A lot of people say they wish they were invisible… it pisses off those of us who feel invisible. Sure there would be a few benefits (probably more curses though – I mean do you REALLY want to know what others say about you?) but ask anyone who feels as insignificant as a grain of sand, invisible is no fun.
I am always the one to randomly send a post, letter or phone call to most of my friends. Sometimes I wait for them to talk and find I am waiting so long I am sure they have forgotten who I am. Even my partner comes home from work, shares his day and then will disappear into his own world forgetting I am here. He will pass through and say hi when he needs a cigarette or something to drink. I feel I am just a knick-knack on the counter only dusted when needed to be presentable on occasion. Otherwise LONG ago forgotten as a new exciting find.
Growing up in the shadow of a sister who did well in school is just one of the ways I blended into the woodwork of my family too. Living with an alcoholic for 20 years kept me isolated from family and friends a lot of my adult life. And always being shy nailed the coffin shut on much of a social life. So how do I make myself worthy of being seen? Is it even worth it?
I don’t feel I have anything to offer. These words are not the work of Shakespeare or Stephen King. No one is going to see my name on the New York Times bestseller lists ever. I take pictures, but will not grace National Geographic’s pages. I craft but am far from any gallery displays. Why would anyone go out of their way for insignificant me?
I am reminded of the musical Chicago and the song Mr Cellophane. He sings of people looking right through him… that seems like a daily occurrence for me. I guess it is just a basic need to feel that I matter somehow, someway, to at least someone. I don’t want to change the world… just be a visible part of it.
Depression sucks! In the midst of many life stresses, I am feeling the symptoms of all I endure…. depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia. I am aching from head to toe, feel my thoughts swirling like a tornado in my mind, and jumping at every little sound. I sit alone with my laptop and try to chase the feeling of doom with a little music. Try to pass the time with a mindless game. Try to slow the thoughts down with relaxation techniques. None of this is working today. The craving for comfort food (especially some sweets) keeps drawing me to the kitchen, only to find nothing to satisfy and calm me. I hover over my cell phone trying to decide if I should burden anyone with my pain and terror today, only deciding it would change nothing and only make me look even less “normal” than I already do. So I turn to a blank screen and the keyboard. I write a couple of poems to get some of the chaos out. Then talk to you… my invisible audience that I hope exists. I let off some of the pressure I feel pinned down by with each word I type. It is far from a cure. It will not stop the pain. But to write helps distract me in some ways. A deep focus on how the sentence will flow, or to find the right block of words to convey what I am dealing with. The words are not completely right, but they are close enough to slow the flood. I hold onto a dream that maybe these words are what someone else may need to see someday to know they are not alone. Today, at this moment, they are the words that I need to write for my own peace of mind. In short, depression sucks!
Can I take a minute of your time? This month is mental health awareness month and if anyone out there is actually reading my blogs I am sure you know I have issues with depression. I admit it fully and will add in some anxiety disorder for good measure too. Some days if feels like a recipe for disaster and other day can be close to what some call normal. Tonight I am not normal. I am crying and missing a friend who has locked me out of his life. I often wonder if that was because of my depression. He was very kind and caring at first and I thought we were great friends… then he asked to borrow some money. I gave it to him and felt I had really helped a friend out… that is when little things changed. He would no longer stand and talk for 5 or 10 minutes with me just because. Text responses became less and less until he was never responding. And a phone call was out of the question. …so why did he leave?
That was about 4 years ago. Now another friend I have actually known almost as long has started not responding to email. Another friend will never answer a phone call. And one more friend I used to visit at least once every week or two seems to always be busy. Depression takes those things and turns them ALL into my fault. I did something wrong. I am the toxic person in any relationship. I am doomed to be alone. Even my boyfriend is more and more distant. Is there any chance for an open and honest depressive to have a social life at all? Are we all destined to sabotage our relationships some how?
