I used part of a previous post to write this for the writing group. It wasn’t exactly on topic, but since we are writing a memoir of our lives I felt that this was appropriate. I ran it past Carm before I read it to the group, but even with his go-ahead it was a bit tough to read. Thankfully the group is very supportive.
A shroud of indifference has lain heavily across my shoulders for the last few weeks. The other day the veil clouding my eyes shifted just enough to reveal tulips in bloom, trees fully leafed, dandelions scattered like suns across the green galaxy, and the apple tree buds emerging from their woolly cloak. I didn't really care. I wanted to, but couldn't. Like a marionette I said all the right things about the miracle of spring, but like that marionette they were just words.
There are two pairs of swallows nesting in the barn. They seem to know one another as they are often together doing their aerial manoeuvres in the sky. Four turkey vultures are hanging around as well - we've seen them on the barn and fence posts, as well as circling lazily in the sky. Robins? They are everywhere. Red-winged blackbirds? Everywhere as well. The Orioles knock themselves against our reflective windows, trying to scare away the mirrored intruder. All these winged creatures welcome the morning with a joyous chorus that lasts through the day. Do they really feel joyous? Or do they feel ordinary or blah and singing is just something they do? An empty laugh to deceive.
People around me hear my morning song, but don't recognize that it is forced. They may not notice that my smile is shallow and my eyes flat. My laugh seems hollow to me, but maybe not to others. I am quiet because words have left me and my mind is dull. I desperately want to be back to normal, to escape the numbness, but even that desire mires me more firmly into the fog. I am a failure.
I can't seem to write lately. My mind is blank. Not a blank canvas waiting to be written upon, that suggests the possibility of something great. It's just blank.
I feel like I am the tinman from the Wizard of Oz and have been left out in the rain to rust. Movement is difficult. It's a bit like walking through water up to your neck, except it isn't as fluid and is more jerky and stiff. I don't stop though, no matter how much I'd rather go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head - stopping is not an option. If I stop I may not start again. A diatribe of negative thoughts has taken up residence in my head. Fat, ugly, stupid, can't, (yes, lots of can'ts) try to anchor themselves in my brain. I have a constant conversation with myself trying to disaffirm the accusations. You'd think it would get easier as the days go by - so much practice - but I feel like I am slowly losing the battle.
Ashamed at my inability to master my emotions, I let my doctor know that I need help. Her kind words remind me that I am not a failure for needing medication and ups my dose. Like a drowning swimmer I grab onto the lifesaver and don't let go.
I keep reminding myself that if I persevere, keep trying, and not give up, I'll get into the sunshine again, just like I have every other time this dreary mood anchors me into the muck. "I can, I can, I can" tries to push out the can'ts. Cheerful mantras like William Shakespeare's "Merrily, merrily shall I live now, Under the blossom that hangs on the bough." force aside depressing diatribes as I start to heal.