Monday, June 27, 2005

what difference does it make?

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
~Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

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The blinking cursor on my screen is too much for me today.

I’ve experienced depression before, but never this heavy, weighted-down feeling, like I’m on Jupiter and gravity is ten times heavier than it is on Earth. Even my brain doesn’t want to work. I can’t finish sentences. Simple nouns escape me. The pile of paperwork on my desk looks like so much scribble; I can’t make any sense of it.

I’d like to attribute it to the weather. Saturday night a low pressure system of storms moved in and ever since I’ve been stupid and useless. Worse – I’ve been upset and guilty about being so stupid and useless.

I’d like to attribute it to the beer I drank on Saturday night, or to the coming monthly cycle.

I may be rapid cycling again – a dangerous place for me. Coz and I spent a couple of hours on Saturday night bemoaning the sad state of the world, especially American politics. We got all fired up. The fire in my belly has since been replaced with a heavy cold stone that I wish I could just vomit up and be done with.

It’s overwhelming, all of it. I trudged along in my trench of depression, ever so much luckier because I wasn’t aware of anything beyond the borders of my own heart and mind. Then I saw the leading edge of a tarp, a piece of plastic covering up something rotten, and I pulled the tarp to see what was underneath. Now I am having a hard time seeing anything else.

I frame so many things in terms of war and lies and deception. Lying with my husband and daughter in our tent on Saturday night, I heard the soft sound of rain pattering on our nice dry tent, and I berated myself because I was warm and dry, safe and full, when others in the world are starving, cold, diseased, and lying in fear for their lives.

I come in to work and I look at my paycheck, where it says what federal taxes have been taken out. I think about how much my actions are funding the war in Iraq and Afganistan and the coming invasion of Iran. (Oh, and if anyone wants to convince me the Bush administration won’t invade Iran, you’re welcome to try. Seriously. Please.) I know that some of my taxes also go towards well-meaning federal programs, but it’s hard to compare those to the war machine.

I put gas in the Jeep and wonder what effect I am having on the nation’s addiction to oil. Isn’t there any other option? I have thought seriously about buying a horse, but this country isn’t especially horse-friendly.

I sit at my desk and try to believe that my life means something. That breathing in and breathing out are important to do. That my presence has, for the most part, a positive effect on my husband and my daughter, and that they need me, even though I sometimes experience a chilling disconnect from that reality that quite frankly scares the shit out of me.

I call my therapist and make an appointment. He can’t see me until July 11th. So I close my eyes, wipe my tears and pray for the ability to hold on for a while longer.

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