please pass the salt btw i dont love you anymore haven’t for the last three years i’d like out please would you like to add anything to the shopping list i’ll move into the spare room we can be housemates after all we have both been good parents lovely dinner dear thanks for cooking what […]
shafts of sunlight flood the room
wherein lays a woman
buried under the duvet
in an underground tunnel
hibernating doing nothing
being nothing feeling nothing
emptiness hopelessness personified
the heat of the sunlight slight breeze
does nothing to unthaw her frozen heart
she dared not feel
the pain would be excruciating unbearable
the shutters down fortress walls up
moat circling with deadly crocs
approach at your risk
key turns in the lock front door bangs
familiar voice drifts up shouting hi mum
signal to emerge from the burrow
pretend to be normal and sane
play the role of responsible parent
time for the daily farce
hi darling how was school
oh you know so so
so what time did you get up mum
are you sure
alright then just after noon
so why are you still in your jim jams
want a cuppa love
I know she knows she knows I know that she knows but we carry on the lie because the alternative is far more scary!
I read your posts full of anxiety, depression, loneliness, feeling unloved, misunderstood, unseen, unheard, unacknowledged, not validated, insignificant. You struggle to keep head above water, do daily battle with the demons in your head while outwardly you feign ‘normality’ and keep going. Attending school, doing your homework, working part time maybe, laughing and messing about with peers while inside you are dying and screaming for help. You really want to say, ‘I’m feeling shit, I’m not doing so well, I want to burrow deep under the duvet and never get up.’
When I taste and feel your pain and distress across cyberspace through the words on the screen my heart breaks a little. I wish I was there to give you an enormous hug and tell you it’s gonna be alright, you are going to be fine, hang in there kid. Hope there is always hope.
This is what I want to share with you. Like you I don’t have all the answers and I charge into battle keeping my demons at bay every second of the day: depression, negativity, hopelessness, self pity, helplessness, loneliness, not being good enough, not belonging, rejection … But I am older and wiser and I have been through an abnormal amount of shit in my half a century’s existence on planet Earth and so I would like to share with you the lessons learnt through pain and despair.
First and foremost be happy. Make a decision now this very second to be happy. Don’t instantly reject the idea, don’t think of all the excuses why you couldn’t possibly be, just be happy, as simple as that. I am not belittling all the obstacles and shit in your life but we all have problems. Nobody has an idyllic life problem and worry free. Nobody, not even the rich and famous. Look how many go into rehab or die from an overdose. The filthy rich worry they will lose all their money or that those who want to marry them are just after their wealth and not because of true love. They worry they’ll be robbed, kidnapped. They don’t know who they can trust. The poor struggled to make ends meet, working their socks off in some dead end mind numbing soul destroying minimum wage job.
Don’t compare yourself to others and think they have it all and am deliriously happy. Behind their contented facade they may be feeling just as if not more shit than you.
Life is too short, so live it to the full while you can. My dad has had diabetes since he was middle aged. Mum didn’t let him eat any sweet stuff which he loved and now he has suffered a major stroke and is paralysed from the neck down. He can’t swallow so eating is out of the question. Maybe he should eaten the stuff he craved when he could. Life is unpredictable; none of us have a crystal ball so do what you enjoy and will make you happy. With the proviso it doesn’t harm your body, isn’t illegal and won’t hurt others. Do no harm is a pretty good rule to live by and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. That is how I try to live my life and it works for me.
Be your own person, strive to be comfortable in your own skin. Perfection is unattainable and a delusion so don’t even try. We are all unique and by virtue of being human we are good enough and worthy of respect and love. You don’t have to try to be someone else, a better version, you are good enough being you. You don’t have to do anything, try harder, get better grades, be slimmer, more beautiful, have bigger breasts, perfect hair and complexion, fit bodies.
Life can be brutal, harsh, fraught with obstacles and shit but do try and seek out the good too. Nothing is all black and white, good or bad; identify the grey areas. it’s all about balance. Nobody’s life is all bad or all good and of course it varies at different points. The good news is the bad times though appearing hopeless will pass and things will get better. The good thing about having hit rock bottom is the only way is up. It can’t get worse, you have survived it so hang in there and be patient. Hope there is always hope and don’t ever lose it or give up.
