Archive for the 'Depression' Category

The Hangover; Boyband Style.

Go on, I dare you. Tell 13 year old me that I will, when I am 34, get to meet New Kids on the Block. (But maybe don’t mention that I am  not a famous writer, nor do I have children. But I do have an awesome husband. ‘What? He’s BALD?’ Hmmm, go figure.)

So 34 year old Grumpy met NKOTB, albeit briefly. I really didn’t think it would be this hard. I am a grown woman. An intelligent one at that. But the plain, I dunno….anxiety I have felt for the last couple of weeks has made this one of the most confusing times in my adult life. I have tried to express it in tweets, on facebook, to my friends, to my Beloved, to my long suffering diary but I am not sure I can still explain what I feel and why I feel it. Maybe you can help?

When I saw NKOTB in 1992 I was already obsessed and became more so after the concert. But I was allowed to. I was young. Nothing else much to worry about or moon over. Fast-forward to 2012 and the gig in Melbourne and BAM! a present and past me were slammed together in some weird time paradox. 14-year old emotions in a 34 year old body. But surely I am a little more enlightened and mature now? Apparently not. Do you know how hard it is to be in love with 5 pop-stars AND your lovely Husband? Bloody tiring. And confusing. And my goodness, do I feel sorry (jealous, maybe) for all those One Directioners out there. They have YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. We had Smash Hits magazine. Obsession magnified 100 fold for them, I imagine.

I can’t even accurately describe the feeling of ‘unsettledness’ I felt. While at the concert is was just pure excitement and joy. But after….it was like some sort of PTSD. I kept replaying the Perth Meet and Greet, wishing I could pause it, go back. Did I even say ‘hi’ to Danny properly? Did I say thanks to them for the opportunity to meet them? Even though it was all about them that day – it was actually all about me and my feelings and the images I had created of them.

I guess I am more realistic about ‘their’ lives now. When I was 14, they were ‘grown’ and being an adult was a fantasy to me. I could paint all these pictures of my life, of their lives. But now, besides the millions of dollars, screaming fans, extensive travel, children and divorces, I have lived their life – an adult life. And I will never be a part of it.

Perhaps that is it. Seeing NKOTB again was all about growing up, getting older. Thinking about the things I have and don’t have.

After 19 days of not feeling myself, I finally feel okay. But even through all of it, I would encourage any teen to foster a pop-star love. The excitement, the joy, the pure squee-ness of the experience, plus the people you meet – it is a once in a life-time thing.

Thank-you NKOTB.

Summer Glaze

At 5:40am it was 22 degrees Celsius. 2 hours and a gym session later it has crept up to 26 and the sun nips at my driving arm through the open window. The warm breeze ruffles my hair, and I feel where I didn’t quite dry it at the nape. Shifting in my seat to adjust the radio, my lower back is already prickling. Bushfire smoke threads through the air – it seems too early into the season for it.

Stop-starting, yawning through the traffic I am hazily aware that my dust and fly poop covered car needs a wash. But why, when water is restricted and tomorrow they predict showers? The heat heightens my apathy.

Summer in Perth is a different type of S.A.D

Boo-Hoo Bash

For the sake of her ego, she wonders if she should be telling you this.  The fact that if she were to go away he would be okay. Financially and emotionally because, really, what does she bring to the relationship? She doesn’t earn very good money, nor is she a nubile Stepford Wife.

It is not a total fiesta of self-flagellation she is attending. She has her redeeming features. But the problem is, her best qualities could easily be possessed by a younger, hotter model.

On the flip side of her dread is the idea that he  may think that she only stays because of the stability he  provides her. Which isn’t true of course. She thinks he is cute and cheeky and goofy, crazy intelligent and more than a little bit sexy.

Patting her hair nervously and smoothing down her dress she hopes that perhaps she got dressed up for this pity party all for nothing.

Remembering James

‘You know what Grumpy? Life just sucks sometimes!’ you would say with your exotic American accent. We would laugh about it but if I knew know what I knew then perhaps I wouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss those ominous words.