I have no answers only questions and sadness. The longer the sadness stays with me the worse I get … so I write. I used to write to my friends, but I think that may be part of the problem. So now I write to everyone and more likely no one. I am not good at this blog thing…. but just maybe one night I will connect with one person and they will see there is a way to let go of some of the depression and purge a little of the pain. To you dear reader … or if I dare to dream readerS… thank you for taking time, for giving me just a minute of your time. Letting me bleed out the pain like ink drops on paper (or keyboard to screen as it were). does help me a little and if there is only one single person out there having a bad night that sees a small connection and a bit of hope, then my late night ramblings are worth it. I will continue to expose my gaping wounds and try to find ways to heal… there is plenty of room on the depression train. Take a ride with me and I will supply the words and tissues.
Truly thanks for reading!
Dreams twist realities
Anticipations take flight
Then in one bleak moment
A crushing fist of truth
Slams into my heart
The words of denial
Kill all confidence in me
Wishes are slaughtered
With the actions of certainty
I am left empty
Fantasies now burned ashes
Only nightmarish facts glare
I am not good enough
I am worthless
Piece by piece
My heart crumbles
Exposing a little more
Uncovering the truth
Only to find
There is nothing there
A black hole
Consuming all joy
A vacuum of emotions
Denying me hope
Darkening my soul
Ending all light
Taking out the life
Like yesterdays garbage
Why is it that with other people around me I can feel utterly alone, but when it was just me taking walks in nature I felt surrounded in love and beauty? When I was more isolated in natures embrace I felt less alone than at my own home… am I really that broken? I can find a little bit of relief in looking at those pictures I gathered back when I could still walk 30 to 60 minutes without batting an eye. Now as my body twists in pain and weighs heavy with fatigue I am lucky to walk ten feet from the car to the bridge entering one of my favorite parks. But those birds singing and the rushing water are like a warm embrace of an old friend. My chair with family scattered to opposite corners of the house feels like a padded cell locking me out of life. As the isolation grows so does the depression. Finally I wander to seek another human’s contact and feel the empty greetings of them being interrupted in the game they are playing or video they are watching. Maybe I am meant to take flight, far away, soaring into the skies? But my wings are clipped and I feel tethered to this existence of loneliness in life. I only find brief moments of freedom – an occasional shared laugh or a short conversation about more than what is for dinner – that give me hope. A hope that maybe I can slowly file that chain off my ankle and find a step or two each day towards believing that I belong and am no longer the discarded one…. alone in the corner.
(**WARNING – Possible Triggers**)
The hamster on the wheel endlessly spinning.
The constant squeak grinding into my head.
The words bouncing off the walls of my skull
like an endless handball game of thought.
Constant buzzing and relentless noise
blasts a permanent one way vacuum
letting insomnia scream into my life.
Never finding peace.
Never finding quiet.
Never finding relief.
There is only doubt, fear and sadness
as the days and night blur into a black hole.
Leaving my life a void of hope.
Nothing to feel.
Nothing to see.
Nothing worth living…
“I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.”… words posted on Facebook today. Knowing the person who posted it I would be willing to bet they are song lyrics, but for me it is reality. And I am so tired of pushing them under the water only to have them pop to the surface again and again and again… Perhaps today I can write a few of them away. Expose their evil to the world leaving them a little weaker. Giving me more strength to hide behind the mask one more day. Maybe leaving a small legacy behind if the demons should finally win someday…
The demons scar my mind
with thoughts of worthlessness
with feelings of abandonment
with fears of isolation.
The demons control my days
filled with tears
filled with pain
filled with exhaustion.
The demons ruin my future
taking away friends
taking away faith
taking away hope.
The demons must be stopped
before I erode
before I vanish
before I die.
(Mental illness is a serious disease. I am seeking medical help and trying new things all the time to find a brighter future for me and my family. I strongly suggest anyone who has depression to get help. NO ONE is ever alone.. call someone, talk to others, get help. There is always someone available 24/7 at the national suicide hotline and limited hours with their online chat as well. 1-800-273-8255 and www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Don’t let the demons win.)
