Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something different: depression

Picture, if you will,
an image of a gypsy woman
dancing wildly
cloths flying through air
jewels clanging against another.

"Will you join me?"
I ask.
You reply,
"This dance is no good for us."

I continue on
because another dance -
a new dance
brings forth
more intimacy,
more fear
less contentment of knowing
what I know
always doing what I do.

Was it Sisyphus who pushed the rock?

What am I going to choose now?

**** (Original poetry)

That's a poem I fashioned after my therapy appointment on Thursday. I have a great therapist who I have worked with since 2000 after yet another bad depression spell. Depression has been a major part of my life going back as far as fifth grade.

The metaphor of the dance has to do with me allowing new opportunities in my life and the ability to change things up. I'm not good with that. I only want to dance the one dance I know how. If I change this, then I have to get comfortable with a partner who must hold me, lead me, guide me. I'm not used to that.

I am incredibly lonely. It's worse now because I am out of work. I see no other people some days out of the week if I don't leave my apartment. Thank goodness I have a wonder feline to at least offer up some companionship.

To change this I need to change the dance. I say I want to but do I really? I'm frightened of people getting close to me, growing intimate not in a sexual way, because I am so used to being hurt, being left behind, feeling unloved.

This comes from my own background of growing up feeling abandoned by my bio-dad because he gave me up, feeling abandoned by my own mother, feeling less than because of my adoptive father. Feeling alone and tortured starting in childhood and continuing as I grew older.

My depression started in fifth grade with a vengeance. I used to cut at my wrists and find ways to hurt myself. I didn't know why I was doing it; I just knew I had to do it. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car as my family drove around sobbing silently and wiping tears away with my coat sleeves. I felt such a deep sadness all the time and it only grew worse over the years.

Depression is like a bad friend you can't get rid of, no matter what you try. There is nothing like being in the throes of deep depression. I get so deeply enmeshed in the sadness, the pain, the hurt and the personal demons that there seems to be no way out. I was there not so long ago.

Thankfully, I am not there today. I know enough now and some of my friends know enough to mention when I am floundering in the deep sea of depression. I go to my therapists and doctors and tell them how my mind is no longer thinking clearly. I beg them to help me because I know toughing it out is not an option for me. Regardless of what Tom Cruise thinks, depression sometimes must be treated with medication, or a variety of medications which is what I deal with, or hospitalization which I have dealt with in the past. It's not pretty and it is what it is.

Depression is partially the reason I wasn't able to leave my abusive marriage. It was also a part of why I couldn't say no to marriage even when I could see there were issues. Depression has affected my work, my play, my relationships, my friends, everything in my life.

So what about the dance? It's scary to commit to something new but I am open to trying. I'm not saying I'm fully embracing it but I am slowly forcing myself to consider something different, a new dance, a new life for me.

As much as I am lonely, I am not totally alone. I have friends who listen and encourage me. I have therapists who encourage me. I'm slowly breaking through the cocoon and emerging. I'm not ready to fly yet but I am fluttering my wings slowly and getting used to a life with winds on which I can soar.


mcwflint said...

Sometimes, I find I have to just start doing and hope that I will grow more comfortable in the movements through repetition. Slowly, the new music starts to become louder.

Dance on!

Weeble Girl said...

That's exactly what I am trying to do: listen to the new music, tentatively try the new steps, and open myself up to practicing.

Thank you!

Cheryl said...

Sometimes my dance reveals itself in moments of solitude; sometimes it is revealed by focusing on my breath; and, sometimes, it's just flat-out wild and carefree and tinged with "crazy."

The thing about this dance is that the music is always changing tempo, cadence, and tone. Sometimes we get pushed onto the dance floor and gradually our self-conscious movements transform into grace and moments of beauty.

Keep writing, please. Keep dancing. We're here moving along with you.

Webster said...

I think you're doing pretty well with a history of depression that goes back as far as 5th grade! I'm sure your therapist has suggested that when you're depressed, take the time to listen to those depressing thoughts - even write them down - so you can burn them later!! But while you're listening, talk back to them in your more rational voice.

Good luck with that - and do keep writing.

Anonymous said...

Hello....I arrived here from MS WORLD (DMG). You are such a good writer.

You put into words what I'm not able to express. MS sucks and I feel that one of the areas hardest hit with me are cognitive issues.

My point is that it's hard to get a point across and you do that so well.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with that "ALONE" feeling. It is an awful feeling and.....well I do understand.

Sorry I'm rambling...just wanted to tell you how neat your blog is. Take Care !!!!


Stuff could always be worse said...

Keep writting, you are a great writer, maybe that will help with depression. A little bit anyway.