The truth is, there’s been so much going on that I don’t know where to begin. I should be happy, but instead it seems I can’t seem to stop crying. And yet, I can’t talk about it because the bad things aren’t happening to me, they’re happening to everyone around me. So I’ve been immune to the bad luck. But I feel so crazy inside.
I miss people. Maybe that’s why I’ve been having schoolgirl crushes and obsessed with Sookie Stackhouse. I feel like I keep running away, running away from me. I’m afraid to look at myself.
I am not a woman of action. I am too cautious by half. A lot of the time I am downright lazy. I get stuff done that I need to, but I’m never proactive. I feel overwhelmed by all the things that I should be but am not.
I have had a thought. When I was depressed, it seemed unconquerable. It seemed like it would go on forever, and it did–for about 10 years. But slowly, very slowly, things began to change in my life. It took me a long term to learn how to be happy in my head and in my face.
And then it seemed like I took a break. I had spent so much of life depressed and fighting my feelings, when the last crisis passed and I thought, “What a beautiful day, I have no desire to kill myself,” it seemed like a whole new world. It was a whole new world, and I relaxed.
And now it has been 10 years since I last wanted to die. I am like most other normal 30+ year olds. I have a daily, weekly, and monthly list of duties that never goes away. I have settled into domesticated life. I have fallen into the trap of consumerism, working for a better life that apparently means a nice house, nice cars, nice clothes, nice stuff! Once these things did not particularly interest me.
I see my friends, most of which are exactly where I am, paying the mortgage, paying the day care, going about life like this is all there is. And then something happens to briefly wake you up from the fugue. People die, for no reason. A college friend, my husband’s father, my girlfriend’s unborn children. And you wake up one morning with the predawn gray filtering through the blinds, and think, “One day, I will be lying here and I will feel my life slipping away. One day it will be my turn. Will I be okay? Or will I fight it, saying, ‘I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die!’ Will I face it with dignity or childish fear?”
And other things all start to happen with no pattern. An aunt has breast cancer. A friend’s beloved pet has to be put down. The roof is leaking and has to be replaced, requiring a loan. A promotion comes through. A move to another building. And meanwhile the stupid piddly stuff continues. Permission slips need to be returned. And there’s a stupid fundraiser for daycare. And a check bounced. And what’s for dinner? And where’s the paperwork for this? And on and on and on, it never ends!
So did I think that when I no longer thought about suicide on a daily or weekly or yearly basis, that it would all be okay? Did I think that being free of that would be enough? Sometimes I seem like a mass of petty failures—I didn’t bathe my child last night. We ate popcorn for dinner. The mail keeps coming in and I have nowhere to put it. The shredder broke, and paranoid about identity theft I keep holding onto old papers, waiting for a new one. I need to get rid of a bunch of clothes that don’t fit, yet I keep wanting to buy new clothes. I keep needing to write cards, thank yous, sympathy, how’re you doing? I haven’t written in my blog. I haven’t written email. I haven’t heard from so-and-so in so long. . . after that last fight I feel like we may never truly be friends again.
Where is the balance? I suppose if I was really deep I could just go through life in a sweatshirt and jeans, since hey, we’re all going to die anyway. But in the span of this life, I do want the better things for Rowan and myself. I don’t want to be in a position where I need to take out a loan in order to do the roof. Is that so bad?
So yes, this is the kind of conversation that goes on in my head.