The freedom you have even in the shittiest of times is to decide how to react. When you think you have your back against the wall you always have a choice. No choice is still a choice.
I hope this helps a little. I’d be interested in hearing what you think and for you to share your stories. Over and out Mama G.
When I first started blogging here all I wanted was to write and be read. I didn’t expect to find a community of like minded writers/poets, to make friends and hold a continuing conversation about love, depression and loss. I didn’t expect to receive support and love and to ‘adopt’ some kids and be Mama G.
Above all I’m surprised that there are so many young bloggers and saddened that many have such struggles. Surely childhood and youth are the times you should be most carefree and happy before the burdens and responsibilities of adulthood weigh heavy on your shoulders.
Although the world is over-populated and we are surrounded by people a sense of overwhelming loneliness seems to pervade many posts. I wonder why we feel so isolated, why it doesn’t seem that anybody cares or sees or hears us, even though we are clearly here, larger than life. Why are most people so focused on their own narrow lives that they fail to notice anybody else and those in pain and need? Maybe they do but they rather not or they simply can’t give a damn.
In any event it is great we can write and express our highs and lows, our hopes and disillusionment and for others in the community to hear us and sometimes respond with a supportive comment. In this day and age of advanced technology, true human communication is limited and dwindling and I believe this impedes a feeling of being connected to others and the world.
What’s it like to be depressed, how does it feel? Everybody’s experience is unique but this is how it is for me. It varies. Sometimes it feels I’m in quicksand and the harder I struggle the deeper I sink and all effort is futile. Other times it is like drowning in the fierce currents of life and desperately grabbing onto any passing debris. At times it is like being at the bottom of a deep pitch black well with the lid firmly shut. Sometimes I feel nothing, absolutely nothing at all.
It is the fact that everything feels such a chore, the simplest of task like getting out of bed, having a shower seem to take such will power as if I am running the marathon. It is as if your feet are stuck with superglue and it takes monumental effort to prise one foot off and then the other, leaving you wasted.
On top of that is an overwhelming sense of futility. What is the point? Of anything? Why get up at all? The meaninglessness of life. The trials and tribulations endured, what for? Why are we here at all? Every day is exactly the same; a struggle to stave off hunger, to answer the call of nature and battle insomnia and to persuade yourself to hang in there, to stay alive because maybe just maybe it will get better.
You don’t really believe it, you can’t imagine it ever being any different. You can’t enjoy anything, not even the stuff you used to. You don’t notice the sun is shining, that the daffodils herald Spring, that life is going on outside the prison of your mind. You don’t care.
You hibernate, isolate, burrow deep into your warm cosy safe duvet, refusing to tunnel out unless absolutely necessary when your body screams food and your bladder is full. You build a formidable fortress all around with a moat that even the closest people to you cannot scale. It feels secure; nobody can disturb or ask you awkward questions forcing you to face harsh reality but neither can you reach out and it kinda feels lonely. You feel unloved. You have friends but disappear off the radar; you don’t want to be a burden, you know you are bad company, you are sick of yourself, why would anyone want to spend time with depressed you?
I used to really hate the term ‘mental illness’ and that I was a sufferer because the word implied I was a nutter, crazy, mad, insane. I resented it cos I knew I wasn’t. Now I realise it means that depression is ‘all in the mind’, that is why it is a mental illness.
I decided to make a new life in Hong Kong because I wanted to leave the scene of the crime, there were too many painful memories that I couldn’t leave behind physically and mentally. Why HK? Well it was where my life began but more importantly I associate the city with happy memories. The three years of university followed by another three in the 80’s teaching English there were the happiest, most carefree of my life. I wanted to return and recapture those happy thoughts and rediscover that optimistic, sociable, innocent me. I remember loving and being loved. Friends, colleagues, pupils, my first boyfriend liking me for who I was. I was very popular. They appreciated my sense of humour, naive enthusiasm and openness. I was young, in my early twenties, beautiful, hopeful, the world was my oyster, I could be whatever I wanted to be.
