I woke up this morning plagued by demons. You’d think that having finished the first draft of Bree#3 (yet unnamed) I’d be feeling great. But no I was feeling displaced. There are some reasons for that, but I firmly believe that life is what you make of it, and the chemistry in my head wasn’t making lemonade. I felt trapped with no way of escape.

On the way to town I plotted my entire blog post about how demons make some of us incapable of celebrating the good stuff in our lives. That no matter how many successes we have, no matter how good our lives our there is always a tiger riding our backs. Or not a tiger. A tiger is a fierce creature we could do battle with. Depression is sneaky. It doesn’t come out and say “You’re no good!” Because if it did we could tell it “You’re full of shit!” and move on. That would be tiger like and straight forward.

No, this is a whisper, a feeling, a nagging. It’s amorphous and when you try and look directly at it it slides away into a different hidy hole. It whispers, so low you can barely hear it “this discomfort will never end. That thing you really want? It will never happen. No one will help you. You don’t have time. You’re not good enough. Your family thinks you’re stupid.” But mostly, “you’re trapped. you’re trapped. you’re trapped.” Over and over again. It wears you down. It feeds the discomfort in your belly and spins your head until you can’t think straight.

That’s where I started today. But I needed to go to the post office and the bank, so I drove into town, and while I was there I thought I would check in with my hairdresser who is making a cameo in my new book. I wanted to listen to the caidence of her speech and ask her if she wanted to see the book before it was published. So I did.

And you know what? My next door neighbor, who I hardly ever see (you understand that where I live I can barely see the neighbor’s houses) was sitting in the twirly chair getting her hair cut. We had a lovely three way conversation, the two of them and I. I began to feel better. Then Denise said something about being invisible. How we are sometimes invisible to our families, or other people in our lives. That was like getting hit in the depression with a hammer. Yes. Invisible. Our needs, our wants, our health issues. Invisible.

We talked more and then it just so happened that Denise had a few minutes so she cut my hair, which is always a mood lifter for me. So I came away feeling much better. Not elated, perhaps, but connected. Understood. That small connection chased some of the demons away for me. Sent them elsewhere.

Isn’t that a wonderful thing? That friendships, connections, unexpected conversations, can rescue us. Connect us. And the connection somehow makes a difference. Makes us better. Gives us strength. Gives ME strength. It hasn’t solved my problems, or changed the basic screwed-up-ness that is both my brain and my life, but that small shared experience pulled me free of the web. If only for a moment I’m okay.

So take a minute and send some gratitude in the direction of your friendships. The shared connections. And if you don’t think you have any? Well think again. Ask someone to coffee and begin to chat. I guarantee that there are connections there if you are willing to look for them.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

KarenB July 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Yup. What you said. Plus there are people in my house ALL THE TIME SO I’M NEVER ALONE. My eye is twitching.

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Lora July 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Fantastic. Great post, very vivid and true and I FEEL THAT, TOO!

I want to seize dh by the shoulders sometimes and go CAN YOU EVEN SEE ME? DO YOU HEAR ME AT ALL?

I’m a hermit. I stay home too much. So when I actually talk to someone over the age of nine months and they answer back like i matter, I’m astounded and gleeful. I feel ya, girlie.

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Judie July 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

A good reminder to always tell those we appreciate that we do value them in our lives. Such an easy thing and yet it is so over looked.

Congrats on Bree #3 – I am soooo excited to read it!!

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Judy, Judy, Judy July 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

“No, this is a whisper, a feeling, a nagging. It’s amorphous and when you try and look directly at it it slides away into a different hidy hole. It whispers, so low you can barely hear it “this discomfort will never end. That thing you really want? It will never happen. No one will help you. You don’t have time. You’re not good enough. Your family thinks you’re stupid.” But mostly, “you’re trapped. you’re trapped. you’re trapped.” Over and over again. It wears you down. It feeds the discomfort in your belly and spins your head until you can’t think straight.”
Can I use this for the clever quote section on my blog? I usually don’t ask first but this is personal.
I cried when I read that because it so describes a feeling I battle frequently. I live somewhere that would never be my choice to live because my gkids are here.
I rarely meet anyone I can connect with. People here are typically 2 extremes: highly religious or highly addicted. Not interested in either. They are also largely republicans who vote for the likes of Myth McConnell and Rand Paul. And there is an underlying dislike for anything that suggests above normal intelligence. Truly.
I try to connect but within 5 sentences they say something that lets me know, I can never be my liberal, atheist, slightly intelligent self with them.
I’m glad that everyone is enjoying the connections on willwriteforchocolate. They are vital to me.
Thanks for moderating this month! I will be participating more than I thought because I’m starting a new novel but no way could I have maintained the community with all I have to do this month.

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Kate George July 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Of course you can use it, Judy, Judy, Judy! I’d be honored. When living in the land of the dull and dispirited gets to you, come visit me. I’m very open minded, and also a self proclaimed bleed heart liberal! I think you’d feel at home here.

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Kate George July 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Doesn’t have to be a passing acquaintance – who knows, may WWfC will outlive us all! Also, you are always welcome to email me aside from the writing. I have this theory about creativity and being plagued by the blues. Maybe it’s the mind balancing itself, but I find it very unwelcome.

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Supernatural Betty/Jen July 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Thank you for posting this. I’ve been blue myself of late — health issue (foot) plus others’ health issues (mom and mom-in-law) have led to a tidal wave of cerulean, turquoise and navy. But my best friend was here on Friday, up from LA, and just a few hours in her presence made me feel much better.

I hope you know that I treasure your virtual company on Will Write for Chocolate. I know it’s a passing acquaintance, but the fact that each of us reaches out makes me feel less alone.

Congratulations on finishing Bree #3.

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