Friday, January 14, 2011

Quarantine has been Breached...

There are times that I feel emotionally compromised.

[More like most of the time, but I like to carry on as as though I'm all stable and Maslow-y.]

Now is definitely one of those times.  There's a shitload of factors contributing to my current state, both immediate and historical, but I find myself incapable of forming those factors into coherency right now.

[an attempt from an earlier post]

I hate this shit.  It makes me feel lost and and weak and out-of-control, and as a HUGE control-freak, this is more that a teensy issue.

It makes me feel whiny and trivial.

I carry a lot of of sadness and grief within me.  A lot of pain.  I've been through a lot of horrific shit.
I've been decried as liar, and  and pretty much all of my history has been denied, but it's the truth.  A whole lotta ugly, ugly, complicated truth.

As true as it may be, I feel like a cliche.  A ridiculous, Lifetime-Movie-variety whelpish, sad-girl.


But I am a sad girl.  A deeply fucking sad girl/woman/human.  And frankly, I lose the capacity to handle it properly on certain days.

It PAINS me to admit that.  And if we're honest with ourselves?  It pains most people to hear it.  They don't want sorrow and pain and scars that won't close.

They want healing and positivity and triumph and smiles.

You and me both, world. As such?

I acknowledge it occasionally, and sometimes put my self-awareness hat on, and of COURSE I went to therapy (I mean, obviously) for it, but for the most part?

I just try to keep that shit in quarantine, away from the rest of my metal processes and emotions....

Because it scares the fuck out of me.  It's never-ending.  It has a profundity that even I can't fathom, and intensity that I cannot control.

Yep, I know what you are thinking: "Gosh, it sounds like you may have depression!"  I do!  The clinical kind, even!  Fun!

In order to compensate for the sads, I tend to turn to anger.  Mostly at myself for not being able to cope, sometimes-more often than I ever wanted- at my husband for being terrified/powerless at the depth of it all, and at the "world" I live in for not often giving the struggle any real validity.

Anger is less daunting for me.  I'm familiar with anger- it's strangely comforting because at least I've had practice at it...mostly with in being hurled and spit in my direction, but you get the gist...anger and I are on a first name basis.

I can control it. [Right?]
It doesn't run away with my sanity as sadness is so prone to do.  I am not to well-versed in sadness.  Not in any healthy way.  Sadness was not allowed in the environment that I grew up in.

It was mocked and the cause for wrath.  No one had the right or reason to be sad except for my Mother.  Her sadness was the only genuine and respected sadness.  She was the only one whose sadness was warranted and needed to be cared for.

[That was pretty much the Gold Standard for all of her emotions, btw.]

The rest of the world was selfish, putting on, grasping for attention, or being overly dramatic.

Sadness cost too damned much, so I learned "not" to be.  Anger was safer. It was easier.  I could internalize that shit and externalize a scowl with the best of ' took me a long time to learn it, but once I did, Oh, boy!  Did I have the world fooled!


Look at me! I'm together! I am a rock. No one is going to break me again! Fuck being sad!  Sadness is for quitters! I am beyond my childhood, my abuses, my scars, my traumas, my brain chemistry [Hello?]. I am so completely above that now! I am now well-rounded because I know that!

Oh, Depression, you have such the sardonic sense of humor.....

Therapy, Medication, Religion, Education, True Love, Motherhood--Nothing has cured it.  All, at one time or another have eased it, some continually, some superficially, some earnestly, but nothing has wholly absorbed it.

I know that it will never be.  That it will ebb and flow through my life forever.

In the stillness of 2am, on more nights than I care to count, I fear that someday I will  be flooded and completely taken over by it.

Not in a suicidal way (though I'd be a liar if I said it didn't bring me dangerously close to the dizzying edge more than once in my youth), because suicide is selfish bullshit that leaves your friends/family holding your bag of pain and confusion while trying to deal with their OWN, [so put the phone down] but in that way that depression works best-


When it's done drowning you in sorrow, it just takes everything else.  You don't care-no, it's not that you don't care, or won't care, it's that you can't care.  It takes away your ability to feel anything but the hollowness of nothing.  I have been there for brief (and some not so brief) periods of my life, and it is not pretty.

