No One Is An Island

02/09/2014

The series of entries that follows were written previously, shared wi’ family I trusted.  I decided to publish them now.  Since much still applies, I have also found myself going back to them when writing other things.  More importantly, as you will understand if you’re able to keep reading until the finish, when I say ‘It feels like the thing to do,’ it’s a helluva statement.  Minor edits have been made to correct structure/typos/flow.

 Please read this post first for Content Warnings.
Part 1 of 5; No One Is An Island series

Dear Reader,

I’ve spent the past ten-ish months writing something. It’s deeply personal on many levels and is as equally cathartic. Ignoring the delete button is a continual exercise in tempering anxiety, fear, and defaulting to something that morphed from a temporary coping mechanism to a default way of functioning; detaching pieces of myself.

There are people in my life that enrich it. There are people in my life I share glorious history with that I cherish. There are burgeoning connections that if they aren’t completely destroyed, they are assuredly endangered and I’d like to remedy that. I don’t yet know the way forward completely. What I do know is what I’ve been doing the past few months has been working. Actually it’s better than that because the headway made in that time compared to the near year and a half prior is astounding (and calming).

If something contained in the forthcoming series of posts moves you to share, I simply ask that you be gentle. Do so understanding that I’m not fixed, I’m not cured (nor will I ever truly be)- that I’m still struggling on many levels trying to reconcile the pieces I detached in order to function though I’d argue that was far from functioning; I could concede that it was more like the human version of ‘Safe Mode,’ just to make it through the day.

Ultimately, it was the cumulation of voices that spoke of their experiences (many that echoed my own) that gave me courage to add mine, pay it forward somehow while giving the people that enrich my life an honest and open communique.

I write of my experiences, pointing out that this is not the rare occurrence of a one-sided story. It’s the years’ long ordeal that had many contributing factors, few of them reparative, many that goad my anger that this…stuff…took me away from the bright spots in my life, took my joy, and tried to bury me in a cycle of despair, confusion, and fear.  In spite of my experiences with depression, I could honestly say I was fortunate to never know clinical depression.  I can’t say that now.  I don’t know how I feel about that either.

I needed to understand what happened to me.  I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was.  That changed to just surviving the day, with the hope that understanding where things were going so very wrong would be unearthed while trudging on.  It did the opposite; kept me looking in any other direction than the one where I’d see it for what it was, allowing the problem to move from entrenched to nestled comfortably with nary a care in the world.

It may be a hard read for those that know me or if it starts ringing true for you because you struggle with reminders.  For those, the next few posts discuss clinical depression and how it made me feel…then how it made me feel nothing at all.  It is tagged ‘No One Is An Island’

It’s important for the people that I consider family (through blood and choice) to understand that my brain chemistry was altered, that I was awash in a mindset that kept pulling me under, that I ‘woke up’ on a sunny beach one December day after realizing the thought of never going back to my life didn’t invoke an alarm or a ‘that’s foolish’ response.  It’s important for those people to know when I decline something, it’s in the interests of keeping my mind healthy and I may not be able to offer up an explanation that would make sense to you.  I can only promise I’ll be honest, and I can start with saying I’m still in uncharted waters.  A lot of this is new to me.  I don’t understand why I’m blind with tears while I’m furious or moved by the lyrics of a song.  I really don’t.  What I do understand is I’m connecting to something again, mind and soul and I guess there’s some rough trail to hike through still.

I also want to pay it forward, much like some of the people I’ve read have, and maybe lend to the voices that talk about what they’ve experienced so that someone that’s struggling will feel a little less burdened and alone.

My thanks,

SJM