I was observed recently as being…inconsistent…between who I appear to be and who I am. It’s a fair observation given by one of the slight handful of people in the world who know the real me, and 100% true in the context of the conversation. This post will likely be long and self-indulgent attempt to reconcile a few of the inconsistencies with bare, painful truth. Feel free to stop reading this and go back to a funny post here.
I AM inconsistent: I present a certain face with certain qualities I admire to the world: strength, self-confidence, surety, humor…all the qualities I think are valued by others. All the things I’d like to be all the time. On rare occasions when I’m feeling particularly good I AM the way I present. On those days I’m funny, clever, happy with myself and my accomplishments so far and enthusiastically passionate about life. In all honesty, those days are treasured rarities in my universe that I’m trying to learn to allow more often. I’d prefer they be the norm, after all.
Most of the time I use my public face as a combination of shield and bolster. It’s actually fairly exhausting. Emotional energy is a well, and eventually that well runs low, the flow becomes silty and clogged, and I slow down. I am a person who refreshes the well with periods of relaxing alone-time (books, Lifetime TV, walks, repeated viewings of Gladiator…you know, silly mindless things) not by being with others. I’m actually pretty envious of all you folk who get energized and excited about parties and social situations. I NEED that bit of time every week to sustain.
The real person underneath is…sigh…well hidden. This causes an issue if I let anyone in past a certain point, because ultimately that person discovers I’ve been untruthful about who I really am all along, and that’s probably unfair. How can I be enough and loved just as I am if you can’t see what I REALLY am until it’s too late? Ah, conundrums that feed the demons.
It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time, actually, when I have enough in my emotional well to work on myself. Sometimes, the well just fucking dries up. I’ve worked on myself enough to USUALLY be able to head the bastard off at the pass before he weasels his way into my brain like a fucking Khan earworm. Sometimes I fail.
Today I’ve failed. Since it’s the Holidays and that’s likely a part of the depression heavily holding me down, I envision it as this:
|Holiday cheer my ASS. I’m coming for you…|
The Bloggess posts often about depression, how it lies and how hard it is to live with repeated bouts. I so utterly agree, but I don’t have any answers about how to successfully beat the bastard down either. Knowing WHY he arrives doesn’t always give me enough to defeat him. The past few months have been so utterly emotionally exhausting I haven’t been able to refill my well, which left me open to that sneaky bastard. And so I force myself to get out of bed and drive to work and hope I can stop any pressing tears (yeah, Scandahoovians don’t cry without red, splotchy faces and puffy eyes) and bury myself in work for the day. Only today is a no-meeting-not-much-to-do day and the conversation I had last night was intense enough that I can’t push it aside until I’m home. Today, I’m trying to STOP thinking about all the evil lying shit depression says in my head and concentrate on rediscovering what makes me feel valuable, worthy, fulfilled, passionate and happy.
My friend Superbetsy sent me this about depression today: The bloggess calls depression a lying bastard. When it tries to take me down, I lie right back to it. I put on a shit ton of makeup and sing loudly and look at pictures of puppies. If it can tell us falsehoods, we can do the same. BECAUSE IM A GREAT SINGER, DAMMIT!
This post isn’t any sort of request for validation, compliments, or anything of the sort. I’ve written about this many times before privately and it’s done nothing: maybe taking the risk of putting it out here will make some difference in my heart. If not, at least any reader also battling that bastard will know they’re not alone in the fight.