Depression. Sometimes we struggle with it. And it is always a struggle. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you’re dealing with it, it’s a struggle. For some of us it’s a severe condition, for some of us it’s seasonal, for some of us it gets worse depending on the climate of our new homes, the list of circumstantial pieces goes on and on. Here is a little something that the Bestie recently sent to me from The Twelve-Step Program for Life.
“1. There will be some days when you close your eyes while crossing the street, maybe because you want to see what fate has in store for you, or maybe because your depression is running rampant again and you don’t know how to calm her. It’s okay. I will still love you.
2. There will be a year, or a series of years when your birthday doesn’t feel special. Celebrate anyway. Because people spent time baking you a cake and buying you cards and even if they’re your family and they’re obligated to, they still love you. Cherish that love. Revel in it. It is the best gift you will ever receive.
3. You will learn that the saddest word in the English language is stay. Whether it’s your mother’s voice whispering it before you leave for college, or your ex-lover’s desperate screams as you walk out of the house, it will always be a hard word to hear. Sometimes you should listen to it, other times you shouldn’t. Trust yourself. Go with your gut.
4. Along with hearing the word stay, you will also hear the word why from every person who is remotely related to you. Why did you get that tattoo? Why did you try to kill yourself? Why aren’t you married yet? You don’t have to answer them. Be selfish. Keep somethings to yourself.
5. Some nights you won’t be able to sleep. You will lie awake at 2 am and contemplate existentialism and wonder if the French had a point. Get up. Get out of your bed. Do something. Because even if there is no God, what you do matters, who you are matters. You matter to me.
6. Some days you will want to run away and never return. So go. Drive to a small town in the Northwest, maybe Oregon, and settle down there for a while. Tell people your name is Elizabeth, because you loved Jane Austen as a child and because this a town full of strangers and who’s to know the difference? Don’t be selfish. Call your mother each night and remind her that you love her. Come back home when you find yourself seeing your sadness painted in the shadows, and when you feel more at home in the arms of a stranger than on your own.
7. There will be several nights when you lose yourself in the medicine cabinet, because liquor and morphine seem like a faster cure than time. It’s okay. I will still love you in the morning.
8. One day, in the midst of work, you will learn to forgive. It will start out with a simple reminder of the past, maybe a facebook notification from an old schoolmate or a wedding announcement from an ex-lover. In that moment you will learn that yearning for the past isn’t romantic, it’s stupid, and that if Gatsby had just let go of the green light he would’ve lived. So forgive your past, it didn’t know any better, and move on.
9. Leaving home will hurt, but soon you will learn that home isn’t a place but a feeling, and that there is a compass on your heart that points directly to that feeling. Follow that compass. Don’t get sidetracked by boys who don’t care or alcohol that doesn’t forgive. If you follow that compass, no matter how lost you get, you will always have a home.
10. The hardest lesson you will ever learn will be to love yourself. But you can do it. There will always be days when you hate yourself, days when you wish you had never been born. But darling you are beautiful, and if Shakespeare had met you you would’ve inspired his 18th sonnet, and if Monet had known you he would’ve given up painting water lilies and chosen to paint you instead. I know it’s hard to love yourself, but sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish with your love.
11. When you begin to feel worthless, remember that the stars died for you. You are made of elements that are thousands of years old, elements that make up every atom of your being. When you want to cut your wrists, remember that the souls of stars live in your veins. Don’t kill them. Don’t be selfish.
12. Some days will be beautiful. Live for those days. Live for the days when the sun shines on your soul and the smile on your face isn’t forced. Live for the days when you don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks because your scars are a part of your story and you don’t need someone else’s approval to wear them with pride.
Live for the life you always wanted but were too scared to pursue.
Live for you. Live for me. Live for every person who has ever loved you, for the people who have come before you so that you may be here today.
Live for the fire that burns in your soul, that tells you: keep going, you’re almost there, just a little farther. Because when Rome burned down the emperor didn’t run away, he stayed and he sang for his people. Stay. Sing for your people. Sing for us. Are you listening? Because this is your life, singing a siren song to capture your attention and steer away from the rocks, to guide you back home.”
-The Twelve-Step Program for Life, by M.K.
For more helpful everyday tips, here are some notes from a DIY blog I follow of a woman who deals with severe depression. She is great and I love her sharp, sometimes dry, wit. 🙂
The title of this post makes it sound so much more glum than things really are. I really am doing quite ok. I’ve had the opportunity to have short conversations with Bestie and last night I spent two hours on FaceTime with Big Sis. I haven’t had much of a chance to talk to The Nerd(aka Little Sis), but I know she’s busy experiencing college and spending time with her boyfriend. I do miss her, though. Also Little Man. He’s gotten so busy with boy scouts and soccer and choir and band and theatre, and the list goes on, that he’s never home when I call. I try not to feel sad about that, though, because I’m so proud of him. He’s growing into such an amazingly talented and SMART, geeze is he smart, young man. Sometimes I can’t believe he’s only 12.
