Category Archives: depression

Arrogance

Neither the Democratic Party nor Hillary Clinton recognized the deep-seated antiestablishment sentiment in this country that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders represented. They stayed in their bubble and ignored evidence that was building throughout the spring and summer of 2016 and crowned one of the most disliked people ever to grace the stage as their nominee, giving lip service to the bold and popular work of Sanders. Now they are shocked, shocked, that the others, the voters so enlivened by the two outsider campaigns, still hated the Clintons and all they represent.

Their arrogance, their disdain for Sanders and their manipulating of the media and the DNC led directly to the hell we are now facing. Sure, blame Donald Trump too. But I’m done with the whole pack of them and will have nothing to do with the Democrats again.

Writing Again, But Poetry?

I intimated some days ago that I was writing again, meaning that I was looking at some of my fantasies for new inspiration. But then a funny thing happened. Donald Trump’s 2005 comment about grabbing pussies made the news and turned my world upside down.

I am a 65 year old woman who lived through many of the trials and tribulations of the 1970s and 80s as a woman rising under the feminist movement of those days. To say that I was subject to sexual harassment is an understatement in the extreme. I was also the victim of one sexual assault and two rapes. I did not report any of them, in two cases because the assailants were members of the legal profession in which I was lowly public defender. I will not further detail the incidents, but it should be clear that a woman making charges against two men high in the legal field would have been laughed out of court. I would have been disbelieved and smeared at a level that is no longer present in our legal system, except from certain judges who seem to think that rapists shouldn’t have their futures damaged by a few minutes of fun. They are the dinosaurs of today.

But back to Trump and the effects of his statement. I, like many women, numbering undoubtedly in the millions, suffered the crimes against me alone, and I built internal walls so that I could continue to function without falling apart or lashing out. Many women of my age built walls of different strengths and sizes, depending on the nature of the abuse they suffered. The everyday indignities of being a woman in a “man’s world” we all built walls against. We smiled, and accepted crudities that would stun today’s woman.

But the walls built to hide rape and assault were stronger and more enveloping. I had indeed buried my injuries so deeply that I had not considered them for years. They were part of my youth, and not worthy of spending time on. I had survived and would continue without ever having to review the pain and horror again. Until Trump….

What has this to do with writing? Just this. I have had anger and despair rising up in me in waves, with pain adding a slight piquancy to the mix. I was in danger of exploding at the least provocation, and I knew for my own sanity I had to find a way to tamp it down. I turned to a form of writing which I have used to deal with issues of depression and suicide in the past few years. I have been writing poems. The original ones were wrenching to me, causing me to desire drink or some other means of escape. I knew I was improving when the poems turned more to the failures of Trump as a human being, and less on the damage he had done. But I finally succeeded in writing a witty poem, denigrating Trump as nastily as I could. And with that, although not healed, I am back on a more even keel.

I have done something I’ve never done before. I have submitted some of the poems for publication. Accordingly, I can’t share them with you here. But I’ll keep you informed of any acceptances and let you know if, by any slight, slim chance, they are accepted for publication.

All or Nothing: The Daily Prompt

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath

Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?

If I want nothing, it generally means that my depression has returned. That is by far the most dangerous time. My depressions are deep, dark, mysterious things, where nothing is interesting, no one is interesting, I’m not interesting, and the mere thought of living is tiring. I isolate, stop taking care of myself, eat everything in sight, trying to provoke a response. The only response is feeling sick to my stomach. But, hey, it’s a feeling.

If I want everything, it generally means that my depression has lifted but not enough. I become acquisitive because each new thing promises to make everything all right. I am disappointed of course, and so turn to the next thing to want. Not only unproductive but destructive because I know it’s stupid but I do it any way.

The best times are when I know what I need, and marshal my forces to get it, one way or another. These are times when I know the important things in life are not possessions but friends and healthy pastimes. Writing has been  a great pastime since last February, and at times I feel it slipping away. Those are the times when I examine myself for signs of depression. When the writing is flowing, depression doesn’t need to knock at my door.

On another note, for those of you who read my blog, I started the sequel to Fantastical Trips two days ago and have over 3500 words written and already a big surprise, so I guess it was right to shelve the other story!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/all-or-nothing/

Let It Snow

This is just going to be babbling, so ignore it if you choose. The snow that came up the east coast on Wednesday into Thursday was joined by some unpredicted snow over Thursday night. That meant I had more snow than I had counted on to clean off my car this morning. And what this has all led me to is the conclusion that the primary reason for my isolation and being a hermit is not indeed because of my depression, but because of the damn weather. There is very little incentive to go out in frigid weather, freezing one’s fingers off trying to clear snow from a car, just to go run errands. With the miracle of the internet, one can easily stay home and have everything delivered.

Ahem, this is pure sophistry. I have workshops and physical therapy to attend to. I must go to the bank on occasion. And there is church, though it is not quite as attractive now that the labyrinth is under enough snow that its trail is harder to discern. The woe is caused by the misery of getting to all these places after the carefree summer. It’s like going to a very strict boarding school after a wild vacation. It’s like having to eat liver cooked to death with onions and mushrooms after having the world’s best hot fudge sundae over the world’s best cookies and cream ice cream. This simile thing is fun. I wonder how many others I can come up with. This is one of the amusing parts of staying at home. One can play with words and symbols and poetical forms with wild abandon. I should tell you that I managed to write a double dactyl that was not snarky or sarcastic but laudatory. Of course the subject was Gandhi, so it wasn’t that hard.

Gandhi

Wunditly, punditly
Gandhi, enlightened one,
Made salt at seaside and
People felt strife

Never religious dis-
Criminatorily
Hunger strike sickened him
Gun took his life.

So some good can come from snow after all. Unless of course you all hate the poem.

Daily prompt: Masks off

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

Like all clinically depressed people, I have a persona that I wear that is sociable and friendly. As my shrink has pointed out more than once, I fake it to make it. When my depression is not bad (which is not to say that I am not depressed), I can actually enjoy and profit from interactions under this facade. When my depression is worse, I am barely able to maintain the mask. When it is at its worst, I don’t tend to go out, since I cannot maintain the mask. I cancel engagements, and don’t show up outside.

So would I dare to wear the worst me outside? No, and why should I? One doesn’t expect a cancer patient to parade around in her hospital johnny with tubes sticking out of her arms. Why should someone suffering from a mental illness be expected to do anything like that? Treat major illnesses the same. Depression, as some comedians would tell you, is not a joke. Nor is any form of mental illness. Nor is any illness that is real and treatable in any way.

I have written about this before. The tendency to blame the victim of mental illness, whether a suicide or not, is inconsistent with who we are as a people. It is cruel and inhumane. It is not treating another as we would be treated ourselves. It is unChristian, and unBuddhist and probably all of the other great religions. People who say suicides are selfish are so out of tune with the facts as seen by the suicide that the lack of charity is stunning.

Sorry to rant and rave on a daily prompt, but I was only following the instructions. Do you really know what’s behind your mask?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/masks-off/