Comment

I read the last comment on my blog. Then I  read the post. Then I copied paragraphs of the post and searched them online. My post was the first result. 

Crap. 

I wrote it. It’s tone is so unlike my own.

Well, it’s unlike my own now.  It’s from my days before mood stabilizers and anti-depressants. 

Did I write it for E, who less than a year  later would break up with me?  But we weren’t even officially a couple. Did I write it for the Korean boy that broke my heart, married some other woman, and I have never seen since? More likely.

But perhaps not. The other love letters were to myself. My unloved self, aching for affection.  As through the mouth of the dramatic, romantic lover I wanted and as of yet have never found.

And it is powerfully intense. The writing of one not yet under the stupor of the artificial deadening produced by drugs.  Bipolar is the clinic diagnosis.

The drugs have lessen the roller-coaster, but never prevented it’s descent.  Depression still comes. Joy does not.  And obviously creativity has died. I didn’t even recognize the piece as my own.

My fear in 2006 was that psychiatric treatment would change me. I resisted for 6 years until a suicidal depression that stole my waking hours, extra pounds, and all possibility of happiness.  Then I crawled towards anything that could save me, including therapy and medicine.

Now 5 years later, the evidence is in. I have been changed so thoroughly I can’t recognize myself.  It’s a bit troubling as I have traded that intensity and creativity for periods of low energy, neutrality, and mediocrity.  Only lapses in the reoccurring suicidal depression that causes tears and confines me to bed.  So, I have lost heights to prevent valleys that yet I still travel.  I quit writing.  Maybe I have made a horrible mistake.

Really Stupid Feelings.

I might be an incurable idiot. The first guy I fell in love with awful. For almost a year after he married someone else, I still missed him. I was severely depressed, lost a lot weight (so I looked great), and still cried almost daily. I hardly could get out of bed and couldn’t work.  I was miserable and couldn’t control my feelings and thoughts at night when I tried to sleep.So, being an incurable idiot, I finally decided to start dating. It was something to do. I got out of the house, hung out with someone I knew was interested in me, and usually got a free meal so I didn’t need to buy groceries at all.  I had plenty of time because I had no friends nor a job.  Finally I met someone I felt comfortable with.  He wasn’t serious about me and as an incurable idiot, I thought it was a good idea to try to change his mind.  I barely considered that it might be a bad idea to chase a guy I barely knew. But with him, I forgot the first guy. With him, I was sometimes euphoric and sometimes miserable. I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.  Within a year, we broke up. He was willing to be friends but I couldn’t accept that. After all, I couldn’t imagine dating anyone else. I was awful and he had to quit communicating with me entirely. Again, I was severely depressed. Again I lost weight. Again, I cried almost daily. The crying in which you lose your breath and periodically can’t make a sound.  And again for almost a year, I didn’t get over this feeling.  I dated for a while, eventually I didn’t think about him everyday or cry all the time. I spent time with friends and was cheerful again.  But periodically, depression would hit me all over again. I still missed him. I couldn’t help but compare other guys to him. It’s idiotic and unfair. I remember him selective, everyone is an unique person, and I can’t rely on my momentary feelings as a rational judge of an relationship. But I never felt as happy with anyone else. I try to accept that. It’s been four years. When we broke up, he said maybe we could get back together. A friend admitted she once said that to get a clingy, emotionally unstable boyfriend so he’d let go of the relationship at the time. She knew she never would want to date him again.  As an incurable idiot I still held out hope he’d come back or talk to me. Today, I miss him. At times, for months, I don’t even think about him. However, I’ve realized with big changes in my life, I miss him all over again. It hurts not to be able to talk with him. I wonder what his life has brought him. I still compare the happiness I felt just being next to him to all the guys I never feel that way about.  As an incurable idiot, I still, after all these years, want to be a couple again.  Even though we broke up for reasons that haven’t changed. And I was miserable at times. And no one around us thought we were a lasting match.  And he never felt the way I did about him. Or so I believed.  Rationally I know we will never talk or see each other again.  It is the reality and it is for the best. But today I miss him overwhelmingly and I am crying.  Again. And I wonder, “Will I ever stop having this horrible feeling about him”

Maybe

Changing years of negative feelings and thoughts into positive ones is difficult.

Maybe if I wrote what I was grateful for each day.

Maybe if I wrote what I enjoyed each day.

Maybe if I thanked someone each day.

Maybe if I looked at pictures to remind myself of happier times.

