Posts Tagged ‘depression’

I took myself out today, all by myself, no dogs–I know, shock. They were sad when I left, without their walk, but I really needed to just be alone and breathe.

I went downtown and walked through Capitol Park to Ambrosia cafe on K Street–great people watching, which is all I wanted to do.  Ho-hum on the coffee, but I ate a delicious apple galette. There may also have been the best pesto focaccia I have EVER eaten, sold to me outdoors at their catering set-up by the sweetest girl, but that’s a lot of food, and oh, how I will pay for it. Comfort food really can be comforting, for a while.

I walked back through the park just taking in all the sensations of a day: the political “suits” on their phones, looking so very handsome & verboden. The state workers in their dresses, nylons and sneakers. The evangelist with a speaker on the corner–annoying. The smell of spring blowing through the trees. It was  mostly all good.

And then I came home and got stuck again. Nothing has sold in the shop. I blame myself–not enough product? Prices too high? Bio not splashy enough? The allure is. not. WHAT?!? WHAT is the allure NOT doing?! I am tired of battling this question. My answer always feels like something I have done wrong, ergo I am wrong.

Spiral, spiral, spiral.

It can be really hard not to go there, especially living and working alone. There is no cheering squad, or kind soul, to really help me out of these emotional ruts.

So, I write–write, write, write it all out–and try to breath, make more coffee (simple tasks), shoot some photos, take a step forward, even a baby step, even a shuffle.

It will pass–and it will come back with a vengeance!–but then it will pass again. this is just how it goes.

d, xo

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I looked straight at my doctor today and said, “Oh, you know…I’ve been a little sad lately….” And then my mouth opened up and poured a heavy list of life happenings into his hands, before I said, “but you know, I’ll cheer up….”

He nodded, wanted to add more medication on top of what I’m already taking to “cheer myself up” but seriously, it’s just more upon more. I remind him that depression is not sadness, but he’s too busy talking. I let it go. This  journey has been longer than my short time knowing the doc.

“Sadness is more or less like a head cold – with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”Barbara Kingsolver

I often blame myself–I am NOT working nearly hard enough as I should be, so of course, I’m not successful! Then I blame my circumstance: teaching killed my spirit and created a fear in me I never knew I would endure. Public anxiety, much? For god sakes, get over it, already! But then…

I flip, I flop, I am up, I am down. I work, I work, I work, then I stare at the computer like it’s a slot machine that will DO something wonderful, cheerful, miraculous, uplifting. I wish, I pray, I get up, I take a shower, I walk the dogs, I measure success in tiny, tiny teaspoons, and then I pour then on the floor.

Depression runs in my maternal family. There, I said it! (Please don’t tell my mother. She would be horrified.) Family maters stay in the family, which is to say, we do not speak of them, ever.

This is how my mother was raised, but my own stubborn determination to shove back at depression, and later–after 4 super fun years of inner-city subbing — acute social anxiety, rage internally.

It’s an all-or-nothing battle of beliefs: I have good sales, I am up! I don’t have a sale, I am bad–also, I have failed, I don’t work hard enough, I am not focused enough, young enough, determined enough, I am down. There is no practical inference of how bad bad is.  It’s just ALL bad.

The doc has been trying to get me to go to this group thing: meditation, yoga, group hugs, bio feedback…I want to chew my arm off rather than go, but I promised–though I’ve promised before–that I will go. I will go. I will go….and all I want to do is walk, sip coffee, stare at the sky, breathe. That I can do.

I tell myself it is a journey–what a cliché. What I really believe is that happiness may not truly be for me. It may not–and I say this after many, many years–be attainable. This is not to say I am never happy! I am.  I have known some great joys, but they fall upon me like leaves from a tree. I hold them for a moment and then they float on.

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I’m not sleeping.

I’m not sleeping so the boogy men are coming out to tromp on my self-worth, pick at the dark circles, the wrinkles, the… I go out, try to sit quietly amongst the clans of gabby lunch goers, drink my coffee. I am trying to take in what they have without being overwhelmed by it. It’s a real oil and water ordeal.

I go out, try to sit quietly amongst the clans of gabby lunch goers.

When I don’t sleep, I don’t get up, because come morning I’ve already been up a dozen times in the night, my head feels heavier than a pumpkin, it throbs and creaks like an old porch door,  and the pillow feels softer than it is. The bed feels like a safe raft. Zephyr comes up and lies beside me. I can press my head against his warm, breathing fur. It helps quiet it all.

The bed feels like a safe raft.

When I rise finally, I start comparing. All my lacks against all their strides–you know, “them.” I am falling behind, even when I am making small steps to get ahead. They feel like they are never enough. For every step up I make, I fall back a flight of stairs.  The bruises are adding up.  

For every step up I make, I fall back a flight of stairs.  The bruises are adding up.

It’s difficult being alone, because there is no one to lean on, to wrap their arms around me, counter attack my negative grocery list. I have to be my own blanket, my own healer, my own everything. I spend a lot of time battling good against evil in my head. It’s exhausting.

The only thing I know to do is start over, again and again and again.  

As I sit here, my laundry list grows longer and I watch it unfurl like ticker tape. It is mesmerizing.

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I never know it until it’s right on top of me, how this dark gray weather, that can linger for days, affects me. It makes me terribly blue.

I try to pick myself up and get on with the day, but they’re very heavy, those clouds, all soaked, like a bad sponge over head, drip, drip, drip.

When it’s hot and sunny here I say things like “Agh! I’m moving to Seattle (which I love). It’s so much cooler there,” and” It’s just a little rain,” but the truth is it’s not just a little rain and gray is a bad color, except in a sweater.

I need to be outside, a lot.  It isn’t just Zephyr who’s getting walked every day. “You’re such a good dog owner,” neighbors say, but really Zephyr is walking me too.

I get antsy and I’m prone to depression. Gloomy can feel like forever. I have to keep moving to stave off the blues. One of the toughest kinks really is how it feels like this gray doesn’t affect anyone else. It’s just a day and it’s raining, ho-hum. I feel guilty, like I should be better at “Okay, ho-hum, gray weather, on to the next thing,” but my DNA isn’t strung that way. So I have to deal with more about little things.

Right now, I’m packing boxes, listening to music upstairs, and the TV is on low downstairs. It makes my small apartment feel festive, alive. Whatever healthy tricks you have up your sleeve for staving off the blues do it. Go for coffee, see a movie, stroll through the mall, window shop. Exercise (I’m telling myself this too). As a friend once said, “If you’re not hurting anyone, or yourself, it’s okay.”

I find that Christmas lights are a big help too.

d xo

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Yesterday, out of nowhere I signed up for the Reverb 10 challenge to create a piece or art, writing, post, anything creative for every day of December.

I nearly drowned on the first question: Sum up this last year in one word. A flood of sad words landed on the paper, before I chose the word: PRIVATE, because I really didn’t want to share. I didn’t want anyone to see me that sad, that broken. Last night was long and I got really depressed. I gave those words life by writing them down. They suddenly owned me.

This morning was gray. I might have stayed in bed all day, but I started searching for replacement words, other possibilities, other ways out and this is what happened:


If it wasn’t a good day, mulch it. 🙂

d. xxoo

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