Archives for April, 2010
There lies within me the smallest of pilot lights. Squint and you will see it there. It never goes out. Never. Having depression does not extinguish it. Like finding your way through the basement with only a flashlight, it may make it harder to find but depression will never put it out. Depression cannot take away the people who love me. I may try my best to hide, but like a circle of old familiar oak trees, they stand firm around me. It cannot take away my senses…to smell the ocean, taste the plum, hear the birds and feel the yarn between my fingers – these rights of mine to experience life will not be lost.
I awoke with a start, my eyes snapping open to a cold, white ceiling. Like an intruder in my home, I could sense its presence. No alarm was tripped, no authorities were summoned, no warning at all but depression was back. Just like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, “Honey, I’m Home.” “You are not welcome” I cried, but it has no ears.
I always thought the best job in the whole wide world would be testing new toys. Sure, there’s the business aspect of it but it would also demand that I think like a child each day. Which for me can prove to be healthy, healthy, healthy! One difference between children and adults is that we have forgotten how to play. Kids don’t play for a return on their investment. They play because it’s fun and they like it! Remember playing outside until the street lights came on and you were required to go home? Remember drinking out of the hose? What about making forts and treasure boxes? If your world is somehow touched by mental illness, than you know all too well how serious this business of life can be. That alone makes it critical that you play. You don’t have to wait until you feel better to do it either!
Earlier in the week, I wrote about my adventure into online dating. This is Part Two. What ages will I accept? Since I’m working on upping my odds, I’ve widened the parameters. It’s now ages 19 to 100. That ought to get me a wink, a nudge or at a minimum, a slightly older Texas oil tycoon. What education level will he have? At this point in my life, a mail away certificate out of the back of a magazine will do. Maybe an Assistant Veterinary Assistant or a Shampoo Technician. Hair? Please.
She is absolutely captivated as she gazes into her man’s eyes, hanging on his every word. He blushes and describes how he knew his new love was his destiny at first Wink. They are holding hands on the beach, watching a golden sun set on yet another perfect day together. The caption at the bottom of the TV screen reads Daniel & Lori – married October 2, 2009. I think I’m going to throw up. It’s not easy being 45 and single and oh yeah, that depression/bipolar thing. I've actually done my turn at the online dating scene once before.
If I had a dollar for every time I wished I did not suffer from depression… If each of you who suffer had a dollar for every time you wished you did not struggle with the day to day trials of a mental illness. Now, if each of you would kindly give that dollar to me, I could live the rest of my life quite comfortably on some island that begins with "Saint". You know, like the Corona commercial...2 palm trees, 1 hammock, no depression. Right. It has only been the last few years that I have become aware of my bipolar diagnosis. Prior to that, I only knew I had depression much of the time and even then, that was my “normal.” That was my “how it’s supposed to be.” I am often not sure if the knowledge of bipolar has helped or hurt me because it’s one more thing in my wheelbarrow I wish wasn’t there. I wish. I wish. I wish.
In yesterday's post, I wrote about preparing to fly. This is the final entry about fun with the airlines … The Ride - Snuggled into my window seat next to the bathroom and the single mom of twins, I try to reach my purse for my iPod. However, due to the close proximity of the seat in front of me, I cannot bend over. I have to use my toes to pull it out and over and ask single mom to stop nursing for a second and reach into my purse. After a bit on the tarmac, we get the standard safety training but with a few added requirements (thank you, Mr. liquid explosive moron). There's something about the way the flight attendant looks at you now when you are seated in the exit row.
Last week, I wrote a post about what I have learned from my latest flying adventure. Today I bring you part two in my series about fun with the airlines ... Drop Off - You might as well just slow down to 8 or 10 MPH and push your beloved out the car door under the Departing Flights sign. If you slow down any more than that, you'll get in trouble by the curb police. Checking In - I check my bag online, so I save a whopping $5. After nursing my scrapes from the drop-off, I forge through the cattle line to reach the ticketing counter Kiosk where there is absolutely nobody to help me.
When it comes to travel, I've led quite a charmed existence. I've heard all the travel tales that make you want to curl up under the covers and forget holidays and vacations all together ... lost suitcases chock full of gifts, family pets who ended up in Boise when the owner traveled to Lauderdale, delays that inched up into days. I've always listened (full of gratitude that the horrors of travel fell upon them, not me) with tremendous compassion. Today, I appear to be falling off of my blissful travel throne even as I type this. You see, I'm on hold with Deltwest (name has been changed to protect the innocent). I called yesterday to which I was greeted with a warm "We don't even have a weather advisory yet ma'am. You’ll have to call back later," Thank you, friendly, helpful customer service lady.
It was 1980-something and I was working with a therapist in Houston, where I lived at the time. I vividly recall telling her that I longed for the day when I was all grieved out, all buttoned up, all better and no longer required therapy. She forgot to mention it would be a lifelong endeavor like brushing my teeth or paying my car insurance and about as much fun as taking the trash out; necessary but no one wants to do it. Therapy is just one of the ways I arm myself with knowledge. I am an ardent student and I do the self-help thing with unbridled passion.