Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Monster Are Loud Today

I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. I just kept shutting my eyes, as if that could keep the world out. My heart was racing as it often does when I awake, so there was no chance of falling back asleep. Still I wanted to just lie there because once I get up then I start thinking about my life, about what I'm doing and where I'm going.

Today I can hear Depression scratching on my door with its long, needle thin claws. It's never far away. You can't outrun it or hide from it. The first time we met was my Junior year of college after I returned from being abroad. We've had an uneasy relationship ever since. As with any long term relationship, some days are harder than others.

I debated whether or not to write this blog. In my family, you are ridiculed for complaining. You are not to show weakness, particularly of an emotional sort. You are never supposed to be overly dramatic. In short, you should suck it up and shut up.

And you are never ever ever allowed to think you are worth more than you are. This would be the greatest embarrassment: to think you are worth more than you are, and to have others recognize this and see you for what you really are. It's safer to think you are worth less, and it's your family's responsibility to keep you "grounded" by reminding you of your many shortcomings in order to safeguard you from possible social mortification.

In short, I feel that I'm breaking many family codes just by admitting that I struggle with depression. I can't even say it. I say, "I think I had mild depression." This must be followed by, "But I'm fine now! (grin)" I could barely bring myself to admit this to my doctor.

I always think it's funny when people tell me how cheerful I am. Inside my head, things are not so cheerful. There are many sides to us, I guess.

I'm not writing all of this so that I can be pitied. In fact, if someone I know reads this and mentions it to me, I will shrug it off, laugh, quickly turn the conversation back to the other person. I don't want to dwell on it. I just want to say: I struggle with dark things that gather outside my window, huddle in my shadow, hover over my bed. It helps to know that we all struggle with these monsters in some form or another.

At least, I hope it helps. We can't make the monsters go away, but we don't have to face them alone.

6 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post and so understandable. So many of us struggle with some form of depression or another especially as writers being in an industry where we are constantly judged. It's hard to always wear the mask and show what is expected. Sometimes you have to let your true feelings out.
    I wrote a bit about it on my blog a while back:

    http://kwanawrites.blogspot.com/2010/02/keeping-it-real.html

    Good luck.

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  2. Thanks, Kwana. And thanks for sharing your post. I feel exactly the same way sometimes: don't let them see how neurotic you are. Keep the blog shiny and happy! Not very realistic.

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  3. girl, you know i feel you. it's a battle i fight everyday. the hardest part is, when everyone is used to seeing you smile and they ask, what's wrong? you're lovely, smart, and wonderful whether you're smiling or not!

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  4. Thanks, Chey! And right back atcha! ; )

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  5. Blogs/the internet are/is sort of like family, in a way. You want to get published, don't post about how hard it is, how disgruntled or depressed you are, don't complain, 'cause agents don't want to see it. But if your blog is about the process of writing, editing and getting published, you'll have days like this.

    I'm the same way, overthinking how much to say or keep to myself. I do the grin and deflect as well, a lot. [My mom is a big fan of not showing weakness to others, not even family.] I'll hold up the sword and shield to fight the monsters, if you need the help.

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  6. Thanks, Sabrina. I've got your back on the hard days, too. Just hearing other people and other writers say, "Yes, I also struggle with the monsters," helps so much.

    We're all in this together!

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