Busy

I am freaking busy.

Like ridiculous busy. More to do than I could ever do ever in a million trillion years, busy.

This feeling, this sense of busy, used to put me over the edge. It used to make me crazy, I used to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Not that I am not overwhelmed, I am.

I am in a play, working full time, raising three kids, taking care of three dogs, in a new relationship that takes time and energy, and I have a volunteer gig that i spend about 5-10 hours a week on.

And I sleep maybe 5 hours a night right now. It’s not enough. I am really tired. Mega tired. Fall asleep at my desk kinda tired. Yeah, tired. I just fell asleep for a few seconds typing that. Wake Up!

I don’t make enough money to live. So I am supplementing my life with savings. Which won’t last forever. That’s a problem.

And you know what? I have never been so happy.

Let me repeat.

I have never been so happy.

Why am I so happy?

Because I want to be.

I want to be happy.

It’s that simple.

I don’t know if it’s my age.

Or something has shifted in my brain post having my life completely destroyed and being forced to pick up the pieces of my shattered life off the ground and put it back together again. That was hard. I don’t want to do that again.

Maybe it’s the therapy.

Maybe it’s that I am in love.

I’m in love. Love. Love. Love.

Woohoo. Love is good. It makes the world go around. I love. I am loved. It’s amazing. (Yeah, I am annoying. SO WHAT!)

My life is messy, my house is messy, my car is messy…even my purse is messy. My bills aren’t paid, my projects aren’t getting done, I don’t have my lines memorized, and I need sleep. One of my kids is a mess, he’s an emotional wreck, my X and I keep arguing over it. I miss my mom. All these things are my truth.

And I just don’t care very much. I mean I care. It’s just not affecting my ability to feel joyous and blessed.

If it was this easy to be happy all along, why the hell did I wait 43 years to just let go and be content with my messy life?

This is my life. This moment. Right now. When I should spend this 30 minutes of free time working on memorizing my lines but instead I am sitting here writing a blog about how happy I am.

That’s weird. I am weird.

Excuse me, while my weird ass self dances around the living room to a dumb song, pretending not to notice the laundry piling up or the dogs watching me wondering if I might feed them today. Or the fact that I need to leave for rehearsal 5 minutes ago.

Come dance with me.

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This one is my favorite…and it’s for you, Sarah.
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Depression and Suicide

Robin Williams killed himself yesterday. The details aren’t public but it would appear that’s what happened.

This man meant a lot to me as a comedian and actor. He was a favorite. I know that he suffered from depression. I can relate. I have been depressed a lot. Depression is a tricky thing. Because when you are in it,  it feels impossible to break out of. When you are depressed you lose hope. You believe all the lies you are telling yourself. That you are broken, or unworthy, or incapable of being happy, or worthless. Or the worst one of all:

That the world would be a better place without you in it.
That ending your life is the best choice. The right choice.

I call it “falling down the rabbit hole”. And when you get there, you are trapped.

People who have experienced severe depression are not shocked by depression. They are not shocked by suicide. They understand it.

I understand it.

I have been suicidal three times in my life. I feel a wave of sadness just typing that.

1. As a teenage girl. I can’t really put my finger on why. I can’t remember exactly what was happening in my life that felt so wrong. I know I was just very unhappy. It’s vague now. But I know it was very real at the time. Very real. I never did anything. I never actually made a suicide attempt. But I thought about it. I am ashamed to admit how much I thought about it. I wanted an escape from the sadness. I really wanted it.

2. About two years ago. I had told my then husband that I wanted to leave him. I had told him I was gay. At some point, I told my kids. I allowed him to blame me. I blamed me. And I was very, very depressed. I felt like a terrible, horrible person. I was so deeply depressed that I would drive along in my car, picturing an accident, that would get me out of the sadness without having to be the person who took her own life. I could be free from the pain and not be responsible. My loved ones could mourn me without having to be angry at me as well.

Because the people who are left behind in a suicide are angry. Because someone who commits suicide is choosing to leave. And it seems incredibly selfish. SO very selfish and cruel.

3. The last time I was depressed to the point of thinking suicidal thoughts was 15 months ago. Right as my divorce was being finalized. I had gotten myself into a very unhealthy relationship with someone who was emotionally abusive. My kids were struggling with the divorce and all the change in their lives. I felt incapable of helping them. I needed to get a job. I felt lost and broken. My existence felt useless.  I felt useless. I couldn’t stand another day of it. Or so I thought.

That last depression scared the shit out of me and I committed to never feeling that low again. I put time and energy into myself.  I escaped that unhealthy relationship. I got a job. I stopped listening to those negative voices in my head. I got healthier and happier. It was work and it was worth it.

But I will never assume that it can’t happen again. I completely understand how Robin Williams got to the point where suicide seemed like the only option.

I empathize with him completely. And the people out there who are saying that he was selfish for making that choice, I hear you.

