Moving Through the Sadness

A dream swallows me
images with no meaning
but the sense of being trapped
in a home that is not my own
without any dreams to move me forward . . .A rainy day

into tomorrow. I pull myself awake
yearning to remain in
the oblivion of sleep
but terrified by the images that
haunt me . . .

into my waking hours.
I blink awake
and hug my daughter
in desperation and love
looking for answers she does not have.
She doesn’t even understand the questions . . .

I write in my Morning Pages
filled with words I’ll never share
some of hope
some of fear
some of the sadness I carry with me . . .

out into the living room
to be greeted by a flowerDad's flower.
that represents Dad
the man I miss
the man I mourn
the man who was . . .

the man who I never really knew.
I wonder what my daughter knows of me.
What mark will I leave behind
for future generations unknown?
Will my life pass as a blink
with nothing to show but the memories . . .

found in a flower?
I move through the day,
searching through the hope
and find a dream
written by two idiots
that reminds me that all that  really matters . . .

is the journey, not the destination.

Moving Toward Possibility

 

 

My Words Have Stopped

I’ve stopped writing.

I’ve stopped reading.

I’ve stopped talking.

I’ve stopped commenting.

I’ve stopped.

I look at this blog and think, I have nothing left to say. It’s not writer’s block. It’s something deeper than that.  I have entered the darkness at the bottom of depression and it has controlled me for a few months now.

I have lost my ability to think.

I have lost my ability to organize.

I have lost my ability to motivate.

I have lost.

Today I sit and wait for a birthday party to end, so I can pick up Sarah. I think I’ll find the topic, find the words, find my voice.

Yet all I can write is this.

Empty words on an empty screen.

Written out into the void of emptiness.

I want my words back. I want myself back. I want my life back.

It’s time.

The Monster

It loves to creep in when you are sleeping, oozing into your dreams and manipulating them to promote the utmost confusion and terror. Of course, then those dreams wake you up, and the rest of the night becomes one of tossing, turning, insecurity. “To sleep, perchance to dream” but without sleep the dreams hold you hostage>

The monster has been there.

Next it weighs you down in bed, making you tired and unable or willing to get up. But to stay in bed means to sleep more and to sleep means to dream. A vicious cycle.

You wake up and begin to write. Three pages. Morning pages. Pages intended to get the monster out of your head and enable you to face the day with energy and creativity. But the monster grips your pain, making each stroke painful. The monster whispers in your ear, “It’s futile. This won’t help. You can’t escape.”

Somehow you write the pages anyway. The monster hasn’t completely won.

Perhaps you get up, but the monster has not let you out of its grasp. No, it tricks you into thinking that everything is good. That you have defeated it and sent it back into its dark and stinking lair. You try to greet the day with cheer and a positive attitude, shaking off the grip of the monster.

“I’ll make my own breakfast.”

“These eggs taste funny.”

“Do I have to?”

Harmless words that have nothing to do with you. But, the monster twists them, using its power over language so that you hear this instead:

“You don’t know how to cook.”

“Daddy makes better eggs.”

“You are such a nag.”

The monsters niggles and pokes until every moment of being awake is almost as torturous as the moments of the dream. The sun refuses to come out, because it too is afraid of the monster.  Words circle around you and suffocate you. You try to escape in the words of others, but that only allows the monster a new form of attack. “That writer is better than you. You have no original ideas. That person is more popular. . . ” The comparisons that hold you down, away from even trying.

You take a shower, hoping to wash the monster’s slime off of you. To cleanse away the tentacles and claws.

For a moment it works, lulling you into a false sense of security. You feel your breath ease. You begin to relax. Your eyes begin to close, falling into the comfort of a new kind of sleep, after the disturbances of the previous night.

But the monster knows how to get in once you sleep.  The cycle begins again.

I want to get out a torch and slay the monster. This is not the beast of Beauty and the Beast, trapped in the form of monsters by his own ego, but basically innocent. This is not the Hunchback of Notre Dame, hated for a deformity and because of people’s ignorance. This monster is invisible and hurtful. This monster is terrifying and powerful. This monster grips many of us in its grasp and will not let go.

I’m ready to fight it. Lisa the Depression Slayer is on duty now, and she intends to win.

 

I’m Back . . . Sort Of

I told you I just needed a tiny break.

I know, you’ve barely missed me, especially since I kind of posted anyway and even managed a couple of comments here and there. But I didn’t spend the whole day reading posts, writing posts, and commenting on posts. I read all of your wonderfully kind comments to me, and I truly appreciate every one of them. I just needed a little time to clear my head.

Even now, I approach the keyboard with hesitation, as I’m not sure what words will pour out or what I even want to say. I’m not blocked . . . it’s not that. I think I’m more overwhelmed by this community, by the complexities of our world, by all the transitions that have been happening in my life for the past three years, by amazing writers and friends like Mark and Vicky who are on their own journey of struggle right now and who I wish I could help but I don’t know how.

So I stopped. Just for a couple of days I stopped. I focused on finding movies to help me cry (only partially successful). I tried to sleep. I wrote in my morning pages. I spent time with my family. I tried not to stress about finding work or creating a meaningful life all over again. I tried not to feel alone.

