Stop Dis-counting Me

I’ve been depressed for a long time.

I HAVE depression. It doesn’t just go away magickally, by itself.

Add my Generalized Anxiety Disorder into the mix, and it’s really a hot mess on the bad days.

And, I get it, it’s uncomfortable.

It’s difficult to talk about, especially when you don’t understand it, when you’ve never been through it yourself.

It’s not just being sad.

It’s not just being down today, because you have [insert legitimate reason here – breakup, funeral, bad grade, bad hair, flat tire] going on.

It’s not just a random feeling, one day, of anxiousness, or panic, because you have something big coming up.

This is ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. For weeks, months…..years…

I get it.

It’s hard to be around someone who has trouble enjoying life.

It’s hard being around someone who doesn’t socialize much, or at all, really.

It’s hard to be around someone who is always down on herself, uses self-deprecating jokes as a shield, and who is usually too tired to do all the really fun stuff.

It’s hard to be around someone who is quiet, most of the time, because she’s living so much in her own head. Mainly because that’s where she socializes. Because everyone else has already left to find the “interesting” people.

It’s hard to be around someone who wants to go home early, because she’s been watching everyone else enjoying themselves, out with their dates/spouses/S.O.’s, and is now on the verge of an internal meltdown, but doesn’t want anyone else to know – so she smiles tightly, says “Nope! Just tired/ gotta go home & feed the cats / do the laundry /” whatever reason gets her out quickest.

So you just stop asking her to go places.

You stop inviting her anywhere.

Because it’s uncomfortable.

I get it.

Even though, when you’re the one that’s having problems, I’m always there. Willing to lend a confidential ear, a shoulder, a tissue.

But that’s ok. I don’t keep score.

Because I know what pain feels like, I don’t want anyone else to have to experience it.

Because I know the crush of depression, I don’t want anyone else to have to live under it.

Because I know the constant dread of anxiety, I don’t want anyone else to have to fear it.

Just – stop dis-counting me.

I matter.

I’m not invisible.

And my feelings get hurt too. No matter what I might say in the moment.

Last weekend, OnlySon & I were arguing about addictions & video games, but something I said to him has stuck.

“Gaming addictions, drug addiction, alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, you name it, they’re ALL chemical imbalances that cause physical and mental problems.

JUST LIKE DIABETES.

No one blames a diabetic for BEING diabetic.

Why do people blame someone with Depression for being Depressed??

I take my medications, but they don’t work perfectly. They don’t magically stop me from being depressed, or anxious.

They do stop me from being tense all the time, grinding my teeth in my sleep, oh – and they’ve stopped me from killing myself.

It’s the little things.

We, as a society, need to STOP dis-counting mental illnesses, and the people who have them.

They need to be seen as just as valid as diabetes, hypertension, etc. They are all medical conditions. They should all be treated as such.

Stop treating me as less than.

And maybe, just maybe, I’d stop seeing myself that way.

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And there are days when I just want to lay down, and not get back up again.

But I do, because I have to. Because that’s who I am.

But, I don’t want to.

Do you understand yet?

So then there was this…

I know I’ve been talking a lot about being depressed, lately. I know it can get to be repetitive, but… That’s what happens with depression cycles.

You cycle, and cycle, and cycle…until something finally brings you out of it.

I’m not there yet.

laughing softly and ironically under my breath…

I just seem to keep getting pulled in by new cycles of dark.

*I recently realized that when my old phone had its “stroke” & I had to get my new one, I lost a good portion of the phone numbers in my address book. One of the numbers was my ex-husband, which I find ironic, but now, if my son is in trouble, I can’t get ahold of the ex to reach him. I don’t really want to ask my son for his number…but I probably should. Fuck.

I didn’t realize I’d lost these numbers until just recently…because I’d isolated myself so well, I don’t receive calls or texts from anyone but family anymore, really. Chosen family counts here.

*I was going to go to a drag show this last weekend, but my mom called with bad family news.

Her baby brother, my Uncle J, has had throat cancer for a while. He went through chemo & radiation, & they thought he’d gone into remission.

Well, it’s now back, and is in another place. He’s back in chemo, but is not doing as well this time around.

On top of that, his son, my cousin C, also has cancer. He has a very rare, and virulent, form of lung cancer.

They live in Iowa, and are treating in Rochester, which is an exemplary facility…

But, according to Mom, C has ONE CHANCE at treatment. If this treatment doesn’t work…

Folks…he’s only 31.

31.

My uncle and my cousin.

Father and son…both dealing with life-threatening diseases.

Where is the fucking sunshine again?

When it’s Dark, Look for Stars

I’m having a really hard time starting this post, because I’m crying while typing, so please forgive typos… I really want to get this out in one shot, though, so I’m gonna keep going.

