Friday, May 19, 2017

There is no good subject line for this conversation.

A couple of weeks ago Mr S told me he was sort of bummed out because one of the bloggers he’d been reading for a long time had committed suicide. He apparently left behind a wife and children. Mr S. said he never even knew the guy was depressed. He never wrote about it.

I’m like - man… that sucks. You never have to worry about the people who talk about it. You have to worry about the ones who don’t talk about it. And by the time you realize it - it’s too late.

Skip forward to yesterday and the news of the guy from Soundgarden hit.  I tell Mr S. - he didn’t make it. He immediately knows what I mean. You pretty much expect everyone from the “grunge” era to have experienced depression.

It wasn’t until about ten years into my marriage that Mr S and I started having those candid conversations while we were laying in bed before we went to sleep. You never really want to admit to anyone else that you are broken and you might never be fixed. And it honestly wasn’t until that far into our relationship that I realized why he put up with my shit. He had it too. But not to the extent that I do. 

I’ve always tried hard not to be an insufferable asshole. You will never get people to love you that way. It isn’t his fault. I want to be that fun asshole! Which I am. People will take more chances on that fun asshole. Look how functional I am I like to think.! I’m coping great I tell myself.

So, about 10 years in I finally admitted to him that depression was like a shadow that stalked me all the time. It’s always there. You just have to keep outrunning it I told him. And he understood because to some degree he was hiding it too. Maybe he always knew about me and I just didn’t realize. But finally it was all out and I felt relief that I didn’t have to pretend anymore. I think he felt the same way.

Sometimes you are so terrified to turn around and stop running because you will be face to face with all of that. (Me making a circular hand gesture) And to some degree when I said that guy didn’t make it - what I really meant was he wasn’t able to run anymore. 

For anyone who understands this sentiment, hearing that someone “didn’t make it” sort of sends a shiver down your spine. It’s like the shadow blowing on your neck to remind you it’s still there and it’s THAT close.

Now I have about a half a dozen reasons why I’m broken. I grew up in some pretty challenging situations. Some of my earliest memories are of going to the hospital when my cousin and Aunt were in a horrible car crash. My cousin didn’t make it. I was in a children’s shelter for 30 days when I was seven years old. 

Then my grandfather had a heart attack at the kitchen table also when I was seven. By the time I was twelve my stepfather had been killed, and at 19 my Aunts other child died in a house fire while I was living there.  I’d gone to stay at my boyfriends place that night because my Uncle didn’t want boys sleeping at the house. When I came back the next morning to get ready for work fire engines were at my house. I like to justify my depression as a reason why I’m broken - but really it can hit anyone for any reason. Sometimes no reason.

Why do I expose my deepest darkest secrets to you today when I really didn’t even fully admit it to my husband until 10 years in? It was because Mr S. Sent me this article this morning. And I completely broke down. And I almost never cry. I cried so much when I was growing up that some times I don’t think I have any tears left.  But I seriously thought I was the only one trying to outrun this thing. You never really hear from the people who are desperately trying to be normal. The one’s you’d never expect. The ones who would never in a million years tell you. But I guess we are all trying to outrun it in our different ways. 

Now to be sure - this isn’t a cry for help. I could never leave that kind of damage behind for my husband to live all of his days with. Easing my pain by making my husband be filled with nothing but pain is just not for me. It's cruel. I had plenty of opportunities when I was younger. I sort of feel like I had my chance. But I certainly do understand that others might not have the strength to run anymore. I get it. 

Maybe I wrote this for all the people stuck on the treadmill. Running and running and running as long as our legs can hold us. Praying that we always have the strength to keep running.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Snark - Please keep in mind that friends,family and even strangers on the Internet do care about you. Please, please seek help if you feel it is getting out of control (and maybeee even before). Take care now, and I will have you in my prayers tonight.

she said: said...

That is incredibly kind of you to say. Thank you. But I'm okay. I try really hard not to indulge that part of me. The whole thing is sort of embarrassing to admit honestly. But maybe that's why we don't talk about it more. You just get nervous that people freak out if you have an off day. It has it's peaks and valleys, but at least I'm aware the boogyman is back there waiting for me to let my guard down. I think that is doing better than most people who just get sidelined.

Again. Thank you for your kind words.

Daisy Elliott-Biddle said...

I think that step of talking about it, and then hearing the "me too" that often follows is what makes it bearable. Knowing I'm not alone in any struggle gives me the strength of others and vice versa.
In this instance words can be stronger than actions.

she said: said...

I guess I didn't realize how comforting it felt to know that people just understand. That they are not trying to "fix it", but that they just "get it". It's really touching. I don't know if I really have the words to express. If I saw you in person I would give you a big long hug though. Thank you.

And as always.... it's always good to see you.