– On being there for you

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how can i be strong for you

when my bones have been crushed?

how can i comfort you

when i sleep in blankets of sadness?

how can i hold you

when my arms carry the weight of the world?

how can i listen to you

when the voices in my head are screaming?

how can i walk a mile in your shoes

when i can’t even get back on my feet?

how can i be part of your life

when my own life isn’t whole?

 

how can i be anything to you

when i’m nothing to myself?

                                — on being there for you

 

 

No Longer Standing

 

Who am I that the world

chooses to rest on

my shoulders?

That sadness floods

my veins –

each step a concrete block?

That my bones

splinter

piercing, piecing the distance –

a bridge of pain?

Each breath

a glass bubble

shattering with every

inhale.

Where is peace? Trapped

in the pages

of a book?

Bound and

covered in dust.

The trees

hold my thoughts

in their

thin skins.

Perhaps the oak

will accept these

words – another story

absorbed by those

no longer standing.

Brain Spill

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* I am writing this so that others can see one of the many faces of depression. I am not seeking pity or attention.

One thing I have always been in my writing is honest. So this is me being honest, unfiltered and raw.  I am not editing this at all, so please forgive the James Joycian run-ons and stream of consciousness, it’s the most accurate representation of how my mind is working (or not working) right now.

Tonight, I feel broken. I feel like I can’t move. I can’t breathe. There is something inside of me that won’t work no matter how much I tinker with it. And, believe me, there is much tinkering going on.

I don’t like this. I don’t want this. But this is me. I have clinical depression. At any given moment it visits me. It doesn’t care if I have everything I need, everything I want. It comes without warning and stays for as long as it wants. The sun may be shining. The clouds cleared, but inside of me the storm rages despite the current forecast. I try to fight it, but it’s like fighting the undertow. It. Just. Doesn’t. Work.

But think of all the good things you have. You have so much to be thankful for. No shit. I know that. But my depression doesn’t care. Those of you who say this, I don’t fault you. I don’t hate you for thinking it’s as simple as that. In fact, I think you know it isn’t, you just don’t really know what else to say. It’s okay. I don’t know what to say either.

It’s like someone asking you how you are. They are being polite. It’s what you do. It’s not like I’m going to answer by saying, you know what, I’m not good. In fact, I feel like I’m disintegrating. You just don’t say that. It makes people uncomfortable. I get it. It makes me uncomfortable too. 24 hour kind of uncomfortable. Unless there is wine. And then it’s only mildly annoying. Until there’s a sad song. And there’s always a sad song, isn’t there?

But I’m a mom. I can’t “self-medicate” like my mind tells me I want to. I can’t keep a travel mug full of “peace” with me at all times. And, honestly, I don’t want to. It scares me that the wine helps as much as it does. I don’t want to be that person. But a part of me is that person whether I like it or not.

Then there’s the most awesome part of all. My oldest son also has anxiety and depression. And every time I look at my youngest I wonder if I have passed the curse on to him as well. Do I think I shouldn’t have had kids? Absolutely not! This world needs my kids because they are incredible. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling guilty, which fuels my depression…vicious circle.

Did I mention I’m tired, but I can’t sleep?  I feel like I’m losing it most nights as I try to drift off with all of the what ifs shooting off like firecrackers in my mind. Problems that aren’t even my problems. Sadness that doesn’t even belong to me. I am too connected. So connected that I disconnect in order to survive.

I just want to rest. I just want to feel like everything will be okay. I want to trust the words I feed my children every day. It will get better. You just have to believe.  There are plenty of days where I feel like I’m just setting them up for the firing squad.

I’ll find my way out. I always have. But every time I surface, I can’t help but wonder when the next wave will hit.

 

 

 

We Are Meant to Hurt

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Handle With Care – mixed media artwork by Ginger McGee

We are the ones whose hearts beat on the outside. The quiet ones who don’t like conflict because it hurts too much. We already feel enough pain.

We are the ones who apologize to every animal we see dead on the side of the road. We feel pain that was never intended for us, but affects us anyway.

We feel like a raw nerve most days. Like every thing we read or see is ladened with a sadness we can hardly bear. And yet, we must.

And this is just who we are on a good day. Who we are often leads to depression and anxiety because we have no idea how to manage ourselves.

We long to shut out the world, if only for a moment, because we feel that we might implode if we see one more homeless person, one more abused animal, one more child in need.

And we help. And we care for. We go out of our way to give…for others, more often than not forgetting ourselves in the process.

So today as I was faced with a BP reading of 161/101, I was reminded of all of this. I let myself run out of my blood pressure medicine. I’ve been so busy worrying about other things in my life, other people in my life that I placed myself in the back of the line.

I talked with my mother tonight about these things – these emotions that are too heavy to carry around day after day, pretending that I’m ok. Why can’t I just forget things, or turn my head and look the other way? Why is it that every sad story finds a home in my head?

Tonight my mother answered that question. She told me that she believes I am meant to be this way. I am meant to be this way because the hurt I feel, leads me to act. I am meant to keep that ache within me as a constant reminder that I am here to help whenever and however I can. And I will. I always will.

However, I am trying very hard to practice the art of self-preservation by being selective about what I read, what shows I watch and who I spend time with. I know I’m not very good at this. But I also know that if I don’t get a handle on it then I won’t be able to help those who need it. As cliche as it is, I’ve got to help myself first so that I’ll be able to help the others who need it.

Methinks I’ve got a lot of work to do.