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4.16.2012

where i'm at.


i was at work on thursday when i felt like i suffered a minor psychotic break. i was looking at something and was convinced it was (stand-in-example to follow) red when it was clearly blue. but i couldn't see it was blue. i saw red. and then the moment passed. and yes, well, okay, maybe it was blue. maybe it was somewhere between red and blue, it wasn't red, that much i could see.

i felt, in that moment, like i had lost my mind. it was deeply embarrassing and even more unsettling.

and i realized what must be so hard for those who really are losing their mental facilities are the moments everything is clear and right and they are aware of the breaks--the absences--the mistakes and the total control to reign those things in.

the awareness of the crazy. the awareness of the loss. it's...i can only imagine it's utterly devastating.

yesterday i missed the train by a mere ten seconds. and so i began to cry. that was the morning. and then in the evening when someone told me something unkind i cried again. crumpled on the floor of a coat-check closet, i lost it.

i spent a good portion of work on saturday night trying to figure out if a particular man, sitting at a particular table, was a man i had dated for nearly three months. and by the night's end. the jury was still out. it very well could have been him. but i couldn't be sure. how can you not know? everyone asked me. i know, i know i dated him for long enough that it should have been clear. but, well, we weren't particularly kind to each other, so, it turns out you can date a guy for nearly three months and two years later know nothing about him, recognize very little about him.

i'm not losing my mind, i'm not. but it feels a little bit right now (a lot, actually) like i'm losing something.

a part of myself, a group of friends, or some vital organ that once kept me afloat. something has been lost. and the unkind, not good, too proud part of me wants to etch-a-sketch the whole thing and say fine, blank-slate, i never needed that thing anyway. 


but this is an opportunity for growth, i suppose. to be better. and let go of the cruelty of others. to let go of of my own unkindness, to relinquish that part of me that bristles and reacts to no end.

i'm really not perfect. and sometimes i'm not good. but i am honest, and that's what i'd like in return. the use of fear to manipulate, the going to someone else to suss out a situation, as opposed to facing the problem directly, denotes a lack of courage that is wearing me thin.

to live honestly, that's all i'd like. well, that and true love, and wild success, and some money to keep things moving...but that'll come i suppose.






“I actually attack the concept of happiness. I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep', and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness'. Ask yourself 'is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you’re having a bad day, it is.” 

Hugh Mackay, psychologist and social researcher

31 comments:

Ana Magdalena said...
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Ana Magdalena said...
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Greg~ry said...

Great post Keep your head up!

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry you are sad. it will get better, this will pass. words are trite and cliche, but time takes care of everything. be well, be wise, meg.

Lottie said...

That quote is amazing and totally right.

And I would just like an honest life too--oh and some money that might be helpful ;)

Kmarie said...

I've been there. It's a transitional phase that can be so tough and it sounds like you may be suffering from exhaustion that went naturally into a bit of depression. As one who lives with depression on and off as both friend and foe it is easy to see the signs. I say that depression can also be a friend because it makes us get real with our emotions, become vulnerable and raw, cut out all the unnessary relationships and chances and pick the ones that really matter with our lives. But it's a foe because it can mess with perspective. Because its such a huge part of my life I chose not to take drugs but go to cognitive therapy when it is really bad, read psych books that were helpful, surround myself with those who support, and listen to Humour ( like Ellen) or something daily. I also make sure I force to give something from myself every day and find faith in something...
I still find myself crying on the dark closet floor from time to time but overall life moves on in both the tension of joy and stress.
Meditation, supplements, naturopathy and massage also work wonders... Perhaps a holiday from city life too?
Anyway hope you figure the right blend of support for you. This was lOvely in its way. Thank you

little t said...

You write so beautifully.

Also, that is one of the better quotes I've heard in a long time. When I feel sadness creeping in on me, I've often given myself a time-frame to 'snap out of it'. I've even said it to friends, 'I'm giving myself until Sunday to get out of this slump I'm in', as if to excuse myself for feeling sadness in their presence. It's ridiculous. And how true to say we are actually afraid of being sad- as if the feeling itself places a depreciating value on our lives.

