Friday, April 22, 2011

My Rollercoaster

    The Rollercoaster of a manic-depressive personality can be a wild and sometimes awesome ride. But more often it is terrifying, grim and bleak. This year has been the ride of all rides, with a lot more underground tunnels in the track than cloud kissing heights. I don't know if it is a combination of chemicals and hormone imbalance this year that is fueling the ride, or just all of the external factors that keep pressing me down with G forces equal to the bone crushing weight of a high grav planet. Or both. Or neither.
    This is the first time in a decade that I have seriously considered going back on medication, but my naturopathic personality rebels against the thought of adding chemicals to my already out of whack system, I will say, the drowse of Prozac would be a welcome shelter these days. But I keep hoping the dark times have left for Spring. I don't know why I should think that, they didn't leave last year with the return of the sun, and this winter was far more traumatizing than last year.
    I do get tired of crying. But at least that has lessened from several times daily to once every few days. Though this week has brought them back to the surface where they lurk just waiting for the next little nudge from the world that seems so hell-bent on my personal misery. This week has seen the return of cocooning in my bed with a book to shut out the world in an attempt to regain balance, however tenuous.
    I am keeping up with my workouts and healthy eating, which I know helps and lessens any self-flagellation I might be inclined to commit upon my delicate self.
    I know this is cyclical. And there have been a few of those track elevations, though maybe not exactly cloud-kissing and ethereal, but at least high enough for a panoramic view. I have to cling to the memories of those panoramas, hold them tight in my mind as I enter a tunnel long enough that no light is visible from the exit. I cling to images of the light to shield my fragile brain from the terrors of the dark.
    There is light. I know there is, because I have seen it with my own two eyes and felt the warmth of the sun on my skin. Memories can be deceptive. But when the memory is all I have, I have to believe in it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Dam Will Break. Someday. I hope.

    There is some force blocking my luck. A Luck Dam. This being the case, my luck is piling up in a huge reservoir, waiting to burst free and shower me with fortune. I have to hope this, because it seems as if day by day, week by week, life is yanking me up by the short hairs, flaunting my misfortune, taunting me with all the missed chances, rejections and disappointments. It just doesn't seem to end. I try to change my luck, I keep trying to push forward, but it isn't happening.
    How long can I cling to optimism when it is doing me no favors?
    I know I should "count my blessings" in the vernacular of the Christian sheep, and there are some if I look at the lives of my children. But there comes a point when it is not right to live vicariously through your children. They have their lives and I have mine, and so I have to grow up and live through my own triumphs. But triumphs are hard to come by. I am in a job that makes me miserable, living on the teetering brink of poverty, unable to pursue dreams because in our world the poor are not given much opportunity to better their situation. It is a difficult thing to admit, it borders on the treasonous, the feeling of defeat. That gut deep feeling that no matter how hard I try, it will do me no good. All I do is generate false hope to artificially lift my spirits for a few days, then cold reality deflates my bubble of optimism and I realize that I am further down the scree covered slope than I was before. How far down can I go? I guess there is still plenty of room to fall. I do hope that I don't fall much further down than I am now, I don't know if I can handle that.
    Yes, this is a pity party. I am talking to hear the sound of my own voice, because I know that no one else really wants to hear my complaints, and I don't really want to be confessing just how down I feel that I have fallen.
    This last year has been a series of failures and losses, large and small. And very few triumphs, and none of them major. I cannot think of a single thing about my life that is better than it was a year ago. No, I take that back, I am writing more and weighing less. Both are from sheer force of will, and my need to have some iota of control over my life. What can I control? Not my job, the economy, my housing situation, my growing debt, my shrinking assets, relationship (or lack of), depression that comes and goes at will... hell, even my menstrual cycle is off kilter and unpredictable.
    So I can control the words that generate in my brain and flow through my fingertips. And I can control the food that I put in my system, even though my shrinking budget is going to affect my ability to keep buying those nutrients as freely as I would like. I can control how much I work my body, I can't control the constant pain and fatigue, but I can try to ignore it.
    They say that nothing really worth having is easily obtained. And I can't argue that. But how fucking hard does it have to be? I mean really? How much must I suffer for my art? It has made me weary beyond belief. I am so worn down by my life right now that my dream life would be the luxury of being left alone, never leaving my property, being totally self sufficient and self sustaining. I dream of this. But it will not happen any time soon. There is still suffering to be had.
    So I pick myself up. Again. Dust myself off. Again. Because there is no one to lift me, no one to share the load, I have to do it myself or I will remain sprawled in the dirt. And that is not acceptable. But damn, I'm getting tired.
    I just tell myself that the Dam will break, my luck will flow freely, and the darkness will be a dim memory. I have to believe it. I have to.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Days like today remind me (forceably) that I always need to accept ownership of my decisions and actions. I should not cast blame elsewhere because life doesn't always work out as planned. This is a hard lesson to learn, and a very hard lesson to accept. As much as I would like to put my troubles off onto some other source, in the end it is my own decisions that make or break my world. Because it is my world, my very own, and I need to be responsible for it.

