Joy

despair

Joy, a word I haven’t actually felt inside my being for years.

I have no memory of what it feels like to laugh from the bottom of my heart; to cackle, to feel that high pitched sound resonate as a tremble invading all my organs. I don’t remember that elevation of spirit where you feel so full of euphoria you think you will lift off the ground as if you were a hot air balloon; a helium filled radiant human.

People say we only live once; lets make the best of it.

How do you do that when your soul is shrouded in darkness. When black tears trickle down your face almost everyday, uncontrollably. When you’ve tried almost every medication that has possibly been manufactured for disorders like yours and yet, once you start climbing up the stairs to the light, you again start reasoning and thinking and feeling too strongly, so strongly it hurts, because you understand; you understand the futility of the world and the stair falls back throwing you down into the dungeon of mindless torment.

You can only shout: show me the way out!

And if a helping hand doesn’t reach way down; doesn’t stretch out of shape to pull you up, you’re trapped in the prison of your mind forever.

A Small Story

Once upon a time, there was a girl, a happy girl, she smiled and the sun shone brighter, she laughed and its music created an orchestra Life was a lovely process; she enjoyed feeling the outside air brushing against her face reveling in its sweet touch and she smiled. She took a walk on a sunny day humming a song she had just heard on the radio. She used to love She used to fall in love.

Then life would suddenly become a bit confusing to the girl. There were times when she was hit by a charge of energy, an electrical jolt which made her feel like she was the princess of the world, that she was indomitable

She then would become the cheerful center of her groups of friends emanating a light, some said a halo. Soon she had so many love affairs she complicated her life and disturbed its natural course. Her lightness became a tad bit heavier. Worry entered her being. Anxiety. Drinking became a favorite pastime and a way to forget one person or situation and move on to the next.

Sooner or later it was bound to happen: Sadness creeped into her soul, the soft melancholy that underlay her every motion as a young girl started turning into the viscous monster of depression and yanked her down from her pedestal into its darkness. This sadness ate up her soul.

Life seemed meaningless and people around her cardboard figures. The real people tried so hard to help her, to pull her up again , but her tears became a river and her despondency became her blanket.
Nothing would help. She stayed up at night, not being able to sleep hoping and wishing herself not to wake up the next morning. But then the morning came, and she opened her eyes only to find herself right where she was the night before and the tears started to roll down her face. She stayed in bed one day and in a little revolt, she refused to pollute her body with any more medication. She watched a movie. So impressive, so wise, so emotional and inspiring. It ended with the statement : «Where there is life, there is hope.»

And the girl lifted herself out of bed; went upstairs and tenderly caressed the heads of her children, smiling again.

Anticipation

I don’t know what to say or how to start this. The only word that comes to my mind is anticipation. Waiting for your fears to dissolve and your hopes and dreams to blossom. Its a long and painful wait, and the trajectory in the right direction unpredictable. Anticipation, such a fearful, yet fearless word. When you wait for something to happen, the wait often freezes your thoughts, your mind seems like it encompasses a black hole. But we are heros, we who anticipate, the fight with yourself and with your thoughts is tough and when you come out the winner, you have the feeling of exhilaration; something like a huge balloon  pulling you up to magical places, where you see and feel all the colors of the rainbow; finally. Every day the wait to reach that point and get better and away from the demons eating up your mind, gets more excruciating. The only thing you can practically do is be patient, try not to listen the demons, try not to succumb to the blackness that is pulling you down and hope that your medicines will finally put you on the right track. sooner than later. Until then feeling exhausted and useless are part of the package, but thank god for hope, thank god for rainbows, we’ve got to follow these images, target them and then dream that everything will be alright; and the end of the agonizing anticipation will take the right track.

Loving Being Alone

Loving being alone

When feeling depressed, especially when  your moods slightly go up and down  every now and then, it brings you close to the frightening idea of loneliness. It’s true, some friends have been mistreated by you and can not forgive you, and many of those who have not been mistreated, just can’t deal with your periods of depression or your instability. So that leaves you, as you are. A person. One who stands alone.

I used to be referred to as a «social butterfly» by everyone who knew me. I was the life of the party, the person who was considered fun and a little wild, even during the years I was having my children: trips around the world, crazy outings, going from bar to bar, dancing all night. But things changed and my life turned around 180 degrees, when simultaneously with my divorce I fell into a depression.  Actually I wasn’t so shocked about the diagnosis, everyone else around me was.