Tomorrow is the 10-year anniversary of my sister/friend Midnite’s death.

It’s a big milestone, but it still doesn’t feel as though it’s been that long. It feels like yesterday, the way my pain rates right now.

I knew I was going to be walking into a dark place emotionally tonight when I got home.

And then, I stopped to get my mail.

Now, to back up a few days.

There’s a woman whose blog I follow, Jenny Lawson, otherwise known as The Bloggess .

On March 20th, she posted a blog about reaching out to others, and trying to bring some sunshine into their day. She opened her comments to her followers, and let us decide if we wanted to participate too, sending love to each other.

I admit, I picked a few, and sent some things out.

And, I participated, but didn’t really expect anything.

But – of all days…

Today…

I got 8 pieces – 8 PIECES of MAIL FROM STRANGERS.

Telling me I was worthy.

Telling me to keep going.

Telling me I was worth it.

Jenny Lawson…you don’t know me. You’ll probably never see this post, or know what you’ve really done for so many of your readers with your blog.

But, I’ll tell you this.

You will never know just how far your words can reach.

All the way into the darkness.

Confessional

I’m not Catholic, never have been, but I know what the confessional is for.

It’s supposed to be a place to lay your burdens (sins) before “God” and be forgiven for them. After, of course, being given “penance by the church representative, the priest.

Well, since I’m Pagan, I don’t believe in “sin”.

I do believe in personal responsibility.

But – I’m getting sidetracked, because I don’t really want to write this. Except, I have to.

I have to get these things out of my brain, and down onto the virtual paper, so they stop rattling around in my head, poisoning my thoughts.

I…have been in a severe depression for the last few months.

Most people who see me in my daily life would probably argue at this point, and say

“But you smile, you go to work, you joke around and talk!”

Ah…but did I really?

Compared to previous years, when I was actually active with friends…did I really interact with you?

Or was it a fleeting moment, a quick flash of a grin, and I turned away. A chuckle and I bent back to my work. A single joke in a day?

When was the last time you heard me speak first, without someone directly addressing me first?

If we are friends in real life, when was the last time I texted you first, and memes don’t count?

When was the last time you heard my ring tone on your phone?

If we’re internet friends (met through FB, or through blogging, when was the last time I actually interacted with someone interpersonally, and not just posting memes?

*waving all this away*

It’s not important if you can’t remember.

Because, I’ve been pushing people away, slowly, subtly, for months.

I’ve been isolating.

At least 3 or 4 times this winter…

I contemplated just ending it.

I have the drugs that could accomplish it.

Every time, I stepped back from that decision.

There are many reasons why I’ve come to this point. And it’s not something that can be “fixed” with a joke, or a pat on the back, or pity.

I don’t want anyone’s pity.

The music is helping, right now.

The music, the community I’ve come to find with it, it’s all helping.

It’s not the answer, but it helps mitigate some of the symptoms, so that’s something.

I can’t afford psychiatric treatment right now, so don’t, please.

I just needed to get some of this off my chest.

That’s what this blog is for, after all. It’s my place to scream into the darkness.

It just so happens,

Right now, the darkness…

Is me.

OT7

So, after the horrendous day today turned out to be, I needed my calming mechanism.

Music.

So I turned to the most logical choice for me, lately.

Yes, BTS.

I must have watched 8 or 9 videos, before I hit one that actually had the English lyrics transcribed on the screen…

And I lost it.

Please…if you do nothing else, go watch “Magic Shop”. It will go a long way towards explaining why I love these boys so much.

When they sing this in concert, the ARMY sings this with them. I’ve seen videos of it, and it’s an ocean of sound. The boys have actually cried on stage because of their fans. They truly do love their ARMY.

But here…let their words speak for themselves…

BTS – MAGIC SHOP (ENGLISH TRANSLATION) LYRICS

I know that you’re hesitating because even if you say the truth
In the end it will all return as scars
I’m not going to say anything blatant like “find strength”
I will let you hear my story, let you hear it

What did I say?
I said you’d win, didn’t I?
I couldn’t believe it (really)
Could I win it?
This miracle that isn’t a miracle
Did we make it?
(No) I was here
You were the one that made your way to me
I do believe your galaxy
I want to listen to your melody
Your stars in the Milky Way
Don’t forget that I found you anyways
At the end of my despair
You’re the last reason
For me who was standing at the edge of the cliff
Live

On days I hate being myself, days I want to disappear forever
Let’s make a door in your heart
Open the door and this place will await
It’s okay to believe, the Magic Shop will comfort you

While drinking a glass of hot tea
And looking up at the Milky Way
You’ll be alright, oh, this here is the Magic Shop

So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you show you

Like a rose when blooming
Like cherry blossoms when being scattered in the wind
Like morning glory when fading
Like that beautiful moment
I always want to be the best
So I was impatient and always restless

