Overflow

Self-indulgent overflow of any and all feelings follows below, woah boy.

I feel so hopeless sometimes. Like there’s nothing, nothing I can do to make myself feel better.  I numb, and I numb, and I numb, and I know I should stop.  But I’m more afraid of what will happen if I stop numbing.  What feelings are laying in wait for me to swallow me whole.

I just feel sad and tearful and I can’t think of any reason why.   I’m lonely a bit for a friend, a girl friend.  I still don’t really have any in this city.  I’m also so stuck with my writing.  My dream is to become a full time writer, and part of me knows I’ve got what it takes, but the other part is stuck.  I get so frustrated.   I wonder why the hell do I think I could be successful? I wonder why the hell I think I should be successful if I can’t even get my ass off the couch, and write a few sentences.   And I know in my heart the truth is that I won’t achieve my dreams if I don’t try to.  But I’m so paralyzed right now.

I’m afraid I’ll finish this book that I’m writing and it will be crap.  I’m afraid that I’ll never find anyone who will want to publish it.  I’m afraid the book publishing industry is falling apart so there will never be any space for me to succeed anyway.  I’m afraid that even if it’s published I don’t have the marketing platform to sell any copies.  I’m afraid I will fail in full force.  I’m afraid I will burst the bubble on my own dream, realize I can’t really make it happen after I’ve tried.  That I’ll be stuck forever in a corporate job, doing what “responsible” people do. Then I’m afraid that having any of these fears means that I don’t believe in myself.  How are you supposed to succeed when you don’t believe in yourself?

One glass of wine and I stopped tonight. I really, really wanted that second drink. I wanted to numb out and check out and not deal with anything.  But then all of the sudden the desire to feel something, anything was greater than my urge for a drink.  And I made a cup of tea.  I’ve been having that second drink for weeks.  So whatever I’m feeling hasn’t caught up with me.  The tears are coming and I’m not sure entirely why.

I’m just afraid that I won’t be able to make any of my dreams come true.  That I don’t deserve any of them. I used to feel that way about finding someone who would love me for all of me.  But if I look now, I see that I have a wonderful husband, who loves me and see me for all of me.  He believes in me more than I do sometimes, and inspires me.  He comes home and comforts me and helps me see the light again.

I feel some hope, because I’m sitting here feeling these feelings tonight.  I’ve spilled them out there.   With love, I learned a lot about needing to love myself before I found someone who loves me they I deserve to be loved.  So I’m going through a growing stage with writing I guess.  I trust that I’m where I need to be right now.  I will still show up though.  If I show up and do my best for the day, that’s all I can ask. At the end of it all, I love writing and if I follow that nudge of intuition I can’t fail.  I can only grow.

Funny how those feelings of doubt and despair, when I finally open them up, and named them, they move right through me.  All it took was the end of this post to get them all down.  I still have those fears and doubts but they’re not holding me hostage anymore.  I will need to relearn this lesson over and over and over, but when you acknowledge the feelings they loosen their grip on you.  Thank God for that!

Depression Stopping By

I wrote about depression a few days ago, and it was a funny thing.  Rereading the post I thought to myself, “wow, I’m feeling pretty good.”  I even wrote that I hadn’t suffered a bout of depression since I got married.  Famous last words. Well, I’ve learned my lesson beacuse it seems to have reared it’s very ugly head over the past few days.

Perhaps it’s the death of my grandfather, making me realize life is short.  Perhaps it was getting a glimpse of what living my dream life would feel like.  Then heading back to work on Monday and having reality hit me hard in the face, like an iron. Perhaps it’s hormones, that make me blue and irritable and unstable – pretty much one quarter of my life.

I’ve been feeling dragged down, teetering on the edge of falling back into a dark, black hole.  I have an issue running from emotions.  There are only two things that happen when you run from emotions. One – you speed away from them and they loom larger and larger in your rearview mirror until they’re so scary you can’t keep your eyes on the road any longer and you crash. Two – you ignore them completely and drive along la-di-da until a cement highway divider of emotions comes out of nowhere and you crash into at 60 miles an hour, your car wrenched in two right down the middle.

This is an attempt to just sit, and say hey big scary depressive feelings.  I see you.  I know you lie to me, and you’re probably going to shove me down into that black, hole when I’ve got my back turned. But I’m alright, I got this.  I’ve climbed out of the hole many times, and I get better and better at it each time I have to.  (Note: my depression is usually of the mild variety and I haven’t had to go on medication.)  There are a number of things that help me keep depression at bay:

  • Fresh air and sunlight
  • Exercise
  • Music
  • Keeping the house clean
  • Eating well
  • Ditching alchohol
  • Journaling

I feel like my insides have been vaccuumed out, and there’s nothing inside.  I will force myself to go through the  motions of taking good care of myself, no matter how pointless it feels. These little actions add up overtime I know, and eventually help me find my way out of the fog.

On being blue

Icy Blue Heart - Flikr LittleMissPip

Being blue, or feeling depressed if I want to call it what it is, sucks.  It really, really, really sucks. There’s no way around it.  Thankfully I haven’t had an episode since right before I got married. (Let me say that’s a brilliant time to be depressed. When everyone you know expects everything to be all puppies and rainbows.)  At that time, I’d feel completely overwhelmed by my feelings, as if I sinking down knowing I was drowning, but not being able to get my arms or legs to move to swim back up to the surface.  The worst part about it is how isolating it is.  It happens on the inside, so you look like your same old self to everyone who knows you.  Nobody sees the deep, dark, black hole you’ve fallen into.  The most crazy making part about it for me, was that it made me feel like I couldn’t trust myself. Depression lies to you, and after a while it’s hard to find the knotted-up thread of truth in the pitch black, cold hole you’re sitting in.

I also really struggled with the idea that something was wrong with me.  No one else I know is sad for no reason, completely devoid of energy to even eat.  Depressions is so often kept quiet or hidden away, as a dirty little secret.  Part of what helped me recover was realizing I wasn’t alone, that depression happens.  It happens to a lot of other wonderful women.  That realization doesn’t make it any easier, but it at least helped me accept myself and my depression.

When I was sorting out the complicated mess of emotions that happens around a wedding and marriage, I found one – one single resource – that talked about the real stuff around weddings.  A Practical Wedding.  This life-saving (and I’m not being over dramatic here) blog discusses the hard stuff, the fun stuff, the stuff that it’s really actually about.  Not the dress, not the details that cost thousands of dollars, but about the fact that you are creating a new family with your chosen partner.  More specifically this blog saved me because it talked about what it’s like to grapple with marriage and anxiety or depression. And that it’s okay, it doesn’t mean you love your partner any less.

The fact that I read about more and more women being honest and sharing their battles against depression makes me feel like we’re moving in a really good direction. I’m so grateful that women like Dooce and The Bloggess are sharing their stories.

By no means am I glad that anyone has to face depression, it’s just heartening to feel like it’s possible to shine a light down into the holes we crawl in when we’re depressed.  With this little flashlight lighting the way, it’s easier to realize you’re not alone, and have hope for healing.  I couldn’t be more thankful for that.