taking, giving, everything i have

Excerpt from “Spinning” (an original song):

i’m in the walls
a wooden board
lying sideways
across the floor

i’m down the hall
behind the door
i don’t know what
you’re looking for

a troop of stars above the roof?
a distant friend who stands aloof?
a note that bleeds the honest truth:
i love and i hate you?

i’m spinning around again
getting lost in your head
you know you’re my favorite friend

i’m spinning around again
you know you’re my favorite friend
I hope that this never ends

and i’m reading these leaves again
they say that we’ll never win
but they say that we’ll never end

A song born out of depression. You can listen to it here.

I’ve been dipping into and breaking out of it for months now. It goes like this: I submerge my own head underneath the water. My neck tenses, crouches and then uncoils, ripping my face from the water’s surface with a loud slap, just in time for that crucial next breath. There’s relief; you’re still here. There’s also sadness; you’re still here.

For the record, I am not suicidal. Not at all. I am working through a very difficult time period and dealing with a very perplexing and complex set of thoughts and emotions, and I’m typing all of this out solely because: maybe someone else, who feels as lost and unhinged as I do right now, will appreciate (now or sometime later) that they aren’t alone. That they’re understood. That they’re normal, they’re okay, and they’re definitely going to be alright. So, here we go. Let’s talk about living and leading a functional life as a depressed human being.

Why be sad? Life is so great. 

Yes, I know it is.. firsthand. But I am sad. You act like this is a conscious decision I’m making; to be sad. I wish that were true.

Have you asked Jesus/Buddha/Allah to help you not be depressed?

Well, if you aren’t open to going the whole “Jesus/Buddha/Allah route,” then maybe you should ask your doctor for some kind of prescribed medication.

A. I don’t have a doctor
B. I don’t want to become dependent on any kind of prescribed medication
C. I’m really not enjoying this conversation, so..

It’s like an actual condition — a mood that I can’t shake off; a frame of mind that I can’t step out of. It’s become a default. Depression is a friend who approached me, quietly, in a storm, and then offered to build a shelter around me. I can make it through every weighted moment of the day, wearing an honest smile, because I know that – by the end of the day, at night, under the sweet and heavy cloak of his darkness – I can recede back into this increasingly familiar and comfortable and homey shelter and can actually feel my insides come undone. I can wind each music box that sits on every ledge, in every corner of the room, and then let the voices and melodies bounce off of each other; discordant, horrible, unnerving.

I look at a picture. I fall apart.

I start reading an article. I burst into tears. Where the hell is this even coming from? I don’t know, you don’t know — no one knows.

I see a suit on display in a store window. I feel like dying. Why. It’s a suit. Who really gives a damn.

Another month passes and I get my period again. It feels like betrayal. It’s cruel. How can my body remain so obstinately out of sync with my mind? How can it be so incredibly insensitive? The boxers, the short haircut, and sometimes falling into my natural way of speaking; on the reg, these things almost convince me into believing that it’s true. That it’s actually true. That I’m “correct” — whole — fixed. Almost. And then YOU show up.

Yeah. There are hormones, surgeries, and other options out there.. but I don’t want those.

And then there’s always the relatively easy option of “going back” to being a girl; of trying again. Wearing the clothes, growing my hair out.. trying to transform myself into being a woman from the outside in. Easy. Dear god, the mere thought of it is unbearable. Women are so beautiful and lovely. They really are. They are strong, remarkable.. amazing. But I am not one of them. I am not a woman. I can’t do it. I can’t slip – knowingly, comfortably, voluntarily – back into that costume. It’s a dressing of the body and the mind. It’s foreign. It’s gut-wrenchingly awful. I subjected myself to it, and I conformed to its unnatural, stifling shape, for far too long. A memory from this afternoon enters, side stage, from the back of my mind to the forefront; I’m walking through a parking lot, about to step into my car, when a voice calls out:

“You know, you look beautiful today; you look like Rose again.” I cringe. Do you even remotely know what that does to me? Psychologically? Do you even f*cking care?

