Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Sunday, February 25, 2007

    Bury My Lovely

    So. This depression thing.


    You know, I hate hate hate it when I hear someone say that depression feeds artists. Van Gogh and Poe are my favorite sited examples. Oh, such art came out of their depression! Bullshit. Such art came out despite their depression. They would have done MORE if they HADN'T been depressed.


    Depression eats artists.


    ***


    I figure, if I can get the laundry done and the dishes, and feed the guys, I'm functioning.


    ***


    If I make it through the day without crying, tomorrow might be ok too. If I can't, then I wonder what's happened to me. Because this crying all the time? This isn't me.


    ***


    And the nights. Lying in bed just after the lights go out, my thoughts in a white noise panic over what I cannot control. All the things that happen to all of us.


    ***


    I wonder what kind of effect this is having on the boyos. I try not to let them see me cry. I've gotten good at it. I try not to snap at them when they ask me the same question five times in a row. I'm not so good at that.



    ***


    All my days aren't so bad. Last Tuesday was a good day, a stupidly good day. No school, no work, so O took the boyos out on errands. I wandered alone in a sort of stupor from garden supply store to plant nursery, vaguely searching for a tabletop grow light to get some seeds started. Really, I just walked around in the sun on that late halcyon day looking at pots and seed packets. I bought a primrose.

    I could have gone home and napped, but I pulled into The Home Depot instead, parked next to our other car, went in and searched the aisles.

    I heard them before I saw them.

    “Hello, family,” I said.


    ***


    Last time this lingering sadness happened, I got out of it by finding a full-time job that didn't involve ripping off CNN for a now-defunct transcription and radio broadcast company whose name you heard at the end of Oprah or Donahue or various other talk shows. That was 12 years ago. I'm facing the same thing now. So why not enact the same solution?


    ***


    So I thought about what I wanted to do with the next part of my life, for money. I kicked around an idea. It involved going back to school; heavy-duty school. I told my mom. She encouraged me because it involved health care; her field. But it intimidated me, both the school and the idea of still not finding a job afterward.

    Then there was my answer, standing quietly against the back of my brain, like a wallflower at a dance. I got excited. So excited, that I had tears in my eyes as I Googled away. I could do this. I wanted to do this. This would help people. This was something I understood. Sure, there was retraining involved, but I didn't have that feeling of intimidation when I thought about it. And it was still in health care.

    I talked to my mom again, shot my new idea past her.

    The silence said everything.

    The middle conversation was, “Well. You wouldn't be able to get health insurance for the boys if you did that.” (Might I mention, they already have health insurance.)

    And the conversation ended with the usual, “But you're smart. You can do anything you want.”

    Now when I talk about it, my voice goes all quiet. And I find I can't even mention my idea here.



    ***


    None of this really has anything to do with why I've got 'walking depression.'



    ***


    They say losing someone is supposed to get easier as time passes. In this case it doesn't. I'm getting hit hard this year. Remembering what happened. Trying to get it into words. No, that's not true. I've got the words. I know exactly how I would tell the story. I'm just trying to decide if it would help.


    ***


    The first seedlings poked through the dirt this morning; pumpkins and watermelons the boyos planted in little paper cups. Every year it's a new miracle to me. Every year I don't believe it will happen.

    Then it does.


    ***


    And if there's a God in heaven, the tomato seeds I planted will not sprout on March 1st. Any day but that one.

    There is some poetry I will not put up with.

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    20 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger Scott from Oregon wrote in a love letter...

    I agree with you. Depression weighs down the body and the mind, and slows down the art within.

    Depression is as much a psysiological event as it is an emotion.

    Sometimes, emotins can trigger the physiological, and then the body gets stuck chemical.

    I've experienced this myself, as well as seen it in so many others.

    There really isn't a magic path that will lead you out of this.

    There is your mind, which rationally knows feeling sad is worse than feeling happy, and then there is your body, which needs good, healthy food, exercise, gardening, outdoor walking, fresh air and sunshine...

    It's alot like getting water out of your gas tank.

    Once you do that, things will be so much better.

    I hate that you don't feel happy and well.

    You deserve to feel happy and well.

    12:11 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Scott from Oregon wrote in a love letter...

    chemically... (Typos R us!)

    12:12 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Lucia wrote in a love letter...

    Oh, sweetie, sorry to hear you're depressed. It's a bitch, and difficult to get oneself out of. Lots of exercise (whether you feel like it or not), and meds, they ain't all bad. Grief really boosts a sort of situational depression, and it might be good to get some meds to give a bottom to that bottomlessness.

    4:12 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    I'm missing some history here. And I'm not naive enough to think I can fix what I desperately WANT to fix for you. But I do know I'm not alone in that regard. There are lots of people here you've never even seen who love you and want you to be well. I hope you can take stock of that and use it to help climb out of that abyss.

