Friday, May 24, 2013

Betwixt My Lines

I wish to author some great masterpiece, be it literature or song or dance-craze choreography.  Bone-breaking, I’ve learned, is the latest to the stage.  Perhaps, I’ll bring bone-weapon wielding, permanent scar-inducing, blight your life forever, switch it up, switch it up.

My desperation to manifest begins to cross the lines of human language.
They still won’t get it.  But I get it.
I’ve always got it coming, so it seems.

I see my life in stanza.

Verse, verse, chorus.
Verse, verse, chorus.

The play through, the run, the birth pangs.
The play through, the run, the stalker.
Run and pay, start over.

The play through, the hard run, the good attempt.
The play through, the falling down, the surrender.
Run and pay, it starts over.

What I wish is love.
I was born with it even if I went away from it.
The going away was but for a while.
But there is no reproof from the going away, it seems.
You go, you stay.  Or you pay, in any case.

How many verses?
Where is crescendo’s peak?
What comes after the bridge?
I wish to pen my name, at last.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This Is What Is The Happening

I don't know exactly what or why it's happening but it seems to be happening all around me.

It's in the updates, the tweets, the pics, the pins.  Sometimes it's an allusion.  Many times, it's "what she said."  A share.  A re-has#.

Me? I like (or have, for most of my life, found it inexplicably necessary) to be cryptic.  I am often speaking in code.

The bulk of my sharing is via facebook which ~ I know ~ is already considered archaic.  There's just too much room to sprawl out on facebook, too many letters allowed.  That's one part of The Big Problem, in my opinion - this drive to boil everything down.  To keep it nice and neatly contained.

Tell me quick in one sentence, please, 
or just show me a picture.  
I have things to do, my own things to worry about.

Does anybody know, yet, what I'm talking about?  Have I already written too many words?

Or maybe I've already made it too personal.  Maybe I shouldn't have made any allusion to "most of my life."  Anybody?  Anybody...


There exists a myriad of reasons that I am always holding something back.  Some of it is that my proper manners restrict me from splatting all over the screen.  (Some of you think you've seen me do it anyway.  I promise you have not.)  Some of it is dysfunctional pattern.  Much of it is fear.  Much of it is [my attempt to] control. And most of what I've just said either has been written about before or needs to be saved for later.  (What's my word count?)

In a minute, I'm going to share some words that are better than my own but first I'd like to forget all about character counts and fear and the illusion of control and just speak plainly.

First of all, I was a citizen of the original Prozac nation, having it prescribed to me in my late teens, after Lithium and "a good talking to" didn't pick my butt up off the ground.  I don't know how it's possible but, in hindsight, it seems to me that I'd been struggling with depression from far too early an age (I can't even bring myself to say), and taking Prozac was like taking off sunglasses and seeing the world in color. For the first time that I could recall.  I'm grateful for Prozac.

2008, the year that followed my dad's year-long struggle with (terminal) lung cancer:  that was my Effexor year.  Effexor because it was the only drug out there which could treat both depression and anger.  For the record, it was not my dad's cancer that caused my anger.  My dad's cancer was just the pinnacle battle of that season of my life.  Those few years were dark and Effexor, unfortunately, turned out to be part of my battle.  I'm grateful that season is past.

Now, I woke up one morning this week and my first conscious thought was that I wanted it to be sundown already.  The sun was shining gloriously through my curtains in a way that negates the need for purchased art.  My lungs were full of clean air, my body whole, for the most part.  My man, who is the best man on the planet since Jesus, was in another room waiting to greet me for the day.  Healthy, buoyant grandbabies were due to arrive shortly.  But, please.  Please.  I just want to go back to sleep.

Not the cheesy, "oh, it's Saturday morning and I can't believe I'm awake because I just want to roll around in my comfy bed because this makes such a cute picture or tweet or status update,"

but because I am struggling.

Yes, I have blessings beyond measure.

Yet I am struggling.  Again.

I'm not scared to tell you what I've told thus far ~ that I've struggled with depression, that I've taken medication, that I've done therapy, and all of this more times than I'm telling here.  I'm not scared to tell you that I'm struggling now. There are other things, though, things that propagate my struggles, that I cannot or am not willing to tell you and for a myriad of reasons.

And I do have guilt, because I also have friends whose husbands have cancer.  Or whose grandbabies have cancer.  I have friends who have cancer.  Friends who've lost their jobs or their homes.  And this isn't happening just within my circle.  I watch the feed.  I know the stories.   People everywhere are struggling.

