Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “depression”

Scribbles going about things

I’m writing this in a small notebook I keep in my bag, in the queue in the supermarket as we inch forward towards the checkouts. People are still unused to bagging their own groceries after three months. My knee is burning, and I’m glad I decided against trying the frozen yoghurt.
Only one person per family allowed in at a time; no elderly, no pregnant women, no kids. I quite like the absence of screaming kids running around and chasing each other, and no wailing babies.

As I added the things we need to the trolley, I am forever reminded of dad, and blink the tears away. It is scant comfort that he is – in this moment – safe and gets his groceries delivered. I miss him so much, and this year there’ll be no flying around the world to visit.

Like countless times before I glance around, hoping against hope to see someone, bump into a dear or at least familiar-in-a-good-way face, or make a new acquaintance. In 13 years that’s never happened but I keep hoping. Followed by a split-second daydream that a friend has come over to surprise me against all odds. Silly me. And this year, right now, with C19, the odds have dropped into negative figures.

There is a feeling of hopelessness that just refuses to shift, so I feel it and breathe deeply behind my face mask, and try not to cry. Not that anyone can see me behind the steamed up glasses.
I feel it in all supermarkets, have done for years. Right now the fear that spiked before xmas and again with C19 has dropped somewhat but it’s still there.
Then I wonder if that desperation and hopelessness I’m feeling is me or this place. If it is my vibrational discord or an undercurrent outside of me.
I’ve felt it for years, and the best I can describe it is imagine continuously throwing a basket ball and only ever hitting the hoop. Never ever getting one in.
It’s a good metaphor for my life, and I wonder what tethers me to this world at all, I feel so lost and lonely in it.

The endless regeton pumped out through various speakers, seemingly to indoctrinate people – as if they needed to be reminded – that life is all about sex. That misogyny is alive and well in this ugly city. Reminding me that I will never fit in.

I berate myself for being seemingly unable to keep my focus on something positive; here and now. That there is food available even if the prices have escalated, and I have enough to feed and keep us.

But I come back to what feels like a wasted life. Mine.
Like people through the ages, I just keep pushing, hoping to push through, and find that break that will make it worth while. Push on, because I don’t know what else to do.

I wonder if it is me, some underlying undiagnosed PTSD or what, that my life seems so not worth living. Like wtf is wrong with me? Besides depression, chronic pain, no local friends, no work, and the general state of the world I mean. I’ve lived with that for years, it’s nothing new. Don’t bother others. No one wants to hear about it. Your problems are petty and you need to snap out of it.

It feels like an eternity when I finally reach the check-out, but when I look at my watch walking towards the exit it’s been about 45 minutes.

On towards the electricity board where the queue snakes out the door and around the corner of the concrete and glass building. Another long goosestep wait to pay the bill at the automates, as usual only half are working. The bill is a 100pesos less than the last one – grateful for small mercies.
I think I can hear a kitten meowing, but I can’t see one. I guess that’s…what…lucky? For what can I do? I can get some catfood from the car and feed it, if it is old enough to eat solids, but it will only prolong the inevitable for an other day. Life as a stray is hash and often short. I wonder why they choose to incarnate into circumstances like that, and what kind of existence would be worse? I don’t go there. It breaks my heart. I want to feed and find shelter for every stray in the whole f’kin world.


In the car going home, stopping to get water.
I wonder if it is I who haven’t got what it takes; enough sticking power or stamina for this world.

It used to be us, a tiny unit of togetherness, metaphorically back to back in the world. Not so any more.
Neither of us are made for this world, and by the look of things
we may not make it to some new one either.
It’s closing in on us. Breaking us apart. It doesn’t feel like any “us” these days. We’re just trying to survive, but no clear motivation why. And I don’t know what to do.

Catharsis

I haven’t posted anything on this blog in what feels like forever. Occasionally I have ideas; after all I’m a writer and that’s what I do. Or I do write something, but by the time I get around to typing it up, I have sort of moved on….?

I have however written quite a lot. I intend to look through it and see if anything still feels relevant enough to share. This is from today, sparked by a video-clip someone shared.

Catharsis

I should be happy
and all the other shoulds in life
is what’s actually ruining lives
The constant pressure to ‘be happy’
or at least put on a happy face
to be acceptable.
We could learn from our ancestors
their stern faces in early photographs
there is nothing wrong with not putting a happy sticker on.