    If you have a dream you want to follow, I wish you'd do it without your Mom's approval. It's about you, not her. And it sounds like it will be perfect for you just because of the energy you brought to the idea.

    I'm beside myself with worry for you. Please keep us informed about how and what you're doing.

    4:18 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Cheesy wrote in a love letter...

    I have no sage words.. I have no personal experience with depression but.. I do have experience with grief. ANYTHING you want to do is ok.. you need no head nods from anyone. If you have a path you want to follow.. follow it to YOUR destination. Anything you can do to ease your inner pain is worth doing if it makes you "ok" with yourself. Take care of you and the best things will follow sweety.

    6:04 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger patches wrote in a love letter...

    Nancy, if it will help, I'll fly out and treat you to figure eight leg rub. It makes Missus Chica smile. But seriously, "Depression eats artists.", I've never heard it put that way, but few observations are as astute.

    I wish I could give you magic beans or something....Missus Chica keeps a long term safe project. The design is finalized, but the labor is time consuming, and somewhat thankless. She works on this weaving project when she can't get her creativity in check to work on more significant projects. Write your story, Nancy, it isn't a requirement that you share it, unless you want to. It could be an opportunity to pen your own private catharsis. I know this isn't easy, and I wish you well in your self exploration.

    7:35 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger meno wrote in a love letter...

    Interesting how much silence, or a raised eyebrow, from the mom can shoot a hope balloon out of the sky with one shot.

    I think you should reconsider. You mom loves you, but maybe she's wrong on this one.

    8:52 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    Ditto what Meno said. This I think tells it all:

    "I got excited. So excited, that I had tears in my eyes as I Googled away. I could do this. I wanted to do this."

    A passion like that deserves exploration.

    As for the depression, I am sorry. I feel ya. I get this way in swings - one week down in the pit, the next up on top of the world, then level for a while and bam, the pit appears again. Grief to top that off - Nancy, that's a lot to bear. Do what you gotta do to feel better.

    9:12 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    a) what Bud said

    b) If there's any truth to that adage that it helps to know you are not alone, then let me tell you that my mother's voice asking "aren't you sorry you went back to school" has been a constant through this entire process. It was there when I was liking classes and it's still here now that I'm pulling my hair out. "Don't you wish you'd just gone out and gotten a job?" She didn't understand that I was in no fit state to find or keep a job. This school thing has been my little waiting room. I'm taking deep breaths and trying to figure out what to do next. THe panic is setting in now that I have to leave the waiting room soon and I still have no clue. Everything feels very tenuous. Walking on the edge. Fall one way and land on broken glass. Fall the other and land in tulips. (Though there might be poison ivy mixed in...). I'm terrified. Feel the weight of the world. It's me and the kids and I am not having luck figuring it all out for us. What's wrong with me, comes the question late at night, just before the tears.

    9:14 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    I lot of smart, caring people have already weighed in, so I'll just add that staring down the whole depression/grief thing takes a lot of courage (I tend to fall into the avoidance, denial, and self-medication camp, but you are a better soul than I). And I know that throwing yourself into the unknown is something everyone should try at least once a decade. You'll thrive. I'm feeling terror similar to Amusing's with the whole teaching thing, but it's also woken me up to possibilities I'd never considered. Your Mom is a nice woman but she is wrong. Do it!

    p.s. - I think the meds are a good idea. Depression eats art and artists, and entire lives as well.

    10:40 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Stucco wrote in a love letter...

    Ma, what the hell? I left this witty and vulgar comment about masturbating until you get a repetitive stress injury, and the injustice of only females getting multiple orgasms and all, and flippin' Blogger ate it. Suck!

    At any rate, the personal, human message (versus the tacky, inappropriate, and amusing Stucco answer) was to remember that you have real friends who care about you (and not JUST for your body, or your Mojito abilities) and that you should lean on us. Call Schmoop- she loves you and is a good listener, and if that doesn't help much, have her pass me the phone, and I'll start describing the things I think about. Somewhere between shock value and feeling better in knowing your noodle is NEARLY as bent as mine...

    And Blogger is pissing me off.

    11:45 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Schmoopie wrote in a love letter...

    You have to take a good look at the quality of your life, and how you are living it. Do you wake up feeling joy or wanting to stay in bed all day? Life needs to be treasured and lived with enthusiasm (I don't mean every waking moment!) If you are truly crying most days, it's time for a different strategy. Meds can work, if you find the right one. Exercise raises seratonin naturally (if you can make the time to do it.) For the lucky few, red wine, chocolate and sex work too :)

    9:36 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    well, if we are calling in the pharma reps, then let me add that while my sister loves her Lex_apro/Ce_Lexa and is a little freaked out that she only feels "normal" with it, I could never really figure out what, if anything, it was doing for me. My bear is hormones and stress. So I'm on the Pill (the one with the capital P) for the one and an anti-anxiety drug for the other. This is working better for me than the antidepressant. (She said, acknowledging that she just came out of a week of tear fests in which she was sure the world sucked and everyone hated her.)