I expected it, knowing me and knowing my behaviour for so many years. There weren’t only the days I felt lucky being born, there were the beyond ones imagination black downs; Those lightless pools of water I described a couple of posts back. Those were and are the ones that hurt the most. And its during those very scary and trying times when people avoid you, when friends abandon you. Those are the times when even the friends who have stuck next to you, just don’t get it. They don’t understand. I suppose they can’t.

I used to mourn the loss of myself as the life of the party, I used to feel insecure without friends calling me or messaging me all the time. But that all stopped abruptly especially when I was first institutionalized, and I just had to get used to it.
My few friends who stuck around, sometimes I felt did it out of pity; But they were there and that was good because when I needed something there was someone to call. Being unemployed didn’t help either, because I was without a work environment where I could be with people, talk to them, have coffee with them, and feel useful.

So sitting there reading a book one day, I made a decision: to love my loneliness, to embrace it. I learned to go out to lunch or dinner alone (always carrying a book) I learned to go to bars alone and there I even met new people. It was great to meet people who knew nothing about you, who would not be judgemental. So being alone became part of my daily routine; And I learned to love it. One day the thought came to me suddenly:I honestly love being alone!

Wonderland

“I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then.”
This quote from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is marvelous. It sums up the, nature of every person (whether they realize it or not), but especially people who have mood disorders. Like chameleons we change colors and moods, triggered off by an almost unnoticed momentary occurrence.
I am Alice. I feel Alice, I feel the Mad Hatter. They are my home. I see the world as surreal, as the Mad Hatter tells Alice, “we’re all mad here”, When you meet people who say things like that to you, it really makes you feel much better about yourself, as if you’re in a world of mutual understanding and belonging. You’re not alone.
I wait till the watch I have is days ahead, then I feel more comfortable. “No wonder you’re late this watch is two days slow” says Lewis Carroll.
This is a magical world where nothing makes sense but in actuality it makes more sense than the supposed reality we live in and the routines we have to repeat daily. If you enter Wonderland, you see the world through tinted glasses, there are Cheshire cats smiling at you from trees above, and even tea parties that never end.
People’s supposed normal “speak” is actually surreal, or at least you can easily read behind the words. The meaning you interpret throws you into a whole new world, a whole new thought process and you feel emotions that are so deep and understand things that are so abstruse that you feel you are transported into another dimension.
You only have to try. You only have to hear closely and intensely. You only have to put your ear to the little door, hear the new mad reality, open the door and see “through”; and then you too can jump through the looking glass. When life gets difficult I enter the world of the Mad Hatter.
And finally I leave you with my favorite quote from the book:
“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality”. I bow to that colored prism of an expression.

New Years

Every year that goes by we celebrate the New Year as if it were something great, something earthshattering and fantastic. The new year must be better than the last and the next one even better. Climbing up the ladder of betterment in that way, we should all be more than just happy and prosperous, we should be elated, healthier, more content; we should live in a world with no strife and no war; Just love, collaboration meritocracy, no corruption and so on and so on. That’s what progress should be; Getting better. Fixing past mistakes both personally and socio-politically. Amelioration, almost perfection should be our global goal.

But the New Year regurgitates once more the same world problems; The same personal problems. People’s characters don’t change neither does mankind’s. Politicians always remain the same throughout history, greedy, belligerent, and self aggrandizing; Bickering over economy, territory and social issues, just like they have for centuries, since the first communities in Mesopotamia where land lust became a reason for expansion and Babylon took over Sumer and then another city state took over Babylon etc. etc. So, nothing has changed, And of course these historical beginnings came to fruition because of the known human vices, which created strife, and that’s where we are today, like not a day has gone by since then in 2000 BC

Year after year we celebrate the change of the New Year as if the next one will make the world and our lives a bit better; A bit happier. But in essence nothing happens. Perhaps some people get richer and that makes them happy, perhaps they have personal triumphs in work etc but are they making strides toward helping create a better quality of life for themselves and society? Most people aren’t. And most people aren’t happy, and politicians continue to destroy their countries daily, so do their half assed ideologies and false promises. Multinational corporations and banks suck the life out of us, and we just let it happen. So when everyone is saying Happy New Year and wishing for a better 2015 amidst fireworks and cheers and drinking, the next day which in everyone’s fantasy should be better, usually isn’t. Life goes on and except for technological advances, I see no changes. Its really too bad.