It comes with immense pressure
and invisible fingers pointing out
not happy.
Not being happy
suggests
no implies
you’ve failed
as a person
and at life.
Denying what we feel is perpetuating it
allowing to feel can be the first step towards
feeling better.
When it comes to depression
‘fake it till you make it’
really is the worst piece of ‘advice’ and
one of the cliches I hate indiscriminately
with a passion that’s completely disproportionate tells me
it’s the worst thing I could do to a best friend
-and thereby also to myself.
We were given a range of emotions
all as valid as the others.
The stigma surrounding depression and other related states of being
prevents us from being able to be open about it
perpetuates it
prevents us from seeking and receiving help.
Nobody wants
that label,
and yet it is part of who we are
every last one of us.
Sometimes it takes chemicals to redress the balance
Other times all it takes is to be heard
really listened to.
Think about that all you habitual chatters
who can’t get enough of hearing your own babbling voices.
When was the last time you said
no really, how are you? and meant it.
Allowed the other person to reply with something aside from
Fine thanks.
But don’t push.
They may not want to.
They may not want to be seen as
a undesirable state however temporary.
They may not want you to know
or want any unsolicited advice,
or allow them selves to be that vulnerable
fearing comebacks
in a world so inclined to judge
anyone who isn’t happy
a write-off
a failure.
May be judging themselves
just like I judge me.
I should be happy
I should be grateful
I have no reason to -fill in the blank
Hot on the heels of should is guilt
I’m not grateful enough
I’m a bad ungrateful person
I’m not enough.
I haven’t tried hard enough
because if I had
I’d have got this
done that
been
happy
successful
and I’m not so I clearly have not
must try harder.
And like a punctured balloon
or every spoon
drains out of my being
faster than physics would say is possible
but it is
because it’s letting me know
I’m on the wrong track.
Not that I know what do do with it
in that moment
or the next one
or the next day
the next week
month…
The feeling of letting myself down
judging myself by the lack of outward signs of success
is my hamster wheel.
I know what I want and
I haven’t got a f-kin clue how to get there from here.
I refuse to accept maybe I never will
refuse to lower my standards for myself
setting myself up for more failure
Not allowing myself to recharge and regroup
sufficiently fortified with rest and care
because I’m not worth that
because I have not tried hard enough…
No rest for the one who has nothing to show for it
who has not accomplished enough
for their own liking.
I know what I want damn it
or not.
And I plain refuse to kill myself trying to prove just one thing.

To give up my entire existence for one goal
when I want realize so many more.
Even I recognize the madness in that.
Still I refuse to give up trying
because then I’d be lazy too
another unforgivable trait in my programming.

Sorry for taking your time
I have to go now
and pursue that holy grail once more
the one of joy and happiness.
It’s what I say
when I don’t want you to see how much I am really hurting
being a failure in my own eyes
longing
for what I thought was a given
craving
what I clearly can’t have.
Not in this life, buddy.
Get over it.
Take one for the team, loser.
Who the hell would want you as a friend?
Freak.

But I really am sorry for wasting your time.
I love you.
Remember that.
If you remember nothing else

remember that.

And never tell anyone to ‘smile!”
or ‘fake it till you make it’.
Or I will make it a point to haunt you when I’m gone.
You will not like it.

Torn Away

I’ve just spent weeks, months even, with all these people; friends, family. We’ve been working, laughing, playing together. Now – they’re all gone. In less than a minute. I don’t even know if I’ll ever see them again in this lifetime. That we will meet again, in another time and place, is not much comfort right now.

It is as if they have fallen off the face of the planet, or been swallowed up by an earthquake. Now it’s just me again. And I have to learn to live with that fast, get on with it.

I feel disoriented, bereft, torn away.

 

When I open my mouth to try to tell my husband what I’m feeling – I burst into tears.

As I cry – the memories of this whole life existence fades. All in one night. All that “really” happened was that I woke up, to the noise of the gas-truck blaring, not any natural disaster.

My body feels heavy with grief, still.

 

Later it made me think of a particular episode of Startrek Next Generation, the one where Captain Picard awakes to find himself living in a small village where he is a well-known member of the community who is suffering from a delusion of being a starship captain. Thus stranded, thirty years lived, all in 20-25 minutes according to Riker.

I feel like this a lot of the time, as if my memories of my “real” life away from this planet are just out of reach most of the time, but very certain that living as a human on this planet, at this time, on this planet, is some kind of interlude. Unlike Picard, who retains his memories clearly from his life on-board the Enterprise, mine are a lot more hazy.

 

Still the feeling of looking for my life in this existence, for meaning. Knowing without the shadow of a doubt that the basics of existence will never satisfy me. That is like only having one book to read after living in a library; never travel – even curtsey of discovery or history channels; just grow your own vegetable garden and never again set foot in an exotic restaurant; never leave your village or town ever again; same people, same conversations, same gossip, day in, day out. That just is not me.

I don’t know how to squeeze myself into such a small life when I know there is so much more out there.

 

A bit like Rose Tyler trying to describe what can not be put into words in this short clip from Dr Who:

 

Startrek; The next generation:  Series 5, Episode 25,  The Inner Light.

Not long after the Enterprise approaches an unknown buoy or satellite, Captain Picard falls unconscious on the bridge. He awakens in a village where he is married but also something of a village eccentric who thinks he is a spaceship captain by the name of Picard. His wife Eline tries to soothe him and his good friend Batai does not judge him. He lives a full life, has children and grows old. The planet he is on is dying however, suffering from a long and seemingly permanent drought. On board the Enterprise, the crew does its best to revive their unconscious captain but to no avail.

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