Friends, I have been on such an emotional roller coaster today I feel exhilarated and also slightly nauseous. Also, is is “nauseous” or “nauseated?” I was taught that one finds something “nauseous” but is “nauseated” by it. Let me know in the comments, if this little quandary of mine isn’t nauseating you.
I just wrote a whole paragraph about the semantics of being pukey. Let’s quickly move this along. I promise this post gets better.
SO. Yesterday, things happened. Political things. Big ol’ political things. If you know me personally you already know my leftist ways, so I will say one thing about politics and then we will merrily roll along, because let’s face it, there are so many political thinkpieces being churned out on the internet today you’d think people were actually being paid for them. So here’s that thing.
United in blue, no matter who.
Okay, that’s all I wanted to say about that.
Yesterday was also a banner productivity day for me. In the midst of juggling both “The Bachelorette” and primary results viewing, I managed to plow out 2.460 words of my memoir. That’s 2,460 words more than I had before, which was 0 words, and that isn’t very many at all. So yay! Many words were written! I felt pretty spiffy about that. Of course I’m currently writing a blog post instead of writing many more words of my memoir, but that’s neither here nor there. I wrote, and it was very difficult stuff, and I will be discussing it at length with my therapist tomorrow. I love my therapist, who knows me from way back, since she is part of the outpatient program that I have gone through… four? No, five times. Because I enjoy being difficult. So she knows when I’m bullshitting her, and when I start over-intellectualizing instead of being emotionally vulnerable, and when I’m really making progress. She’s a good egg, and I’m lucky to have her.
Today began with an impromptu college reunion of sorts with three people I haven’t seen in almost two decades, and it was surreal in some ways and familiar as if we just saw each other in the performing arts building yesterday. It was touching and funny and just…four people laughing over coffee the way we could have done in 1995 when we started at Emerson College. It was a testament to my therapy and meds that I was able to go at all, because it involved driving almost an hour to get to the meeting spot, in a town I had never gone to before, and being social for almost two hours. A year ago I would have ignored the invitation. Six months ago, I would have come up with an excuse and continued to hide away in my little Hobbit Hole of a room. I would have been sad, for certain, but would have talked my way out of it. Mental illness is crafty that way. It can convince you that it’s your best friend, lover, and the only thing in the world that understands you. Mental illness can wrap you in a blanket of fear and convince you it’s the only safe place to be.
Because it lies. As Jenny Lawson, famously known as The Bloggess, astutely says, depression lies. Oh how it lies. All mental illnesses lie. Because they want you to be alone. When we’re alone with our illnesses, they become our entire world. They lock the doors, shutter the windows, turn off the lights and convince us that this dark, lonely room is the entire world. They thrive in solitude and darkness, gaining strength that they suck from us. Psychic vampires feeding on our minds and hearts, draining us of feeling and light and hope. Growing strong with lies and fears that they drill into our minds. Because if they can keep us in that dark tiny room, it’s easier for us to forget the rest of the world.
I have lived in that room. I still do, when I get tired and feel vulnerable, small, and sad. When I know what I’m feeling isn’t real, but I still can’t convince myself to fight it. The fighting is what keeps me alive, but I’m so damn tired sometimes. Do you get tired? It’s okay if you do. We all get tired sometimes. But sometimes we get a rush of bravery and go have coffee with old friends. Or we get brave enough to speak up when someone is telling us what we should think or do. Or we get brave enough to go outside, or open a window. Or simply get out of bed. When we do things like that, the mental illnesses lose a little of their life force. Sure it might come back even stronger tomorrow, but not right now. And that’s good enough for me.