Rollers and Coasters and Cycles and Wheels

I’m back in the land of the living and breathing and functioning, again.

This last cycle of depression was a deep, gouging, scar, but as I looked back on it from where I’m sitting today, I’ve started to notice a pattern to my depression episodes when they occur.

I still don’t have a clear handle, always, on when they’re going to strike…that’s obvious, as I’m just getting started on my self-study.

But, I do have a better idea of the shape of what’s going to happen during the cycle itself.

The first thing I notice, is the Crash.

Obviously, this is, from what its title suggests, a painful, and sudden, occurrence.

I know that there must be a trigger event of some kind that sets this off, but, it doesn’t always have to be something that everyone else would find to be an obvious cause for an episode. It could be something small, something innocuous, or veiled in a more “innocent” tone to others, but for me, it hits the buttons in just the right, or wrong, sequence…

And down I go into the spiral.

Whatever the Trigger, or cause, the Crash is almost always done alone, behind my closed doors. I hate doing the ugly cry in front of others.

I refuse to be anyone else’s burden or obligation.

So, I shut down my phone, turn down the lights, lock the door, sometimes even retreating into the shower, to cry by myself.

And if anyone were to find me in that moment, and try to ask me what was wrong?

I wouldn’t be able to tell them.

Because I either wouldn’t know, or I wouldn’t be able to coherently communicate my complex and twisted thoughts and feelings in that moment and in that state of being.

In the Crash, the brain is All Neurons On Fire At Once, lightning flaring across the nerves, & complete chaos.

The Crash lasts until I’ve exhausted my tear ducts & blown my fuses in my grey matter all to hell.

Then…comes the Numb.

Dead silence.

All thoughts stop.

This is where you get the phrase the “Thousand Mile Stare”.

Hours can pass while sitting, completely still, in a chair, staring off at a blank wall.

I can go days without speaking much to anyone, unless I’ve been spoken to first. And then, the answers are short, perfunctory & monotone. Almost mumbled.

I stare at my feet when I move through the office on these days, so I don’t have to meet anyone’s eyes. It looks as though I’m deep in thought about a file or problem, but it’s an avoidance trick. It works.

The Numb can last anywhere from a couple of days…to a couple of weeks…to months.

I do eventually start to crawl back up out of this phase. And yes, it usually does happen just that slowly – at a crawl, on my metaphorical and emotional hands and knees. It’s as though color begins to seep pixel by pixel back into the view in front of me. Rather like watching a flower bloom, you don’t see it happen… and yet, if you stare long enough, it still does its thing anyway.

This, I call the Inhale, because it feels as though, for the first time in however long its been…I can take a full, clean breath again, without feeling as though my chest is weighed down by stones.

The Numb is the most difficult part of the cycle to work my way out of, these days.


Because I’m good at being alone.

I’m good at wearing the masks required of my job, and most people don’t notice that it’s just a “show” I put on while I’m on the clock.

And there’s no one at home to talk to.

Again, I refuse to be anyone else’s obligation or burden. I won’t put my friends under the strain of listening to my crap.

But, sometimes, I wish there was a partner, someone I could occasionally lean on a bit, who would let me prop them up too when they felt weary.

When the wheels of life roll and slip in the ruts that get gouged in the pain and stress we all go through…

It’s nice to have someone else there who will throw their shoulder to the wheel next to you and say…

Let’s get this coaster rollin’ again, shall we?”



Party of one

Trigger Warning…*

If you don’t want, or like, to read about a severe depressive episode – STOP READING NOW.

Fair warning.

Today was one of those days when you’re glad to say that it’s over.

This week has been building quickly to a crescendo, & I was expecting more, something like a “temper snap”, out of myself. But, instead…

When I got home tonight –

The bottom fell out.

It’s not ok.

I’m not ok, right now.

There’s an elephant sitting on my chest, my head is clogged from sobbing, my head is pounding – again, from the crying. When I got out of the shower tonight, hoping that the water would help, make me feel better (it didn’t ) I had snot running down my face.

