In the same way that a magnet attracts and repels, I have been both missing and avoiding 43Things (missing the process of writing and the people).
My birthday left me with a quiver of existential doubt. The quiver turned into a shudder and, as with many uncomfortable feelings I want to ignore, I pushed it down, deep into my belly. The problem with ignoring emotions is that they don’t always go away, and you also tend to ignore the things the emotions are associated with.
(Plus you end up bloated and round with all the feelings inside you, as if you are pregnant with a dragon.)
I was avoiding Time and the future. I realised that I was 25, still in the wastelands of M.E, and in five years I am going to be 30. What then, Zeus or Jesus?
It is scary.
The future is like a sinister shadow in a child’s bedroom, and you don’t know if, when you turn on the light, it will turn out to be a benign blanket over a chair, or if it really is a lion in waiting.
I have been thinking a lot about hope, and what hope is and the environment you need to create in yourself in order to grow it. Hope is a future orientated mood, and you can’t have hope until you are willing to face the future, to face yourself and your fears. (All hope involves fear because it involves risk. Hope always risks itself in order to be.)
If the future is a lion, then I will learn lion taming.
I am drained and sad. It is like I have no energy to feel happiness with. I did, however, have enough energy to go online where I found a friendly discussion about racism (no, really!) and people who say they “don’t see colour.”
Normally balance my assertions out with an almost apologetic epilogue, but not this time. I said:
I always think when people say they don’t see colour, they’re saying that issues about race don’t apply to them. The problem is, race applies to everyone and making such a statement is dismissive of the problem, both in society and ourselves. If you don’t see colour you can’t talk about colour or acknowledge constructs about whiteness or blackness or Asian-ness. Personally I think it either stems from deep discomfort or happy-go-lucky ignorance. Ignorance is ignorance though.
It’s similar to when brightly coloured people are brought into the debate. “I don’t care if you’re white, black, blue, green or polka dot!” People do it to show they don’t care about race, but on a deeper level it also shows they don’t care about racism and they don’t care about the experiences of minorities or how whiteness affects them and the culture everybody lives in.
I was thinking about something similar this morning: how you can define something such as racism or sexism? Most people seem to define it as not liking someone or judging them based on their race or gender, but I think that forgets how unconscious prejudges can be or when they’re completely unintentional. Something can be racist but not meant that way. I’m inclined to agree that the denial of racism (etc) is racist, and racism is more about privilege and power than animosity.
The woman who started the topic commented back saying “beautiful” and “best comment ever! :D”
Just like that, with a smiley face and everything!
Someone else said they were going to quote me (they didn’t say where though).
I swooped up over my sadness for a while before swooping right back into it again, but I was to record what happened here. I shouldn’t be so hard on or apologetic about myself.
I can do well by just being myself.
Last week I found myself on the phone to X and reading excerpts from my worry journal.
“One entry says, Getting a webcam, fear about how I’ll look – very very very ugly – and how much effort and how exhausting it will be to even look moderately okay…“
Self help books abound with the advice to positively affirm yourself, but reading these worries I felt a wave of compassion towards myself. It is an important part of the recipe.
Don’t just get positive. Get real.
Some of the entries even made me laugh. After falling asleep the previous night with shooting pains in my chest I’d written Monday: Woke up. Not dead. Yay! and in another entry how exhaustion was turning me into a bag of nerves. “For a moment I caught myself worrying that there should be something I should be worrying about but wasn’t.”
Some weren’t so much worries, but depression: Nothing I say has value. I feel so stupid. I feel so alone.
Today I wrote to someone that I have been doing the emotional equivalent of staring into space for weeks now. Then I thought, really. I say that like it’s new. Do I occasionally feel like this or do I only occasionally I admit to myself that I feel like this?
There are breaks in the cloud when I feel happy, but I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for days. I keep going but some days it feels like walking against the currents of the Nile after the rainy season.
My body feels poisoned.
My spirit feels starved of air.
I am so dizzy I think I’m about to have an out of body experience.
And I don’t want to have to deal with it.
I’ve avoided writing anything for this. It seems like such a big goal, and I don’t want to taint it with my negative ramblings. I included it on my list with the almost unacknowledged idea that one day I would just happen upon it, “Oh, I love myself now”, like a flower opening or a rain fall. Something that occurs rather than something that is crossed of a list.
I need to peel back the layers on this one though.
I’m depressed. I don’ know how to elaborate on that or talk about it. Years ago I dealt with it by not eating and talking to other people with depression. That helped, for a while, until it started to feel as if we were caught up in the bell jar together. As if depression was a shared identity and a common interest.
Screw that, I thought, and from then on I dealt with it by holding it deep inside of me while trying my very best on the outside.
I think I’m a very happy person, as if that is my natural state. But I’m a very happy person who is also very depressed. How do you explain that? I am a t-shirt tie-dyed with these two polar opposite emotions.
All love is spontaneous, whether you’re falling in love with another person or with yourself. You can work at it (and you must deal with self-hate and self-pity if you find them, rather than leaving them to rot inside you) but you can’t force love. For a while you can kid yourself, but you can only paint the roses red for so long.
Sometimes I’m okay. But then the veil falls and I am depressed.
Admitting it is the first step.