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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Speak. Spoke. Heal.

Life is funny.

Sometimes you're fine. Sometimes it does hurt, and sometimes it gets so dark in your head you can't really convince yourself to get up. But you do. Because eventually, even with that darkness still bobbing around, you get a moment of light. Or freedom. Or whatever you want to call it, but it makes you feel, for a moment, normal. It makes you thoughtless. Thoughtless, in a good way; those dark slivers of depression worm their way into the farthest recesses of your mind, let you breathe for a moment around whatever ventilation system you found.

So you cling to that ventilation system. I would; wouldn't you? It keeps the darkness away. For a moment. You know it's still there, but it'll be okay, won't it? It'll go away. You don't have to think when you're around your Vent, whatever it is. If you don't think, you don't have to deal with it. And if you don't deal with it, you don't have to admit how dark it really is.

But what happens when that Vent disappears? Vanishes, like Vents usually do. And suddenly you're left there, hollowed out, open for all the world to see. Suffocating in your nakedness. The darkness knows. The Vent is gone. No more distractions, no more avoidance, no more breath. It's coming now. It's here. It's yelling at you: deal with me.

Deal with me.

I'm here. You can't get away from me.


I read SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson cover to cover Sunday night. I can't put into words how much I needed to read this book. I did a post a little while ago about what I had been going through, and reading over it now, it sounds nice, doesn't it? It sounds all hopeful and stuff. But it doesn't really work like that. This whole process. It never resolves itself in one instant AHA! moment. It's a lot of AHA! moments, and a lot of breakdowns, and a lot of sobbing and screaming and laughing. But the thing I need to remember through all of this, the good and the bad, the lost Vent and the emptiness that followed, is a line from SPEAK:

"A small, clean part of me waits to warm and burst through the surface. Some quiet Melindagirl I haven't seen in months. That is the seed I will care for."

I just have to keep nurturing that quiet Saragirl who keeps whispering at the back of my mind. The girl who's been there all along, through the disastrous religion, the family crises, the shattered hearts. She's been there. The "real" me. A quiet seed of a girl who continues to wait, wait and wait, until I can nurture her into a strong, daring woman. On my own. No Vents, no distractions, no denials. I have depression, and I will fight it, and I will not let myself stay this way.

Because winter really is over now. No more excuses.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

You are a brave soul. Thank you for putting yourself out there for us.

Wyman Stewart said...

"Slivers of ice cling to my shirt, slowly melting, like the dying embers of a fire in a fireplace. Winter dies like this; clinging fast to us in a last frozen, desperate attempt, to take our very souls with it, into whatever dungeon torture chamber it descends into."

One reason I like Edgar Allan Poe is he searched that darkest, scariest place; the inner sanctum of the human mind. In that place we laugh, cry, scream in pain and agony, curse one another and ourselves. Sometimes it is filled with sunshine, but too often it is filled with doubt, loathing, fear, anguish, and emotional wreckage.

Several years ago, I found myself in the dead of winter in Kentucky. Long after a blizzard had passed, I noticed the stark, lifeless trees and landscape around me. I felt like the survivor of a nuclear holocaust. Were there people left in the world? This, I realized, after many years in Florida, was Winter. Nothing more depressing to the human soul than this. Yet, I understood, normally, living in a Winter environment, we don't notice the mental toll this lifelessness has on us. Winter is a subtle torturer.

The coldest, darkest, bleakest part of Winter takes place in our mind. Winter depression, something to be aware of and learn to counter, in the battle that goes on in the recesses of the mind. Now, back to those slivers of ice clinging to my shirt.

The cup with ice I was to fill with drink, fell to the floor while sitting too close to the counter's edge. I laughed at my stupidity as two slivers of ice landed on my shirt. Had I been down, depressed, though I'm a grown man, I can see myself becoming angry, deeply depressed, and crying about what a miserable person I am that I can't even put ice into a cup without dumping it onto the floor. But I laughed.

Was this because it is now Spring in Florida? Because I am in a better mood today than I might have been? Or did your post make all the difference to my reaction? We will never know. I hope it is Spring in your mind, heart, and your landscape, both mental and physical. Edgar Allan Poe would have understood. Smile please, you will feel better when you're blue, if you smile.

Natalie Whipple said...

You'll make it, my dear. I've seen that beautiful Saragirl all along, and she's amazing. You'll find her. I wish it could be RIGHT NOW, but you're right—it's never so simple.

Anonymous said...

Natalie pretty much said what I was going to. You will find the Saragirl again. She's there.

And through those dark times, remember there are people who care about you too!

Also remember: light always pierces the darkness. And it always, always will. Even if that light is just as small as little candle, it will break the darkness.

Hayley Lovell said...

You're going to make it. You're going to find that Saragirl again, because you can, I have faith in you and your strength. And don't forget as your friends we're here for you, always.

This was a really moving powerful post Sara, I believe you can make it.

ChristaCarol Jones said...

I love you, Sara. I mean it. I know we don't know each other very well, but there it is. And you will rendezvous one day again with Saragirl, maybe during a time you least expect. inthewritemind is right...light is always there. Even in the darkest dark. It's just hiding. You're brave, brilliant, beautiful, and strong. Remember that. And know that because of you, Saragirl will become a better Saragirl.