Then I hadn’t suffered years of being put down and criticised; made to feel inadequate just wrong. Not good enough, that I did not belong, however hard I tried. I had not become a doormat, lost my voice, to keep the peace, for the sake of the family. I had yet to become a martyr, sacrificing my own needs, very own identity and scrimping and making do so that my husband could indulge in his ever changing expensive hobbies and that my child was not the poor kid on the block. In the end that man whom I love for 18 years evicted me without any notice from his heart, mind and life. Just like that.
Yet I have to take responsibility. I have learnt not to keep playing the victim. I allowed it to happen, the emotional abuse, the lack of respect, the being shut out, not listened to, the feelings disregarded and mocked. I sold into the romantic myth hook line and sinker and was prepared to pay the price however high. Losing your identity, very being is too high my friends. That’s why it took me so long to get over the divorce. No longer a wife I didn’t know what I was anymore, that was my role, identity and life. That family unit of 3 was my world. We were going to grow old together. That was the plan. But as you know plans are for fools. Life is what happens when we are busy looking the other way. I think Lennon said something along those lines.
I like to think of myself as living with depression rather than suffering from; it puts a more optimistic and positive spin on the illness. And yes it is an illness like any other, a chronic one which some associate with being very serious or even terminal, no it means it is long term. No magic wand, fairy godmother to kiss it better, no amount of willing, pulling your socks up, pulling yourself together, snapping out of it is gonna do it.
I must have read all the self help books that were ever published and seen countless counsellors, courtesy of the nhs and privately when I could afford it. Psychologists and when it got really serious, as in suicidal thoughts serious, even psychiatrists galore. Weird that there are no resources to help you but once you say you would be better off dead, miraculously a whole crisis team turns up on your doorstep daily until you have seen the error of your ways. An appointment is made to see your local consultant psychiatrist. They can’t do enough. Is this to cover their arse? Not wanting to appear before the GMC or another enquiry? Lessons to be learnt? Lack of communication between the multi-agencies?
The crisis was of course the recurrence after almost reaching the magical 10 year ‘cured’ mark and the business going down the drain and the hubby having a nervous breakdown, how convenient, and there was selfish me expecting support. I was told off by ‘friends’, clearly they were his not mine, ‘Can’t you see the man is suffering?’ Excuse me who is the one with the 2.9cm grade 3 lump on the side of the total mastectomy? Grade 3 for you out there lucky enough to have escaped breast cancer is the most serious short of metasis, which means the cancer has spread, that is stage 4, which spells the end. Time to write your will, say goodbye to your family. Then they don’t talk about ‘cure’ but jargon like ‘palliative care’ is bandied about. That means they’ll make you comfortable, try to improve your quality of life, control pain but you’re going to die in the near future. Time to get your affairs in order.
I started off talking about depression and have digressed. But you know as well as I nothing is clear cut. It is all a murky messy slimy mess. Depression, cancer, divorce are all entangled in the web of my fragmented head and heart. The holy trinity of mind, body, soul and for me the three curses of my life the 2Ds and the big C.
I am convinced I am still here despite it all merely to irritate. I am good at that.
Watch this space. For further installments of broken heart, mind, body, spirit; coming to a good blog near you.
Over and out Mama G.
Gorgeous is a little melancholic today, suddening realising that this day 21 years ago she was a beautiful bride in plum silk cheung sam sitting on the love of her life’s knee to take their wedding photo. It was the best day of her life followed closely by that early morning half a year later when her beautiful baby came into this world. Her angel and shining light. She was beaming from deep within and so was he.
Alas the fairy tale didn’t last; the princess turned into a middle aged cancer survivor/divorcee living with depression and nursing a broken heart literally and emotionally. Rejection has hit her hard, to the very core of her being and she has had to dig deep, grit her teeth and go on.
stopped asking why
moved on to
everybody says move on let go
words are easy
do you get all the pain out
forget the hurt accept loss
begin a new life not mourn the old
hold onto the good memories
not permit the end to taint
wring the last drop of love dry