So once again, all I can do is pick myself up, dust myself off and try to continue along the path to some sort of fulfilling life. I remind myself of the things in life that I have accomplished, the lives I have changed for the better, people and animals I have helped along the way, altruistic deeds that help keep my karma in the positive zone. But some days, like today, this doesn't seem like enough. It seems that I should be further along the the path of "success" however arbitrary it may be. Today it is not enough to merely own my actions, I am feeling the need to own the American Dream that is held alluringly out of reach, Try as I might, time and again, I cannot reach that carrot on the stick. So that makes me the Ass that keeps plugging along the path, ever trying to reach the carrot, never managing to do so and getting hungrier with every futile step, tripping, falling, backsliding down a slippery slope. But still, trying to reach the damned carrot.

Again though, I will own my actions. They were my decisions to make, despite regrets, there is nothing to do to change the past so I must continue to look at the future. No matter how dim things seem on some days, I have to tell myself that the fog will eventually lift and my future will seem brighter for having been in the darkness.

I dust myself off again, pick boot tread out of my teeth again, and once again try to put one foot in front of the other. On my own two feet, on my own path.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still the Optimist

It has been an interestingly optimistic week. I am hopeful that this long damned winter and the soul-crushing depression that accompanied it are finally behind me. At least I have been granted a reprieve from the darkest space I have ever inhabited, and I will claw and fight to stay out of that abyss. They say if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back. My abyss doesn't stare, that would be mildly annoying but tolerable. My abyss sucks me in with the irresistable power of a black hole without the potentially cool wormhole, sci-fi, side effects.
But enough about the shadow that is in my rearview mirror today. Back to my optimistic week. Have I mentioned that, despite several mental health issues, I am an eternal Optimist? I am. Truely I am.
It started last week with the arrival of my awesomely cool new business cards. What business you may ask? The business of Me. I have decided that my skills are indeed marketable, I just need to start my own marketing campaign. Hence this blog (cleaned up for public viewing) and my new, self-serving website. I have my own domain *go me*. So, business cards in hand, I feel official.
The next little happy making moment came when I won a contest. I NEVER win anything. And I won a package of fabulous, natural skin care products which currently have me feeling silky smooth and smelling of Lemongrass. I feel sassy.
Close upon the heels of this, I finished my taxes. Yes, I do owe State and Federal. A lot to State. But the paperwork is done and that is one more stressful task I have conquered.
The completion of the taxes inadvertantly led to the next little yahoo moment. I went into Chase Bank for a few counter checks, so I could send off my rent and my payment to the Feds. They informed me that counter checks were no longer free, "we are not a non-profit bank." Well, the bastards aren't going to be MY bank much longer. It was the final straw, the last cut, the point of no return. Two days later I walked into a credit union and opened a new account. The highlight of this is finding out that after years of struggling to repair damaged credit and assuming my credit score was beyond redemption, it turns out that I actually have stellar credit. Not an A+ but an A. Good enough for me.
This has pressed me into the current phase of over-excitement, which makes me feel that I may finally be moving into Manic Mode, I am going to seriously pursue buying my own home. And I have found one that is haunting my dreams. It is clean and in decent repair, so there isn't a slew of backbreaking chores to be done before the place is liveable. It has acreage, trees and no neighbors. It is what I have been looking for. Not quite my hermit cabin in the woods, but closing in on it. I am charging ahead with my usual reckless abandon. Leap before I Look, as is my nature. But truely, I have thought long and hard over the pros and cons of home ownership, so in reality I am going ahead, eyes wide open.
I need to have a purpose. A reason to keep putting one foot in front of another. Something other than my obsessive compulsive personality that makes routine and habit easily become the driving force that moves me from one activity to the next, one day to the next. I know I need more, and now that I am no longer entangled in the black web of winter I can move outside of the routine that has allowed me to keep my head above water.
It is time to move forward, into something new and exciting. The next chapter.