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Despair - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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Despair [Jan. 30th, 2011|03:06 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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Sometimes, when I tell people I've been depressed since I was a kid, they look at me funny or say in a disbelieving tone, "You?"

I don't purposefully put up a cheerful front or anything. It's just this fact in my life like my hair is (mostly) brown and my eyes are (mostly) green. I don't hold it against them. I know I'm not a typical depressive, and most people don't dismiss it as nonexistent just because they haven't seen it.

But sometimes, someone tells me I SHOULD be happy, that I'm lucky to be alive or whatever stupid adage pops out of their mouth without pause for thought and I want to punch their heads right off their bodies and laugh at the gouts of blood.

Well, that's a bit violent. And not where I wanted to go with this.

But I'm tired. THIS is my reality. THIS is what most people don't see:
Sometimes, I sit down or I'm lying there or I'm doing something and for whatever reason, maybe some chemical trick, pain and sorrow and exhaustion just washes over me and it hurts so much. My heart, my body, my brain all ache from the weight of it, pressing and pushing and squeezing me down into nothing but sorrow. And in those moments, I hate that I can't give up, that I push this despair along like a boulder, that I walk through this field of deep mud, that I'm pushing and struggling always and forever, 33+ years now, and I can't stop feeling everything that pulls me down and makes me feel sad and useless. And now, old.
And I'm glad, in a way, when my logical brain kicks in and uses some trick I've learned to keep going or reminds me that everything passes or the feeling just fades because it's impossible to sustain that depth of emotion.

But it's always there, always part of everything I'm trying to do. It is the opposite of having a healthy, productive life and I don't want it, but I'm afraid that someday I'll be too tired to bounce back.

And that's the race, to make it better before I give up.

I just read an amazing book by Elizabeth Moon called The Speed of Dark that my Mom sent me and I realized that in a way it was the same for the main character. He felt he needed to change the way the world perceived him as "wrong" before it was too late to pursue dreams he felt he could reach only if he were "normal." It is too late for me to pursue any number of dreams; but if I don't achieve some level of normal, or at least non-pain, soon then I won't have much time left to do the things I want to do... things I can't do right now, because they require the physical space, bodily energy, and/or organizational abilities I don't have.

And that is also why I want to punch the heads off people who yell "Just DO it!" in my face. Easy for you to say.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cevad
2011-01-30 09:47 am (UTC)
Hugs. Hope you feel better soon.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:45 am (UTC)
Thanks, Dave.
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[User Picture]From: lillibet
2011-01-30 02:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for continuing to struggle. I don't see you often enough--yeah, we've both got lives, it's no biggie--but my life would be poorer without you. You manage to make even your struggle with depression innovative and interesting and I look forward to the things you will do as you continue to pulverize the boulder of depression that you bear.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:46 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for the kind & encouraging words! They mean a lot.
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[User Picture]From: gilana
2011-01-30 03:06 pm (UTC)
I just want to say how much I respect you for continuing to fight. I hope you find a way to win, or at least get ahead enough that you can breathe easily every now and again.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:46 am (UTC)
I appreciate the regard & good wishes. Thank you.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:46 am (UTC)
Heh. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: muffyjo
2011-01-31 03:27 am (UTC)
You matter in my world. I do hear that it's a struggle, I do. And I am so glad you keep fighting it. My world is richer for the laughter and adventures we have shared, the conversations we've had and the comfort of knowing you're there when I need a friend. You're one of the few people I wouldn't feel embarrassed crying in front of and have such a talent for making people feel safe in general. I really do respect you for our struggle in the world and how you keep slugging at it. I am glad that each day, you still find reasons to stay. And the day you don't...call me. I have some spare ones saved up for ya.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:47 am (UTC)
You're a marvelous friend, lady, and I thank you for the gift of your friendship.
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[User Picture]From: drwex
2011-01-31 06:37 pm (UTC)

Thanks for posting

And for not punching my head off. I've felt that feeling you describe, fortunately only for short parts of my life.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:48 am (UTC)

Re: Thanks for posting

You're welcome.

And thank you for not only sympathizing here, but for all the times you've left a pebble.
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[User Picture]From: liralen
2011-01-31 08:53 pm (UTC)
*hugs you gently*

Glad of you, and glad you fight, and always wondering, hoping there's something I can do to help. Thanks for showing what it's like.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:49 am (UTC)
Thank you darlin.

*hugs you back*

I wish I knew the answer to "can I help?"

I think paying attention with love and understanding is the only good answer I have right now. And thank you for doing so.
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[User Picture]From: wonderreader
2011-02-01 03:21 am (UTC)

despair

It is never easy - but yes it will pass - hold tightly to that - and you are incredibly improving - all progress is not forward
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-01 08:50 am (UTC)

Re: despair

I wish I felt like I was improving.

But thank you.
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