I met James in my final year of high-school. He was an exchange student from Virginia. On a scorching day in 1995, I made a bee-line for the stranger in our Theatre Arts class with only the knowledge of how sucky it is to be the new kid guiding me. Luckily he wasn’t psycho but a true gentleman, with dark hair, dark eyes and a ready smile. When we had class together last period we would walk and talk to the bus-stop where my boyfriend would be waiting. Now that I look back on it, the exchange in company was tangible –  like having a beautifully cooked roast  replaced with a Happy Meal. But when you are a teenager, who can account for your taste? Brand loyalties last long.

James was a lovely young man and he would often bemoan the lack of a lady in his life. This is when I did what I do best and interfered. I decided that I would set him up with my sister, in a ‘Hey! Let’s all go out to Pizza Hut in a group’ way. However, it was pretty clear what my intent was. James certainly didn’t mind as my sis was hot and she didn’t mind because he seemed nice. The person who did mind was an asshole who decided that he would cement his airy fairy designs on my sister the very night of the outing. So the group date did not come to pass. I feel like a dickhead and James a bit of a loser though through no fault of his own. The idiot who snaffled up my sister ended up screwing with her head for 6 months and ‘turned out’ to be gay.

That year we were in a play together and he was doing the lighting for my individual production until he wussed out on the night due to nerves.  He hung out with the freaks and I hung out with the geeks and at lunch our paths would often cross.

At the end of the year we all geared up for graduation and the rest of our lives, while James geared up to go home. He wrote in my year book “Thank you for being so nice!”  and in those days before email I told him I would write. But I didn’t. My head was too full of summer and love and university. It was a 5 fickle months before I wrote to him and probably not a coincidence that I was single and sad. I didn’t have any designs, I just had nostalgia and more room in my head.

 I agonised over the address he wrote, being unfamiliar with the US format and his messy writing – would it get to him okay? I didn’t hear back from him at all with a shrug and a sigh and on with life I went. Then one day a phone call -

‘Hey, you remember James?’

‘Yeah – I wrote to him a while back but he never answered me!’

‘He killed himself. 3 months after he got home.’

I think he shot himself - bloody Americans and their lax gun controls I recall thinking, as if that would stop somebody from killing themselves if they really wanted to. His parents found him. His poor parents. And the letter. The letter sent after his death. I cringed. How awful to get a letter in the mail for a son who was no longer there to receive it. But now I think maybe how nice it might have been; to get a letter that showed what a pleasant young man they had raised, who was liked and remembered a whole hemisphere away.

Sometimes I wonder though. In the days before email and facebook and sms how ‘confirmed’ was the horrible tragedy? Maybe, it was just a rumour gone wrong. Is he 15 years gone, or is he enjoying his own summers full of love and family and good times?

Are you still here James McClary?

No, There Were No Anal Probes

The house I found myself in was an amalgamation of the house I live in now, and the house I grew up in; the house my father built. Every light was on and the back door was wide open to the darker side of dusk. I walked out onto the dampening  lawn and saw that two parallel gouges had been dug into the grass in a meandering pattern.

I walked back into the blazing light – I didn’t know who I was. I looked at myself and saw 2 razor thin cuts on each arm. They bled weakly, stinging against the whiteness of my skin.

Looking up from my damaged body I saw a lady – my mother! I knew who I was again! She was dressed head to toe  like a cat burglar, her blonde hair in stark contrast to the black hooded jumper.

I flew into her arms, crying: ‘You weren’t lying! It happened to you too, didn’t it? You know it is true!” She said it was and patted my hair. She didn’t judge me, even though I – we - had been abducted by aliens.

Waking from this dream I felt unsettled. I mentioned it on facebook and people joked ‘Was it really a dream?’ When I showered that morning, I looked for a deeper meaning and I found the blueness that sometimes hovers around, dipping and teasing.

Perhaps I need to show more understanding to those who suffer – it doesn’t mean it isn’t real, just because I don’t feel what they feel.

Maybe one day it will come to get me, take me from my bed and do things I can’t imagine.

Cycles

Tired. So, so tired.

 Just want to nap. Don’t want to go that place where I like my colleagues and love the kids but hate that 90% of the lil buggers couldn’t give a crap about learning anything.