Anyway, I didn’t really mean to blab on and on about my family, but they’re just so amazing. I came here to fill you in on what’s been happening in my life!
Well, first of all, I was in a car accident a week and a half ago. I’m ok. The car is going to be ok. The other driver is ok. It was a pretty wretched way to come back from my short visit to MO, but it could have been so much worse. Today was my first day back to work at PPL and I definitely feel the soreness and stiffness, but it was good to be back. I do a surprising amount of thinking while I’m at the library. The kind of thinking I used to do when I shelved at Smiley or when I would spend hours a week driving back and forth from Grandview in high school.
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I’ve felt the weight of the world. All the sadness and pain I see in the news and in the people I interact with. I don’t know, it’s like my undergrad experience and my experiences working in ministry have taught me to be aware of what others are facing and dealing with and I feel so convicted to do SOMETHING that it’s becoming a problem. I love school and I believe in an educated ministry, but it’s so hard to do seminary when I’m wading through the issues of the world. I can’t sleep at night, my social skills are suffering, I don’t have an appetite, I can’t focus in class…
Again, this makes it sounds so much worse than the situation is. I’m still going to class everyday and doing my homework and doing fairly well, I think, I’m just distracted. And I need to figure out a way to refocus very soon, otherwise it will be a problem.
I’ve also been fighting some of my own demons, but if ministry has taught me anything it’s that our demons never really go away. I just have to trust in the God who loves me to help me make it through. And also take proactive measures against myself. It’s really easy to get trapped in my own head space, especially when I’m so far away from the people who can get me out of it.
Hot tea helps. 🙂 I think hot tea might be able to solve the world’s problems. Maybe not hunger. I’m still working on that one.
…Is to keep me in your thoughts and prayers, dear readers.
My mission, which I don’t have much of a choice but to accept, as laid out by my wonderful Bestie is this:
Each morning when I wake up, I must look in the mirror and say one thing I am excited about for the day. I must also decide on one thing I want to accomplish that day.
Today I was excited about going to work in the Library. I love my Library job, both because it’s a great job and because I love the people I work with.
Today’s task to accomplish is the writing of my rough draft for my cultural evaluation. I already have two pages done.
I am going to add this to my mission: At the end of each day, I am going to write down three things that went well that day.
It’s not the end of the day yet, but my three things are the two pages on my rough draft, my voice lesson(I successfully and repeatedly hit the high A in Little elegy), and my character analysis sheets for my voice lesson pieces(DJ said not only did I hit the nail on the head, but that I was the most creative and most detailed, and that he’d like to use them as references for how to do the worksheets for future students!).
Really, as you might be able to tell, so far my voice lesson was the high light of my day. This is rare and I’m glad it happened on today of all days. 🙂
A big shout out to my Bestie for all the advice and kind words she shared with me last night in the midst of my meltdown.
A few weeks ago she updated her facebook and I sent her a text message that said this, “Sometimes I think you’re silently communicating with me via your status update.” To which she replied, “That’s because I usually am.” Last night her status had this to say, “I will say it again, and as many times as I need to until you actually believe it: if you are feeling something it is a legitimate emotion and no one can tell you otherwise. You are the only one that feels it just like it is in your heart. I will never underestimate that. I love you forever and always.”
L.A. has also been really good to me lately. Not that he isn’t always wonderful, but lately he’ll just text me out of the blue. He tries to play it off as if he needs my advice, but I’m fairly certain it’s just because he knows I need someone to talk to. He’s been sending me memes from him collection and they really make me laugh.
I have the two best friends in the entire world. And they just love me through all my crap.
I think I can now begin moving forward through the crap and begin to at least figure out why I feel like my life is falling apart around me. I will pull my sh*t together. I will get good grades. I will graduate on time. And I will keep both of my majors. Until a time when I, and no one else, decides otherwise.
I can do this.
The Nerdmate and I are fighting. Or, we had a fight and now there’s this weird not speaking to each other dance happening. I don’t like it. There’s a lot of internal struggling happening on both sides.
I’m probably not the kind of girl that comes off as the cut and run type, but I totally am. Commitment scares me. Rejection scares me. Getting attached and having my heart trampled on terrifies me. When the seas get rough, I take my boat in. My walls go up and I do whatever it takes to keep myself safe. That usually means a I cut and run. I take off. I leave. Not physically, but emotionally. That’s how all of my relationships have ended.
