So Many Things

Life has been busy since the last post. At least, busy for me.

*I got a new-to-me car. I knew my little pickup wouldn’t make it through another winter without some extensive garage time, & I didn’t have the wherewithal for that, plus, it was just going to keep nickel & diming me to the poorhouse. So –

I got some financing for Rosmerta – Roz, for short.

Rosmerta is a Goddess of luck and prosperity, so here’s to bringing this into my life. She’s a dream I’ve had since I was 6 years old. Having a Jeep, that is.

My mom’s cousin, Julie, came to live with us for a while when I was about that age. She was attending community college in the town next door, & had a boyfriend named Randy.

Randy – had a Jeep.

It was one of those soft-sided Jeeps that you could zip the windows up and down, or take it off completely, and to me, it was the coolest thing – EVER.

Of course, that was partly because Randy was a great guy. He was nice, truly nice, & liked little kids.

The summer I remember them dating, Julie & Randy took me to Valley Fair, in Shakopee, just outside the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN.

I remember getting a giant tissue-paper flower on a stick (so fricking cool, I had that thing for YEARS), riding the ferris wheel, and sitting on the chair of the Jolly Green Giant with Little Green, while someone took my picture. I remember thinking that this was the best day ever, & that it just didn’t get any better than that.

So, because of one happy childhood memory, a really good day, yes, but just one day, nonetheless, Jeeps have become a part of my secret wishlist in life.

And now, I have one.

Which, also, kind of scares me, to be honest.

I have people telling me all the time that I deserve to have something good in my life. That after all the shitty things that have happened, and after how hard I’ve worked over the last few years to overcome a lot of it, I deserve to have something, at least ONE thing, good.

But, I’ve never had anything last.

So, this new, good thing, scares me…

I don’t want it to go away, too.

So many things have happened, I just – I just want one good thing to last.

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Throw me a rope…ladder

How do you start the climb to get out of depression’s oubliette?

I’ve been wondering this for a while now, and have, as of yet, no answer.

I talked to my mom, who has dealt with depression for years, and has hers mostly under control with meds.

She wants me to try to seek therapy. Someone to talk to, to see if that would be an answer for me. But, it’s not in my budget.

Believe me, I know what my budget looks like in tedious, intimate detail, and psychological therapy isn’t going to fit there.

My insurance won’t pay for it. They don’t pay for the anti-anxiety meds I’m already on, so why would they pay for cognitive therapy?

They don’t think the brain matters much.

So, I’m going to have to try to find another way to deal.

I just don’t know if I can do it on my own. It’s …

Really fucking hard.

Sitting alone in the dark.

With no relief, no understanding, no one to –

Never mind.

White Wall

Nothing seems to feel urgent, these days.

There is no motivation to rise, to overcome, to even continue, some days. I simply – exist – from one moment to the next.

All my fucks have flown, I have none left to give, so don’t ask for them, or try to figure out why I look at most things and people with a blank face.

I don’t write fiction these days.

I had a coworker turn to me the other day and tell me “You know, you’re so much prettier when you smile”.

I told her to bite me.

One, I had a massive headache, smiling was the last fucking thing on my list of shit to do.

Two, what the fuck do I care if she thinks I’m pretty or not?

I have no desire to make others happy. I couldn’t care less about that, right now.

I dress for work to be within the guidelines of the dresscode. It has nothing to do with whether I feel “pretty” or not. Sure, some articles of clothing are nicer than others, but I don’t choose them to impress the women I work with.

I wear makeup for myself, because it helps remind me to put on my “work mask”. The mask I wear to the office that most people see. The one that helps me do my job, & gets me the compliments about how good I am with customer service. The makeup is preparation & war paint.

I’m tired of people telling me how I should or shouldn’t feel.

They don’t have any idea what I’m going through. They don’t care enough to actually ask, or stick around to find out the truth.

They’ve got their own lives, and more power to them, they’re out there living them.

But – don’t think that gives the right to start telling me how to live mine, or how I should be feeling, or doing something.

No false concern, either.

Fuck that.

Don’t be suddenly all up in my face, because you’ve read this post, saying – how can I help? I’m here for you, just tell me what’s going on.”

Because, be honest with yourself here, if you gave a true shit about me, YOU’D BE IN MY LIFE AND YOU’D ALREADY KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.

I sit inside my head, most days, staring at a blank, white wall.

And I can’t make myself give a fuck about moving for a better view.

What’s left? Everyone has either walked away, moved out, or died.

I just don’t feel.

And for me, that’s…pretty much it.

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.

Why?

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?”

Now…Inhale…

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?

*shrug*

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…

Well…anyway.

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.

*sigh*