Thursday, January 16, 2014

Losing My Loves

Other than my kids and my family and such, there are three great loves in my life. Three things that bring me peace and joy and make me truly want to get up in the morning, rather than just feel like I should.

They are as follows:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Creating
For me, these three things make the worst day worth it. They make the sun shine and the birds sing. 

I love to read. I will read almost anything. Someone was teasing Brynna a couple of weeks ago about reading the entire cereal box and I just smiled, because that is so me. When I can pick (which is most of the time, now) I pick Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, or Horror. I like to leave this world, is what I'm getting at. 

Writing is the most peace I ever feel. I cannot help but feel like I've gone home when I start writing. Whether it's fiction or this here little blog, just creating something, a feeling or an image or an amazing story out of nothing but the squiggles on the keyboard is the grandest form of magic. I feel a great gratitude for language and the ability to put it all together into sentences and paragraphs and stories and dialog and even tweets.

My poison of choice when it comes to creating is crochet. I love crochet. I love how you can start with what is basically a big pile of string and end with something really lovely and lacy and soft. Something you can use or something you can wear. Or maybe just something that you like to look at. I do other things, too, though. I am the queen of the hot glue gun and truly believe that you're not really a crafter  until you've lost your fingerprints.

These are the things that I love. So, why do I sometimes go months without doing them? I'm going to confess something: I haven't written a word of fiction since November ended. Not a single paragraph. Nothing scribbled on the back page of a notebook, waiting for the story it needs to go into. Nothing. 

I didn't read in December. I finished one book and just never started another one. I read blogs and some magazines. I picked something up to get me through a dentist appointment. But that was really it.

And crochet - well, I crocheted almost every day in December. The Year of the Home Made Christmas was survived, but just barely. Since Christmas Day, I've made some fingerless gloves. (They are super cute and someday I'll get someone to help me take pictures and I'll show them to you.) 

Instead of spending my evenings with hook in hand, book in hand or computer in lap, I've spent them curled up in my big red chair, watching TV and trying not to notice that I'm going numb. Again.

Because the numbness, I recognize it now. For years, I'd have periods of numbness, periods of not wanting to do anything, periods of making excuses. And I never knew why. I only knew that all the real feeling in the world went away. Instead of actually feeling, I would have this vague understanding of what I should be feeling and how a person feeling that way would act. 

I cried or I yelled or I smiled or I laughed. But I was not sad or angry or content or happy. I was not anything. 

I took this to show off my
cool new hairdo. But today,
this is how I feel, all light and dark;
shadowy and overexposed.
In these times, I don't lose my reason. That would make it easier. Instead, I wonder what's wrong with me. Am I some sort of low-grade sociopath, incapable of real emotion? Does everyone fake it like this? Why aren't I more upset? Why aren't I actually angry?

Then, a little less than three years ago, a doctor asked me if maybe, I didn't think that I could, possibly, be a little, suffering from depression. 

Since then, I've read and I've read about what it looks like, what it feels like, how it is, how it's treated. I've treated it like every other ailment I've had since Google. I've researched and now I know...

I know that these times, the times when my mind goes numb and I don't really feel, the times when I can't be bothered to read or write or make anything, the times when there is the TV and me and nothing else, the times when I don't want to do the things that I love and I don't really get any joy when I force myself, these are depression. 

I understand that it comes and goes - not the disease, but the bad parts. Some days I'm pretty rough. Some days you'd never know.

I understand that no, everyone does not fake it like this, and no, I am not a sociopath and yes, there is something wrong with me, but that's okay.

But in the meantime, here I am, slowly going numb. I have a book for bookclub I've been looking forward to for months. I've read almost 30 pages in the last three days. I finally came up with the ending for my book, the real ending. It's going to require an almost wholesale re-write, but that's okay, because I know what has to happen now. But I haven't even begun to write it. After I finished those gloves, I thought I would work on the poncho I promised to make myself, but I haven't touched it.

Tonight, I am going to a writing class. I'm taking it the whole spring semester and I am really nervous and really excited and really amazed that I have this opportunity. Today, I am writing this missive. I am pouring it out and hoping, praying and pleading that it will come back. That the switch will flip and I'll be able to write again. That I won't waste this opportunity. That what I need is a kick to get me going again.

Because I hate being numb. I hate wondering why everyone feels more than I do. I hate looking at the things that used to make me happy and not feeling much of anything.  

I hate these days. 


Suze said...

Oh, my dear. Sending you hugs.
Get the treatment you need. I have not been through this but I'm close to many, many people who have. Diagnosis is a good first step, but do what you need to do to get better.

And I'm sorry I don't have a good segue to this, but I love your hairdo. I got my hair cut today (finally) and it's the same boring old thing I always get.

Meeshie said...

Oh hon... life is hard enough without something like this. I know you've researched all the treatments.. try one. It couldn't hurt, ya know?

Jessi said...

Suze - Thanks. I am in treatment, both with the drugs and the talking and it does help. It doesn't completely eliminate the bad patches, though. Also, thanks about the hair. I am flat ironing my hair, now. Seriously, the girl who used to keep her scrunchies around her gearshift and brush her hair on the way to school is getting up and flatironing.

Meeshie - Thanks!