My eyes, bloodshot, are having a hard time focusing on my phone so I can type this post, so please excuse any typos.

Point to the cause of my depressive episode? The catalyst?

I can’t.

There are a lot of things going on right now that contribute, but I can’t just name one & say it’s the culprit.

What makes this day any worse than any other?


I dunno.

But, I’m sitting here, suddenly completely understanding how it comes about that some people end up overdosing when they suffer from mental illnesses.

(I won’t take more than I’m prescribed, calm down)

But, I get it. I totally get it.

If one pill can help with your symptoms when they’re mild…then what do you do when they’re severe ?

Mental illness logic says “Take more and you’ll feel better.”

Mental illness logic says “Take one of this AND one of that, & you’ll feel SO much better!”

(I’m still not going to, calm down)

But, it’s so hard, sitting here, trying to work my way through this on my own, trying not to bother anyone with my pity party.

I refuse to be anyone’s burden.

No one is here, which makes it so much easier to just let the tears run.

But, deep in my heart, I wish there was someone who would just put their arms around me & tell me it would be ok.

It won’t happen.

So, I’ll tough this out – like I do everything.

Pity party hat put away…

It Won’t Quite Be Today

Monday I found out that my ex-boss from my old job at “that place” died. She was 82.

She had health issues, which I would be willing to bet contributed to her passing away, but honestly, I think she was ready to go be with her husband, who passed many years before.

I’ve written before about her. About how I think she wanted to stop time when her husband passed, & was bitter over the fact that the rest of the world wouldn’t cooperate.

I… have… feelings… about this woman. And no, they’re not pleasant feelings.

Yes, I’m still angry.

Because of things she said & did, because of things she stood aside and allowed to be said to me by others, when, as my employer, she should have stood up for me – this was the span of time when I had to start talking to my doctor about anxiety, & finding the right medication for it, because it spiralled out of control.

Maybe it would have happened eventually, anyway? Maybe not? But, the stress this woman put me under at my job, due to her direct influence and due to her selfish neglect, I truly believe she caused a chain reaction for me that ended up with panic attacks and severe anxiety.

Both have now been tempered, thank Goddess, but it was really bad, back then.

I’ve had a couple people tell me I should just “let it go”, now that she’s gone. And that I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.

That day is not today.

I will start to let go of the anger I have towards her, because I am still in the healing process.

But it won’t happen today.

I won’t let myself become bitter with this, or hold this grudge. I’m not good at grudges.

And I know the sharp, hot taste of anger in my mouth, the heat of it rising like magma in my chest, making me shake with it as I used to drive past her other business & would flip it the bird.

Yes, I used to flip her other business off…every time I drove by it. EVERY. TIME.

For those who don’t live in my city, or know which business she ran, it sat on one of the main thorough-fares in our city, and I drove past it at least once a week, if not 3 or 4 times.

That’s a lot of middle fingers.

But I know that spicy, angry tang… doesn’t last.

It fades.

Unless you fuel it, religiously topping it with the coal it needs to keep embers ablaze in your gut for years.

Leaving you with the bitter fallout of ash on your tongue.

You speak nothing but that bitter taste, for that’s all you know, constantly regurgitating it from within, constantly stoking that furnace of hatred and regret, leaving you nothing but gray.

No color, no joy, no future.

I do know the difference between temporary anger, and permanent bitterness.

Even if my anger has been 10 years in the healing, and still – the scabs crack & bleed a little when scraped.

I’m working on healing.

But – It won’t quite be today.

I’m Surprisingly Not Really Surprised, But I Sorta Am

I’ve been stoked all week for Pride Week here in my city.

There are a lot of events happening, and I’m going to a couple of them, including a Drag show & a “Pride in the Park” day, where a bunch of things will be going on, all at once.

I feel so much empathy, and a strangely welcoming aura, that I don’t get from many groups, when I am in the LGBTQIAP community presence…it’s comforting and strengthening, to me.

Stupidly, I’m welling up with emotion as I type this, I’m just…


I’ve been so excited for this, I’ve been talking about it in my office, trying to see if there were any other women who might, possibly, be interested in going to one of the events. The drag show, the park, whatever. I just…kind of wanted to share the wonderful experiences I’ve had with others.

