Release Me

Why am I my own worst enemy?

Release me from my self imposed shackles.

Open the window to my soul.

Let my eyes see the sunlight.

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My Cold, Cold Heart

The dark is beginning to squeeze out the light.  It is pitch dark as I get ready for work.  October rains bring a cold dampness indoors.

I love fall, but then there is the looming threat of winter.  Winter, where the urge to close the curtains, and take a mental health day(or 4 or 5) is ever so strong.  The bed calls my name.  I probably would take a mental health day off, but the health care industry isn’t super compassionate about people missing work…..or at least all the jobs I have ever had.

Just a couple months ago I’d thought about talking to my doctor about decreasing my antidepressants, partly because of the expense.  I feel like that would be a huge mistake. It feels like a switch has been flipped, how I can feel my mood plummeting.

If I were stronger, or more self disciplined, maybe I could handle this better.  I know the dip in my mood is coming, surely there is some way I could be better prepared.

It is probably time to turn off the TV and stay away from the more controversial parts of the internet, that would be helpful.

If this is October what will I do when it gets really cold and that hellish thing called snow comes calling.

Rule Book

When I was a child I remember having very strict notions about what was FAIR.  I think I also had some strict notions about what was just, even if I couldn’t have articulated the concept.  Of course fair as a child might center on trivial issues like each child at the birthday party getting the EXACT same sized piece of cake.

When I was a child I had the notion of an invisible rule book everyone followed, because that would be FAIR. One person would receive the same penalty for a crime as another.  The teacher would step in when she saw someone bullied.

Going to Catholic schools growing up I believed our leaders tried their best to ensure the public school system ensured equality of opportunity for all who passed through its doors.  When my own kids started public school, I saw that wasn’t quite so.

I believed my Catholic public school neighbor would stand up for me when his friend shouted “Dirty Catholic” across the street, when he saw me walking home in my Catholic school uniform.  I believed my parents would intervene somehow in the situation.

I believed that people wouldn’t selectively turn their heads away at the injustices of the world.

Of course little by little I realized my rule book was an imaginary work of fiction in my own brain.  If I got myself in a tizzy every time someone didn’t follow my rule book, I’d go crazy.

Recent events in the US from Charlottesville to the Las Vegas shootings to Harvey Weinstein make me sad.  That rule book in my head just won’t stay quiet.  No answers, just sadness.

I remember after 9/11, crying all the time when I watched the news.  Eventually I had to stop watching TV for a while.  Turning off the TV might be okay, but someday we need to pay enough attention to get our problems figured out.

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!