I want to stay home with my puppy and have cups of tea and lemon curd on toast. I want a leisurely morning at the gym and an afternoon of fixing up my novel, with a nap thrown in for good measure. Then there would be a nice dinner with Beloved and in the cool of the evening we would take Theo for walkies where he would sniff and wee on everything and we would narrate his thoughts: ‘This is mine, and this is mine – ooh – and this too!’

Regardless, I will plod through the next five weeks, till 2 weeks of toast and naps and writing make me forget about the apathy of teenagers until we do it all again.

Is this really my 8th year of doing this?

Just a Story

When Belinda hears Chloe sobbing into the phone, hundreds of kilometres away, she knows that unlike herself Chloe does not yet have the ability not to feel anymore. But then again, Belinda wasn’t the one to get the phone call.

     ‘She said – she said she is really going to do it this time’ Chloe cried. Pulling her emotional blinds down quickly, and only betrayed by a slight fluttering of her heart, Belinda listened. ‘She said she has driven somewhere, where we won’t be able to find her. She is in the car and she has a hose and she has taken pills – ‘ Chloe stops to take a shuddering breath.

They both know if she was really going to do it she wouldn’t make the call. She wants to be saved. But by being saved she wants to be looked after, cosseted, coddled and cocooned. She doesn’t want to learn, understand, look after herself.

She won’t call Belinda  because she won’t cry, get distraught. Belinda will tell her off, call her out for her manipulation. Tell her to get proper help, call the police.

Belinda hangs up the phone, while Chloe calls their father. She wonders if maybe, really, this is finally it.

Giving Up

You didn’t come to Lil Sister’s 29th birthday dinner.

You didn’t come to my 30th birthday dinner. Nor did you call me. You sent a friend over with my present.

You are divorced and amicable, but you didn’t come to Dad’s 60th birthday party. Nor did you invite the people dad asked you to, you being the one with all the addresses.

You didn’t show up to Lil Sister’s Hen’s Night. She called you and begged you to come, which you eventually did. You came to mine, albeit so medicated you could hardly speak.

This weekend you really stuffed up.

It is one thing to abuse your own immediate family this way.

But no matter how depressed you are, you know the difference between right and wrong, and not showing up to your nephew’s wedding was wrong. Dad asked if you wanted a lift. You told him you had made other arrangements.  As usual, with your brothers in the country, there has been niggling and politics, to which I am not party to. However NONE of that matters when it comes to a loved one’s wedding. He was so disappointed.

I don’t know what to say or do in the face of this selfishness. I can’t defend it, use your mental illness as an excuse, because there is a point where I give up.

And this is it.

Being Held Hostage

We are held hostage by the chemical imbalance in her brain. The one that doesn’t let her think logically, the one that drowns her every day.

I wish I could say it is just the depression that makes her act this way, but I know it is not. She wants us to listen, not judge, give sympathy. We have to be the sponge to her negative emotions.  No money, no job, crap relationship but refuses to take a step to fix any of these problems.  If we were in any such similar position she would be disgusted at our weakness and lack of self respect.

Somehow through the poison, the idea that men are after only one thing, we have found loving husbands. We do have our hang-ups but we function. She leaves a man who loved her through the neglect, jealousy and depression (though I don’t claim he  is blameless) and moves onto someone who doesn’t even like her.

She has no job. I offer one at my place of employment. Everyone loves her, thinks she is wonderful – and she is. She still rides the roller-coaster. Doesn’t turn up to work, doesn’t tell anyone and they ask me.  I am embarrassed. She tells people of her darkness, of her attempts. They run to tell me, to save her. They are shocked at my indifference. My ‘Not again?’ When the job contract comes up for renewal, she doesn’t get it. She is devastated. I am angry and lioness like in my indignation for her. But secretly and ashamedly I understand why.

She is lonely. I invite her over. She cancels.

She has no money. We give her tickets to shows, to see something nice. She spends $400 on merchandise.

Two days before Christmas she is lonely. She is in danger and I go to her. She has already called somebody else over for help. I am angry. There are different ways to get attention.

She can’t live like this anymore. It is not a life. I can’t live like this anymore. But she gave me life.

I am held hostage only because I don’t walk away.