Kmarie said...

I would also strongly suggest picking up the book "please understand me" volume two the " keirsey's temperments" and Take the test at the beginning. Read your description and get to know more if how you work in life. Get good friends and family to take the test and read their descriptions. ( it is by far the best personality test and I have done this with many groups of people who say it changed their perspectives) understanding is the key to healing. First understanding yourself then understanding others;)

Xteena said...

just saw this on tulipsandlattes: “Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”
— Janet Fitch (via decaying-organic-matter)

Jen B. said...

I've been lurking on your blog for a while now, but finally wanted to comment. I love your blog and the way that you write. So eloquent and articulate. And so relatable! I particularly loved the quote you inserted at the end and I shared it on my Facebook for a discussion. Thank you for writing!

Louise said...

This reminds me of a quote by the author Nicole Krauss I admire and have come to appreciate: 'When you first become a parent you think that all that matters is that your children will be happy. Then the more that life passes, the more one wonders what happiness is after all. And whether it is a worthy goal. To live in our society sometimes feels like living under the tyranny of Happiness. Much more important, perhaps, to be engaged with life and all that life offers, to be curious about people and experiences. To feel things deeply, and not to be afraid of unhappiness, of feeling the magnitude of life.' Thank you for reinforcing these sentiments...sadness, anger, so on shouldn't be overlooked. And you write it all down so eloquently!

Jacob Phelps said...

I'm sending good vibes your way. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

that is a brilliant quote!

and I am sorry about the unkindness. like the reader above me said - 'sending good vibes your way.'

Anonymous said...

you are a beautiful girl and a beautiful writer. You live in an exciting city, and you seem to have a great life. What I can't fathom about posts like this is what do you have to be so sad about? You always seem to be talking about how sad you are...maybe I just don't get it, maybe I don't overthink the way you do - but it seems to me that you are making happiness (wholeness) much too hard to obtain. It's like you view it as such an elusive thing. It's simple, when you stop making it so hard. Why cry over unkind words? To me, that says that you rely too heavily on what others say and think...you can't live that way. I used to believe that you were stronger than that...you used to seem stronger than that. You come across these days as a frightened little girl who has no idea who she is, and it makes me sad to such a unique beautiful woman get into that mindset. Either way, Meg, I hope you get it figured out.

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth." Umberto Eco

Meghan said...

Oh meg. don't feel bad about not knowing if it was him or wasn't him at all. i dated a guy for 2 yrs and just saw him (5 years later)last week. i had that exact moment. is it? or isn't it? turns out, it was him. how odd to not recognize someone i had given 2 years of my life to, and so much more. he was now a stranger and maybe for good reason.

chin up meg. the unknown will come into focus given time.

ophelia said...

i'd like to respond to anonymous. regarding meg's sadness, i only know what she's publicly shared on the blog, but through my own experiences i can tell you that it's not that simple. i've had people ask me what was wrong or why i was sad, and i never have an answer for them, only that it is the way i am. everything in your life can be just perfect, but you're sad and you have nothing to point to. i understand it's hard to understand and empathize with depression if you're not experiencing it, because it seems so... unnecessary and maybe ungrateful from the outside but it doesn't help someone to tell them they shouldn't be depressed. a lot of people feel shameful and guilty about their depression, exactly because they have so much. i'm so proud of meg for writing so bravely and honestly about her depression, please don't try to make her feel guilty for sharing her experiences.

lib said...

"i'm really not perfect. and sometimes i'm not good. but i am honest, and that's what i'd like in return. the use of fear to manipulate, the going to someone else to suss out a situation, as opposed to facing the problem directly, denotes a lack of courage that is wearing me thin.

to live honestly, that's all i'd like. well, that and true love, and wild success, and some money to keep things moving...but that'll come i suppose."

you always seem to sum up exactly what i think and feel... i'm going through similar things at the moment, i've been in a bit of a "well" as i like to call it for a few years now. sometimes i feel like i'm almost out of it, but then the next day i wake up and i'm back in it again.

and like you - from the outside my life probably sounds great - well traveled, job that i love, living in a nice city, lots of friends, but sometimes that's just not enough, and i think anonymous clearly just hasn't dealt with depression before. its not something you can control (although you can try).

i'd like to second ophelia saying thank you for always writing so bravely and honestly about depression (and life in general). the internet/world is full of people that go around making it look like their life is perfect and they are happy, when really they aren't. your blog makes me feel normal, makes me feel sane. it's refreshing to see some honesty out there.

colleen said...

a whole life. that's an important thing to remember.

the way you described crazy is how i imagine als (lou gherig's disease) is like. to be so acutely aware of everything you are losing, and helpless to change the course.

