what I never wanted to be.

Bitter.lonely-old-woman

Angry.

Uninspired.

A recluse.

I am unable to find my way out of this fog. Every ‘no’ feels like a nail pounded into my body sending me deeper into hiding, into my self imposed and designed hermitage. My fear is overwhelming, some days I wander through my home and wonder, when will I lose it? When will I lose everything I have worked for my entire life? While I was busy taking care of everyone else, making certain everyone had what they thought they needed, what they wanted and then throwing it back in my face as not enough; now, when will I lose what is left?

I can’t breathe.

I am so tired of people telling me I am strong. Yes, I get it I am strong enough to have survived all the world has thrown at me. I have picked myself up and slogged through the quagmire. I have done that, often I have done it without help from any damned person who was supposed to be there for me. I did it without getting hardhearted and mean-spirited, for the most part. At least I think this is true. I have to be honest though, the next person who tells me I am strong, I will get through this I am liable to throw them to the ground and kick them till they take it back.

Does anyone understand I am not strong? I am what the world made me, but I am not strong. I am just me, weak, tired, afraid and alone. I could win an Oscar for the front I put up, making certain everyone around me sees what they expect to see and gets what they need. I have only one question…….

When is it my turn? When will someone step up to take care of me?

Okay, that was two. After all these years though, aren’t they fair?

I can’t breathe and I am afraid.

Get off the Funk Train

UntitledThere are times when it feels the world is working against you, this year has been like that for me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Each time I tried the reason, the cause for my angst slipped away. It wasn’t that I was particularly sad, depressed or angry; no, that wasn’t it at all. It wasn’t that this has been a terrible year, not a terrible one for me personally anyway. Something though sat in the corner, like a shadow just beyond my vision, sapping my strength, my energy and my emotional reserves.

There have been many changes this year, many things I have brought on myself. Explorations of my own history some of which was difficult, soul scrubbing even, these were not the cause of my bother. Then there has been the very ugly political season, I found myself in battle royale’s with friends and family, more times than I might wish. While the campaign season was nasty and brought out the ugly in many of us, myself included at times, this wasn’t what sucked me down into this muddle either.

So, what is it that has me in a funk? I feel sometimes I am swimming in a morass of quicksand with nothing to grab on, nothing to pull myself out

Truly, this year has been troubling to me; the more I sought answers the more my head and heart seemed to slip out the back door and away from my inspection. The greater my introspection and the more I searched for cause, the more the shadow seemed to grow, surrounding my days and sucking my energy along with it. On the one hand, I was releasing my history and I was lighter for it, my soul and heart were expanding and I could feel those pieces of me flying off to the winds. Was this what was wrong? Did I need those pieces to be whole, to be completely me was I really only me when I held on to the pain of my history; surly this wasn’t the truth. I hadn’t told everything, I still had my secrets those parts that I hadn’t let out that I hadn’t shown, was this what was wrong? No, I didn’t think so, some stories can wait I think until we are ready to tell them, one I had told to two people without comment so it was in their keeping for now.

This year was difficult, despite some of the great things and great people I found along the way. My energy was sapped, I couldn’t finish projects and I let people down. All too frequently, I ran away from interaction, from telling people there was something wrong. Even knowing there were communities of true friends I could turn to, I hid simply stopped communicating rather than say, “There is something wrong”.QuestionMark

What was wrong with me this year?

Part of what is wrong is simply physical, I am in pain and it is draining my energy. I have allowed this to continue without dealing with it head on. I am tired. That is the truth. It has been twenty long years; it is not ever going to get better. I am tired. I am tired of always hurting. I am tired of living in an alternate universe where pain is the norm and I live on a scale of 5-10 rather than 0-5. I am tired of having to explain.

I am tired of what pain does to my body. I am tired of being fat because moving hurts and keeps me away from doing anything healthy for myself. I am tired of being too embarrassed to go to the gym. I am tired of hurting too much to walk. I am tired of all the numb spots on my body that get worse if I stand too long or walk too far. I am tired of having to explain this to perfectly healthy, body perfect people my dearly beloved included who doesn’t understand what it means to not live in pain every single day of their lives.

I am angry, yes, I am angry because in October of last year someone rear-ended me while I sat at a stop light. That act caused me more harm; progress I had made with my physical therapy was entirely undone. I ended up losing a contract and thus losing income. The other person’s insurance company treated me terribly in large part because I had a pre-existing condition. This still hasn’t been resolved, an attorney who is a member at the club dearly beloved works offered to take the case on contingency. Yes, there is a contract and thirteen months later, we are still waiting for him to do anything. In fact, despite multiple times of him telling me he is preparing an offer for the insurance company he has done nothing. This week I have sent him two e-mails asking why, he hasn’t responded to either.

What is wrong with me this year?wellmoney

I lost a third of my normal income through that accident, because I couldn’t travel for months. I am the primary breadwinner in our marriage, always have been. No one seems to be at all concerned, but me perhaps because finances are my purview just as earnings are my responsibility. As I look at the year, though I realized I failed to live up to my end, but it feels like it is a domino effect. If I weren’t already hurt that accident would have been nothing, I would have walked away.

If it weren’t for fearing repercussions against dearly beloved I would take action against this attorney who is doing nothing. I do though; I fear greatly DB will be harmed if I take action so I am bound by ribbons of love and my own failure to act.

What is wrong with me this year? Why am I in such a funk? Why can’t I seem to move through the bad and focus on what is wonderful and what is great?

I don’t know the answer to the above. I just know I have been trying without much success to take on small projects for months now. It isn’t there haven’t been wins; they just don’t seem to be enough to push the blues out of my way to wash the fog from my brain entirely. I know I need something to compel me, something to spin my wheels.

Don’t misunderstand; I am not always sad or unhappy. I am just in a funk this year. There have been changes and some of them have worked my nerve. Some of them I have to deal with, I have to do something about so they don’t work my nerve next year too.

So, that is some of why I am in a funk, some of what is shadowing me. I don’t know what I will do to fix it, but somehow I must over the next four weeks get proactive. My funk is affecting my marriage, my work and my friendships. I refuse to allow it to follow me to next year.

That being said, I leave you with this wonderful group of children.

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