But I think you are wrong. Severe depression is a horrible thing. It feels impossible to overcome. It drags you down into a place where you cannot imagine escaping. It makes you hopeless. The emotional memory I have about depression scares me so much that I am hyper aware of that path now, where it’s leading and why I cannot allow myself to walk it, ever again. I can see the rabbit hole in the distance and I know that I must turn away from it before I get trapped again. It’s not anyone else’s job to keep me out of that. Life will always have struggles and sadness is a real emotion that must be felt. But I recognize that I am in charge of avoiding the darkness. I am able to keep that demon at arm’s length now.

I am reminded of Mork and Mindy and how much I loved that dumb show. Nanu Nanu.

Of What Dreams May Come and how much I want to watch that movie with the woman I love.

And all the other great movies with Robin Williams.

Of how crazy he was in television interviews. He just couldn’t stop playing a character. Always.

A favorite Robin moment.

Thank you, Robin, for sharing your gift with the world.
And I am so sorry the demon got you.

So very sorry.

Be gentle, human beings.

Be kind.

Every step you take in the world you may interact with someone trapped in the rabbit hole.

I implore you to approach the world with kindness.

For Robin and all the other’s struggling with depression.

I won’t give advice on overcoming depression.

I think it’s up to each of us to find our way off that path and onto another one.

I wish Robin could have done it.

I feel certain he tried.

 

Repressing Anger

I was walking into a restaurant Friday when I noticed a woman I know in front of me. We aren’t really friends, but had always been friendly. She is close friends with someone I dated, and recently I realized she had “Blocked” me on Facebook.

I enjoy Facebook for it’s good points. I love that I can keep in touch with all the people I have known over the years. I can also use it as a means for inviting people to events, and activities I think might be fun or am involved in. But I also see people use it as a means for being cruel. That’s how cruel people use it. Whiners use it to whine but that’s another blog post.

Anyway, so this woman blocked me on Facebook. I have never blocked anyone but I have been blocked a lot recently. It’s not entirely clear to me why. Perhaps the person I am dating, who used to date another person I dated, the one she is friends with…who the hell knows. Cause we are all in the 7th grade again. I wasn’t really aware of what blocking meant until I came across a conversation and noticed a response to something I couldn’t see. Wait, what are they responding to, I wondered? So I asked around. It turns out I had been blocked. All of their posts were invisible to me.

I was blocked cause I am a stalker? A jerk? A gossiper? A liar?

Um…no. I am none of those things.

I was blocked because weird controlling freaky people find some sort of fun satisfaction out of blocking people. I don’t know. The whole thing is bizarre to me. Whatever. I blew it off…laughed about it. Moved on.

Then she was standing in front of me, I ducked back…avoided her. And then I felt it.

Anger.

It shocked me. I didn’t know I was angry.

Wow, I am angry at her.

I am angry at the people in the world who are cruel for no reason. Who give blind allegiance to cruelty. The Hitlers are bad enough but the people who follow Hitler types are even worse, in my opinion. (Remember this point, I am gonna bring it up again.)

I have done nothing to inspire this cruelty. It is ridiculous.

I went to rehearsal last Friday and our director asked us to find conflict in every line. To attack. We ran the play that way.

It was exhausting. Being that angry for so long. I found myself feeling isolated. And alone. Anger keeps you from connecting to anyone. And human beings need to connect. A refusal to connect, in my opinion, is the source of cruelty. An inability to connect is what creates cruelty in people. It’s ugly.

I have had a life that could have made me cruel.

It didn’t. I am not sure why it does for some people and not for others.

Everyday, I make a choice to be kind no matter what. I am and will continue to be, kind to Facebook blockers and the type that represents.

People who choose cruelty, particularly when it is undeserved, make me super angry.

So this woman, Facebook blocking lady I’m gonna call her.

I am mad at her.

So what do I do with that anger? Where do I put it?

Should I call her up and say, “what the hell, jerkface, why you gotta be a jerkface like that?”

Yeah…no. The thought of that makes me a giggle a little.

I won’t be cruel in return. Cause that ain’t me. I won’t be that. I can’t.

But I also am unsure of what to do with this unresolved anger. I cannot confront it head on…so I must deal with it somehow.

Or repress it.

Nope. That’s not good.

My repressed anger killed my marriage. It caused me to drink too much, to be unhappy. And I want a happy life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this…repressed anger…cruelty…blind allegiance to cruelty.

I brought it up on my run recently and one of my running partners (who is also a therapist by profession) said to me,

“It’s probably yourself you are angry with. You dated her. You loved her. You believed the narrative she was telling too. So watching someone else do it is probably bringing up your own anger at yourself. Let go of the anger you have at yourself and you will be free.”

God, I hate running with a therapist sometimes.

HA

But seriously, she’s right. I didn’t block anyone. I wasn’t cruel to anyone. But I believed her. I believed her when she said bad things about people she had dated. I bought the narrative she sold. And that is cruelty. In it’s own way. Sitting back and doing nothing, saying nothing…that’s cruelty too.

And I am angry at myself. For my stupidity. For my blind allegiance. For my desire to earn her love that caused me to give up who I am in order to get it.

It is isn’t Facebook blocking lady I am angry with.

It’s me. It’s me I am angry with.

I can choose to focus on self forgiveness and the lessons I have gained through the experience.

Or I can just stay angry.

When framed that way, the decision to forgive is easy.

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