“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Her Bad Mother is one of my favorite bloggers. She has taken a sabbatical recently, and has had a series of guest bloggers. While I miss her writing, the coolest thing about one of your favorite bloggers showcasing some of HER favorite bloggers is that you get to find new favorite blogs – like Black Hockey Jesus, who is screamingly irreverently funny in a Robin-Williams-George-Carlin-love-child kind of way. This is a wonderfully satisfying thing that has led me to waste even more time than I can afford when I should be other things.

But before she took her sabbatical, Her Bad Mother wrote:

Rule #637 for women who blog who want to be taken seriously – that is, to not be referred to as ‘narcissistic brainless lactating cows‘ – is, apparently, this: do not have mental breakdown and threaten to quit blogging or take vacation from blogging or enter blogging rehab somewhere in Arizona or whatever.* Presumably because if you don’t have the balls to keep blogging when you’re feeling mentally and/or emotionally whipped, it just goes to prove that you don’t have balls, period.

Before anyone accuses me of not having balls, I would have to say, in the literal sense, you are correct. However, if this relates to the metaphorical corresponding attitude, I will tell you – walk out onto a field with a stick and a very small shield with the objective of beating the crap out of an opponent with about 50 pounds and 6 inches on you, break your leg doing it, finish the fight, walk off the field on the broken leg and THEN tell me I am lacking in testosterone laden macho-masquerading-as-stupidity. And have I mentioned I have indeed stitched up my own wounds? To break into my more colorful verbal expressions – screw you. I am as dumb as the next guy.

Over the last year, I have been mentally and emotionally whipped. That’s the thing about depression, it takes the fight out of you. It’s increasingly hard to find the bottom of the emotional well that writing draws from. I read through my blogs of the past, and I wonder at a person who had the kind of emotional range, the intensity, even the sense of play, that I apparently did when I started this blog.

I am perilously close again to doing what I do not like to do – blogging about blogging. That is a form of mental masturbation that I have tried to avoid. Instead, I will say that I am blogging about depression, about the gray cloud that descends on your life and seeps out the color. Depression is a slow thief. It does not take away the things in your life that you love. Instead it steals the love itself, leaving the trappings of a life behind, flat and empty and featureless. And in the midst of it, it feels like it will go on forever. Worse, it begins to feel that it has never been any other way than this.

But I know this is not true. I read back to the person I was, even after Katrina took its toll, and I see someone who knew what it meant to squeeze joy out of every moment. That is the person I truly am, the person I have been all of my life, the person who goes to bed after a bad day with the absolute knowledge that the sun will rise on a better one. I am the person who finds joy in the glint of light off the green tree leaves beside the highway, the ephemeral shifting of white clouds against the blue sky, the colored patterns of cars in a parking lot, a caterpillar inching across the back porch. That is the person I have to find again. Depression robs you of your very self and it does it so incrementally that you don’t know it has happened until you wake up and find you are a stranger in your own skin.

This too, will pass. I say it like a mantra every day, but it feels like I am spending my time waiting for that moment, when I will wake from the gray Kansas landscape and find myself magically transported to technicolor Oz. I know I need to stop waiting for the tornado to come and blow it all away, but finding the energy to make my own journey seems so insurmountable that the sheer inertia keeps me bound to this place. I need to haul my bootstraps. I need to kick my ass.

I am just so damned tired.

August 13th, 2008 at 9:22 am
11 Responses to “Descent into madness. Only more boring.”
  1. 1
    Cinnkitty Says:

    Well.. it *IS* kind of hard to kick your own ass when you have a broken leg (insert joke about one legged man in an ass kicking contest here).

    I feel ya sister.. I’ve been fighting that “I want to sleep for a week” feeling for a while now.

    As Dory would say — “Just keep swimming.. just keep swimming” and if we are lucky, we’ll soon find ourselves in Australia like she did! 🙂

  2. 2

    Oh, sweet lady: I SO HEAR YOU. I so do.

    Do what you need to do to feel okay, to feel a little less tired. Whatever it is, do it. xo

  3. 3
    Kat Says:

    Realization is the first sign that the journey back is about to begin.

  4. 4
    OS Says:

    I battle it, too. I am, in fact, eyebrow deep in it right now. But I can say that I come here first every day, because the person you describe as the person you need to get back to, is the person I still see you as. You are not defined by your depression to me. I hope that you’ll find the rungs to climb back up by soon. Much love . . .

  5. 5
    Willow Says:

    Robbin, I agree with what Kat said — it sounds like your journey back is already beginning. Make the gray cloud the opponent that you go beat the hell out of. Every time you spontaneously laugh or smile or, hell, feel anything AT ALL, know that you’re taking steps on the journey back to you. You know how I know? I’m walking the path too. Just look down to the south, toward Florida, and that’s me waving at ya.

  6. 6

    Depression steals your ability to feel.

    I’ve spent so much time in that pit. Honey, if you need/want to talk to somebody who’d been there, email me (I think you can access that email). I don’t think we’ve ever met IRL except in passing, but I know who you are! LOL. Well, yeah. 🙂

    I had post-partum; but mostly I just have screwed up brain chemistry. And I’ve been medicated.

  7. 7

    […] Cry me a River and play me a song on the world’s smallest violin… My friend Bri posted “Depression robs you of your very self and it does it so incrementally that you don’t know it has happened until you wake up and find you are a stranger in your own skin.” in her blog here. […]

  8. 8
    jodifur Says:

    I’m so sorry you are struggling. You have been through a tremendous amount in a short period of time and it is no wonder it is catching up to you. I’m here, if you need to talk (or email!)

  9. 9
    Deirdre Says:

    Give yourself permission to rest. Read the Bible. Get outside. Even if it’s just a nice evening on a blanket with your hubby watching the stars.

    and for heaven’s sake, change the background color on your blog! it’s gray! that can’t be helping your mental state honey.

    by the way, it’s not at all surprising for a fighter like you to be depressed when sidelined. happens all the time.

  10. 10
    William McNaughton Says:

    Oooh! Good point! Change the background of the blog to something other than gray!

    Will

  11. 11
    Marvin Says:

    50 pounds? You are being way too kind. I bet I outweigh you by a few more than that…

    Been down that road before and it sucks. Big time. I’ve often thought that depression is far worse on self-reliant people. Hang in there and good luck.