So here I am; this androgynous, confused in-between. Hybrid, like a car.. but not cool like a hybrid car is; more like confusing, strange, (seemingly) unstable and off-putting. How unfortunate. And truly, on the whole, people have been so accepting; OVERLY-supportive, even. So what’s the deal? Why is this so hard?

I want to be alone. I positively crave solitude. It keeps me sane. But that’s selfish (and pretty much impossible), so, like a habit on lock, I continue to make do with my present circumstances. I’m solely running off of reserves at this point; my soul has stopped producing. It’s wearing me out. Hours of skateboarding aren’t enough. Sitting on the rug, on the floor, and strumming the same two chords over and over, because I like the way that it sounds, isn’t enough. Resisting food isn’t enough. Binging on a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream isn’t enough, either. Entertaining and adding up the same facts, coming to the same solid conclusions, and appealing to the same rationale, over and over again, is not enough.

Watching television isn’t enough. Sitting in perfect silence isn’t enough (but it’s close). Crying isn’t enough because there are too many tears in the queue and not enough time to let them all through. Talking isn’t enough because words just fail, and who is really listening? Being surrounded by people can be a nice distraction, and it makes it easier to suppress my conflicted state of mind, sure, but it’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with the charade and maintain a consistently warm and authentic exterior..

The only things getting me through this puzzling and delicate phase of life are music, nature, and solitude. And writing. Honestly? I’m feeling better already. Writing lifts the burden. It breaks the spell. That’s why I’m always coming back to it, I guess.

This is the embodiment, the characterization, of depression: he is insatiable. Despairing. Weak. Crawling across the floor, and then stopping; “Why even bother crawling?” he asks himself.
“Where are you trying to go? What, or who, are you trying to get to?”

This is the sound and feel and scope of depression: constant noise. A distinct disconnect.. with everything. “I’m looking.. I’m looking, I just can’t find you; it’s too dark in here, and it’s too loud.. there are too many bodies in this room.”

ghost also

You’re going to be okay. I love you. You’re doing great. It’s getting better. You’re getting closer. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

Aun Aqui

I act on my fears because I’ve experienced that fear loses its power when you face it; similarly, I write because I believe that depression and sadness will loosen their grip and hold on you when you acknowledge, confront, and then embrace them. Goodnight.

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Personal stories, lengthy rants, and lighthearted explosions of optimism, all neatly bundled into one blog.

7 thoughts on “taking, giving, everything i have

    1. Thanks for sharing these links with me, Mr. Noone! Looking forward to reading over those posts later on this evening.

      Hope you’re doing well, mysterious one.

  1. Your heart is looking for the only thing that will fill and overflow it. Turn to the one you already know. He is longing for your return. He does not care about your hair or how you dress. He loves you unconditionally. He understands even if no one else does. He made you in his image. He takes you as you are. He will bring satisfaction to your soul. Jesus is patiently waiting for you. Everything you are, your beautiful writing and music – he gave them to you. Jesus the Way the Truth and the Light. The only answer. Come home his precious child.

  2. Jace, you’re one of the people I admire most, for your courage in showing your vulnerable parts so publicly, in spite of the many people who say and do hurtful things, intentional and unintentional. That is for sure something that has always been very hard for me – part of why I love opera/theater so much is that I can express extreme emotion in a “safe” way, disguised as the feelings of the character.

    In some of my worst bouts of severe depression in graduate school, I found counseling really helpful – it both gave me a set of tools to challenge my own thinking and help pull myself up out of spirals, and also an impartial perspective to either validate my feelings or ask the right questions to lead me to insights about changes I needed or wanted to make. There are definitely counselors out there who are LGBT friendly, even in Birmingham. I have a friend who is a marriage counselor and I’ll ask him for the names of colleagues if you like.

    Journalling (blogging of course counts too, but there’s something to be said for vomiting things out on the page not meant to be read, too) has also been extremely helpful in giving me a place to examine my own thoughts.

    I really hope you have people around whom you don’t feel like you have to pretend you’re okay. If nothing else, please know that I see you, and I hear you.

    And we need to get you a freaking SUIT!!

    1. So tempting. Wondering if the 36S/30W would come close to fitting me? One of these days, I will actually GO and get fitted somewhere so that I can confidently take advantage of one of these web deals. Thanks, MN.

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