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.

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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…

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*

Nary a Word

Depression doesn’t normally give you the choice in when it comes upon you.

You don’t get to say…

“I’m not going to be depressed today, because I choose not to be”.

It’s not a matter of “fake it till you make it”, either.

It can be a sneaky bastard, too.

It doesn’t always hit you over the head with a brick, driving you to your knees in sorrow.

It can be slow.

Crawling up on you a little at a time.

You are going on, every day, with your normal routines…work, home, etc.

Not realizing that somewhere in there, you’ve forgotten a household chore – and now, here it is, 3 weeks later, and there’s mail all over the floor & piled on the counter as well, some you’ve opened, some you haven’t, but all – largely ignored, because you’re too apathetic to pay bills and answer invitations.

There are dust bunnies floating across the floor, because you haven’t vacuumed in weeks, and cats shed.

There are dishes in the sink.

You’re almost out of knives in the silverware drawer, so you’ll have to wash the dishes soon, you know, but – – apathy.

Depressíon.

And no one outside of your house has a clue – because no one ever sees it.

You have high-functioning depression.

You have created very convincing masks, and everyone believes you when you say you’re “fine” .

And on the weekends… Nary a word.

Silence rules your world – you don’t speak. Not even to the cats, because, why bother?

The one time you let your voice out is…surprisingly, to sing – with your mp3 player going, earbuds tight in your ears, sitting on your front step, eyes closed, not caring who hears you singing out loud for Goddess’ sake!

Well, singing helps with anxiety, & you’ve had your fair share of that lately, too, so, go you. Who gives a shit if the neighbors all heard you belting out P!nk’s stuff, and some of Mike Shinoda’s newest songs?

No one called the cops, at any rate.

But, it doesn’t really help…not really.

There are small moments of laughter, you smile, sure…

But that black cloud lurks, lingers, clings…to your every movement.

Like a child’s fingers tugging on your pants’ leg, you always know its presence.

Even when others do not.

And most never do.

I am a master of disguise.

And I say nary a word, most days.

The Land of Fire

I’m walking in a land of fire

Coals scorching my feet

Sparks flying through the air

Smoke choking my lungs

I know that this trial is somehow necessary, that in order to grow, I must burn away that which has become burdensome. That I’ve come to another crossroads in my life, & I have to fight, to strive, to prove to myself that I am ready for the next step, whatever that may be.

But, Goddess, the fires are intense.

I’ve cut ties with someone I was speaking to. He wasn’t going to live up to his words, anyway. And, my heart was elsewhere.

It’s been tied up for years in someone else’s ribbons, & I don’t think it’ll ever change.

I’m probably destined to spend my life alone, because I gave my heart away to someone who will never show up to fully claim it.

But, if that’s the way it is, I’ll live with it.

My brother tried to make small talk through text about my birthday, as well. *sigh*

After years of issues between us, I’m not going to just forgive and forget everything he’s said & done. I’m not a “sweep it under the rug” kind of woman.

He wounded me deeply, and cannot admit his culpability.

So, I finally said as much back in a text, and – lol and behold – *crickets* since then.

If you cannot admit your responsibility for your actions, if you cannot admit your own wrongdoing towards another person, and apologize, sincerely and wholeheartedly for hurting them, then obviously, you don’t believe you ever did anything wrong.

Update – I just received a text that says “I have no idea what you’re talking about”.

My point exactly.

I’m done.

Convenient how they “forget” the words they use to wound others with.

But I will never forget how he said his “little sister died years ago”.

He’s right.

He killed her.

I’m not that little girl he once knew.

But then, he never bothered to get to know the grown-up woman.

Whatever.

I don’t have time for him.

I’ve got embers in my eyes, and smoke curling around my hands.

Time to take a walk.

It’s the Thought

If it’s the thought that counts, then I guess today counts as a minor success as far as birthdays go.

A lot of people thought about me today.

Some of my coworkers got me a cake, since they know there’s “no one at home” for me to celebrate with. (Their words, true, but they hurt when I heard them out loud anyway)

I didn’t want to be here at work today for this birthday.

Why? Because it’s always the same thing. The well-meaning well-wishes, & the “interested questions”. I just got asked “Big birthday plans?”

Nope.

“Why not?”

No one to celebrate with.

My parents are out of state, visiting my brother & his family. They’re never here for my birthday, anyway.

My kids are not here. Busy, out of state, different town, or simply don’t remember, whatever. But I get messages from the girls.

My Beloved Nephew & best friend lives in Georgia, so I don’t get to see him.

I did, however, get to go out with a friend on Saturday to watch a movie, the original 1960 version of Little Shop of Horrors.

It was hilarious, & I’m so glad I went.

The friend I went with is a good one, someone I love hanging out with, someone I trust & know I can count on. She’s been a good friend for many reasons, and many years.

But – I just want this day over.

It hurts, remembering that, when the workday is over, I’ll be coming home alone…and it’ll just be the cats and me…

It’s the thought…