pressed tight

Depression. And it’s accomplice, anxiety, arrived today. On horseback.

Out of the blue and bare-naked. Desperate to scare me. Both hoping to seduce.

I had ran away once. Appears now it will be twice.

Glanced to the side. Saw the consequences coming from a ways. It had to be more than a mile.

It was the voices that trapped my imagination. I trembled.

They brought shovels. Dug me a grave. Knew how weak i was and their plans overcame.

I gave in to their demands. Was there ever a chance?

Remember, neither proposed. They married you without consent.

Some day i will wake up.

Cursed

Is it the curse of a new year that begs us to introspection and compare ourselves to others? I honestly am having a love/hate relationship with all of life. I am genuinely happy i am here, breathing and writing and reading other’s blogs. I am also genuinely sad at how little i can do to make the world better for those hurting. With every step i take i feel the anguish of this world all the while marveling at each person’s ability to also take another step.

I want to be angry. But being angry does not make me feel much better. Oh! For a minute i feel vindicated. But then realize how little i truly understand. Am i so childlike and as innocent as i pretend? Did i not rue the day my brother was forced onto me? I was perfectly happy until he showed up. Then i had to share everything!! My toys were his toys and actually more his toys because out of anger, i gave them to him. If i cant have them all to myself, then i don’t want them. Lucky for me, he did not want them either. Looking back, he only wanted to be loved.

Material things bring nothing and take everything away from our hearts. Oh! what I wouldn’t do to have my brother back!

Black Cloud

From a distance life remains unfocused.  It runs together to form one big massive clot. 

Oh! how double minded
lazily lying
slumbering thoughts
on the horizon.

She had to know what comprised the cloud that danced tragically upon the firmament.  As she approached the acrobatic figure,  she noticed the birds keeping time with the neighbors coming and goings.

Something was amiss.  Realizing her deceased mother had been gone for years, recalling moments with her, most of which were miserable, drew tears.  The black sunk her for days, growing rage and madness within.

A cloud
moves erratically,
up and down
but always forward. 

She chased the black cloud, hoping he would hear her, wondering if he willingly listened, all the while imagining what their encounter would look like when she finally lied down.

 In sync
he led,
she followed.

They met in time.

The open road invited Dave to take a chance.  What did he have to lose?  Rocking in the passenger seat, he watched the terrified girl he had picked up slowly disappear inward.  Her anguished sobs rolled from her soul as thunder in the east and lightening in the west.

Still, Dave believed in the crisp autumn air.  His silent apprehension tried abandoning the war.  He watched the sun rays reflect off the asphalt and relished the warmth filtering in through the windshield, enough to bring a sweat.  He had thoughts of rolling down the windows but she kept him from doing that.   

Ecclesiastes 11:10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.

 

Careers, naivete and growing up

I cannot pinpoint what brought up a past memory this morning but it is there all the same. When a memory is wedged between all the other thoughts, my only recourse is to write about it and so the story goes:

Out of high school, instead of my parents sending me to college, I took a job as a criminal law secretary, then as a bookkeeper in a marketing firm for McDonald’s and then ended up as a do-it-all in a rental department, with a prominent builder in Wisconsin. I owned a car, drove to work Monday through Friday and I was a mere 20 years old. I rented apartments, did the bookkeeping, had to evict a tenant (luckily they were not home) and inspected move-ins and move-outs. I was not fairly compensated, making $5.25 an hour, minimum wage at the time. Inwardly, I felt I was being cheated, but never made a fuss. Today, I have to admit I was a great employee and they certainly took advantage of me.

One particular man stands out from all the other tenants. The image of chicken bones strewn throughout his apartment is one to never forget. He was blind and had no idea of the mess he had made and certainly unaware of the cockroaches he had attracted. They do say oblivion is next to happiness. For me, the sight was more than I could understand. It was absolutely astonishing. One that he had no one to help him and two, to not feel the suffocating mess he existed within. What became of his story is a guess, but I do hope  he is happy somewhere.

I find this quote haunting. I wonder if this is what the blind man felt.

Had he lost hope,
free in a world of walls?
Had he suffocated
from his blindness?
I will never completely understand.
I see vistas and curtained windows,
opened doors and shuttered hearts.