Some days I win, and some days I just want to gag my mind. I don’t know how else to say it. I know it is the depression coming through in brilliant Technicolor evil. I just don’t understand how I can have a manageable day or two and then SLAM back into the corners of darkness, self-hate and doubt the next. And shouldn’t a yellow warning sign pop out of my ear or something to let me know it is coming?
There is PMS to signal the start of Mother Nature’s flow. There are warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Stoke victims can even see the early warning signs to tell them it is time to call 911. I knew two people who have seizure disorders and can feel them coming on. And it is the job of service animals to sense those changes coming on in the body from many illnesses so you can get help. Why not depression?
I had coffee with a friend yesterday and honestly had a laugh or two. We talked and shared stories for over 2 hours. I had some shopping to do and was pretty tired by the time I made it home, but had wonderful sweet treats to share with my family. My amazing daughter suggested pizza for dinner so no cooking and minimal clean up sounded great to me. Then as everyone went to bed and I was wired and tired … the demon peeked around the corner looking to see if it was time to strike. And apparently it was.
She was there last night and I was able to keep most of her hateful words quiet. Sitting in the dimmed light with my laptop it was a bit hard to argue the old – “You are ALONE again” story. But I could rationally tell her others were just asleep while the pain of activity had me a little restless still. No big deal. I finally slept a little and was ready to great the new day with hope and endless potential. She was barricading the door.
Pain woke me up at least a half a dozen times. And when I knew the clock had ticked too far into the day for me to just TRY and find a more comfortable way to sleep… she was there with her evil grin to lead me into the day.
“You are worthless. You can’t even work. These pains will never leave you. You will be on medications FOREVER. Your friends never respond to you because it is all pity friendships. Oh look… another friend gone from your friends list.” And on and on she screams.
I had a brief moment or two before my daughter left for work when I almost smiled. I thought maybe the demon is losing some strength… but she is strong today. That is why I sit in front of my keyboard now. I sometimes can write her out of my head and onto the screen. Each keystroke a blow to her power and command over me. Each negative thought emptied out of my head like a poison being extracted from a bite.
She is still here. More important is that I am still here too. I am going to put on some music (not that song “Happy” though… just so overplayed it is annoying now) find my cat and shut off the rest of the world and just BREATHE. With any hope, my calm with send her chaotic madness back into the shadows… at least for a while.
I know how I want to die. I want to be like a lost balloon. I want gravity to just stop right where I am standing and let me float away in the air. Most kids when they lose a balloon will cry and maybe be devastated enough that they feel like this is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen to them. Look at them a day later or even just a few hours and it is usually the furthest thing from their mind. Sure they may look back on it with a little sadness too, but rest assured by the time they have a week or two pass, it will only be the memory of something beautiful gently leaving them.
I woke up this morning and spent more than 5 minutes staring at my wrist. I wonder why so many chose the blue-green lines that crisscross there as the point of release for life? I wondered which line would be the right one to choose? I have known people who have cut or burned themselves to release the awful pain inside. They say it is like letting the bad drain out of them when the blood drips. I just see it as evidence left behind I would have to explain over and over again for the rest of my life… however long I could survive still. I never had that as a plan though. My choice was always a tree.
I had a tree picked out just off the side of the road. It was not a deep ditch between me and the tree to stop me from making my destination. I gave it thought more than one day too. I didn’t want to hit another car or a part of a bridge, because someone innocent might end up hurt. I thought of the “safety” of a semi–truck driver behind all that metal, but feared emotional scars for them and I wouldn’t put anyone in the place of feeling blame for my decision. So the tree was it. It was big and beautiful, but life had other plans for me.
A friend intervened and I have seen a counselor for more than 4 years now. I don’t think I will ever be able to say I am not depressed, but I am trying to deal with it and treat it every day. Mornings like today remind me it will never leave. I have taken my anti-depressant now. I have written out some of the bad thoughts. But still that one image floats through my mind.
Let me be the colorful balloon soaring effortlessly through the sky. Let me be that red spot that brings smiles to the faces of innocent bystanders who watch it until it is a mere speck on the horizon. Let gravity end so I can take a peaceful flight to freedom. Just not today…