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.

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Blowing Out The Candles in My Dreams

I woke up this morning with tears tracing down my face.

I’d had a dream, & I remembered most of it.

I had gone with my cousin to a bookstore. Now, this particular cousin is more like a sister to me. She & I grew up extremely close. We’re only 10 months apart in age (I’m the elder, not that that really matters, but I could see you out there, wondering).

We used to spend our summers together, my aunt (my uncle had died when we were very little) would send her to our house for a few weeks, then later, I’d go stay with them for a few weeks in southern Minnesota.

We squabbled like siblings, we laughed like best friends, & we ganged up our parents, & snuck around as teenagers do, just as though we were more than mere cousins.

So, when I talk about my cousin “L”, it’s more as though I’m talking about a sister I never had.

Back to the dream. L & I had entered this super cool bookstore, which came complete with its own specialty bakery &, of course, cafe/coffee shop.

You were even able to special-order decorated cakes for occasions, & the bakers would decorate them to your specifications.

In my dream, I hadn’t had my birthday yet. This is important, later.

We browsed a bit, found books to buy, & sat in the cafe & had some cake, talking about things, catching up, since I haven’t seen L for a while. (Truth, it’s been months, & we would do this naturally)

L talks a mile a minute, so I let her blow her steam, keeping quiet & enjoying my cake, knowing she’ll listen when I tell her about my life. She always does, but, as an only child, she’s used to certain things, always being able to go first in a conversation being one of those things. I don’t mind.

Some who think they know me might scoff, but I really am quiet. When I care about someone, I’ll just sit & wait for the other person to talk themselves out completely before I speak, giving them my full attention the whole time.

When we were finished, we packed up & got ready to leave.

But first, I went over to the specialty cakes area. I’d seen a cake I wanted for my birthday, which, in my dream, hadn’t happened yet. And all I wanted was for the decorator to do some simple words on top – nothing major or fancy.

I’d filled out an order card with my contact information, & gave it to the bakery for the special-ordered layer cake.

When I spoke to the decorator about the cake, she misunderstood me 3 times, pulling out 3 different cakes, none of which were the ones I wanted. So, I finally walked her to the case & showed her the exact cake I wanted & told her that all I wanted was a simple handful of words on top.

She told me “We don’t decorate that cake. You can’t do that. Why would you even want to?”

At this point, my cousin had walked off to talk to some friends, so I was alone, and frustrated with dealing with someone who just didn’t seem to get it.

“I just want someone to put ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ on top of the damn cake, is that so hard? I always spend my birthday alone, my kids don’t come home, my parents leave the state, my friends don’t remember, or don’t live close enough to be here…I just wanted something nice for myself. Forget it!”

At this point, I walked out, with cousin L scrambling to catch up to me.

She asked what was wrong, but I wouldn’t tell her.

Later, I get a phone call from the bookstore. Could I please come down & pick up my order?

I told the lady on the phone I didn’t have an order, but she was adamant, & that I needed to pick it up.

So, I went.

When I get there, the cake is done, exactly as I ordered, and when I go to pay for it, she won’t let me, saying someone else already took care of it, although she won’t tell me who.

I take my cake & go home, wishing I had someone to celebrate with.

That’s my wish every year.

Does making wishes on candles in dreams count?

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.

Patterns

My life has followed a steady, predictable pattern since my divorce.

I meet someone, we talk, they seem great, they seem to really like me… A couple have even said they loved me. We’re sailing along at 30,000 feet, gliding on top of the clouds in clear blue skies, smiling and enjoying the ride.

And then – something happens.

Either they suddenly decide to leap from the cabin, yanking the ripcord on their parachute as soon as they clear the emergency exit, like D.B. Cooper, vanishing into myth, or

They suddenly have to change flights for “business”, and can never be bothered to make their way back to me, because I’m just not in “first class”, never minding that I spent my last dime on our tickets, or

the engines stall, the plane falls from the sky, and lands in ice-cold waters, all hands lost at sea, with me washing ashore on some deserted island, no one else in sight.

And once I’ve built my raft, and made my slow and weary way back to civilization… I find out they got picked up by some luxury cruiser 5 minutes after the crash, have been drinking margaritas & have forgotten I ever existed.

Something inside of me is feeling as though maybe I’m not meant to find love again.

That maybe I’m meant to spend the rest of my life flying solo.

Maybe my pattern is the “missing man” formation… Only the one missing… is me – and everyone else flies on without me.

Full Sunlight

There is a beautiful, tragic agony

In Truth

A barren landscape

Full of grinding sunlight

Seeing everything laid bare

In the searing, illuminating glare

It slices deep, flaying you, rending you, driving sand and salt

Into the wounds

Tearing the blinders, those rosy-hued lenses, from your eyes

And still…

Infinitely preferable to the soft comfort of the lie.

Flay me

Rend me

Leave my eyes bare

I’d rather the agony of truth

Over the warmth of the lie

Because that warmth?

Is you – laying yourself down in the bullshit they spread for you.

The warmth fades, but the stench clings.

Flay me

Rend me

Leave me bare

And I’ll heal

In the full sunlight of Truth.

Pretty Poison

Pretty poison lurks, hidden on my phone, light gleaming through its toxic, yet enticing depths.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think about all the pain I went through because of E…and yet…

There is a subtle allure in the intentness of his purpose.

I’ve forgotten how it feels to be wanted so desperately.

And still, I sit here, crying, knowing that if I were to say even one word, I would unravel all the work I’ve done to repair the damage he caused me.

I can’t go back.

And yet, like an addict…I yearn for that feeling again.

I wish he would just go, leave me alone & not return, so I could stop remembering and missing how he made me feel at one time. Because he also tore me apart, and left me to deal with the afternoon, alone.

Always alone.

I just want this part of the nightmare to end… I’m so tired of being alone.

I discovered tonight that “spam” texts don’t actually disappear…they just get tucked away…but they’re still on the damn phone, daring me to read them.

Daring me to drink that pretty poison, and be damned…