March 5, 2013
I am reading a new novel about a woman who has a rare form of amnesia. She doesn’t remember who she is and she wakes up in an unfamiliar world every morning. Her circumstances seem quite horrific, and yet I find myself wishing I was her. Preposterous. Why do I constantly want to be someone other than who I am? That woman’s life would be a veritable nightmare, but because she is ill, there are no expectations on her to be or to do anything. Not to have a job, or support herself. She barely even has to take care of herself. That is all the responsibility she has. Her husband can do the rest. And I want that ?! Where is my fight to survive? My will to live? My apparent need to be independent? It’s like I just want to be taken care of. To be told what to do and where to go. To be directed as if I am an actor on a stage waiting for my blocking. What has happened to me that I feel so inept and incapable as a person to be able to take care of myself? I can pseudo care for T, S, B, and P, but when it comes to me, I want someone else to do it for me.
I don’t know if I can hold a steady job again, or not. In the past I have met with fiascos regarding my careers. I work myself to the bone for my employer, desperately looking for approval and acceptance, only to burn out and be replaced. Then in my recovery, I sit at home and slumber my life away, afraid to get out and tackle life. In a warped way, I think if I am ill, I won’t be expected to go out and support myself. What is wrong with me?! The truth is, I have no one in my life who will take care of me. I am a single woman with financial responsibilities. If I don’t work I will end up on the street.
Today I broadcast to my family that I would go online and search for a job. Is this why I am panicking? Or is it because I fear I cannot hold a job, and whatever one I get I will eventually lose amidst shame and pain? Is the writing already on the wall? Why can’t I just die and be done with this Earth? I don’t want to be tested anymore. I don’t want to try and try and try again, only to end up in a pitiful heap on the floor, a doormat for those who are seeking one. I don’t want to live anymore. It’s so odd. I don’t actually feel depressed, or the usual depressed feeling I have come to know and dread. Instead, I feel inordinately afraid of what is to come. Afraid I will fail once again and be left struggling in the pit, with the dusty remains of my past dreams for company. I feel squashed flat. I can taste the grit embedded in my teeth from being one of the downtrodden for so long. Why can’t I fight back? Why can’t I pull myself up and talk to myself kindly, gently? Encourage myself to take the next baby step, no matter how small. Forward. Onwards and upwards. I need to be talking to myself in a positive manner. Instilling beneficial ideas and beliefs into my heart and soul. Nurturing my broken self. Tenderly piecing back together the fragments of my life that lay scattered haphazardly around my feet, like dry breadcrumbs I feed the birds. How is it that I know what I SHOULD do, but I am incompetent when it comes to the doing of it? Am I slipping? Am I heading towards another tumble into the abyss; the depths of darkness and despair which I have come to consider my only reality?
Another sleepless night. I walk and move as if I am another person when I am not feeding like a leech on my depression. I don’t feel real. I possess a lightness of spirit and mind that is foreign to me, as the times between my bouts of depression are so short lived I forget what they are like, and what I am like in them. In a way, I experience my own amnesia regarding my happy self. What does it feel like to be happy? Who am I when I AM feeling brighter and more alive? How long will this feeling last, and where do I go at its end? Down. Down. Down. It’s been several weeks now, however. It has been since the end of January that I had a sense of feeling uplifted. How much longer do I get to benefit and bask in the sunshine before I become buried in the putrid blackness of my soul? Please let this medication work. I know I am not feeling as high as I have in the past when my burden lifted unexpectedly, and I was free of the chains of my morose and tortured thoughts. Maybe the meds are taking the edge off of the high, which hopefully means the edge will be equally relieved off of the inevitable low that will follow.
Am I someone who can work and exist in the world like an average person (whatever that is), or do I need to go on assistance and only work part of the time? Tutoring and holding a part-time job. Why do I feel like a failure if that is my lot in life? And is there a ‘lot in life’, or does it all come about by the personal choices that I do or do not make? I feel somewhat relieved when I write maybe that is all I CAN do. A part-time job, tutoring, and some kind of assistance. But does that make me a slouch? Or am I being realistic? Can I only manage so much? Have I pushed beyond the limits of my stamina from years of abstinence from food? Have the limits of my personal strength been exhausted? Have my ‘will’ and ‘power’ deserted me from horrendous overuse in my endless anorexic years? I know one thing for sure. I won’t meet any eligible men who can take care of me, if that is what I REALLY want, going the part-time/assistance route. But maybe I’m not supposed to. I just can’t bear the thought of another public humiliation when I fail at yet another job. I am just beginning to get the hang of cleaning the house, for heaven’s sake. How will I keep that up AND work full time? OK. My thoughts are escalating and my panic is increasing. I need to stop. I need to look at my handouts from the hospital program. I need to read and think good thoughts for a while.
January 2, 2018
Amnesia. It is a funny thing. Not the condition itself, rather the fact that during certain periods in our lives, we all encounter a form of it in some way or another. Mothers might remember the difficulties they had birthing their babies, but they forget the actual physical pain they experienced at the time, when recounting the details of each child’s birth. So too, could be said of the surgeries I have undergone. I can recall the events of the hospitalizations, but the excruciating pain itself, and the knife-like stabs that occurred whenever I moved are thankfully forever removed from my memory. I think the same applies to my depression. When I am lost in it, I am swamped with the distorted feelings of hopelessness, self-hate, and the familiar desire to die. On the other side, however, those feelings too, fade into the recesses of my brain. All I have to remember them by are the scars that were left behind. It is the belief that the other side exists, though; that is the understanding that I must adhere to. That it IS feasible for someone like me, who lives in darkness, to reach the other side where possibilities abound. That the journey I have embarked on, with concerted effort, will eventually bring me to a truth that holds a new promise. One that justifies my travels along an arduous path, and makes some kind of sense in the larger scheme of things. Where the memory of the razor’s edge of depression is sliced away and tossed out into the ether, enabling me to walk out of the forbidding shadows and into the light of day.