The big swing
People have always referred to depression as a pendulum or a roller coaster but I never liked those analogies. The reason I don’t like them is because it implies no effort where I’ve found the effort to pull out of depression pretty significant. I look at depression this way: We’re all standing on a sheet of ice over a deep, deep lake. everything that happens during the day (maybe even just thoughts) have two options in that they can either add to or subtract from the amount of weight you’re being subjected to. If you picture that bus that turned left on a red light across three lanes of traffic when I was on my way to work this morning is now sort of orbiting me now. Everything is like that to me. Things that bother me more orbit closer and more quickly, then slower as it goes out and bothers me less. But it also goes up, way above my head. Once the weight of all that gets to be too much, the ice cracks and you fall through (not pretty, I assure you). The thickness of the ice seems to be dictated by how patient you are. A few years ago I made a sincere effort to be more peaceful – sort of , as a person in general. It went really well. The ice under my feet seemed solid and strong. The things orbiting me just tended to drift further and further out eventually flying off. Nothing orbited very close at all. Those times are behind me now, my ice is thin and constantly moaning under the strain of things that bother me more than they should. Rejection, disappointment, frustration, self-doubt, jealousy, fear, uncertainty….so many thing swirling around blurring by very close, right in front of my face. It can be paralyzing because you know if you reach out, it’s like putting your fingers in a fan.
For some people this is where religion helps them out – that must be nice. But for me there are a range of things that will help me out. The first thing, is music. I love music and there really is something healing about it. I suspect the sheer will of music is the only thing keeping me from crashing through the ice some days. Sex is good too – very life affirming, though sometimes that can be harder to find than a homophobic Republican that doesn’t troll for penis. Exercise is excellent, and I go through fits where I’ll exercise, but I never can stick to it. And part of the reason exercise isn’t so necessary is because of working on the house, which is great for stress relief. Unless you have to do it all by yourself and end up sitting on a floor joist crying like a little girl. But that’s more rare than you would think and usually, just working my ass off is very helpful. The problem lately is that its been too hot to work. Also, because I’ve been doing sub-flooring and it’s extremely frustrating to try and do that alone. Just getting the 4′ by 8′ by 1″ boards on to the saw horses is a struggle that involves little more than me throwing the board in the general direction and hoping the saw horses don’t collapse. But probably the most interesting thing is that when I know the ice is going to break; when its cracking beneath my feet, that’s when things suck the most. And at that point I’m most likely to just go have a few too many drinks. It’s sort of like having that smoke when you’re tied to the post with the blindfold on. It’s the worst thing I can do at that point but virtually impossible to avoid.
I guess the thing is, at least to me, is all the waiting. Waiting for the traffic lights to be fixed, for the streets to be fixed, for crime to subside, etc. Basically for recovery to happen as if it were the big bang….that’s what I’m really waiting for…the big bang where all those post storm, ‘come on back’ promises will be fulfilled. Better? Stronger? I haven’t seen that at all. I have seen the opposite though. If you spend enough time waiting for anything that doesn’t seem to be coming it starts to feel an awful lot like rejection. Even if you know it’s not rejection, wait long enough, even with encouraging words, and it will feel like rejection. I’m sure of it. And rejection is a heavy one to have around be it from a person, group, city, state, or nation makes no difference. It moves fast around you and screams at you the whole time. It’s the kind of scream you feel on the back of your neck and makes your eyes feel wet. Rejection is probably the thing I’m least capable of dealing with as a person. And that’s just regular ol’ me, and doesn’t take into account Post K me….lol. My ice is so thin because I have no patience with damn near anything anymore. I’m furious in a Zack de la Rocha way. Things just seem to get in on me. I read a lot into nothing. I imagine connections that aren’t really there. I over react constantly.
I know I’m not the only one. I can see the same things in my neighbors and friends. I see their struggles and wish I could help, even try to help. but in the end, it’s all I can do to hold myself together. I end up doing more harm than good. And of course, then I feel bad about that. This constant fight against depression that I suspect a lot of people are having is starting to get old. It’s exhausting. No matter how much I sleep, when I can sleep, I still feel exhausted. I feel like I should constantly apologize to everyone I run into and until this weekend, I wasn’t sure why I felt that way. A friend of mine came in that’s known me for years and years. She noticed, and even mentioned, that I seem very different. That’s when I realized I should apologize for the fact that when people see me, they’re seeing this swirling mass of shit trying to keep it’s footing on a piece of ice that’s clearly going to give any minute. They can’t even see me. Maybe I’m not even in there anymore.
note: I started not to post this because it turned out too melodramatic and self pitying, which isn’t how I meant it at all. But decided to post it because that’s what happens when you try and talk about this kind of stuff and maybe that’s why it isn’t talked about much. Maybe others will be able to relate to what I’ve said here or maybe I’ve completely lost my mind – the first thing would be good and the second thing would be good to know.