Day 35: Area 6, Ease on Down the Road

Angela puts on some music, I don’t even know what the heck she picked in terms of genre but what I do know is that she must love the sax, because that’s what’s playing again, and it’s one “Fausto Papetti”. What is a Fausto Papetti? Fausto was an Italian sax player who was kind of a big thing in the 70s and he liked to put sexy ladies on his album covers, which was also kind of a big thing in the 70s.

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He’s playing some sort of mambo. Next up is “The Blob”,

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so I guess we’re going for a sax-heavy co-opted Latin American Flair today. Unfortunately, “running” from this music is not an option for me while I’m in the chair.

What else, what else. Well, I kinda come out and tell a lot of people that I’ve been doing TMS. Of course, folks are pretty supportive and all but, it still makes me anxious to come right out like that. It definitely puts me in a state of vulnerability, which often seems to get me into some sorta jam, as it’s veeerrry difficult for me to stuff down and it aaaaalways lends itself to a craving for intimacy…

Oh, vulnerability. Oh, you.

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Because vulnerability is kinda problematic when you don’t really have anyone in your life to be vulnerable with, doesn’t it? Like I mentioned before, my closest friends have done a bit of a drift and my family either worries their well-meaning faces off (which makes me want to keep things from them to protect them), and/or steamrolls me with advice. So, guess what happens.

I mean, you have no clue if you haven’t been reading this blog all along. But if you have?

Then I bet you guessed correctly.

Enter LT!

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Yep, my not-boyfriend, LT. My not-so-healthy option. But you know what? He’s there. He’s more there than anyone else is or can be, and he is strong, and so this happens. If there’s nothing to eat but chips, you don’t starve, you eat the damn chips. And so when I am aching to connect, I find myself in the arms of LT.

Listen, I don’t want to say the guy’s just a bag of Doritos. He does care about me. Genuinely. And we have a reciprocal relationship. I’m just saying that…I don’t think this one is in it with me for very long, realistically. And so I have to be very, very careful with getting invested. Unfortunately, being open and disclosing things about yourself often leads to emotional bonding. So I tell myself that I just need this for now, and I’ll create some space later, to balance it out.

Because I’ll totally be safe, and totally do that.

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Anyway. I want to ask him these stupid questions. Questions like, “Now I know you said you aren’t going to up and run if you know what the deal is with me…but now that I’ve revealed this thing, is that still the case? Is it different now? Or are you still not going to run?”

I know, I know, that sounds sad and why would I care? I guess because, when you have this thing with so much stigma attached to it, the last thing you want in a vulnerable state is for someone you do care about to confirm these fears that there’s something wrong with you

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and you’re not worth being around, because of it. So, they’re not so much stupid questions at all, because it’s not about the general idea of it ending. It’s based on very real fears of it ending…because of that. If he’s gonna bail, I want it be any reason other than this thing I already feel insecure about. Make sense?

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Oh, sidebar: despite these worries, on this day I feel…pretty good. Not wiped out. For no good reason I can think of, really. Is it TMS working? Something else? Sometimes I just get these good days, and I don’t know what the determining factor is, which makes me annoyed. What’s even more annoying is people who are still like “Just Enjoy It!”

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which I understand is meant to be supportive, but in its way…it’s kind of dismissive. It doesn’t take into account the big picture at all, and so I then know that the person doesn’t really know what it is to have MDD. “Just Enjoy It” doesn’t quite cut the mustard, because the depressed person knows that the unusually good, well-balanced feeling probably won’t stick around, when they don’t know what caused it, and therefore, how to replicate/extend it. One knows that one will be sinking back into, at best, a dysthymic state sooner than later. A state that is, for all intents and purposes, one’s unfortunate normal.

“JUST ENJOY IT!”

I love you, non-depressed person but, this is another one of those teaching moments in the blog. If a depressed person feels unusually good on a particular day and is anxious about it, because they know from their history that it won’t stick…please don’t say the above. It’s a conversation ender, and makes the depressed person feel like their valid concern…isn’t. If you were starving for 2 weeks, and found food to eat, you wouldn’t love it if someone waved their hand said

“JUST ENJOY IT!”

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to you, if what you were trying to do was figure out how you could continue to get said food in the future, because being hungry doesn’t feel good. Be happy for them for having the relief of a good day, but maybe also listen, and empathize, and/or help the person sort through what might’ve been different about that day (although don’t get super frustrated if you can’t figure it out; brain chemistry is not an uncomplicated thing).

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Anyway. Even though I don’t know if the good feeling is TMS related, as my sessions wind to a close (the final session is next week), I know that this process will always have been important to me. At the very least, it helped me do my little part against stigmatization, by starting this blog. Which, in turn, helped me “come out” to people close to me.

So, back to LT… now he knows. He knows this is who I am. Intellectually, I am aware that there is nothing I can do about the fact that he could bail over the condition I manage. And that if he walks because of that, that’s on him. It doesn’t make me a defective joke of a human. I couldn’t have gotten this far in this project- a project that takes a shitload of time and heart and apparently helps people, that I do for free- if that were true. I would be a total societal non-contributor, which is not what I am. I’m actually a pretty incredible human being. If he fails to recognize and value this…his loss.

I know these things. Intellectually.

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But I suppose that doesn’t help my heart, that feels that sting of rejection, that is more sensitive to Maj, that believes her when she says that if she drives everyone away, I deserved it.

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This is the back and forth I go through. What I know vs. how things irrationally- yet convincingly- feel. I try, though. I try to lean into letting go of what I can’t control. To say, let him come to his own conclusions. Let him sort through what I’ve laid on the table, that which most keep hidden away behind bulging closet doors.

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Let him decide if he’d rather know who he’s dealing with upfront, or if he prefers a tidier picture with the imperfections not showing. He will do what he does, he shall choose how he chooses.

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(I know that’s the third time with this guy, but I love him, all Getting It and shit).

For me, I choose to continue to be vulnerable and brave when I can stand it. If that puts me in a place to where, worst case scenario, I get attached to LT…I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. Because I choose to be relatable, instead of present myself as some sort of ideal human. I have to be open and real in order to continue to help people who suffer from depression feel less alone and ignored.  To do that, I choose to continue to tell my story and give my take on what it’s like to live with this condition, and what it’s like to love someone who has it. With or without LT…or any other man. Yes, I crave intimacy. Yes, I want to be loved. But for who I am, not a false version of me. And if I can’t be cared for romantically the way that I am, I’d rather be alone than modify myself to where I can’t serve my purpose anymore. Because while the men seem to come and go…the purpose sticks. It is always there.

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How could I turn my back on something that has been so faithful to me, for the comfort of a man, which may be transitory (no matter how much of myself I give to him) due to factors beyond my control? I can do my best with my purpose, and it doesn’t abandon me. And it’s my mark on this world…that I did something worthwhile when I was here. So I guess, the journey comes first…and then, Dream Guy and I can walk together on our respective journeys, or not. It’s not my job to determine who, if anyone, will walk with me. The right people will do so, in their way…all on their own.

Area 6, Ease On Down the Road.

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