Being a mother has made depression all the more terrifying for me.  I don't want it to affect my son, and I fight like hell to shield him from it, but it would be naive of me to think that I can keep it from touching him at all.  It frustrates me as a wife because I am a caretaker, and all I want to do is be the pillar of strength and comfort in my husband's life, and that role is robbed from me during bouts...

That makes me feel like a failure.  Which is all part of the tapes running in my head, and the powerful hold of depression in the first fucking place, which I know from a logical pov, but it feels true emotionally.


Such an insidious word.  It carries so much power.  It is personified as the Boogey Man in my closet, under my bed.

And tonight?

Well tonight,  it is all I can see.

Depression is a cunning bastard.
Nighttime is when he sidles up the closest.  Strokes my fears and breathes the past into my present.

Some nights we dance more than others, but he's always on my card*...

Haunting the Dancehall

In a symphony of things you cannot change
but will not forgive
Rage builds slowly, toward a crescendo in Hate.

(The Chorus Begins)

Anger croons about the smallest of injustices
waltzing with the skeletons in your closet
They sway, taunting, down a macabre lane of memories
fleshing out your demons, giving substance to their grip-
so begins their deceitful dance

Watch, as the dead whirl around the floor…

1 and,
2 and,
3 and,

Mistrust is rhythmic, lulling you into a fury
and as you accept a spectral invitation to the ball,
you forget that the dead can dance Forever…

1 and,
2 and,
3 and,

Listen, as the band keeps playing the same

*For those of you who have never been ravaged by a depressive disorder, here's a tidbit to note:

Depressed people are always depressed. Always. It's just a question of to what degree.

I've spent many of my years with it turned up to ELEVEN.

Because as I intro'd with:

I am emotionally compromised the fuck up.


Britt said...

I really cannot thank you enough for putting this to words. I have meant to do the same, but my diary, which I started just to get me writing again, has become a tomb of negativity. I avoid writing in it now because I fear all I will leave the world with is more ugliness. More negativity. Years from now, if we're being optimistic, my children or grandchildren will happen upon it and wonder what was wrong with me. Why was everything in my life so awful. Why was I such a miserable bitch? And the depression itself is never reason enough. So you, and I, as you wrote, see the darts come from all sources. Husband. Job. Friends. The world. And sometimes the blame is just, but most of the time, it's just the depression.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was in 3rd grade. Some docs said I was/am Bipolar. I was medicated from then until I was 18/19 and decided, with a doctor's supervision, to go off meds. And I was happy. I was truly happy for a long time. But then, as it has a tendency to do, it came back. It always does. But the triumph I felt in being medication-free was so uplifting. It made me understand addiction, codependency, strength, and freedom on such deeper, more valuable levels. I felt, for perhaps the only time in my entire life, PROUD of myself. Now, here I am, in the worst bout of my life. Suicide is often my "sexiest" fantasy. And no, I would never, not so long as my parents and siblings live. I would never, ever, ever. It's too weak, too cowardly, too inconsiderate. But I often wish I could.

I worry I will have to go back onto meds. I worry this will prevent me from having children. I worry I will never be free again. I hate the "crutch" of it. I hate feeling like a weakling who NEEDS meds to survive, for something as trivial (for those who are not in it) as depression. Sure, if I was diabetic or had HIV, my medication would be understandable, people would encourage me to take it to save my life. But depression? Fuck, eat some chocolate, drink some wine, watch a chick flick and jerk off--doesn't that cure all? No? Then you're just not trying hard enough! Due to the very nature of clinical depression, if you ain't got it, you will NOT be able to "get it". This is not, as you so aptly described, something you can put mind-over-matter to overcome. So you succumb to medication because you clearly "can't cope with life", or you succumb to being a negative, whiney bitch. And as you're WELL AWARE, this magically does not alleviate the damned depression!

Shitty as it sounds, I am glad to know I am not alone in this. In this pit with these monsters that will. Not. Shut. The fuck. UP. I hate that you have to go through it, because I admire you so very much and hate the idea that any of the Hell that I face could ever effect you in the same way. But I see you and the life that you have: the loving husband, the healthy marriage, the beautiful, perfect child, despite the Monsters. I have someone in my life who understands now. And sister, THAT is something money cannot buy, and medication cannot supply.