Comparing myself with others became my daily life

My greed that was my weapon suffocated me and also became a leash
But looking back on it now, truthfully
I feel like it’s not true that I wanted to be the best
I wanted to become your comfort and move your heart
I want to take away your sadness, and pain

On days where I hate myself for being me, on days where I want to disappear forever
Let’s make a door. It’s in your heart
Open the door and this place will await
Magic Shop

While drinking a glass of hot tea
And looking up at the Milky Way
You’ll be alright, oh, this here is the Magic Shop

So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you show you

Would you believe me if I said that I was scared of everything too?
All the sincerity, the remaining times
All your answers are in this place you found
In your Milky Way, inside your heart

You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you
You found me. You knew me
You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you
You’ll find it, the galaxy inside you

So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you Show you.

Do you understand how the words could shatter me?

Maybe not.

The next post might explain better…

Or worse.

I don’t know, anymore.

Fringe

First off… There will be no pity.

This is simply me, telling about something I’ve figured out about myself. I don’t want any sad looks, or “sympathetic statements”.

It is what it is, and that’s what it is.

To start, I started listening to a new type of music, for me, about 3 months ago. K-pop.

I know, odd choice for a 48-yr. old woman, raised on hard rock & heavy metal, right?

Anyway… I’d been watching videos on You-Tube, and found this song called “Pop Stars” by K/DA, created for the game League of Legends. If you haven’t heard of it, which you probably haven’t, it’s an animated video, and it’s amazing.

I loved it instantly.

I started looking for more K-pop (Korean Pop) to listen/watch, which led me to Blackpink, a girl group, who are also kickass.

And they led me to…

BTS.

Yes, BTS.

A boy group, comprised of 7 members, who – yes, again, sing mostly in Korean.

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan – which means “Bulletproof Boyscouts” in Korean)

I don’t even care.

I fell into the gravity well that surrounds this group. Wholeheartedly.

Why?

Because these boys are a family, even though they aren’t blood.

And they treat their fans like family.

And the fans, known as ARMY (Adorable Representatives MC for Youth) treat each OTHER and BTS like family.

At least, the ones that I’ve met so far, which have been quite a few, have all been respectful, welcoming, kind, and warm.

Which has been really, really nice to experience, for a change.

You see…

I live my life on the fringes of everyone else’s lives, anymore. Always on the outside, looking in.

And, I understand.

I always kind of hung back, growing up, too. I was always “someone’s friend”, or someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, girlfriend, or whatever. I’d walk into a group, slightly behind and to the side of whomever I came in with…I never walked in somewhere on my own. I needed to belong with someone else.

And then, I grew up & became “someone’s mom”, and then “someone’s wife”. Later dropping the “wife” part.

And now…

My children have their own lives. They must go live them, and NOT be immediately tied to me. This is a good thing. They have their wings, they have to fly. This is life.

My parents and I are not immediately tied together, either. This is a good thing. I’m not super dependent on them for things, and they aren’t at a stage in their lives where they need me to step in, either. I’m glad they are still young enough, vital, strong, independent, people who don’t need a caregiver. There may come a day when that happens, but that day is not now.

And, I don’t have a significant other. This is obvious. No need to rehash this.

My best friend, my Beloved Nephew, lives in Georgia, while I live in North Dakota.

He has his family there, his dad, brother, extended relatives, etc. Yes, he is still my best friend, but we are no longer enmeshed in each other’s daily lives like we once were, due to geography.

I’m on the fringes of all of these relationships.

Hanging by the threads of phone calls, text messages, short weekend visits maybe once or twice a year.

And, I can’t deny that it hurts, sometimes, dangling from those delicate strings.

Hmm..so, what, you say, does BTS and the ARMY have to do with any of this?

Well…

I figured out WHY I fell so eagerly and completely into their orbit.

Because with them, I don’t have to be fringe.

I’m just another member of the extended family.

They let me right in and gave me a hug and told me to sit down and get comfortable.

And it felt good.

I’ve missed that feeling.

I haven’t had that in a long time.

And, I think that’s the saddest thing of all.

That it took strangers to make me feel better.

(Please don’t feel bad Beloved Nephew! This is me, not you!)

This is just where I am, where I’ve been…for months, now.

On the fringes.

Of everything.

Hanging.

But the music helps.

And so do the boys, just by being who they are. The message they send out has to be listened to carefully in order to really be heard.

It’s difficult to explain, I learned it in small steps, as I watched many, many videos. Not just the music videos, but other ones, too, about the guys, ones that they put out themselves, and ones that fans put out about them.

The fans are super loyal. No joke.

And yes, I’m one of them now, all kidding aside. I don’t care what anyone says.

I really don’t.

Because I purple BTS. 💜

And if you want to know what that means??

Google it. I dare you.