A letter from a depressed person to the people around me.
I just want to say thank you for letting me work through this particularly hideous season of my soul.
I know the stuff I’ve been writing lately has been worrisome, and I’m so sorry it made you feel down. On one hand, I’m deeply grateful that you care enough to worry when I am struggling so hard. But on the other, I’m totally bummed that I ever let you walk away without a smile.
I want you to know that I AM okay. Not well. Definitely struggling worse right now than I have in a long time. But not giving up.
I promise never to give up. The living, or the writing. Or the parenting, which is honestly one of the hardest things to face right now.
The writing is hard in its own way. I am pushing myself harder than I ever have before, artistically and productive-ness-ically. I am cracking my shins on my limits, and it makes me want to scream. Like walking face first into a glass door between what I can do, and what I desperately, furiously, ravenously want to create. I’ve got the most serious case of artistic blue balls the world has ever seen.
The hardest lesson I’m trying to learn is to let myself work through the process. Be patient and stop screaming at my fucking self. Just give myself time. (And find an appropriate place to rub out the fury.)
This is exactly what I need to do in parenting, too.
And it’s exactly what you’re letting me do, here. By listening without covering my mouth.
I want you to know I will never judge you if you need to take a break from me. That’s a very healthy way to handle it when someone’s personal shit is overwhelming you. I adore you for being there when it feels right, and I adore you for taking space when you need it, so we can come back together when we’re both in the right headspace.
And I want you to know, too, that it’s okay to tell me how my posts make you feel. That’s really good feedback for me. As a writer, and as a person. Trying to figure out if I’ve gone too far when my emotional radar is malfunctioning is like trying to drive blindfolded. I need to hear when I’ve bumped up against something, so I can think about it and figure out how I want to navigate it.
I can’t promise my sense of what’s funny or important will always suit your palate. But I do promise to try to make this blog as much as possible, a healthy relationship between you and I.
So that means that right now, I need to give you an enormous hug and tell you thanks. You are a thing that helps me keep swimming in the sea of garbage soup.
PS – I’m going to try some different things on the blog.
One is that I want to devote more airtime to the things that help me. Obviously, something is helping. Otherwise, I’d be drowned by now.
I haven’t figured out exactly what the formula is for talking about mental illness in a helpful way; my gut tells me that we can’t just skip past the ugly stuff, but my heart says that can’t be all there is.
So, my plan for the next couple of months is to try mixing gritty, on-the-scene reporting about the sights, sounds, and smells at the bottom of the trenches, with a bit more sharing about the things that help me catch my breath down here.
The other thing that is tugging on my sleeve is that I want to have more conversations about this mess. I get stuck sometimes trying to write, because all I have is questions, and no answers. I feel like I have nothing to offer you. But then I get a chance to actually talk with someone, and they let me lay my palm on their raw, sticky feelings, and I get something precious. We both do. I can’t articulate what that thing is, yet, because it’s not like we come up with any answers, no new thoughts we haven’t already had. But there’s something about that moment when I share sensation with someone… feel our heartbeat synch up for a moment… it’s like it makes me real.
I’d like to share that with you. Create conversations with you, opportunities for you to say things to me and to Critter, too. And I’d like to share some of the goose-pimply conversations that I have with the seriously amazing people that I know. Not just copy-pasting private texts! And not secretly webcamming either, you kinky thinker. But maybe interviews, or something.
Oh yes! And reading. I’m going to expose you to footage of me reading. I hope it gives us mutual pleasure.
Speaking of, I had a freaking blast last night at the “It’s a Weird Winter Wonderland”. The reading was super fun, but so was just hanging with some of my favourite primates on the planet. I am deeply in love with the fact that I get to fumble around and try to figure myself out as a writer and make mischief with all of you.
Until we meet again, know this: You mean a lot to me. It’s okay to take a break from me. I’m never going to stop trying to make sense of all of this. And you can give me a dingle to come sit with me and Critter anytime.