Sunday, March 6, 2011

When you look at the world through smoke colored glasses and a little light breaks in- it is a very, big deal. Much of the time, one must make their own light. I actively work on an optimistic attitude. I try to see the best in people and forgive their worst. All this does not change my depression. I am learning to smile through tears and in spite of them. When you ask me how I am doing I have learned to lie and say the thing that I know will make you go away and leave me alone. No one wants the truth.

I keep writing because I hope that one of these days I will have something to report. I keep writing because I need to feel like I belong to something outside the sickness. I keep writing in spite of my better judgement...who wants to read this crap? Please pardon the redundancy of these posts. I don't know....I'm just gonna keep at it until something gives.  

Something is going to give.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

 February was brutal. The snow and long gray days kept my fragile state in the forefront of my mind. I've gone two weeks without posting mostly because I am keenly aware, as most depressives are, that no one wants to hear that nothing has changed; I am still depressed and unable to be constructive or productive with my time. "Just stop!," my closest tell me as they shut the door behind them leaving me alone with my pain.

 I am fragile. I do not feel the gathering strength that I long for. I feel dead inside. Not even spring will melt this icy coldness, that much I know. 

This must be my fire, burning off the impurities of my soul. This is a test of strength and fortitude. I'm not going anywhere. I have someone who needs me in spite of my illness. I am grateful for this and tell myself every day not to let him down. Within my bitter pain there is a sweetness.

I yell at myself  like a mean man yells at a dog. I beat myself up for not creating, for not moving my body. I have to face my failures at the end of everyday. I sleep a restless, nightmarish sleep.

 No one wants to hear a different tune come from myself more than me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Uncomfortable Peace~

Paranoia is something that I have grown accustomed to. When I walk down the street, when I can make it out the door, I am followed by acute anxiety. "People are judging me" rushes and swirls all around me, sapping my will and taking my breath away. I scream inside as I stand on the corner waiting for the light to change. I look down, arms crossed, tears welling and make my way across the street. 

In a car I cringe at stop lights. All my thoughts are replaced with images of destruction and death. My body braces for impact, feet mashed into the floor. I shake my head, sing and smoke. I am exhausted when we get there. I don't drive these days.

At home I am pinned to the bed, crippled by anxiety and a deep sense that I must die because I am broken.

Now, I take seven pills a day, plus one before I go out the door.  The pills allow me to get up out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.The pills help me get dressed without being so critical that I won't get dressed at all. For now, the pills keep me pushing forward.  For the last month I have not experienced anxiety on that level. I have also been mostly free of the familiar ups and downs. No one knows why the pills work, they just do.

When I wasn't looking peace came quietly like a cat and curled itself upon my lap. When I wasn't looking love found me and wrapped itself like a blanket around my shoulders. I dream that I could sit hear like this and never have to face the world again. It has taken so long to get here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nothing More Than Feelings

Emotional extremes is one of the signatures of both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder; cold and withdrawing one minute or hot and "in your face" the next. You could say that I received a double dose of crazy. For sometime, at least in my youth, this quality made me interesting to others, but like many things from back then this quality has not stood the test of time. Now it gets in my way and makes me a victim of my own feelings. 
For years I thought that I would outgrow my hot headed ways. I've worked hard in therapy to gain some mastery over myself and my emotions, but to no avail. Instead, I've watched in horror as my displays have become more out of control, forcing my world to become smaller and smaller. The only respite I have found is to withdraw from people and situations that trigger such events-and that is pretty much everyone and any situation.
These episodes are usually brought on by stress or drama outside of myself. I have managed, in this last year, to reduce these things in my life by 99%. I don't work. I don't socialize. At this time, I can not stand to be tested. 
My current status really blows my mind. I mean this is not what I ever imagined for myself at 37. Just like always though, there is a tiny flame of faith that keeps me going. In my darkest depressions- somehow my pilot light is not extinguished. I pause to wonder at the plan that God has laid out for me. Something in me knows that I am going to be okay. 
I am grateful for this time, as ugly as it looks from the outside. As I sit here, not blowing up at anyone, I feel 
an uncomfortable peace. I wear it like a scratchy wool sweater. It's the first time in my life that I haven't scratched for survival. I'm curious to see what effect this has on my outrageous feelings.
One thing I know: a person can deny their feelings and suffer or travel through them and find their truth. I hope to find my truth.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Hole in the Ground

During internal excavations I stumbled upon my sense of shame. I was shocked by its enormity, its breadth and depth. In a single quiet afternoon, after much effort, I found the reason for this unnamed pain. I have internalized everything that ever happened to me as a child.  The voices that plague me, weather or not I am in a deep depression, the ones that tell me I am ugly and stupid every single minute of every single day, these are the sounds of my childhood. 

I began to research. In his book: Healing the Shame That Binds You, John Bradshaw calls this particular kind of shame, toxic. Toxic shame becomes pathological. In the face of early trauma, shame is hard wired into the brain. "I am defective," is the daily mantra of the walking wounded. Shame burrows deep into the psyche and becomes one's identity. When this happens, Bradshaw states, that the individual vows either, "I am less than human," or "I am more than human" and acts accordingly. "I am less than human-why try?" or "I must be perfect in everything I do or I am nothing." Induced shame is the root of all meanness and all perfectionism in the world. 

 Therapy is funny, you can hear something over and over without getting it, until the day that you get it. I have carried this feeling all my life. I know that people can tell I am damaged in this way. I act so crazy sometimes, so easily hurt and angry. I always think I am being judged. I am paranoid and nervous. I always think I am going to get into trouble after all these years.

 It feels like a big cosmic joke that it is a lifetime of negative self-talk that brings me to this place, here on my knees. I have caused much of my own suffering trying to prove to others just how worthless I am. It makes me nauseous to think of the wasted time. 

Although it will be a long road out of this kind of thinking, a victory is a victory. Some of my pain has a name. It can be color coded and lined up with the rest of the files. I saw some light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Photo: Pink Sherbert Photography
I thought my little blog had run its course. That is, I wasn't so sure that I had anything to say or that I had said anything in six months (this blog lived on Tumblr for two months- until I decided I was too old for a hip Tumblr audience.) I have been trying to decide if my last post was a farewell piece or not, since the beginning of the year. I was going to move over to a private venue because calling what I do a "blog," seemed wrong. "A real bog would educate, inspire, affect positively" I told myself. "A real blog would be more organized, more opinionated. More...."

I do this to myself all the time; kill a thing before it's been given a life. I have been stymied by the whole issue, above all, because I think I am not good enough or some crap. I can't afford to think like that anymore. If I don't believe in myself, who can?  Blog schmlog, but don't stop! I think this is the point in a project where I typically give up. I have to see this as a succession of little problems to be worked slowly instead of one great, big, suffocating one. Six months is nothing.

Being crazy is all I have ever known. Surely, I  have something to say on the subject. Admittedly, the cocktail of medicine that I'm on is not helping. At times it feels as though my brain has been stolen and replaced with a dull, weighty stone.

My original aim was to blog for a year. The year I would stand in line to see a judge about my crazy. The year I would climb out of helpless mode and Help Myself. The year I win. That's the goal on my good days.

People care. I can see that clearly, now. I was so wrapped up in my dark place that I forgot the light of humanity. I was chewing on cotton and void of good feelings. I am sometimes full of excuses and self-hatred.

The fact is I will be pulling pieces of my mind back from the edge for the rest of my life. I have to decide what that looks like. I need something to show for all my secret battles. I need to see that I have been on this earth and done something- anything.