Saturday, October 10, 2009


I'm feeling sorry for myself.

I am. I know it's the nature of depression, to feel sorry for myself sometimes. Not all the time, not even most or much of the time...but sometimes. This is one of those times.

I wasn't. Feeling sorry for myself, I mean. I was, in fact, feeling rather good about things earlier today. I tried to help, and I hope succeeded in helping, a friend. I played with my son. Did some laundry and tidied the kitchen a bit. Made lunch.

And then?

I don't know.

Then I started feeling...low. Lonely. Feeling what's always there, just below the surface, waiting until I am unawares to bubble up and remind me that I'm not a happy person, however much I may be smiling lately.

Maybe it started with another blog I read, one that triggered memories of emotional and verbal abuse from my childhood...echoes of a cold, calculating voice telling me I'm not good enough, I'm boring and stupid and fat and weak and no one really wants me, they're just being nice, they're all out to use me and when I'm no longer useful they'll leave me alone again and...shut up, shut up, shut up...

Maybe it started when my son asked if we could order pizza - something he used to have once a week with his father before the divorce, on the one night a week I had a few hours to myself and as part of their special time together - and I had to tell him no, we can't afford it. He was philosophical about it...but it hurt me to tell him no to such a simple request.

Maybe it got worse when I finally admitted I needed a friend to talk to...and then realized there's no one I can (or want to) call. My mother is sick, and I really don't want to bother her. What about this friend? No - out of town for business, doesn't need me bringing her down and anyway, she's probably really busy. How about...? Nope - out of town guests in for the weekend, and two kids...really, she'd take the time but I won't ask. Or there's... No, wait, she hasn't been well, her mother's in and out of the hospital, her roof leaked during the floods last month, and she doesn't need my petty little foolishness added to all that. I could call... No, no I couldn't...because I don't want to trouble someone who's having issues of his own with what amounts to nothing more than memories and mood swings.

I came to the conclusion that I'm the one everyone else knows, KNOWS, they can call. Any time, for any reason, if they need me, they know without question they can call, and I'll answer. And if they need me to, I'll come over and be there for them. I have driven to New York on a moment's notice, because a friend called. I've dropped everything to smuggle a baby chicken into the hospital for a friend (funny story, that, and not at all as weird as it sounds). I've helped bury pets, talked a Vietnam veteran down from nightmares night after night, gotten money to stranded people, driven out to Las Vegas and back to get someone home, cooked and delivered meals to sick or hungry people, given money I couldn't spare to someone who had less, opened my home to someone who would otherwise be homeless, been available to help rescue battered women, ready to drive them to a shelter or a secret house, and always, always, I answer the phone and listen.

But when I think about the people I know and love...I can't think of anyone I want to bother with my irrational tears and feelings of worthlessness. It's not that they say "Don't call" Quite the opposite - they invite me to reach out.

I suck at reaching out. Sometimes, no matter how much I'm hurting, I can't tell anyone...I'm so used to carrying it within me, silent...but if only someone would notice, would ask, would tell me they KNOW something's wrong and then wait...sometimes then, I can find a way...

Sometimes, too, I feel like it's an intrusion on their lives, despite their words. It's so easy to SAY "If you need me, you can call any time." Much harder to understand what that means and maintain the sentiment. People have jobs. They have families and lives and things that have meaning to them...and really, I just don't figure I'm one of them. Well...not like that, anyway...not in a boring, needy, depressed now and always sort of way.

So I'm feeling sorry for myself, and lonely, and alone, and I can't do anything about it because I'm bound up in my own misery and trying very hard not to let it impact my son, and...sigh...


Friday, October 9, 2009

Necessary Roughness

I'm having an unpleasant day. I'd call it bad, but I can't stir myself to be that invested in it.

For some reason I have not yet quantified, I am not sleeping much or well...and for the last few nights, I have quietly wept myself to sleep. It's a nebulous thing, indefinable...a mid-grade unhappiness...combined with an overwhelming lonliness that's kept at bay during busy daylight hours, but late at night feels free to roam the gardens of my mind, planting the seeds of its strangler vine where it will...

Yesterday, my son got into an ant pile. He washed the ants off his feet with the hose and went back to playing, cool. Not cool were the pustulant welts on his feet this morning - The Boy is allergic to the bites, and one of them is swollen and oozing, black around the edges, and generally fairly horrible to look at. It'll heal...but it's nasty and painful and I hate that he has to suffer it.

I have a pulled muscle in my neck/shoulder/back/I may need an anatomy lesson to figure out that part, and it bothered me all night - every time I moved, it woke me, and I don't sleep very well as it is. I couldn't even tip my head back to rinse my hair in the shower yesterday, which made the job awkward. I have a tremendous lot of house cleaning to do, still, and it won't be easy when I keep getting checked up by "Ow, that motion hurts. Ow, reaching up or down like that is unpleasant. Ow, ow, ow..."

My son, for some unexplained reason, got out of his bed in the middle of the night, wandered into the living room, and fell asleep in the massive recliner that I loathe but sit in because I don't have a choice right now...and he wet himself during the night. I've cleaned it up as best I can, and I didn't yell at the little guy - how can I be mad at him when he tries so hard? I'm more concerned with what has him wandering about in the middle of the night.

One of the cats knocked over a 9/10 full large Coke from Burger King last night (yo, FTC, this is not an endorsement, it's a reference - I just want the reader to understand the size of the thing), splattering it all over the floor. I had a large, sticky mess to clean up when I got up this morning.

I'm not feeling mentally well. Lack of sleep, worry, stress, loneliness, plaguing dreams, the constant drag of cleaning a house that is too cluttered, needs painting and drywall patched and floors thoroughly swept and mopped and toys tidied away and furniture removed or moved and, and,'s wearing on me. Coupled with that is the constant fear that things will go wrong (don't ask me what things, I don't know what things...if I knew what things I could do something about the things, but I don't know what things so I'm lingering in thing purgatory).

I'd like to take The Boy to a movie, get out of the house, go do something fun...but I can't. I can't pay the phone bill right now (and if that gets turned off, so does the modem, which means good-bye Internet until I can pay to have it turned back on), let alone help support the Hollywood Entertainment Complex.

I'm feeling sorry for myself, and I don't like it. The depression is pecking away at me... the sun shining through the grey and gloom...

He calls.

For no other reason than He feels like it. Right in that moment when I was typing about depression pecking...the phone rang and it was Him, and I could hear the smile in His voice when I answered, surprised - it's not His lunch time, and He doesn't usually call me during the day, anyway...except when he does it just to surprise me and make me smile. Just when I was thinking I could really use hearing His voice...

I didn't tell him I'm feeling rough today...if we only have a few moments to talk, I want to hear Him, hear His voice and His happiness and His plans...and my mental state bores me, and I can't imagine why anyone else would want to know about it, too.

So I had that minute or two...and believe it or not, that will help get me through the rest of what is looking like a very long, distressing day full of little trials, necessary roughness that every life contains but that makes the sweetness all the...sweeter.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Last night I woke from a dream
More real
Than the night-dark room around me
Lingering warmth
Reminded me
Where your hand rested
Phantom hand
And where you'd kissed
Phantom lips
And my own lips burned
With the memory of having tasted you
Of wanting more

Was it real?
Did we ever really touch?
Or did I dream it?

I woke to an emptiness
Not strictly physical
Returned to slumber
Where I could lose myself
In a dream more real
Than the night-dark room around me.