Tag Archives: fear

Her Breath Pushes Out Like Bad Weather

tumblr_lejiq87UA81qbil4eo1_500She grasps at the edges of sheets in Royal Blue before the wind in a stale room pulls them from the sailboat mattress, bare feet and underwear just won’t do at high tide she thinks, but there’s no time to go back, we don’t have any more time, the gusts are only traveling in one direction today. Don’t relax, no deep breaths, no sighs of comfort before she dangles a limb overboard and a sock piranha leaves her with one less pink polished toe. She will use the lamp on the nightstand when it gets too dark, cast oval comfort on the sea green walls, careful not to let the cord kiss the water below. There are sharks down there, she thinks, sharks made of bobby pins and hair combs and last night’s Chinese food. And through that eggshell door with the brass knob and crooked family photo there is absolute death; unpredictable, glowing, warm, death. It waits on cobblestone streets, in busy coffee shops, at bus stops, theaters, bars, in sunlight, in strings of gold hung from trees and lampposts that light up his eyes when he kisses her on the cheek on a park bench.

She tries to roll herself up in the sailboat mattress but it won’t bend so she tries to get enough air to make it from boat to doorway, high over an octopus made of three strewn sweaters, far above a school of exotic high heeled fish. She makes it, her breath pushing out like bad weather as she grips the doorknob and pulls in, first stop the kitchen to talk to the throb knocking on her ankle.

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Climbing Out of That Hole

I hate to follow up on the lightheartedness of my previous post with this dark one, but even through the few moments of joy I experienced this week, something a little more sinister has been weighing on my mind.

I am going through a glorified “funk”. Or, am in the process of pulling myself out of said funk. I’d say it’s been more than a funk, because it definitely crossed that fine line into depression. All those things I enjoy doing? Those things that normally make me feel good, energized, like I’m making something of myself in this world? I haven’t done any of them. No writing. No exercising. No eating (and I love to eat). A piece of toast smothered in pumpkin spice cream cheese (my favorite) on Wednesday afternoon looked to me like a piece of toast smothered in feces. Sorry – you get the picture, right?

I haven’t gone out. I want nothing to do with anyone or anything except mindless television, and a bit of reading to escape my head. It’s scary, that paralyzing feeling of fear, of guilt. It’s like you’ve been completely submerged in water, you reach for a breath but can’t find one. You’re sinking slowly and there’s no hand or branch or anything to grab on to up above. You flail your arms like crazy but no one and nothing is strong enough to help you out of it.

Sheesh, just writing this is forming that lump in my throat.

For days I’ve been trying to find the source, but to no avail. No traumatizing experience, no loss of someone close to me, nothing. It hit me suddenly, right after Thanksgiving, like a ton of bricks, right upside the head.

My entire life I’ve dealt with small periods of depression, so when that familiar feeling started crawling its way into my mind and stomach, I was immediately frozen in fear. It’s like that dream. You know the one – where you are running and running, but you’re not getting anywhere? I tried as hard as I could to run away from the feeling, but it caught me anyway. It wrapped its cold, depressing hands around my entire body and squeezed.

It’s forced me to spin the reel of my past, my present, my future; it held my eyelids open, and forced me to watch. It’s tried to make me regret, doubt, question, be fearful of. Everything is exactly where I want it to be – I consider myself very blessed, very lucky – but everything came crashing down on my head at once, in this crazy overwhelming way that made me want my mommy. It made me want to curl up in a ball and be left alone and never face the possibilities of life.

I’ve gone through every possible scenario (against my own will!) of life; every possible path, every possible ending. And then the guilt sets in. But why? Then the anger, brought on by the feeling of guilt. Am I crazy?

One morning, as I opened my eyes expecting a day like any other, I was suddenly terrified of losing everything that is so important to me.

I apologize if I’m bringing you down! The point here is that I kept these ridiculous thoughts in my head, feeling guilty, feeling crazy, until I decided to talk to Joe, and to some girlfriends about it. The good thing out of all this?

I’m not crazy – or so I’ve been told. I talked with several people who could relate (including my own mother…the biggest help of all). Apparently I’m allowed to be afraid, and that doesn’t make me unworthy of the wonderful life I live.

I’m getting better (I ate dinner last night). And the lump in my throat is slowly melting away. While I’m still a bit shaken, a bit sad, a bit afraid…my mind is putting the pieces back together. I’m waking up early again. I’m actually hungry today. For now, I’m filled with the fear of being alone. I’m anxiously waiting for Joe’s car to pull into the driveway.

I can only be grateful that I pulled myself out of that dark place before I fell too far down; then things would have gotten serious.

I’m still struggling to write, and exercise…but I’m getting there. It started with this (and my previous) blog post. Forcing myself into something I enjoy is making all the difference.

I am so grateful for my understanding family, my amazing boyfriend, my gentle friends.

If you are depressed, or know someone who is, encourage them to talk about it. Talking does wonders.

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The Sound of Silence

“Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.”

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

When I climb into bed at night, I am the type of person who needs some sort of sound: the humming of the fan, a bed time playlist flowing from my Ipod, the dog barking at the wind next door, maybe even some Family Guy on low volume on the television.

Being with sound keeps me from being completely alone with my thoughts, something that has always triggered a deafening sadness in me. At the end of the day, as we close our eyes and attempt to rest our minds enough to drift into a cozy sleep – that’s when the stress and the negative thoughts (at least for me) dig their way to the surface. The things I said but shouldn’t have, the things I didn’t say but should have, the possibilities of the future, the impossibilities of right now, the sound of my own breath, the sound of his, the wondering of how some people go to sleep and never wake up.

But with some sort of sound, I don’t feel quite so alone, and am often able to get to sleep with minimal amounts of depressing thoughts.

The Rousseau quote up there reminded me of a dream I had a few months ago. I’ve actually had a lot of dreams about death, but I don’t see any sort of elaborate meanings lying in those dreams except my fear of our inevitable demise. It’s funny how terrified I am of it, yet I am completely obsessed with blood and gore and writing furiously about the two. Maybe there’s something to be said about that? Hm.

Anyway, this particular dream had me sitting straight up in bed once it had ended, a light coat of sweat on my forehead, my legs tangled up in the sheets, Joe still snoring peacefully next to me.

I was heading down a narrow, icy path, much like if I were a competitor in the Luge. I could feel flakes of ice on my shins as time sped up and everything around me began to blur. I felt as though I were roaring through a conduit where I was allowed to feel for one last time every shiny memory of my life: memories of birthdays, of my parents, of being an only child.

I knew what was coming, but I didn’t have time to be afraid, or to protest. Right before I woke up I was swallowed into a darkness; I mean, a completely unforgiving darkness. I may as well have gone blind, but I hadn’t. The world, my mind, everything had simply been snuffed out. But somehow I knew it had been, as if I were still there, but I wasn’t. But the darkness and the silence were so heavy. Thinking about it now gives me a lump in my throat.

The silence has always depressed me, but that dream instilled something even more traumatizing inside of me. Surrounding myself with all the noise and colors and constant busy-ness of the world helps me to focus only on the beauty of life, and how precious it is.

Sorry to get all morbid over here. But I’d like to know if anyone else feels this way about silence. I do enjoy alone time – very much so – but there always has to be a little something singing to me in the background.

If I ever find myself completely alone (let’s hope this never happens), I’ll have to listen closely to the sound of my own heartbeat, reminding me that there’s no time to be afraid.

 

 

 

 

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