Sunday, December 17, 2006

You Don't Know Me...

I should have been an actress, getting paid to pretend.

The "black dog" is haunting me again and I am doubting my strength to repel his advances this time. Doubting, even, my desire to care.

I am tired of myself. Indeed, do I even know myself?
Do I really want to?

Outward appearance reflects strong... survivor. Inside, I know differently.
I hide. I barricade and retreat. The walls around me grow thicker.
I will let no one inside. Ever.
They would be disappointed and leave quickly. My image tarnished.
My self shamed.

In a post from February 8, a commenter left these words:

"though we struggle to become what we know we are...
we sometimes act to confirm what we believe we are.
choose."

I have read her words hundreds of times since.
What I continue to struggle with is figuring out the difference... or, perhaps, accepting the difference... between what I know and what I believe I am.
They seem to overlap. Confusion reigns. And, I don't particularly like the specifics of either, anyway.

Depression chips away at life. The reasons can be elusive, even non-existant.
That probably does not make sense to many people. Especially those who confuse clinical depression with self-pity, whining, pouting.

I do not have... I have not had... a bad life.
Still, the shadows creep over me at times.
Like now.

Offered advice has included, "Just get up and do what you have to do!".
Depression short-circuits that command.

Will this mood pass, as the many others have?
Probably.
Will I be a better or different person when this finally fades away?
Probably not.

Swirling within myself.
Sounds selfish.
Feels selfish.
Breeds anger.
Waste of time.
Waste of oxygen.

You don't know me.
Most times...

...I don't want to know myself.

22 comments:

Bane said...

Depression is like a waterbed full of ice water.

Think about that...

Anonymous said...

find something worth fighting for, that always helps me, maybe it will help you?

-corby

Jean said...

Bane - chilling and painful, no hope for comfort. This will pass, again.
I think what I hate most is the feeling of no control.

Corby - a stranger offering a hand... thank you.

Sparrow said...

A not-quite stranger offering prayers for you, Jean. And for your friend in the next post as well.

Jean said...

Sparrow- double thanks, dear lady.

Lee said...

Jean,

It isn't who you know, or who you believe you are. Neither of those things matter, except for self awareness.

Who do you want to become?
What do you want to see when you look in the mirror?
That, friend, is what you look at, what you work toward.

Depression robs you of motivation, I know.

This, too shall pass. I know it, and so do you, even though it doesn't feel that way.

When it does, look inside. Find what it is about yourself that makes you unhapy, or that you'd like to change or improve. Then go for it!

Make progress when you can, and be prepared for mental setbackshen they come, as you know they will. When you're ready again, keep going!

Good advice, wish I could take it myself.

Jim - PRS said...

Perhaps you can take a moment from considering who you are and gain some comfort in knowing how many people are glad THAT you are.

I count myself among those.

Jean said...

Lee - I know you understand this crap.
Wise words from you, friend. Thank you.


Jim - I read your words and am blinking back tears. You are, indeed, another wonderful soul in my life.

kdzu said...

Will I be a better or different person when this finally fades away?
Probably not.

You demean yourself, and forget those who care about and share this journey with you.
We are all here to gain experience and knowledge. You have had many, good and bad, experiences. The fact that you wonder means you have gained the capacity to analyse the changes worked in you.
Many of us share with you the 'black dog', and we struggle to keep going.....sometimes one step forward and two back...and at other times skipping forward as a small child skips down the path.
Take heart. The inside is, if possible, even prettier than the outside.
Just keep pulling the vines aside and moving onward. Remember that those same hindering vines produce sweet smelling, beautiful blooms in the spring.

You touch us. A rare gift indeed.

Rantin' Ron said...

I'd love to leave words of wisdom but alas...my fifty two years have convinced me that basically, I'm a freakin' moron.

I pray that you gain the ability to see in yourself what others see in you from reading your words. While I've never been diagnosed with depression, I'm pretty sure I have experienced it and one thing that have helped me through it are the words of Lord Byron.

"Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to inquire - in the midst of myriads of the living and the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?"

I mean really...who the hell are we? If we are no more than a grain of sand on the beach of life, why the hell should we take our selves so seriously?

In a strange way, I have derived much comfort from those words.

Yeah..I know..not much help but damn it...what did you expect? I'm a moron!

Feel better sweetheart.

Jean said...

Larry - I could never forget you... and your kind and wise words mean a lot. I won't give up. I look forward to the sweet smell of the blossoms.
Thank you.


Ron - You, a moron?... not even close.
All in all, I need to lighten up, eh?
I can do that... things are feeling better. Thank you, sweet man.

AspergantuS said...

Jean ~ I have no words of wisdom, no quotes to tell you what to do. I am not a wise man nor do I have answers. I search for answers every day of my life. I have yet to find any. Sometimes I think maybe I'm asking the wrong questions...
But I get up in the morning and make sure that I'm on the right side of dirt. If I am, well... then everything after that to me is a piece of cake.
I am sorry that things are getting you down.

Anonymous said...

... damn, Jean... you were a bit rough on ole Ron....

... but still, hey, you are a catch.... you keep going, young woman..... you have far to travel...

Eric

curmudgeon said...

Hey jean,
No, I don't know you, really. Just through the web. Wish I knew you better though. I enjoy our 'conversations'.

But...as I read posts on in your "Strength Is Needed..." referral, I can't help but think how well off I am. Maybe things aren't so bad?

Jean said...

Mick - but, you ARE a wise man... and you don't quit. You help inspire me to keep going. I thank you for that.

Eric - I appreciate your confidence in me... the mood is slowly getting better. I'll make it, again. Thank you.


Dave - I also enjoy our conversations... always have. Being aware of other people's situations does make me feel guilty about ever being in a down mood... not having control of these moods is frustrating... that's why depression can be such a vicious cycle. I have very little to complain about. But, I feel things coming back to a better level now... am beginning to climb back up.
Thanks for your concern, truly.

Beansgal said...

Dear Jean,

Hey, finally figured out how to leave a comment!!!!!........sorry to hear that "dog" got out.........but know this.....I have loved you since 1965 when we met at SHS.....and I will continue to do so.....so when that "dark canine" nips at your heels.....give it a boot for me!

Jean said...

Beansgal - WooHoo!!... I knew ya could do it!
Thank you... for everything.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

running late here, as usual.

I would be lying if I said I haven't had some sad and black times this month.

I reach for the love when it happens. I call a friend, I get out and sit where there are people;poor, sad, drunk, hurting people with hurts written all over them and remember that I am here to share the love and teach the love.

That is our purpose and it's not very loving to spread a black thought. I give it to the light and get back love.

Now that ought to mess you up to figure out....LOL.

But hang on, one second it's black and the next can bring the joy back. Wait for it!

Malem said...

Even at times when I feel it is darkest... I know that I can make it through. I also know that every 'trip' I make it back from, I return just that much stronger. I am confused by my depression since I have not had a bad life either ... bad periods sure, but bad life, no. It is a comfort to hear from others who feel the same things... Take care.

Jean said...

Val - waiting is worth it... it does come back to where it should be. Thanks, gal.


Malem - I also feel that I gain strength each time... and, those times are geting farther apart and not lasting as long, thankfully. Progress, eh?
Thanks for visiting and commenting.

og said...

Chill.


When I'm particularly full of self loathing I tend to go find some worthy moonbat, and hit it. Hard. Several times. It helps, trust me.

Jean said...

Og - gonna have to Google "moonbat"... but, thanks. Glad you came by! I really like your blog, btw.