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.  


Robert said...


I could have written this. Scratch that. I *wish* I had written this. But, little lady, I'm not nearly as courageous as you apparently are. My decades-long struggle with disability has created a weirdness inside of me that may well be depression ... I recognized so many things of which you speak as being issues of my own.

Again, "wow." Thank you for your bravery and poignancy, Amanda. You are more inspiring than you probably realize.

Amanda Parish said...

Bob, it wasn't until I actually hit 'publish' that I could see the half-truth in my post. I was, actually, afraid to put this out there. It is because I have friendship and support such as yours that I can do it anyway, that I can do any of this, and so, as always, I extend my immeasurable gratitude to you.