    10:07 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    May I hasten to add that you already jumped into the unknown once this decade with...what was it?...oh yeah, GIVING BIRTH TO TWINS!!! AND THEN RAISING THEM!!! So cut yourself some slack.

    Your mom is still wrong though. Joe Campbell, however, is right on: follow your bliss.

    2:32 PM, February 27, 2007  
    Blogger Irrelephant wrote in a love letter...

    I'm in the same boat as Stucco, only my comment was more gentle and had less masturbation.

    Be strong, and above all? Find the strength in yourself, it's there. Please please don't climb into a pharmaceutical bottle looking for the answer, it's not there. You've read my post-drug blog entries--IT'S NOT THE ANSWER.

    6:55 PM, February 27, 2007  
    Anonymous d-man wrote in a love letter...

    Depression is a depressing thing.

    I can offer a cyber hug. I promise not to unhook your bra. :)

    1:09 AM, February 28, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Thanks, Scott. You're so sweet. :-) I do think this is a combination of nature and, well, nature. How did you get out of your depression?

    Thank you Lucia. :-) For some reason, I have some old memories coming to the forefront, and I think I just need to go straight through them.

    Aw, Bud, I know, and it helps having wonderful people who listen to me prattle on. *hug* I'm ok. Better today. The history is my brother's death. It happened 22 years ago tomorrow, and for some reason, it's haunting me this year.
    As for career stuff, I try not to let her influence me, but I'm overcoming a history of being the 'perfect daughter.'

    Thanks, Cheesy. :-) Griefand I don't play well together. Never have. I'm ack to researching what I want to do. Not a lot of money in it, but a lot of soul, _and_ it's catching on. And, I have a lead from Jo on another alternative.

    Patches, I'll send you a first class ticket. Tell the Missus to watch the mailbox. ;-) The long-term project's a great idea. I have a few quilts that fill that criteria (One won't get done 'til the boyos are in college). I do need to get going on one. And I will be writing the story; I have to.

    Damn straight, Meno. Like I told Bud, I'm overcoming a lifelong case of 'perfect daughter.' This all just sort of fits together, I think.

    Yup, Maggie. I am exploring it. My enthusiasm's growing again. I hear you on the swings. I'm thinking this might have a big hormonal component. I need to email you about something.

    Amusing, do you know you've become a fixture in my back-in-school dreams? :-) And I don't even know what you look like! If it helps, you got an A in one of your classes. You're going to get through this too. *hug*

    Hey, Clowncar, thanks for the email. Reassuring it was. ;-) How goes the studying?


    Now, Stucco, there you go sending coffee through my nose again and turning me beet red. (Beat red, heh heh.) And man, what IS going on? As far as I can tell, everyone in Blogland is masturbating and discovering vibrators all of a sudden, either as a remedy to depression or, well, do you really need an excuse? Glad the maddness hasn't spread to me! Ahem.

    Hey, Schmoop, thanks for the call. *hug* Yeah, I've been trying to figure out what in my life needs to change to make it happier. I think I need to hunker down until spring when we can all get outside and run around. That will help. And travel, that's certainly on the list. Visiting old friends and hopefully meeting new ones. (Northwesterners, I hope your ears are perking up...:-) )

    And back to Ausing. I've never been on med. I'm kind of wondering what they would do.

    Hee! That's true, Clowncar. I'm STILL wandering around in the unknown. But hey, you guys know what going from zero to two is like. And, you had the added fun of, 'Sorry, we can't give you that information yet.'

    Hee hee, SUUUURE it did,Ir. ;-)
    I know you've stuggled with the coming-down part. Ugh! That's one big thing keeping me off of it.

    *hug* And D-Man, I'd be sorely insulted if you didn't at least TRY to unhook my bra. ;-)

    1:35 PM, February 28, 2007  
    Blogger Scott from Oregon wrote in a love letter...

    How did I get out of my depression?

    Rock climbing and lots and lots of sex with a Mormon.

    9:03 PM, February 28, 2007  
    Blogger JustCallMeJo wrote in a love letter...

    Nancy...email forwith. I am sorry that today is today.

    (Scott...how did you manage to HAVE sex with the Mormon...now that I've met them, I can't get them to shake hands with me.)
    /jo

    8:14 AM, March 01, 2007  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    Feb 25 post made me feel like driving up there right now to give you big hugs and encouragement.

    Feb 22 post had me sol (snorting out loud), especially when I got to this part and felt like I was THERE.

    3:11:30 Declan still mighty upset about puking. Grab another towel and mop him up. Mop up couch and floor. Watch as Good Boy JRT 'helps' with the floor. Try not to be sick yourself while actually thanking him for his assistance. Surmise that school snack must have been chocolate cupcake with cheddar cheese curd sauce. Try again not to puke.

    Love you lots, Li'l Hux

    10:02 AM, March 01, 2007  

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