Thursday, March 03, 2005
Greetings From the Bottom
My entire life has been a cycle of wanting to live with vengeance and needing to numb the constant pain I feel. Pain that I found unbearable. Numbing entailed irresponsibility. Denial. Aloofness. Any way to keep myself from feeling fledging terror and anger has been my modus operandi. The hurt. The pain. All these things exist in depression. So, I began the arduous task of researching the label for this pain I have been feeling since I can remember:
Adversity, anguish, calamity, cross, crux, difficulty, disease, disorder, distress, grief, hardship, illness, infirmity, misery, misfortune, ordeal, pain, plague, plight, scourge, sickness, sorrow, suffering, torment, trial, tribulation, trouble, woe
It’s astounding that all of the aforementioned synonyms can be applied to an emotional process. Some of you think of it as drama. I think of it as my daily existence. I cannot distinguish between what is truly detrimental and what simply exists as life. I cannot express my anger and rage towards the people who cause it. Instead, I have turned inward. What you see when you are hurt is what I see each hour of my day. The sense of impending doom hinders my ability to live in a moment. I retreat. I create fantasies to ease my sense of reality.
And in doing this, my life illustratively becomes vast acreage. A pliable bit of earth in which I call home. I live on my expansive piece of proverbial property and see the many holes I have dug over the last thirty years. The holes I bury my emotions. The holes I bury the hatred and anger that I am afraid to set free. The hole I must dig to feel protected from my own enraging heart.
The holes in which I dig aren’t unique. They are the same holes you may dig when you feel panic. Or grief. In your world, these are small concaves. The difference is that I live in these holes. I rarely find myself on the outside looking in. Instead, I am constantly on the inside looking out. Watching lives being led with true zeal for happiness. While I sit underneath life, enveloped in angst.
Three weeks ago I dug one of my holes so deep, I thought I might not make it out intact. I was in such conflicting darkness that my eyes could barely distinguish any light. When I dove in, I forgot to bring my tools. My flashlight. My shovel. I simply dug and dug with raw, aching fingers. And this is where I remained. Time passed so slowly, I was unable to calculate just how long I had been underground. Nothing sustained like the darkness I felt. I withdrew from reality and sat in a quiet numbness that only one suffering this affliction can feel. I mourned. I grieved. I panicked. Yet these feelings seemed to pass in front of me in those shadows. I was unable to feel anything but my own self-pity. My emotions so raw that I worried that I may bleed to death. I was a product of my own rigorous self-deprecation. Constantly berating myself for feeling so deeply.
My hand reached out. My raw, tormented fingers barely reached out of the hole. I found a sliver of light that was able to help me regain some awareness. Suddenly the darkness became scarier than the life that was waiting for me. I reached and reached. I was waiting for someone to grab my hand. And, someone did. He inadvertently put his hand out and I grabbed it. I used it to hoist me from deep within the confines of my misery. A tiny move upward saved me from burying myself completely. I was given the opportunity to start the climb back up from the bottom.
And this climb entails a considerable amount of recognition. Recognizing that this darkness is a disease within itself. That the feelings I possess are not simply figments of my overactive imagination. They are real and validated. What you feel is different than those feelings I have. I walk along life scared. Scared to feel. Scared to be hurt and rejected. I tread heavily on my property, searching the parameters for a way out. A path. An exit. You may or nay not live near me. You may have holes, but they are not similar to the deep depressions in life.
So, I say: Greetings from the bottom. Where I have begun to unearth those emotions that have been buried so long. I am no longer digging downward. I have begun the laborious task of filling in the holes that are no longer part of my present. I move dirt to make way for acknowledgement. I find that I am throwing seeds over to begin the new growth. I am extending my hand to those who will take it. I am the caretaker of my property.