Blogging is healthy, and I am so grateful you do it. I hope you know how deeply it effects the people who read these entries. I get a wash of warm tears so often from reading them, knowing someone is fighting the fight, struggling though you do, but WINNING. But if you ever need to purge and just let loose with a slew of negativity that you think no one could possibly understand, I'm just a phone call or email away, and I've got enough understanding to fill the Grand fucking Canyon. *HUGS*

ps--sorry for my stereotypically long-ass-winded comments that almost always involve me, me, me... <3

Kris said...

OK, so you know me a little bit. You have come to read my words. You see what I have shared.


I have stared at this post for a few minutes, trying to think of the right words.

I don't have the right words.

But this . . .

"Depressed people are always depressed. Always. It's just a question of to what degree."

Well, that has made me teary, because it is so true. It colors all of who I am. It impacts all of what I do.

And even when I have it dialed way the fuck down, as I have for a while now.

There is always fear.

I do not have the magic words.

But I see you.

I hope that will do.

Erica Lewis, MFTI said...

So well written Courtney. For someone who battles depression day in and day out..I was truly heard by your post. I will be praying for you and thinking about you always! Love you Gigi

The Empress said...

You are walking around in my mind.

I was diagnosed with depression in first grade, this was in the 1960's. And right after my father killed himself on Thanksgiving.

Geez, doc, you think???

I am now 50, and still live/struggle/survive with it. I will never give in to suicide b/c I know what it did to me, and I will NEVER do that to my children.

Suicide just dumps your problems onto your loved ones laps.

Not my style.


And now LOVE you.

Kris said...

OK, I knew when I featured this post over on Pretty All True that people would come to read. I knew that people would come to read, and that most of them would not stay to comment. Your words are scary, Jayne.

Powerful and scary.

I love the Empress.

To see her here?

Oh, I am so happy to see her here.

Jayne? Yes, as The Empress said . . . It is as though you are walking around in my mind.


By Word of Mouth Musings said...

What a powerful post, The Empress and Kris, these are good friends to have.
I don't see 'failure' I see so much strength, and wisdom too. Wisdom from a life lived and memories harnessed.
My life was touched by suicide, there is much pain for the one left behind.
You have 'apathy', its there, you are here, you are a wife and mother, you are present and facing your demons head on ...
and for that I applaud you.
Kris is right, people won't know what to say, sure I am fumbling my way thro this too.
You writing this, putting this out for others to read - is a gift.
Know that you are helping others today.

JayneSees said...

@Britt-I love your long-winded comments. Your passion. Thank you for being a part of what I'm trying to do here! It helps to know that I'm understood. I love you, and I know we struggle with a lot of the same demons. You totally have me as a cohort, and I know that I have you.

@Kris-Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For your words, for hearing mine, for inviting others to hear them as well. I suppose my words are scary, but I guess that's the point entirely? If I speak them out, face them, force them into light, then maybe some of the hold these memories have on me will be lessened, and wounds can heal. If I can help others? That's an even more motivating factor to keep running my mouth!

@Erica-I do hear you, and I'm so lucky to have you hear me! Love you, darling friend!

@The Empress-You love me!? Aww, Shucks! Thank you! Thank you for sharing your struggle.

@Musings-Thank you for those lovely words of encouragement. I was very self-conscious while writing this post. But It's worth it, if my being vulnerable reaches out to others

he calls me wifey said...

Court, there are so many things I could say, so many parts of this particular post touched me on a level that is so fresh and so new for me (or at least it feels fresh and new, but as you know has been there for years). Though I don't struggle with deep depression, there have been huge chunks of my life where I was just so sad and so broken and so lonely. I don't think I realized it until I read what you said about being done with sad and on to anger, but that is kind of the direction I see myself going in.

I don't want to dwell on me. I came to say that you're not alone. Our circumstances and our levels of depression may be different and no one can fully understand or relate to your unique sadness/anger/situation, but you're not alone.

I've been meaning to ask if I could take you up on your offer to get together and talk. I think sometime soon would be a great time for the both of us to have that time to relate and lean on each other.

I love you.
I'm here for you.
You are amazing.
I pray for you.
Though you will never erase it completely, I know that you can find some healing.
When you're ready, let's talk <3

NicPDX said...

Since having to come to terms with my own depression, and other assorted mental deficiencies, I have learned to redefine success and failure for myself.

