Summer Snippets…The Graveyard of Old Hurts

Circumstances have dictated that I must spend more time with my sister and my mom. Being around family means that old disagreements and painful memories come back to the surface.

It is okay to examine these old hurts for a time.  It gets dangerous for me though when they start to consume my thoughts.  Memories I thought were long dead come back to life to haunt me.

When those old memories haunt me, it is easy for my depression to sneak in and cast a dark cloud over everything.

I know for now I must say goodbye to the graveyard.  Time to get back amongst the living.

The Seedy Side of Town

Everywhere she goes she always can connect with the seedy side of town.  In her hometown it is the dividing line where old money sits across the street from the very poor.  Nestled nearby is a “charming” historical district with many bars.

In the seedy side of town the golden rule does not apply.  The predatory and the opportunistic easily find the most damaged of society.  Sometimes it is hard to tell the predator from the prey.

In the dim light of night she looks attractive.  If you look closer though you can see her smudged mascara, dirty fingernails and unwashed clothes, and you might turn away.

She mostly seeks her own type, those who cannot say no to another beer.  She seeks validation and affirmation that she is still something.  She doesn’t care the price she pays as long as she gets her fix for the night.

Not content to sit at home and fall asleep after one too many drinks, she comes alive in the night.  For just one more night she can tell a sympathetic stranger her tales of woe.

In the hot blinding daylight of summer, life is just too harsh to face.  Better to sit in the dark air conditioned bar where no one cares if she is sober or drunk.

Be My Catalyst

I look for inspiration everywhere.  Inspiration to counteract the shadow of depression.  Inspiration to tell me there are others who have much heavier burdens in life but manage to survive and thrive.  Inspiration from anyone and everyone.  Inspiration from a friend or someone’s written word. I want to be that golden woman kissed by the sun with a smile that tells the world she can still run the race.

My Garden

I thought it was my garden.

My humble effort at creativity.

An experiment that has gone on many years.

With the plants I’ve always loved, with occasional newcomers.

Just simple harmless dirt, some flowers and weeds.
I didn’t ask you to help.

But yet you can’t keep your hands off of it.

Of course you think you can make it better, oh and neater too.

We wouldn’t want the garden to be messy.

I thought it was my place to play, to succeed and fail.

No, I can’t have even the dirt.

The Frozen Center of My Depression

I feel like I have been doing well with my depression.  Having more hours of summer sunshine is always helpful.  Usually the effect is like a veil of fog slowly lifting.  Then winter comes again and I have to resist the urge to crawl under the covers.  In winter there is an urge to want to hibernate, and snarl at anyone who pokes me.

Despite the sunny days my depression has a frozen center which sort of nags at me. There is this pull to do something about the frozen center.  It is hard to describe the frozen center.  Perhaps it is the expectation I put on myself to be a contained sort of person, not to do anything wild or let go.  Maybe another person might respond to this urge by dyeing her hair with a color not found in nature.

I know taking care of the frozen center involves doing something.  What that something might be I am not sure.  Would it be a collection of small things, like getting a manicure or reading a book.  Or would it be something larger, like setting a goal and actually committing to reaching said goal.  A real goal, not a crazy one where I set myself up to fail.  Spending more time outdoors certainly couldn’t hurt me.

Maybe some people deal with the frozen center by having a gin and tonic or two.  I sometimes think about that, but given my family history probably not the best choice. Maybe it is time to look for a new job.

The frozen center is a question, but I am not sure what the answer is.

insomnia

Here I sit. I cannot sleep I do not know the answer. I’m thinking about a million things and waiting for the laundry to be done in the dryer.

I should try to lay down soon, so I don’t feel like crap tomorrow.

I don’t feel tired. I know later when I do, the fatigue will sneak in and fan the flames of depression.

Then I will reach for some sort of caffeinated elixir, and be right back where I started.

If only there was the promise of some exciting dreams once I fell asleep. My last dream was about a snowy parking lot and a truck being stolen. I want my dreams to be more than that!

Goal setting…and reality

I often daydream about this and that.  How I could radically transform my life in just 30, 60 or 90 days.

I design the transformation plan in my head.  It usually includes some sort of strict exercise regimen, and giving up unhealthy foods and adding in healthier ones.

The transformation plan will always start on Monday.  It can’t start sooner because I plan to have at the very least a bacon cheeseburger and some ice cream over the weekend.

The plan to a new glorious me will often fail these days because by Monday I forget all the spartan details I’d etched into my mind on Friday night.

When I was younger and my mind was sharper, I used to fill spiral notebooks with the details of my plans.  I’d have homemade graphs with boxes to check.  Reminders to myself of what to do and what not to do.

It used to seem like the old spiral notebook was one tool to get me where I wanted to go. The act of physically writing things down seems to be an important part of the process. But I can be arrogant about the need to write things down, even though the arrogance doesn’t serve me well.

Maybe I should buy myself another spiral notebook.

I’d Like To Take a Mental Health Day off of Work..

….but I won’t.  I need to remind myself though to sign up for more vacation time.

Work is getting stranger, and busier.  There is that old saying, “Stop the world, I want to get off”, that is how I feel.  Usually, I accept work as one of the realities of life.  Today is one of those days where I would love to quit.  Or perhaps find a job with more flexibility where I am not expected to work some holidays and weekends.

I’d like to have more time with family.  Wouldn’t we all?

Of course, work gives me a paycheck.  Most days I feel like I do something meaningful in my job.  Some days I feel like it drains everything out of me, so my drive to do meaningful things outside of work is not there.

If only I could get away somewhere warm and sunny for just a few days.  We’ve had a fairly mild winter in the Midwest, but it snowed today.  Bah humbug to the snow!

Am I burnt out?  Am I depressed…I don’t know.  I know my mood  will soon pass.  I don’t know what the long term solution is.  The short term solution….take a nap or watch TV?

SELFISH

Lent starts today.  It is after midnight as I write, so I guess it is technically Ash Wednesday. Even though I am no longer a practicing Catholic, I try to put some thought in to Lent.  Usually I think about something I can do, rather than something I can give up.

I’d thought about writing the post about being selfish before I thought about Lent.

Sometimes as a woman I feel as if there is extra pressure not to appear selfish to others. Right now I am going through a season in life where I am trying to do everything to make family my number one priority.  By that I mean my husband and my kids, but not my in laws or my own family of origin.  I don’t necessarily feel the need to explain myself, but somehow a part of me cares how others might view me.  So, no I don’t want to work an extra shift at my job.  No,  my husband and I would just rather stay home, rather than spend some time with family members we aren’t so crazy about.  You get the idea.

Yesterday at work was a bit crazy.  As I’ve mentioned before I am a nurse.  I was focused on getting the important things done, instead of being a pillow fluffer.  I closed my office door so I could try to get my work done more quickly without distractions.  Of course I look more approachable if my door is open.  I spent part of my work day taking part in an educational function.  I guess since I was one of the organizers I was supposed to buy treats out of my own pocket.  But because I’m selfish, lazy AND cheap, I skipped buying the treats.

Maybe during Lent, I’ll give more though to negotiating the idea of being selfish.  How can one be loving to others while still meeting their own needs.