21 February 2012

It's real. It's a disease, like diabetes they're saying now. Not something you can snap out of. "Snap out of it! Smile! Look at all you've got!" Like telling someone to snap out of hypertension. I should know, I've been trying to snap out of it since puberty. I'm hoping menopause will bring an end to it, but if I look really closely, I realize it wasn't puberty. I've had this moodiness and unreasonable sadness much longer.

It's always there, always an option. The doctors always ask, concerned, "do you ever have suicidal thoughts?" Of course, sure, yes. But after 35+ years of them, if I haven't done it yet, there's probably no real danger, right? I laugh. They are reassured, yet troubled. It's always there, always a last resort. They know it too.

there are days I just can't function. Those days I didn't make it to work. These days I don't make it to school. I find a group, like Questions by Wayne Morris, and participate heavily. Make myself a personality, a "character" in the room. Some of the questions are too personal, but I answer them anyway, and answer honestly. It's a relief, a release. A way to laugh, to smile. I can smile with emoticons; my fingertips are happier, far from my brain.

I heard the mailman's car speed by, up the dead-end road. I have less than five minutes till he's back. I walked out to the mailbox with my three Netflix envelopes. Coming back, there's a spot of yellow on the ground. Thinking some trash blew in from somewhere, I go to it. A crocus! My first, of the bulbs I planted late last autumn. "Mine didn't come up, not a one of them," another customer in the Olive Hill Dollar store said when she saw me bring the two bagfuls (Clearance! $2.-!) to the register. I felt bad for the cashier, angry at the customer. Maybe mine will. One did, on a morning I needed it badly.

I know it's real. It's crippling. I have pills, they helped for a month. Now I'm not so sure. Long weekends, I sleep later, take them later. Can a couple hours make such a difference? I took them with orange juice. Haven't had any of that in a while. Could that make a difference? If I get out today I'll get orange juice. I've been so crippled lately I live on toast, when I can make the effort to open the bread, plug in the toaster. Free pizza, delivered. It's not the best (probably closer to the worst) pizza in town, but it's the only one that delivers this far out. When I'm out I just want to hurry back, or I get in a store and wander around for an hour, touching everything, avoiding eye contact. No, that's not right. Smile brightly, be polite to the cashier, walk with head up, smiling. Maybe that's why it takes so long, I'm busy pretending. If I get out today I'll get orange juice. If I can afford the time it takes to go. I have homework, studying. I've had a four-day weekend, now making it five. Haven't cracked a book yet, though I carry them with me everywhere. Around the house, from desk to chair to bed.

There's more to say, but I've lost the thread. I need a tape recorder in my head, to catch the thoughts that flow free while my hands are in dishwater. It seems so clear till I get to the keyboard.

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