Getting out of bed in the morning, despite the crushing sadness within me: SUCCESS

NOT swallowing an entire bottle of pills, despite the crushing sadness within me: SUCCESS

Every positive human interaction; every moment in which I am not crying or overwhelmed by the crushing sadness; every footstep taken beyond the comforting cave of my apartment; every day I don't call in sick at work so I can stay in bed and cry: SUCCESS

People who are not depressed will never, ever be able to fully appreciate how triumphant these successes are. No one else but me will ever know enough to celebrate them properly.

I have also learned to redefine strength and weakness. Because it takes more strength for me to function normally than it does for "normal" people. Just like jumping over a hurdle takes more strength for someone who has a 50-ton boulder on her back than for someone who doesn't.

I cannot even imagine the strength it takes for you to function as a parent. I have my hands full just trying to parent my own inner child. I applaud your SUCCESS at getting up every day and facing motherhood.

JayneSees said...

@Nic: I loved this comment, because it's so true. You really do have to re-define what success, what strength is. I too, have to celebrate those small victories in my day, and celebrate the strength I have in each moment. Tomorrow is another day to be successful, to be strong. And we will be, just in our own way. And if we CAN'T be on a given day, we have to forgive ourselves and lean into whatever support we have. Thank you for reading, for sharing, and for encouraging me.

Haven said...

"Depressed people are always depressed. Always. It's just a question of to what degree."

This resonated with me. My mom suffers from depression. Sometimes I'll be with her, we'll be laughing, talking about happy things, and then she will just start sobbing uncontrollably. I feel so helpless in these moments.

It has been this way with her forever. And when I was younger, I was so angry with her. Why couldn't she just SUCK IT UP and be HAPPY? Happy is just a choice RIGHT?

I was stupid. I was young and very, very stupid.

I am still learning how best to understand and love her.

And I appreciate these words.

Kimberly said...

Did we grow up in the same house? We never did feelings or hugs or encouragement...but we got yelled at beat on and put down for everything.
We walked on eggshells.
I was nervous and felt unsafe in my own home.
My depression came onto me after I had my son. I know I've always had anger issues and used it quite frequently on my younger siblings (which I will never forgive myself for) and it wasn't until my diagnosis of postpartum depression and anxiety that I found that I more than likely had been suffering it all along...of course no where near the degree that you have experienced.
I know that depth of pain...and how it can smother your soul hole to the point of feeling nothing. It's awful but you know that already.
Thank you for being so open about your struggle.

livingsj77 said...

I found your blog through Pretty All True...this is a really powerful post. I'm so impressed with you from just this one post. I freaking hate when people pretend they don't have issues. We all have issues...I love that you put it all out there. That's awesome.

I'm sorry that you deal with this and I have no words to make it better.

I guess I just wanted you to know that I loved it, even if I can't completely understand it.

I'll be back

JayneSees said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayneSees said...

@livingsj77-I'm so appreciative of your comment! Thank you! I'm glad you'll be back! I hopped on over to your blog, so I'm excited to get to know you! BTW? How freakin' CUTE are your munchkins?!

Pamela Hutchins said...

Oh man, I became depressed in my late teens and didn't really kick it until my mid thirties. Tried so many different "remedies" -- legal and non legal, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical. But the bottom line was that I had this incredible anger that radiated from me to protect myself, that tiny sad helpless core of me. I could put a shiny face on for the world, but sometimes that part of the day where I could be shiny was so short -- late mornings, early nights. And somehow, after so many years of always being depressed, it was only a matter of how bad was it at that time, it stopped. As I pray yours stops. Bless you. Blessings to you and for you.
I came over from RDC and I'm so glad I did.

beautiful because said...

Thank you for pouring your heart out. I can identify.. some days more than others.

Jayne said...

Pamela-Thank you so much for coming on over. Thank you for understanding. For sharing. I appreciate it so much.

"I had this incredible anger that radiated from me to protect myself, that tiny sad helpless core of me."

Such a perfect way to describe it.

Beautiful Because-Thank you! It means so much to me when people read and let me know they connect.
My words are not always the happiest, and that can be scary. So, thank you again.

everydaymomma said...

I don't know how in the crap I found this blog but I did and i have read and kept reading captivated by your words your writing and this post it has completely touched me beyond words it has stopped me dead in my tracks to read something that so deeply and honestly expresses how I overwhelmingly feel. I have such deep hurt and desperation that burns me to the core I have fought for years upon years and I cannot break away from the emotions of it all, Thankyou more than you know for putting into words what I have been incapable of.