Come to the edge, he said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, he said.
He pushed them...and they flew.
-- Guillaume Apollinaire
Maurice Vlaminck, Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire (1903)
…especially these days. Even in good times, its bad news that sells. News media after all is ultimately a money-making venture which seeks to satisfy the voyeuristic lusts of the masses in order to sell space to advertisers. Human beings have a curiosity and a hunger to gawk at the sufferings and ill-fortune of others. It takes our attention away from the problems at home. In a rather macabre way, it is a relief to know that others have it worse than we do.
And if we watch or read the news day after day and turn away from it without doing anything positive with what we’ve seen or heard, then we are forced to admit that it has served no greater purpose for us than to be a voyeuristic distraction and fodder for another session of bitching and moaning.
Often I have found myself in a desperate search for a distraction…something… anything that will take my attention away, even for a few moments, from my own anxieties, problems and pain. But I cannot shoulder the weight of the world. In my struggle with depression I have often had to wean myself from the news, for weeks or months at a time, in order to survive. And I don’t feel guilty about it in the least.
I try my best to be a loving father and “dad” to my daughter, a respectful and caring son to my aged parents, a gentle caretaker to my pet cats, and a responsible steward of the part of the planet within my reach. And for now, this is my mission and my task, my reason for living and breathing each day. It is all I can handle.
It is also the reason why I have not been blogging since my I initial burst of creativity. I never dreamed that it would take so much energy and discipline to sit down and write something on a regular basis. But then again, it should not have come as a surprise to someone for whom simply getting dressed, all too often feels like an attempt on Mt. Everest.
I rarely read, watch, or listen to the news, but today I stumbled upon this uplifting news story and it made me feel happy for the dog and its owners. What an incredible animal. It made me think to myself, “If Sophie can do what she did, then I too should be able to do what it takes to survive and get back to where I need to be.” For those of you who have ever been in survival mode, or might be in the future, take heart. Click on the link for the AFP story. You’ll be glad you did.
Image via Wikipedi aI am going to try to catch up on a few responses on my last couple of posts, and then try to visit a few of your blogs. I've been a slacker, and just totally emotionless and unmotivated. Par for the course with me, really. I hope to swing back the other direction soon.
Image via Wikipedia[the room is drab and lit dimly by a single lamp in the corner]
Please keep in mind it was before I began reading blogs such as Beyond Meds and Furious Seasons. In fact I had largely been a passive patient during my 15 years wrestling in the dessert with my depression. A passive wrestler seems and oximoron. But I gave it as much effort as survival required. So much was going on in my life during those years, so when meds were offered I simply took them.
In total probably about a week before I was able to get meds again.
I was like the average person, alone with his own lack of knowledge, and no support at the time. I had no knowledge of the withdrawal symptoms or dangers.
Since Paxil has long half-life, things weren't too bad at first, and I began contemplating just letting myself go off completely. During the first several days I began to feel things deeply again. I had feelings of things long since past that I had gone through while on the meds. I it felt as though I had not truely felt nor experienced them then, because the new feelings I was having about the events went beyond the numbness for the first time. As if the things had just occurred, somehow.
But then at about the end of day 3, I started feeling extremely agitated and scared. I felt completely and totally alone in all the world. And my empty house was not a good place to be making myself a ginnie pig in the first place. I just didn't know about the dangers. But it was perhaps the most frightening experience I had.
I couldn't believe I actually had to get through that entire night. Time had slowed almost to a stop. I needed to tell someone. But everyone in my world was asleep, since it was the middle of the night. And that compounded the problem.
I desperately needed to know someone somewhere knew I was hurting. I don't know how to say it in words, because there is no words to describe the existensial experience I felt. I was simply disintegrating as an individual soul.
The best I can do to describe how I was feeling was that it was like watching a kite at the beach as it becomes merely a dot in the sky, connected to the person flying it by hundreds of feet of skinny string held taught by the wind, threatening to break the kite's connection to the earth. When suddenly the string goes slack, and you realize the it has broken somewhere along its length and the kite is getting smaller and smaller and smaller as it floats off irretrievably into the stratosphere. And all you can do is watch it happen. My sense of who I was, my "personhood", where I stopped and others began, or whether there was a me or others at all, was coming apart in chards in a slow but painful explosion.
I used that experience as evidence that I could not be without Paxil. Because anything, and I truly mean anything, was better than that experience.
But I am learning now that it was my Paxil dependency talking, and a bad withdrawal resulting from an unwise and uneducated approach. But it sticks with me. I usually have trouble remembering my feelings or being able to describe them. But this has been etched in my soul forever.
Image via Wikipedia
I’ve grown pretty good at losing things. My mind seems always distracted. Right now I can’t find my checkbook. I misplaced my flash drive and have had to give in to purchasing another one. My keys often lie buried somewhere for days at a time, while I try to hold on to my spare set. So many things I’ve lost over the years. Some more important than others. So with that as my major preoccupation today, I leave you with a short poem. A memory from the end of my marriage. Sounds like a limerick of sorts, but its not, and it isn’t supposed to be funny. It was a show of concern for someone I was losing back then.
Obsessing over her words,
seemed I was losing my marbles,
for she was holding her love back,
from me, but not him.
Yet I was holding her hair back,
as she was losing her dinner,
vomiting over our toilet bowl.
Image via WikipediaOn Friday I picked up my boots from the local cobbler shop. The soles had developed some cracks and my feet were getting soaked whenever I wore them on a rainy day. Since the uppers were in good shape, it was worth it to have them fixed. Now they are as good as new, and I can wear them even in wet weather.
Image via WikipediaI am sorry I've been so quiet the last two days. I am up at my parent's place with my daughter. The only internet connection I have up here is an old-fashioned dial-up that is so slow it makes browsing almost as much fun as watching paint dry. So I am going to post just a short note to say that I have not forgotten about this blog nor the great friends I've been making here!
Image via WikipediaYou probably have already read about a recent study of Swedish and Finnish participants that purports to have found a correlation between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of late-life Alzheimer disease. Depending upon the amount of coffee consumed, the risk was reduced by as much as 65%. Wow! Go coffee... go coffee... go coffee.
Image via WikipediaI'm feeling pretty down tonight. I'm not really sure why. There are a bunch of things on my mind. And it wasn't a very good group meeting tonight. Sort of bizarre and chaotic.