But I struggle to find genuine gratitude. I struggle to feel contentment instead of pain or worry.  I struggle to remember the past that wasn’t hurtful.  I struggle not to cry when I remember all the people who used to be in my life now that I feel so isolated and lonely.

Maybe I just don’t want to try because I can’t believe it can be done.  Maybe depression is all there can be.

What remains the same in the digital age.

Starting with a blank screen-the modern page-anything is possible.

Drawn lines could create meaning or abstract shape with the paper page. Now there are digital photographs. 

The paper page could even transform into a plane or swan with flat becoming 3 dimensional.  The flat screen offers video.

But words remain the same.

tracing lines on a face

People come and go out of all of our lives.

But some make an especially strong impression.

When looking at photos of a special someone I used to know, I trace the lines that build his face, eyes, mouth, lips, and hair.  I wish I had more photos of his back and torso, legs and hands, the rest of his body.  But I am thankful at least that I have photos of his face.  I can remember at least his face, even if the rest of him fades away as memories dull.

Actually, just such a fear prompted me to ask him to make a voice recording for me.  I had deleted a previous one where he read some encouraging statements I wrote to remind myself that life could go on and that I could become a different person.  That I could become a happy person or happier than I had been beside him.

However, this second voice recording was genuine, his own words, slightly goofy and sweet and included his natural intonation and even a cough.

That brief message and so many photos from our life together: these consist of the evidence of a history I may someday forget.

But for now, I can’t forget or move so far away. Instead, I trace lines of his face in my favorite photos.  I trace the lines of a face of someone I used to know.

Goodnight, Ben

Once there was a very silly boy named Ben. He wore sweaters on hot sunny days, exercised at the wrong times, and took naps right before bedtime.
Clearly Ben is a very silly boy. But he looked very dashing in his sweater and did everything else at the right time except for exercise and naps. But for the latter, Ben took a warm bath, drank a cup of chamomile tea, and listened to a bedtime story. Afterwards he fell quite deep into sleep and stayed well asleep all during the night.
Good night, Ben.

Brush Yourself Off

A friend told me it “happens and then you get back up”.

“How?” I asked.

“How with two broken legs, sprained ankles and messed up knees?”

Let go, move on, pick yourself up, power through, move forward, get over it, be stronger, stay positive, get better, try harder, gotta do it, don’t give up, carry on, hold on, it’ll be better soon.

Fun sings, “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.

And I do want that. My feet, their step, resounding sound, eyes straight ahead. walking forward.

But for now, I’m stuck in this hole.  The sides go up above my head.

How did I get in this mess? Was it my fault? Someone else’s? Fate or destiny? God’s punishment or His gift?  I don’t know. Could I even remember with my memory slipping away? And does it matter anyway?

Because all I can see are these walls all around me.  Surrounded by the dirt on every side with only a glimmer of light at the top of my world.

Am I strong enough? With all these broken bones?  With this debilitating fear?

I feel weak. I feel pain. I have wounds. I wake from nightmares to this nightmarish world.

I am just sitting on the dirt ground for now.  I know that I must have fell down here.  How? I don’t have the memory. It seems like it has been this way a long time. Maybe always.

Given a little time, I am going to get up.  Going to climb my way to the top.  It is going to take sweat, dirt on me, smeared all over me body.  Muddy dirt during the rain isn’t going to hold my weight. I will slide down even as I try to get higher.  But I can’t give up.  I don’t remember what is up there, but there is absolutely nothing down here.  Not even food or water.  So what will my life be here and how long will my life be?

And when I am up there, I am going to leave everything behind.  All those feelings and all those things I saw before are going to be gone.  No people from the past, just people in the future.  No memories because even if I clung on, my brain won’t go along with that.

Even down here, I don’t want to remember anything. I don’t want to dream of anyone I used to know. I don’t need anything that before I used to love or use.  I don’t have room enough in this hole to care about anything else, but where next I will place my hand or foot.  There will be new songs on my lips and I will give up the words from before.

I will do more than brush off. I will become clean. I will use the rain or a lake or a river or even the ocean if that is what I find.  Because I won’t let fear win. I will leave it behind in that dark hole.  I will know I am the strongest after climbing up those dirt walls. And already now, that fire of a belief swells up, feeding on the oxygen of my breath.

To live, I will give up everything. Everything I have known. Everything I remember.  Everything I believed. Everything in my past.  Because I want to see the future become the present.

There is nothing back there. Nothing of my past is coming up with me. I don’t want or need it anymore.