And then I do something rash and compulsive, usually to my hair. After every break-up or nasty fight, I’ve dyed and/or cut my hair. After the catastrophe of a fight with the WhiteKnight, I almost went out and got a tattoo or a piercing, some kind of body mod. I didn’t, just in case you were curious. But that was when I stripped the red from my hair, because red was HIS color. Brown was the PensylvanianLover’s color, etc.
This time it’s different. I can’t cut and run. This is the first time that I’ve gone to the same school as the guy I was with, yet alone lived in the same town. And this isn’t just the same town, The Nerdmate lives in the dorm directly above mine. Everytime he moves, everytime he has someone over, I can hear him. So even if I WAS going to run, I couldn’t. Also, I have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that if I walk away, I’m walking away from the man that could be my soul mate.
How do you know if someone if your soul mate? How do you know if this is the person you were made for? I don’t know. And that scares me. And it ticks me off. I’ve worked past the tears. I won’t shed tears ’til I know it’s over. I can’t. But I. Am. Mad. We are supposed to be a team. We are supposed to be there for each other. We cannot aford to shut down the lines of communication if we’re going to make it through this. I love him and I know he loves me, but I don’t see that he wants to be with me. And I’m not going to waste my time following him around until he makes his decision. I’ve been there and I will never go back.
He needs space, so I’m giving him space. Honeslty, I need some space of my own. He’s going to make whatever decision he’s going to make without my influence and anyone who knows him knows that’s true. That’s how he works. So what am I doing to keep myself busy? Everything I can. I had girl time with The Roommate and Rose. It was really helpful. The Roommate and I are driving down to MMEA to watch the band perform! Yay! It’s a huge honor. And then we’ll participate in the StepSings of Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha. And tomorrow night I’m having a movie/game night with my New Best Friend. Don’t worry, Bestie, you’re still my Bestie. 🙂 My New Best Friend and I have just needed each other to talk things out, our friendship is growing everyday.
I will be ok. I will survive and I hope that I come out on the other side with the Nerdmate by my side once more.
*A major motion picture, also the soundtrack I’m listening to currently
Grandma Mary died this afternoon. Those of you that have been with me since the beginning of this blog know that I’ve already been through the loss of one Grandma Mary, now I’ve lost the other. This grandma was the grandmother of The Bestie, mother of Mom M(also referred to as The Cool Mom). For most people, I think, such a loss would not be as shattering, but if you think that’s the way of it for me in this situation, then you obviously don’t understand my relationship to The Bestie and her family.
I’ve talked before about how The Bestie’s family, from a very young age, has adopted me as one of their own. A good portion of her extended family has done the same. The Bestie is an only child. Mom M is an only child. So when Sarah and I became such foundational parts of the other’s life, it wasn’t a huge deal to include me in a few of the family get togethers. It helps that our birthdays are so close togetherI invited Grandma Mary and Papa Jim to my graduation. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to their house after a carnival or fair of some kind. I’ve been to family barbecues for Memorial Days and Labor Days. The loss hits me almost like it hits The Bestie.
The hardest part for me is that I’m not there. I’m in the midst of finals and have to stay here until the end. I won’t be able to really mourn until Thursday. Worse, I won’t be there to hold my best friend in what is going to be one of the hardest times of her life thus far, I won’t be there to be a daughter and a comfort for one of the most influential people in my life.
Mom M has been there for me through so much it’s unfathomable and it kills me that I won’t be there for her. I know she wouldn’t want me to be upset about that of all things right now, but I am. I wish there was a way to skip out of finals. I want nothing more than to be at their house with them. To be anywhere with them.
“If home is where the heart is, I’ve never been more home-sick than now.”
*A wonderful phrase I learned today in The English Novel, a class I’m taking.
This is long overdue, but I’d like to dedicate this status to my best friend, L.A.
For those of you who are new to A Day In The Life, my two best friends in the whole wide world are The Bestie and L.A.
The Bestie has been my best friend, literally, since before I can remember. I think our story would have turned out quite differently if I hadn’t marched up to her mother and asked, “Mrs.—–‘s Mom, can she come to my house tonight for Girl Scouts?” 5 yr old me was way braver than 20 yr old me.The Bestie and I have a very unique friendship. I like to believe that we’re 100% honest with each other, although I know that we each have our secrets and that sometimes we hold back information to protect the other. We are pretty opposite in most things, but we respect each other on a level that I’ve encountered with very few others. We’re also very similar(we’re talking identical twins similar here) in other aspects. We can go weeks without talking to each other(though that rarely happens) and pick up the phone and leave off where we left off. It’s pretty rad.
L.A. and I are a little more complicated. He moved to The Hill our Freshman year of high school. I had only been in the public schools there for about a year when I met him. Our first contact with one another(that I can recall) was when he instant messaged me on AIM(way back in the day) using my friend Flag Girl’s phone. He was apparently the new kid that had just moved into her neighborhood. We talked this way for quite a while before I actually figured out what face went with his screen-name. It turns out that he was that goofy kid sitting at the end of our lunch table that I didn’t know. Lol. I can’t really pin-point the moment we became good friends, let alone best friends. We slowly, over the course of a few years, became fairly inseparable.