Nikki said...

this was such a great post! (not that they all aren't. for truly they really are all great. but this one hit close to home).

I wanted to write a response to 'anonymous', but several other readers have written some well-written responses, so I thought I would just thank you, Meg, for always writing so bravely, deeply, and honestly. for someone who often goes through this sadness, your posts are often like rays of inspiration and hope. so, thank you.

Nikki said...

this was such a great post! (not that they all aren't. for truly they really are all great. but this one hit close to home).

I wanted to write a response to 'anonymous', but several other readers have written some well-written responses, so I thought I would just thank you, Meg, for always writing so bravely, deeply, and honestly. for someone who often goes through this sadness, your posts are often like rays of inspiration and hope. so, thank you.

Mary said...

I understand the point you're making by distinguishing happiness vs. wholeness, and of course there is something to be learned by the things that make us sad or angry or helpless or... That said, I don't think happiness excludes them. Maybe it's a definition thing, like you're suggesting. My own view of happiness is that it is a recognition of the beauty of life even when dealing with some of its unpleasantries. That beauty can be found even in sadness and stress and anger. I actually do write down things that I am grateful for every week on my blog, and I can attest that it has helped change my perspective in particularly grumpy weeks.

I was happy to read today's post and know that you're doing okay.

look a little closer said...

i think this was a great post - as they all are. i always appreciate the honesty and think that that's part of the way you are living a wholesome life.

you have such a way with words and am thankful for them. :)

sharlyn emily said...

I LOVE the idea of wholeness as opposed to happiness. Thanks for sharing!

Tess said...

Meg, I'm fascinated by that last quote you left. Wholeness is something quite different from happiness... and something much more important, and much more reasonable to strive for. It's especially interesting how similar the word "wholeness" is to "holiness," and in fact, one could argue that the old Christian concept of holiness is the best thing a person can strive for. In this view, sufferings and rough times are a means of purifying and refining your soul, making you a better person and enabling you to more fully appreciate the good times when they come. You can find this idea all over the writings of Catholic and early Christian authors and in spiritual classics like "Story of A Soul" by St. Therese of Lisieux (a book I think you would love!). Maybe that old-fashioned concept of holiness is what we need to resurrect as a goal in our society, rather than the fleeting and mercurial goal of happiness.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

whoa. the whole, "what do YOU have to be sad about?" is the very attitude that scares people away from admitting (and eventually dealing with) their struggle with depression.

now, i know you're not depressed. i'm just sayin'.

Melissa said...

I don't often comment. Mostly because your words say it all so well. I just felt like today I'd let you know, that I'm grateful for your words. They are beautiful. And say so many things that I think. I often feel like they perfectly describe how I feel. And sometimes its just nice to know someone understands and has the ability to explain. Especially when I don't. It amazes me more often than not that, despite our completely different situations, that we could have very similar feelings.

Belinda said...

your words.

that quote.

bloody amazing.

xx bel.

Rebecca said...

What a powerful quote.

Thank you for your honesty - I've felt the same way. It's like you juggle so many balls and in an effort to keep them all in the air, you start to lose you a little bit.

Regarding those losing their mental faculties - I watched my grandmother with Alzheimers, and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Jenni@Story of My Life said...

Meg, I just love you.

And I'm pretty sure that quote at the end just changed my life. Thanks for that.

Britti said...

i love that quote.

sometimes i feel like i am constantly losing something, but at the same time i find something new. i guess its just how life goes.

Kate said...

I always feel like I'm losing something. The feeling is much more intense lately, however, because of my graduating from high school. Life seems so huge and intimidating.