Saturday, December 17, 2005

Winter in my heart

I am living in fog. It's not the weather. It's the condition inside my head. Everything seems vague, obscured and distanced. Sad and more than a little lonely, I'm tired of propping myself up with all of my usual tools. 30 years ago, feeling this way, I would have taken to my bed and cried and until I was high from expressed emotion. 20 years ago, I would have poured quite a few drinks and released this to the stupidity and faked joviality of intoxication. 10 years, I would have gritted my teeth and upped the hours I put in on the job. Now, I just want to give into it and stare. Letting hopelessness suck me under again is beginning to feel comforting, a hell too familiar and too inevitable to hate enough to fight.

My mood stands in sharp contrast to the season around me. Lights may be twinkling, but I see gray. Everyone seems to be moving at high speed and with purpose, and I feel like I'm moving through sludge, just plodding through my days because sitting still would bring down the displeasure of those around me. I feel powerless to create change, and I'm tired of faking that I can.

I'm a bit disgusted with myself for writing this and even more for feeling this way. A tiny voice is murmuring, "Have you no shame, spilling this garbage publicly? You know the things you should be doing. Here's the list. Now get off your butt and do it. Take small steps. See the little accomplishments and give yourself credit for them. Use that brain you've been so proud of to look for solutions. If you do give in, you are the big, fat failure you're afraid you are."

Negative reinforcement has never worked well for me, and that seems to be all that I can access. The problems seem insurmountable. When I think I've resolved one, I find that it's simply morphed into another form, but the root problem is the same. I don't have the energy to fight. I'm beyond the panic which can generate energy. Some fear and some pain linger, but they are fading to numbness. When they first started to fade, I mistook this for a calm that would include vision clear enough to see a course of action. Dead calm is different. There is nothing that can be done but wait for the looming disaster to strike. Anything else is just for show.

I have one hope. I have found interim insurance that will begin in two weeks. Prescriptions will be covered, and I can resume taking anti-depressants. Part of me laughs at the hope I'm putting into a little pill, but experience tells me this has worked before and should work again. Two weeks. I know how fast that can pass. I know that certain problems I'm facing may take years to resolve. That much time adds to the hopelessness I'm feeling. Two weeks in comparison is short. A voice of sanity is telling me that it's manageable if not easy. Two weeks, and then maybe, just maybe, I can start believing in my ability to fight and solve problems, to win and to live with feeling, courage and possibly even zest again.

Sometimes, eternity can be measured in days.


Blogger Wenda said...

Cynthia, I'm fighting the gloom,too.Thanks for expressing so well how I, too, feel. If you'd like to commisserate, you can email me through my website, linked to my blog.

Hope you find some light.

December 17, 2005 4:25 AM  
Blogger V said...

{{{ Cynthia}}}
You are describing the experience of depression perfectly. I hope the next two weeks go by swiftly. In the meantime, use your blog. Create! Sublimation will release some of that negative affect.

Do you do deep breathing, meditation, etc,? These are very helpful. Exercise?

Remember, it`s the circular negative thinking that gives power to the depression; anything you do that allows temporary escape from that is helpful; music, TV, reading.


December 17, 2005 5:01 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

As you well know, depression is a medical condition, but unlike so many other medical conditions, society measures a person's character by mental health challenges (which is total crap). They understand so little about brain chemistry and what goes on in the brain to make us "us".

Be gentle with youself. If you had a broken arm, you would be gentle on the arm. The same with your mental health. I truly believe there are biochemical reasons for depression, and as such, one cannot just "think" or "reason" themselves out of the condition. You can just do the best you can with the situation you are in. Identify what nurtures you, what feeds you, and indulge yourself and take care of yourself and put yourself and your needs first. And remember, you are not defined by the depression, just as you would not be defined by a broken arm.


December 17, 2005 6:59 AM  
Blogger Jod{i} said...

I touched on this a few days ago as well...Just something is not right. I can not for the life of me put my finger on it. At first I was justifying it with it is the season, yet have concluded it is not. I look about me and like you, I see the world in fast forward, while I feel the director has put me in warp speed surreal and slow. I can usually sit and go through my list and feel what it is that eats at me so...It is not working and I can find it. Just something is not right. My hope never leaves me though, I keep saying after the soltice I will feel better...Yet underlying this that little demon of negativity whispers, dont kid yourself. Just waiting for that other shoe to drop.
I dont write this to depress you let you know YOU are NOT alone.

Peace and to Hope

December 17, 2005 7:39 AM  
Blogger Solitary Dancer said...

Take care of yourself and know that you are not alone. Depression is real and sometimes the holiday season can intensify the feeling.

Continue to write. It will help you sort through your feelings.

Hugs, my dear friend.


December 17, 2005 7:45 AM  
Blogger Judith HeartSong said...

I know this feeling too, and hope that you can find many little moments in the next two weeks to cherish and nurture yourself. I think the gretaest strength lies in admitting weakness.
You are much loved, do not forget that my friend.

December 17, 2005 8:08 AM  
Blogger amy said...

I'm feeling this to a certain extent right now fact I'm seeing this in a lot of people's writings lately... I don't know what it is...something just seems *off*...

December 17, 2005 11:07 AM  
Blogger IndigoSunMoon said...

Two weeks will be past before you know it. In the mean time, do what you, and take care of yourself. Do something good for yourself. Pamper yourself.
Always here for you my friend.

December 18, 2005 12:17 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

Take care of your self; give yourself the gift of some good nurturing times. I think the holidays become increasingly difficult as the public and media events become increasingly out of control.

December 18, 2005 8:51 AM  
Blogger Ayn said...

Afternoon Cynthia! Please allow this slight commercialism. As fellow exodus journalists/bloggers, we are letting people know of our new blog called, Directory Assistance. We are hosting to the community a list of names and locations of bloggers who had once been AOL journalists, or are still AOL journalists, but who have opened in exchange, or addition an Internet Blog.

Directory Assistance is published by an advocate team of Vivian, Judith, Patrick, Gabreael, Virginia, Vince and me (Ayn). We are offering an open community blog that serves as a form of connection between you and community members like us.

You are invited to stop by Directory Assistance blog and leave questions, comments, concerns, or make additions, changes, or deletions of your blog listing. At the bottom and top of the sidebar Directory list, there will always be the most recent html update of people and journals listed at Directory Assistance, changes will be updated daily.

You are invited to copy these codes freely to your sidebar or blog body and update as often as you would like. Again it is a list of your fellow Journalists/Bloggers (who wish to be included). If you like the service, please let others know. At its starting point, there are approximately 170 of us represented on the list. Thanks for being here and letting us stop by. Let us also know your thoughts!

With all our heart,
Your Directory Assistance

December 18, 2005 2:30 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

{{{{Cynthia}}}} I'm so sorry you're struggling with this. I'm thinking and praying for you.

December 18, 2005 7:30 PM  
Blogger ChasingMoksha said...

I am so sorry. I seem to be fighting it as well, right at a time that I should be the happiness of all. I am thinking of you and sending you hope.....lots and lots of hope....


And yes, the medicine will be a good thing!

December 18, 2005 9:50 PM  
Blogger Celeste said...

The gloom is yucky Iknow because I am having it myself. I am hoping that it clears up soon if not of I go to the doc to get it taken care of.

December 20, 2005 1:02 PM  

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