I was sifting through my archives tonight and noticed that October and November were especially fertile months. I was writing a lot, and a lot of what I wrote was (if I may toot my own horn) pretty darn good. Because I was feeling good. And then came December, and lo, the pickins, they got slim. It isn't just work or the holidays, it's me.
I am not out, but I am down. I am struggling to remain emotionally and socially present, to be a worthy sister, friend and child. I'm afraid I am failing miserably.
To the people in my life it probably looks like "Danielle's entered another one of her funks," which they'll tolerate until I tumble out the other end like I always do. Whenever that may be. I feel fortunate to have friends and family who stick around through my rough patches. Then again, I work pretty hard to make things look smooth. I don't think anyone realizes how hard I'm kicking just to stay afloat and participate, even minimally, in life. I realize others exhaust themselves treading water the same way I do (especially bloggers, such a sensitive bunch of navel-gazers we are), but it's an exercise in self-isolation so I may as well be the only one out here.
If you're frustrated with me, try to understand: It takes tremendous effort to break my routine (work-gym-dinner-write) and spend time with other human beings. That routine is my anesthetic. Even if you're not a hibernator you might be numbing yourself too -- those of you who are always running shopping talking driving going going gone. You know who you are. We all do what we must to evade our demons when we don't feel strong enough to face them. In all the time I've spent lately hunched over my Powerbook, starting dozens of essays I can't flesh out beyond the first few lines, I've said I feel emotionally constipated because I haven't been able to write. In truth I haven't been able to write because I'm so corked up.
I almost just apologized for posting such a downer, but hey -- this is my blog. I've lost sight of that lately. It's still my space in which to speak my mind, and this is what's on my mind today.
I've been accused before of caring too much what other people think. Well, I don't really care if airing these unhappy, unfunny sentiments makes you think me crazy or tragic or brave or pathetic. I do care that it makes you think about those who are bumming you out with their moping and withdrawn silence. Realize that they're treading water and help them stay afloat -- not by doing something but by just being there.
There is much more to say on this subject; A history with medication and therapy and what I still think was a sound decision to stop taking pills and manage my depression in other ways. I started an essay about it two months ago and I will post it when it's done. Whenever that may be. But I've got plenty else to blog about in the meantime. Writing, even writing I never finish, seems to be the best therapy.