Then there was the family who lived a completely opposite lifestyle. The wife suffered from OCD, and whenever I scheduled to show their home, she would lay out plastic everywhere so as not to contaminate her possessions. She washed her hands over and over, so the gossip in the office went. I would have wanted to let her be but there was no other town house to show at the time. I can feel for her today as I see more people like this in my field of counseling, as I further my studying. It truly was and is a terrible suffering.

I am unsure which scenario saddens me more. An existence where you cannot be satisfied, always worrying, or not caring about anything at all. I think we need to find a balance between the two. All of life is a balance. Is it not?

Strangers

It’s happening again
can’t leave the house.
How long, allow myself to sit and cry?

Silence, old friend,
I don’t need to talk
rather don’t want to speak.

I am here, lost.
A silent mind
comforts my pain

staving off what i feel
approaching, again
it too knows where i am.

What if i never wake?
Too deep.
Allow myself to slip away.

I, I seem strange
people walking
who exists to hold my hand?

Stories, unbelievable
they turn their head
scoff at buried feelings.

I, the walking dead.

Seems apropos…. David Gilmour and Roger Waters, Comfortably Numb 1979

Then this song popped into my mind…. Jim Morrison, The Doors 1967

Anhedonia part2

Warning, dark. Proceed with caution. Faint hearts retreat.

If you have never experienced depression or anxiety, I will try and explain it, but there is no description to adequately portray the devil it is. One reason it remains difficult to expound on, is if I had you muffle the surrounding sounds, you would realize that feat is impossible, cognizant of the fact you are trying to get lost, so you would never feel depressed. Perhaps a better way to describe depression is to have you imagine a happy person’s feeling of a wave as cleansing, welcoming and refreshing. Now experience those same waves as enemies, suddenly you are crippled with debilitating pain. Those once friendly waves exasperate the hidden hurt, exponentially.

Anxiety is another beast. To experience anxiety, try this. Look out the window and realize the monsters you once were told are fictive, suddenly come alive and whisper your name. Realizing they are coming for you, the house becomes a dungeon. A safe place to be but full of spooks. You are unable to enjoy the view or fear leaving the house.

The relief comes in sleep or plotting ways to stop the noise. Perhaps walk into the middle of the street and wait for a semi-truck to run you over or picture the rope in the basement sing your name, telling you “problem solved”. We all know the point of pills is to make you well and how much better you will feel swallowing the whole vial. The call of the ocean another plot, serene and swift, peaceful and private. All these thoughts enter a very sick person’s mind.

For me, these were ideations. For others they become lethal means of opportunity. Read the linked article, you well may save a life.

The Fray, How to Save a Life

My point? I do not imagine negative,
I remember.
Memories ingrained as etchings that can never be removed.

i absolutely abhor her thoughts,
my daughter trapped in the same hell.
what i welcome in me,
i tear in grief from her hands.

if i knew i would tell,
the idea or word that seeks my soul.
a whisper to the deep,
i wait to finally know.

My daughters depression and anxiety are biological. I am there for her daily, we struggle together. She has approached me on occasions wanting to die. That is my world. I understand her as I have walked this road for 40 years.

————————

Infinite Jest

A literary challenge of 1,000+ pages and endnotes in a novel, Infinite Jest is not for the faint of heart. Readers say it is as entertaining as it is complex.

Elegant Complexity: A study of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

Language of David Wallace Foster

“I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.” –David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

I found David Foster Wallace on accident. Walked right into him, excused myself and there, I saw his mind, as if I were speaking his words. Tackling his book will be a feat, as climbing the highest mountain or perhaps exploring the deepest ocean floor. Either way, I imagine it will exist to be a long, hard look in a mirror. I am guessing, gleaning from quotes of his, referenced on the internet.

Seems funny I have only just heard of him and his words. I read he committed suicide. No surprise there as to why he may have ventured my way. Like a magnet, I find myself attracted to similarity.

“It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out.”

“Every love story is a ghost story.”–David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

I apologize for my bleak pen. It is a healing pen for me. Talking out loud instead of harboring thoughts inward. This is a long climb out of myself. So far, I am still here.

I sincerely hope you are well. J

Routine

All this time
lost in a world of secret talk,
hurt unremitting.
Knowing numbing pain
routinely disappearing, aware
a dependable cocoon exists.

Sordid love trapped,
mired internal existence.
Survival mode.
No need to apologize,
he bends his bough to lift
a sorry state of life.