Tuesday night marked the last orchestra concert of the year, and believe me, *this* mom really hates shit like that. I drag my feet and secretly stew about having to go and listen and deal with a jumpy toddler preschooler who hasn’t had dinner yet and I sit there with my own foot bouncing frantically because this goddamn thing was supposed to start at 7:30 and it is 7:32 and if they would just let me organize the shit it would be on time! and don’t people realize that MY kids are bathed and in bed by 8:30 every night, not just barely straggling through the door to home at 8:45? And well. Always, always, when confronted with the idea of going, I get sullen and resentful because really, whose idea WAS this to let him play the violin anyway, and my god, all the people, the people who haven’t bathed who like to sit right next to me and the people who are missing crucial teeth and need to not, you know, smile, and as almost always happens, I have a moment of grace, where I can stop my mind from keeping me from good things and I can simply sit and live in the moment. For me, it was watching one high school student in particular close his eyes and feel the music as he was playing the bass, obviously so passionate about the music and what he was doing that he was not even aware that he had an audience. Then, later, watching as these incredibly talented and dedicated high school students shepherded the little ones, Sam among them, onto the stage to take their places for the last part of the program, helping them into their chairs (this was the first time the little ones have been assigned chairs just like the “real” orchestra students; it was kind of a big deal for them), I felt so tender toward all of them. Most of them have been in orchestra since they were in 4th grade, just like Sam, and they looked at those tiny budding musicians with such, dare I say it, love that it made me tear up a little. I am not sure why it hit me that way, and maybe I need to stop questioning and simply accept that it did. At any rate, it made me stop fidgeting and simply be there; no small thing.
So I am in a slightly better place than I was when I last posted, though really not for any particular reason. Depression sometimes descends for no apparent reason, and it also sometimes is lifted for the same no apparent reason. For me, however, a person who really likes to have a pretty stable and, yes, probably boring existence, this “for no apparent reason” stuff isn’t working for me. Not enough to know that at some point, this will pass, not enough to not know from morning to morning whether I am going to wake up happy or wishing I could crawl back into bed and not get up. It seems so silly to say out loud that I certainly don’t want to die, but sometimes I am just so fucking tired that it seems like a reasonable alternative. How can I say that and not also say I am suicidal? Which I am not, and it doesn’t make sense to me so how can I hope it will make sense to someone else? Still, I say it, because that is part of me, just like my recovery from alcoholism is part of me, my propensity to laugh out loud at inappropriate times and weep when I am so happy I can barely stand it, and the fact that I love Wasabi Soy almonds in direct proportion to how much I hate meatloaf. And I say it because I am scared not to-because to walk through life, in private and here in the most public of ways pretending like everything is fine and lovely and beautiful seems a betrayal of those part of me that I hate but am trying to fix. Because those deep secret thoughts are me, and you, and everyone who has ever truly struggled with depression.
Still, a light. I have always been convinced that my depressions are somewhat hormonally based, and then you add in a little soupcon of situational issues and poor coping skills (what do you mean I can’t drink/drug/gamble/have sex with strangers so as not to feel anything? What the fuck?) that even ten plus years of sobriety haven’t eradicated, and you have (I have) a pretty messed up head. So I talked to my doctor friend and in the midst of weeping and laughing at the same time like a crazy person I begged pleaded implored asked her for help and she said FINALLY! How humbling to know that everyone around can see me jitter and shake apart and know that they can’t help me unless I ask. And also how humbling to know that I know this stuff, I practice this stuff daily (please god help me to have another day sober and reasonably sane, please help me not lash out in anger or judge, help me live in this moment and not get all knotted up over something that may or may not happen three years from now) and yet it takes so long sometimes to remember that sometimes, most of the time, MY God shows up in the form of people, his help is in the soft hands and hearts of other people and they can’t help me if I keep hiding that things are inherently NOT okay inside myself.
And here is the thing. I don’t expect a little blue pill to magically change my life and make everything suddenly perfect. No pill can do that. I do hope and expect for it to help me simply cope better, to be able to be who I used to be, who I WANT to be, that woman I know is there but is hiding underneath a heavy fog of anxiety and depression. Because nothing in my life is that bad; lots of people deal with the same stuff I do, it isn’t as if I am special or unique in any of it. I just want to stop feeling like there is no point to any of it, because I do believe that life is basically pretty good, sweet and beautiful and full of magic; I know that, I just don’t FEEL it right now.
So now I hang on, and I take my pill and I eat food that is good for me and do the exercise and I write and process and I know that it will pass; I have help now, and all I need to do is get out of the way and accept it.