Monday, January 25, 2010
I don't want to publish this post.
I haven't wanted to write it.
Writing it would make it real.
But writing it would make me real. And I need that. I need to be real right now.
I need to write off my excuses and face the creeping deadness and bring it out into the sunlight and expose it there. I need to write it here, during my me-time, because it is all the me-time I really get.
I'm barely getting shower time lately.
I need to write it while I can write it, corral it, give it a place so it doesn't rule me, spinning round and round in my thoughts and my head and my heart like the storm that came through last night, whipping rain against window and wall and roof.
Enough is enough. I can't hide anymore by changing the subject.
I am a very open person, but there are two topics I don't talk about with anyone but my husband. One is the topic of my first love. The other is my depression.
It was odd to realize this yesterday while I was talking with Pete. Odd to realize that I've been deliberately avoiding writing from where I am over the last week or so.
Repost an old post. Guest posts are a good idea. Keep it clean. Keep it shallow. Your readers don't need to know what is really going on. Just cloak it here. It's not a lie.
But I know it is a lie. I know because I care too much about what you think. Because I've suddenly found myself checking my statcounter and comparing numbers and trying to come up with ways to promote my blog so I get more traffic because I want to be just. like. somebody. else. And it's no one in particular. Just those somebodies I've run across who get a million comments or a thousand visitors a day.
I got about a thousand visitors one day two weeks ago.
So I've been putting my make-up on here. Covering up my blemishes, making me pretty, dressing up and putting conclusions on this barely-dressed me that is really shell-shocked, struggling, staring, weeping, working, waking.
I am trying to believe that what I am presenting is the real me and it is wanted, while I am hiding away the mess that I am, sweeping up my dust, creating myself one more place to hide.
I cannot do that here.
Four days of clouds will do it to me. And they did this last week. It doesn't matter what I do.
The first day, I will turn all the lamps on in the house to warm it, drink tea, cuddle in blankets with babies, write poetry.
The second day, it gets harder. I try to have a good attitude. The crying grates more. I start losing patience with Piper. I grasp at grace.
On the third day, the fog sets in. Doing anything requires herculean effort. Focusing my thoughts beyond putting one foot in front of another is almost impossible. I start to feel fat. Ugly. Lazy. I start to notice that I'm not seeing my kids. The condemnation-whispers intensify.
By the fourth day, I'm almost non-functional. I spend long periods of time staring into space, trying to figure out what I need to do to stand up, put my clothes on, get food, take care of babies. I feel wooden, frozen. The guilt is overwhelming; condemnation roars at me. I have no energy to answer it. I pray for sun.
Additional factors worsen the freeze. The new diet I have to figure out for my gallbladder. Tailoring that diet even further for the baby's thrush. Curling up inside because I know his sick is my fault, and why can't I just get this right. Raising garlic and B dosages and setting off a deeper herxheimer - for both Lyme and Candida.
And every time I herx, the depression deepens for a week until my body adjusts to the new treatment levels.
I can't cry.
I register things internally that I can't express. I photograph the light so I can see it on cloudy days. I write my rememberies while they are fresh so that I have them in words, etched in my mind so I can look back and remember what was on the other side of these closing walls.
I try to see Piper, try to see Bredon, try not to look at Pete because I know it is happening again and I am so, so sorry that I can't fight it away every day. Ignoring it doesn't work.
It must be engaged.
I read others' stories of their struggle with it, and I acknowledge it deep but I don't admit.
It must be engaged.
I write about everything else in my life, because I don't want my readers to think it is so hard here, because it's not so hard here every day and this is not the sum of who I am.
But it must be engaged.
And so I am writing it here. I am bringing out my unmade face with the circles under my eyes, the slack expression, my thrown-up hair, frumpy clothing, my post-baby-squared body. I'm writing out the unmade bed, the toddler-toys all over the house, the dishes that I don't do, the laundry I barely notice until I realize how much Pete is doing for me, for us.
I'm opening the door, because I can't keep it closed any longer. This needs to be real. I need to leave my denial behind and spill out the dark the same way I need to spill out the fun and the light and the shallow.
I didn't start this blog for the whole world. I started it to write what I couldn't say. My goal here is not to cloak me or present someone I am not. What good is Jesus to you or to me if I write outside my humanity? What merit does my grace-description hold if I don't share my need of it?
I suppose I could journal it, instead of putting me out here for examination and suggestion and judgment. But as long as I can hide from it, I don't have to acknowledge it, and for me the writing of it makes it real. The saying of it, the sharing of it clears my head. It takes the swirling, toxic phrases that play on repeat and turns the light on them, revealing them for the lies they are.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians of a thorn in his flesh that God didn't remove.
I know the depression is my thorn.
I am struggling to understand how God's grace is sufficient. I know it is for me. But I need it to be sufficient for Pete and for Piper and for Bredon.
This is not the way I pictured my life.
But it is what it is, and part of living my life means living this too.
I hope, as always, that you will pardon my dust.
(Image © Informal Moments Photography)