And, instead, the commentary I received back – wasn’t very complimentary.

It wasn’t outright horrible, but…it was, backhanded, snickering, in some cases, spluttering and a quick look of disgust, before quickly covering it with polite disdain.

It was, to say the least, really disheartening, to me.

You see… I’m Pagan.

I am already a minority.

I came out to my coworkers after a long 6 months of debating with myself whether I should or not, way back in 2000, when I started working with some of the same women I still work with today.

We live in a mostly-Republican state, pretty conservative, and yet, I’ve never had a really bad reaction, in this city, from anyone I’ve told about my faith. I feel I’ve been pretty lucky in that regard, as I know there are many who face regular discrimination over their religious beliefs.

These women had absolutely no trouble accepting that I had a non-mainstream religion…

And yet, I can honestly say, that I don’t feel as though anyone who is not hetero, would feel comfortable coming out working there.

Granted, there ARE a couple of women who are totally accepting and friendly towards non-hetero, so I won’t say it’s everyone.

But I was….sad, disheartened, and I felt a little let down.

Which is stupid, again.

They don’t owe me jack shit.

But…I can’t ever, really, be my true self around them.

And, that’s just another layer between them and me that must be applied and maintained, for everyone’s comfort.


Sorrow and Joy

It is true…

There are so many stories of sorrow in the news, these days.

Stories of children trapped in caves, along with their coach, far from where I live, but no less heard and concerned over..

Stories of tornadoes, ripping through local communities, taking lives, and tearing apart what has taken years to build up for so many…

Stories of people, leaving poor, defenseless babies out in the weeds – one, lucky enough to be saved, far from here…another, local, not so lucky, who died, and the parent who left it being possibly sentenced to only 15 years in prison, in exchange for that baby’s death. Not even enough years for that child to have reached its majority, had it lived…

Yes…it’s true – so many sad, unalterable tragedies in the news.

Everywhere you look, no matter where you’re from, no matter what station of wealth you find yourself at, there is some news story of sadness that touches upon your circle of awareness.

Do you sit down and refuse to rise again? Do you refuse to ever smile again, or ever experience joy again, because someone, somewhere, is experiencing a tragedy?

I was given to think, yesterday, that maybe I wasn’t supposed to be allowed joy, because of all the sorrow on someone else’s news-feed. Or, maybe, they were thinking they weren’t allowed any joy.

I don’t think it works like that.

Sorrow exists. Yes. Absolutely.

And, as conscientious human beings, we should try to ameliorate whatever suffering we can, where we can, when we can, and as we can.


This does NOT exclude us from the award that is experiencing joy.

We all deserve to have some joy in our lives.

Whether that means hanging out with friends; going fishing; spending time at home, in the quiet, alone for 5 minutes; going to a drag show; spending time in the garden, or however, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else…


And, if you choose to ask others to share in that joy, and THEY decide it’s not their type of joy? They can simply say “It’s not my thing, but I hope you have fun”.

And don’t make fun of the other person for that joy.

Because that’s rude.

And not joyful at all.

There are many sorrows in this world…

Don’t make one for someone else.

The Journalist & the Journey

I want to place a caveat here, because I write a lot about my depression & my anxiety.

I am not looking for sympathy when I write about these things.

I write about my anxiety and my depression to get them out of my head, to make them leave my body in the only way I know…because I’m so damned uncomfortable talking out loud about it.

I honestly get very shy and squeamish whenever someone brings it up to me in person, and will more than likely blow the conversation off.

(There is a small, very small, number of people who can get me to talk about sensitive subjects without shutting down, getting irritable, or making jokes about it & laughing it off)

But, I can write them down, here.

Even knowing that there are people out there, who know me in my real, everyday life, who read these entries, I can still put these raw, personal posts here, and somehow – feel comfortable with it.

I don’t know how that works, but it does.

It’s my form of self-therapy.

I’m the journalist, and this is my journey. No particular destination in mind.