We had our rough patches, but when he left for boot camp, I was pretty broken-hearted. I was pretty sure that was the last time I was going to see him. Luckily, his mom is a really wonderful lady. We came into contact with one another via Facebook and she kept me updated on how he was doing. Then he was out of boot camp and I slowly received more and more phone calls and texts. And then he left the military. And he moved to L.A. to be with his mom. And he needed a friend that could be a constant while he went through a great many changes. And somewhere along the line we realized that no matter how different we were and how many things were out of the ordinary about us being friends, there were few others we could talk to about our particular brands of broken.
I’ve never loved him more than I did the night he let me cry as I explained that I was severely depressed and had lost sight of why I kept going. He talked me through a lot of things that night and he told me things he had hidden in high school, things that we now found common ground in. He’s been a great support system for me, especially in the last year.
The last few weeks I’ve felt really broken again. I haven’t been taking care of myself and I’d been off of my medicine. I resented the possibility that I may need to take them the rest of my life in order to not make myself and the people around me miserable. He reminded me that there are people that love me and want what’s best for me and he listened, once again, as I got angry at the world and at myself. Then he told me to get my head on straight and start doing what I needed to do.
Thanks, L.A. I love you. And I’m always here to return the favor. 😉
Haha! I’m just kidding! I love my big sister very much! She’s just a little impatient to see a post regarding this past weekend. Yes, it WAS Easter, but I think the reason she is so anxious about this particular post is that The Nerdmate came home with me to meet the family!
We had loads of fun. Thursday night we watched The King’s Speech with Mom, LittleSis, and BabyBro. It’s a really phenomenal movie, I highly recommend seeing it if you already haven’t. Then The Nerdmate kicked my bum at Stratego. I say it was pure luck due to the fact that it’s been ages since I played last.
Friday we went to Powell Gardens for Earth Day. It’s a lovely little place with huge gardens and lovely walking trails. Unfortunately, it was a rather dreary day. I will definitely have to take The Nerdmate back when it’s nice outside. That evening we went to church for The Sonlight Players drama Moments In Time. It was fantastic as usual, boys! Basically, they dramatize the Last Supper, The Betrayal, The Garden, and even Jesus’ Death. They’ve been doing this for years now and it just keeps growing. I’m so proud of them.
After that we headed over to BigSis’ house. The Nerdmate really got along well with BigSis and BrownMan, but I knew that would happen. BrownMan thinks The Nerdmate is too quite for me, but I think they just need to spend more time together. We stayed up late watching Top Gear, which The Nerdmate had never seen bever. I don’t think he previously took me seriously about how much BrownMan loves cars. He’ll learn.
Saturday we drove around the city and BigSis and BrownMan took us to this really fantastic mexican restaurant in KC called Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria. The Nerdmate said it was the best burrito of his life! Haha! He’s so cute. He was a little in awe of the city. He had never been in a city before, nothing bigger than CoMo that is. CoMo isn’t hardly a city at all, just a big town.
Next we met back up with my parents. They were still working on trading off the van, so when they were done me managed to squeeze The Nerdmate, myself, LittleSis, BabyBro, Mom, and Dad into Mom’s new cute little Kia. Yeah, it maybe cute, but it was definitely not made to fit six people! Haha! It was an adventure. I’m pretty sure The Nerdmate is beginning to comprehend how crazy the Kelly Family is. God help him if he ever makes it to a REAL family holiday. We spent the rest of the evening playing board games. I think The Nerdmate is also discovering how much our family loves board games. He seems to like them too.
Sunday we went to church and it was fun. The Nerdmate met the Bestie and Peanut, he met FellowNerd, and many other people that have been important to me over the years. It was really nice to have him there with me seeing how my life away from school is. Both of us felt like we grew a lot closer to one another over the course of last weekend.
We’re both worried about this summer. He’s never been in a relationship “that was this good or lasted this long.” It makes me nervous, because he doesn’t have any idea how this works. It also makes me nervous, because distance was the breakdown in my last two relationships. I didn’t feel for either of them the way I feel for The Nerdmate, but I did love them. Still, the farther you are the from someone, the less you have to work at it. That person isn’t constantly there to remind you of the things you like about them. You can chose to not pick up the phone and have those difficult conversations. You don’t have to worry about them getting upset because you didn’t respond to a text, because the other person won’t be there to confront you about it. Unless you actively work at a long distance relationship… it will fall apart. I don’t want this to fall apart…
I hope it turns out ok, especially after last weekend.