A NEED to be grateful...


Whew, had to get that digital scream off my chest.

Why is Christmas time so crazy? Crazy enough that I feel so crazy that I have to neglect my crazy blog, where I document my life of crazy and therapeutically vent the craziness out of my soul! It's absurd.

Tonight tonight, when I should be sleeping (seeing as I've been exceptionally ill for a week and a half and my children are both finally asleep) I have to say something of the inner turmoil I feel about this Christmas.

If you've never suffered from depression or some other form of mental illness (or played organized sports) you probably haven't had someone tell you (or told yourself) to "Get Out of your head!". I tell myself this every single day. It refers to what I consider to be the intense psychological warfare that my mental illness wages against my brain. It happens to deal specifically with negative thought patterns, unending unanswerable questions, and a shocking amount of utter self-loathing. When my depression gets out of control (or in my analogy takes control) I get sucked into the "Me-World" of Doom & Despair. This Me-World syndrome is part of why some people feel that people suffering from mental illness are extremely self-interested. I'm not making any judgments or condemnations on either side, but certainly when dealing with the functional mentally ill (as opposed to the institutionalized mentally ill) sometimes an exasperated outsider can refer to the person with the mental illness as just "being so selfish!"

And, in part, this is true. By very definition, if I am perpetually stuck in my own head, I am solely wrapped up in myself , which does, in fact, make me self-ish. Now before anyone gets all knotted up feeling like a victim here, let me reiterate this is about me. I know that sometimes I am selfish. I know that sometimes I am selfish because I am influenced by a disease outside of my control. I also know that it still makes me feel guilty. Yes, Guilt, my old friend, we're back to talking about Guilt. I am stuck in my head, a lot. I am trying to get better. I am selfish at times. I feel guilty about it, especially right now.  It's Christmastime. There are people suffering everywhere, some physically, some mentally, some emotionally. I am suffering a bit right now, too. No, I'm not lamenting, no, I don't want you to feel sorry for me. My depression just doesn't realize it's the holidays. BUT I do. I want this season to be Different. I want to Really get outside my own head and disease. There are people starving in my own city. I grew up hungry. Not just hungry, I'm talking Hungry. Days without any food except for splitting a package of Ramen Noodles. Dinners where you ate one frozen Eggo waffle and called it a meal. I grew up without proper clothes. I remember someone on the playground asking me why I didn't have coat, and feeling too ashamed to admit I didn't actually own one. I remember being so intensely embarrassed to wear my 2-inches-too-short jeans, but knowing they were the only pants I had. I don't have to deal with these things anymore. I am blessed in many ways. But this Christmas I don't just want to be grateful, because that is what you do. I NEED to be grateful, because I'm fighting a losing battle this month, and I need a lifeline from within myself. So self, today you are allowed to stay in your own head, but not to get up to your usual tricks. Tonight I need to use all my conscious to find my gratitude. I need to take my gratitude go out and make this Christmas meaningful. I am seeking somewhere to serve, and feel something more real than depression and consumeristic present obsession. I just don't know what to do exactly. I've looked up places to volunteer, but nowhere that I can go with a 2 1/2-year-old and an 8-month-old in tow. So maybe, I just need to find someone. I don't know, but I know that I'm desperate. Desperate because I NEED gratitude in my life, just to avoid becoming the kind of privileged, ungrateful twerp that I despise.

Because others may read this, and there are a plethura of Stupid People in the World... No, I don't believe just thinking happy thoughts will make my mental illness go away. Don't be a tool. I know that, and if you legitimately think that, well you are entitled to your own opinion but that doesn't mean you aren't full of sh**. 

On the other hand, if you have legitimate ideas for me on either gratitude or focusing on the true meaning of Christmas suggestions are welcomed with open arms. I'm a little stumped. 

1 comment:

  1. I hear you.
    From my own dark place. A place that for a day or so. Sometimes only a few hours..I'm able to crawl out of and find some peace, thankfulness and all that other wonderful jazz.

    The holidays are over. It's a new year. Hopefully we both can find...the peace and comfort that we need to fight this damn illness!!