Trouble get behind me now, trouble let me be..

I'm staring at a white screen, trying to formulate a witty or at least intriguing introduction to a grossly overdue blog. 


Oh there's an emptiness inside her 
And she'd do anything to fill it in 
And though it's red blood bleeding from her now 
It's more like cold blue ice in her heart 
She feels like kicking out all the windows 
And setting fire to this life 
She could change everything about her 
Using colors bold and bright 
But all the colors mix together 
To grey 
And it breaks her heart...

(Dave Matthews Band, "Grey Street")

On days like today, when everything comes suddenly crashing in around me, and the pressure around my head from the mask I wear becomes too much to bear, it's hard to transfer anything from mind to 'paper' coherently. Everything I want to say sounds like a whine or a cry for empathy, and everything I end up typing becomes deleted shortly after because it translates completely opposite what I'm actually feeling.

The hardest part about being a former ('recovered'? 'rehabilitated'?) depressive is the knowledge that certain things are now unacceptable. One may feel dragged down into the darkest abyss of sorrow, but the former seemingly rational option of suicide is no longer a viable solution. Any attempts at self-injury, physical or psychological, are suddenly abhorrent. What was a comforting assurance (a knife blade across the skin) is now an embarrassing and irrational coping mechanism you cannot embrace. The rushing kiss of a bottle to the lips becomes an obvious escape from the reality you're just too weak to face. All of the things that used to seem such rapid and successful diversions from your deepest pain are now, being a 'recovered' patient, silly and completely impossible.

Now I can feel myself being grasped and sucked backwards into an endless vortex of emptiness and pain and hopelessness, and yet all I'm able to do is go limp and let myself be taken. I can only give in to my pain and ride out the storm, no matter how much it hurts, because I truly see no other option. What should be a happy achievement-the absence of suicidal or self-detrimental thoughts-gives me a very hollow solace. My tears, once hot, now burn my cheeks. My hands, which once searched for anything sharp within reach, now clench and unclench and claw at my temples, desperate to extract the thoughts that plague my mind. The stomach, in knots, which was once appeased by the quick punch of whiskey to its sides, now turns in on itself, searching for an escape from a nameless torment. 
And the heart....the heart. The heart that slept in silence and chill, safe behind walls that took years to build. The heart that knew so much inexplicable pain that it imploded, and died inside. The heart that felt neither stab of pain nor rush of warmth, that merely hiccuped, if that, in the presence of instability. The heart that rested on still waters, now exposed and vulnerable to the deepest, darkest sorrow..nothing upon which to lean for balance, no chemical or physical injury or liquid courage on which to depend to steer it through the storm. My heart is now forced to accept the brutal hands of growth wringing it out and strangling it in their grasp. They envelop it, gnarled and dry, made of only truth and realism, rubbing it raw when it feels its weakest. 

And this is how 'recovery' goes. One is never truly 'over' depression. You just learn new ways, sane and reasonable ways, to deal with the difficult times. You have to first accept that there will be more difficult times ahead, and just because you've managed to overcome the biggest obstacle (life), you aren't in the clear. The hardest part about not wanting to die anymore? Realizing that now, you have no choice but to live.


And these are the things that flood my mind and cloud my vision on days like today. When I come home, collapse on my bed and stain my bedding with salty tears and remnants of eyeliner. Days when, sitting on my bathroom floor, my head against the cool wall, my cheeks hot and my eyes puffy, I'm forced to accept that this is what I chose. This is life, in all its ambivalent glory and raw honesty. This is the ups and downs, the side to sides, that I chose over the emptiness of death. I chose to crawl, then stand, then traipse, and finally to walk towards a future that involved my presence rather than the absence of me. 

It gets difficult, and I still have a hard time just accepting that sometimes things go badly, but it comes with the territory. In my blood is a certain genetic torment and restlessness, and I must be aware of it and know how to direct it. It is much, much easier to press a gun barrel against your temple or hold a bottle of narcotics in your hand than to step out of the darkness and stare into the mirror. However, once the ripping of your insides and the throbbing of your head subside, and you realize you're fully feeling things, everything becomes much easier with which to deal. It is surviving, and trudging onward, that display courage. The cowardice is not in being afraid to pull the trigger-it's in the belief that the trigger steers your destiny. 

You steer your destiny. 

Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes 
But I'll work it out..
(DMB, "Dancing Nancies")

+++Yes, there's a DMB theme to the lyrics accompanying this blog. The concert's tomorrow. :)

1 comment:

  1. That is really deep...I am glad that you posted it. That takes a lot to do that.

    Tonight is one of those nights for me. I hate depression!!! It pisses me off. It took me 15yrs to find out that depression was ruining my life. I have only been working on it for almost a year now. I have made improvements... but sometimes there just does not seem to be no ending it.

    That is just it though...there is no end to it, because like you said it is life. I have staved off suicide, thou some times the thoughts are there but I now know that I wouldn't. I have been reading Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy. This is a good reading. I have read this book once and reading it again to get a better understanding of depression and how to beat it. Might want to check the book out, you can pick it up where books are sold.

    I wish you the best. Tomorrow is a brighter day then the last. Through each episode makes you stronger and tougher. So the future is bright for you in all things that you want to do.