And that's really what I want this to be all about.  None of us face exactly the same struggles but none of us are alone, either, in the fact that we struggle.  None of us has a picture-perfect life, no matter how perfect the picture.  None of us should feel so obligated or so afraid of the alternative that we pack our struggles away, living less and less truthfully until we're really not living at all.

There are others out there and they are sharing unhindered and for that, I am grateful.

And now those better words I promised...

Kendi is one of the very first bloggers that I discovered and is my favorite fashion blogger, which I've shared before in An Exact Copy.  In her recent post, life, lately, she took the lid off her pot.  And then she shared about how much she was Overwhelmed by the responses she received.  Do not make any assumptions here.

Rachel is another of the first bloggers whose path I was so fortunate to cross.  She is one of the very best real-life bloggers that I know and Unlearning... is a perfect demonstration.  Plus, there's code here.

And here is A Miniature Clay Pot, saying better than I can say it myself, how it is that I, personally, am moving through this present season.  After The Rain, there will be color.

When I started working on this post, I honestly thought it would be just a simple, practical, "I struggle with it.  It's okay if you struggle with it too," kind of post.  I thought there would not be any of my usual points to God's artfulness or pattern-play.  But I can't not tell you that I'd written most of this before I read After The Rain.  So if you catch any of the specific relevance or similarities, hers did not influence mine.  Hers was an answer to mine.  

And that's just how it happens with Him.

Right Here, let me say stereophonically that one of the reasons I don't share everything is because I have a great fear of causing harm to others.  The Lord knows that the blogging world, all of the social network, has been a vacuous arena of slop-slinging and emotional take-downs, especially of late to my way of seeing.  I will be posting this - as I always do - with a prayer that I do no harm.  Depression, anger, anxiety - these are difficult matters to navigate.  As I always do, I am sharing my own experience and with a deeply sincere desire to help anyone that I may.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Public Hearing

There’s a line that exists somewhere between acceptable public discourse and “hiding your crazy.”

There’s a point at which you’re sharing too much.

A boundary that can be crossed.

Apparently, I’m not so good with boundaries.

And that’s just one of the things I’ve heard - repeatedly - through the years.

But you know, it’s usually right after I’ve been brought in on something, have had some trouble or crisis disclosed to me, and then after hearing the same statements or rehashed ideas over and over again ~ whether in any particular conversation or over the course of good-grief-will-this-Ever-get-better ~ when I state my opinion or I ask my questions or I share what I honest-to-goodness believe and intend to be encouragement that I’m told I’ve crossed a line.

I also hear that I carry on a bit.  Thought I’d make an example with that previous sentence.

I hear that I’m too often thinking of what I want to say rather than listening. Thought I’d highlight that here with my use of I.

I also hear - repeatedly - that I’m abrasive.  And that, friends, is my favorite.

Gentle and quiet.*
Sweetly listening.

This is what I’m supposed to be, right?

Yeah, I don’t know.

And probably one of the coldest implications I hear is that I will never change.

Yeah, I don’t know.

Not that I was an exactly gentle and quiet child but I don’t think I used my words back then.  Not for most of my life, in fact.  Not properly, at least.  Certainly not the way I wanted to.  (Though, I can see that I didn’t actually know for most of my life how it was that I wanted to use my words.)

I’ve changed in that way.

I have, in fact, tried to change into the quiet, gentle listener but it always winds up looking as if I’m sitting on eggshells.  And then I’m accused of “treating someone like a child.”

There’s another accusation that doesn’t trouble me because I know the truth and this is that I do my best to be truthful.  I try to share my own experience of life without unfairly exposing the lives of others.  I try to share in a manner that displays the manners taught to me.  I try to hide my crazy.

But maybe I am, in fact, still on the wrong side of the line.  Maybe I’m still not using my words properly.

So here.  This is not self-deprecation but for the public hearing:

I am sometimes abrasive, sometimes curt, sometimes critical.
I am sometimes long-winded, sometimes crazy-acting.
I am often thinking of what I want to say next.
I am often thinking of how your story relates to mine and how mine relates to yours.
I am probably never going to be the keep-my-mouth-shut-if-I’ve-been-sought type.
I am usually thinking about how many of us are dealing with private struggles.
I am almost always thinking about how much better the world would be if we could all just stop being so critical of one another.
I am including myself in “we.”
I am doing the best I can.
I am not really always doing the best I can.
But I want to be.
And that’s the truth.

Is that really so crazy?

*“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.”
1 Peter 3:4-5
I hated to take a verse out of context.  I tried to expand this passage into the message but it became what it became.  I believe that much of 1 Peter 3 is relevant to the message of this post.