Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Focal Point

The terrible thing about depression is the stagnation. It's not pain. It's emptiness. It's not a cancer. It's a void. An ever expanding void, like our universe. One of the worst existential crisis I ever had was brought on by a physics book, which discussed primarily the topic of what is 'real' and what is not 'real', ultimately coming to the conclusion (one that I felt as a child) that almost nothing– including our entire earth and existence– is real, because what is real never changes despite the perspective it is viewed from.

Many things are mirages, we know this. The light that is gone when you turn your head to see it, the shimmering in the air that defies your grasping fingers, the water that slips through your hands, the certainties you had (if you had any) that one by one were proven uncertain, after all. 

There is a light and it never goes out... those lyrics, so beautiful and haunting, so untrue. All lights go out. All days end. All things alive, die. 

What comes to me is that depression is a long drawn in breath, held. A pause without tapping feet or nervous fumbling. Depression can be a teacher. It can also kill you, maim you, I know. I know. And, it can also teach. It can also allow for accumulation without expansion of energy. It can allow for subconscious creation. Underneath the frozen surface. Depression is pain, then, after all, but not pain as we think of it, a different kind of pain. The pain of disconnection, the worst kind of pain, the pain of lack: lack of love, lack of compassion, lack of emotion, lack of new thought, lack of response, lack of engagement, lack of connectivity. It is the pain of disconnection from what makes us human. It is the pain that lies behind pain, past when you stop screaming, into the heart of the moment when you go into shock, when what is horrible is suffuse and emboldened and unstoppable, and therefore no longer piercing or alive with shrieking, but silent and awesome and cruelly devoid– the way the idea of God can feel, when you are depressed. This kind of pain, depression, holds the end to spirit, but also, it can teach, if you are lucky enough, if you come out of it, if there is someone or something waiting for you on the side of the living important enough for you to train your eye there. A focus spot, they call it when you are in labor. I remember pushing Dakota out, screaming, begging for the pain of transition to be over, and my mother and her friend asking for me to focus, focus on something besides the pain. To have other people reminding you of your humanity when you cannot know it, to have something reminding you that you are not dead when you are burying yourself, these things are blessings. I have been blessed. I offer this blessing.

I'm starting to emerge from this amputated state, and the unbearable part of this is the awareness of the suffering in the world around me. The awareness of pain, so fine, so acute, so sensitized, that the clumsy banging of an over-sized grasshopper into the concrete walls of a shopping center brings tears to my eyes. This grasshopper, he only lives once. One life, one consciousness, mostly completely unknown and unregarded, her life, and all she desires is the plants, the green of grass and the naked heat of dirt expanding and rising underneath the undulating of worms. And she finds concrete walls. It's incredible, the cages we build when trying to build ladders.

It's raining today. I am safe, and loved, and lucky as hell in many respects. I think about my children as I breathe. I love them as I exist, unconsciously and consciously, with every cell of my body in unison toward this end. Love is an end to itself. I think about my family, my husband. I think about what I can do to help everyone and everything that crosses my path. I think about things until I fold, sag, relent, and then I can think no more. Hibernation. January. Focus. Love.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lola and I Vlog Together


Lola and I have started a new Vlog series where we talk freely as mother and teen.

Watch it here.

Friday, January 15, 2016


This is Katie, Dakota's 10 week old King Charles spaniel, with Everkins. We babysat the dog for a whole day and Ever was in heaven– they are adorable together. Ever's only known our large dogs, so she's finding the little one more like a playmate and less like a protector. 

Depression has joined the fork in the river of anxiety, and now I am in the stagnant eddy of both. I'm going to begin progesterone, biodentical cream and see if that helps before I let my psych. add anything else to the Zoloft I already take. Since I have Stage 4 endometriosis, there is a large chance this could help me in general, and since I am 41, it might help me specifically with mood as well.

I am finding the show Transparent to be transforming. I think it is exquisite, like a Philip Roth novel. The opening alone moves me to brimming tears. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Goodnight, David Bowie, Goodnight, Car

Unable to sleep, watching Transparent with a heating pad on my back and two cats on my stomach, rising at midnight for GMO free chips and a Trader Joe's dip, diet ginger ale; trying to force the fatigue, I turned off Transparent to take a quick look at Facebook before reading and saw that David Bowie died. I have a hard time of letting go of anything that has hung around for long enough, clutter, boyfriends, workmates I don't even really like. When a musician or an actor or a poet or a novelist or an artist dies that has been in and out of my life for most of my life, then part of the story of my life has died. We die a million deaths before we die, just as we live a million moments. David Bowie wasn't my favorite artist, or even one of my favorites, but he was always there, and always a joy to watch and hear, so talented, fierce, unique. 

My mom just bought a new used car for us. I'm 41 and my mom bought me a new used car. It is what it is. We are very lucky to have that kind of support, and we aren't the kind of people who feel demeaned in accepting it. My mom will receive the same as she ages, as my children will as Ed and I age. We only have (had) one car: a black small jeep-ish car where the air conditioner no longer works, the CD player only works if you insert the CD eight times, and there are five holes in various parts of the engine so that the mechanic- an old friend of mine whom I trust- said it would cost three times as much as the car is worth to repair. So we've driven this small black car around town for the last year or more, while it steadily steams and hisses and jolts and leaks oil, and Ed has ridden his bike to work. We have had a very good attitude about this, being faced with much worse in the past, and currently. However, it has sucked. In order to go anywhere on the freeway, we'd have to borrow a car from someone, which did feel demeaning. We turned down many invitations because of our car situation. Instead, we now have a new used 2010 Chevy Equinox in a beautiful darkish blue sitting in our garage, and Ed parked our old beat up car down the street, off our cul-de-sac, as if it were a disobedient child who we have finally grown tired of and put into a long time-out. 

But I miss that car.

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