I both succeeded and failed.

For several nights now I’ve had dreams too complicated to describe, but all with a common message that no matter how hard I tried I would never belong. Now, I know that’s not true, but I can’t help what my subconscious tries to feed me.

So this morning I woke up and completely melted down, at least partially. I held it together for Sarah. I almost held it together for Nathan. Then I cried, a little.

Finally, I went to help at the library at Sarah’s school, and that centered me. From there, I decided going home was a bad choice, so I took myself on an adventure to find a bookstore that I’ve been meaning to find. It turned out to be only so-so, but at least I broke my routine.

 I sat in the little cafe at the bookstore and tried to focus. Then I got an Facebook note from a young friend of mine, asking for my opinion as mentor and educator.  At first I didn’t want to deal with it, because it was on a topic that I’ve discussed with her before, but then I answered anyway. Through answering her question, I remembered myself as a talented mediator and mentor. I finished her answer and wrote a Hub called “Battling Depression in a World Gone Mad”.

You might wonder why I wrote it as a Hub rather than a post here. I had to approach it more as an observer–an observer of myself. I feel like here I can write with my more personal voice, and their I try to sound more logical. I’m much more comfortable writing here, but I had to analyze my thoughts there before I could share my thoughts here. Does that make sense?

So, I guess I’m back. Thank you all for your kindness and patience as I work my way into joy. Your thoughts helped a lot.

And now, a few moments of quiet beauty I found outside my back door after I got home.

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Highs and Lows

Yesterday I was on a high, single-handedly conquering the world and changing my life one word and blog post at a time.

Today I feel like crawling into my bed and hiding under the covers in a fetal position.

What happened between yesterday and today? I simply don’t know. I got so much positive feedback for my hub post yesterday, that I felt encouraged. But today I doubt my words and don’t know what to write about.

I know what’s happening. It is the entrance of the demon depression, or the ugly critic of my life. The creature that dwells inside of me cutting down my efforts by telling me I can’t do anything.

But this time I refuse to let the Inner Critic win. I am going to keep working toward the highs, while gracefully moving through the lows. But, I could use your help.

I picture a group of wonderful blogging buddies leaping to their feet saying,”I’ll help you Lisa! What can I do?” Perhaps that is just a figment of my imagination, but it sure gives a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So what can you do? Well, you can help me come up with Hub post topics. What questions do you have about “Reinventing Self”? What would you like me to explore to help you on your own journeys? Or should I pursue a completely different topic?

You can also help me by following my Hub as well, and perhaps clicking on some of the ads.

Or maybe I am asking too much. I guess the thing that you can do to help the most is keep reading and keep writing and keep being the wonderful community that you are.

Now I have to try to get back on track, and get this roller coaster back in the right direction.

 

 

Here’s the link to my next attempt at a Hub post.

Once More into the Wild

“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Many thanks to Hilary Clark from Pining for Poetry and Prose for pointing that quote out to me today, as today I feel lost in the wilderness, unsure of which direction to choose. But perhaps the direction does not matter. I just need to take a step and forge my way through the underbrush, embracing and learning from whatever comes into my path.

Words fail me today. I cannot interpret the mass of thoughts jumbling around my brain. I cannot describe the heaviness I feel deep inside.

ONCE MORE INTO THE  WILD
A Prose Poem

An image keeps popping into my mind of a dark forest. Here and there, amidst the trees are doors of every shape and size. Some simple, some elegant, some austere, some intimidating. None of them have windows. All of them have locks.

All is stillness and silence.

Far ahead in the distance there is a flutter of filmy cloth. A lavender curtain decorating an open window. The breeze blows through, carrying on it the tinkle of bird song and a laughing stream. I cannot feel the breeze yet, but I know that if I could it would bring elusive scents of beauties unknown. The window is bathed in golden light, with hints of green. A glittering green vine has climbed over the windowsill  reaching tendrils through into the heavy dark forest; but the guardian trees will allow no breach of color and light.

The window beckons but I don’t see a clear path to get there. I fear the doors that lead to places forbidden because someone could come crashing through to bar my way. I fear the leafless trees that reach their crooked hands toward me, threatening to trap me in a merciless grasp.

And yet I move one foot forward. The window beckons.

A Journey into the Wilderness

[Submitted to Poetry Potluck Week 36–Sketches, Images, and Impressions]

Complete Disillusionment

Three students in Theater Appreciation–100% plagiarism on their final project.

I’m devastated.

One of them is an ESL student from Korea. Maybe the assignment was too challenging for him. But he didn’t even make an effort to hide the plagiarism. He cited sources, but the article is word for word from another source. (Although it does look like he took information from various sources, word for word).

The other two, part of the basketball team that has made my life challenging this semester. (As you can read about here) Again, word for word. Cut and paste of an entire paper. I gave them a higher grade at midterm so they could play (even though I didn’t want to). And this is what happens.

People around here keep asking what they can do to make me want to stay. They don’t want to see Nathan and I go. But how can I continue to teach when I am disillusioned with teaching? How can I continue to share my passion for theater in a place that bombards me with challenges and disrespect?

I don’t know what I want out of life anymore, but it is certainly not this.

My heart is aching.

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