Friday, November 29, 2013

November, 2013

Apparently, November sucks. It's true.  From what I can see in the lyrics of any songs about this transitional month, there is a lot of talk of crappy precipitation and about crazy people--generally speaking.  Musicians, and maybe all artistic people in the world, think November sucks.  That statement is truer than true.


"We only dream to float downstream, reminded by the rain,
Tied to a tree, cannot break free, reminded by the rain..."


I know, right?  That there is a sad statement for humanity, from a song you've never listened to...  Seriously, that pessimistic stanza is not even from the Guns N' Roses' classic, November Rain, it's from a song called November by J Church. I am not particularly familiar with J Church, but I do know he's an artist who doesn't enjoy November.


Strangely, I am right brained, yet November and I don't have any problems with each other.  My childhood memories of November are happy ones, filled with family, and anticipation for the very next month: Jesus' birthday. November smells like candied sweets and pumpkin pie.  It sounds like my grandparents' and great-grandparents voices, and children laughing.  It feels like smooth, like Cushman rock maple tables.   

November is when I always seemed to be teaching the book To Kill a Mockingbird to my Sophomore English classes.  It was a great and humbling honor to put the hardbound copies of Harper Lee's novel into each student’s hands.  I knew their world was going to change a little bit when they met Atticus, and Jem, and Scout Finch.  


Literally, can't wait...
Although none of those things, the things that symbolize the month, were visceral and tangible this year, November still holds promise and beauty for me.  Michael happens to love turkey, and his enthusiasm for consuming it, is unmatched.  November also sounds like Michael saying, "I can't wait for the turkey to be done, I just want to eat it and eat it.  Thanksgiving is my favorite food holiday," with a voice full of awe and admiration; his Michael eyes--which are so much like Grampy John's--twinkling with his winsome grin.  


Why, Bob Dylan, why?!


I could say that this November was challenging for me, or rather, I was challenged greatly by setbacks this past month.  But I won't talk about those things: Musicians and artists already have a corner on that market-- rain and crazy people and death...  and drug dealing (in the south, specifically), crazy people and crappy weather and dying in the south...  That covers it fairly well.


Late November
by Sandy Denny  
The wine it was drunk, the ship it was sunk,
The shot it was dead, all the sorrows were drowned.
The birds they were clouds, the brides and the shrouds
And as we drew south the mist it came down.


The wooded ravine to the wandering stream,
The serpent he moved, but no-one would say.
The depths of the waters, the bridge which distraught us
And brought to me thoughts of the ill-fated day.


The temples were filled with the strangest of creatures
One played it by ear on the banks of the sea.
That one was found but the others they went under.
Oh the tears which are shed, they won't come from me.


The methods of madness, the pathos and the sadness,
God help you all, the insane and wise.
The black and the white, the darkness of the night,
I see only smoke from the chimneys arise.


The pilot he flew all across the sky and woke me.
He flew solo on the mercury sea.
The dream it came back, all about the tall brown people,
The sacred young herd on the phosphorus sand.


November
by J Church
As the rain falls hard it fills the cracks on Mission Street,
There's a hole in my shoe and it’s letting water soak my feet,
I don't know why I curse the sky because it won't stop the rain,
I don't know who I'm yelling to because it won't stop the rain


As the rain fall hard it falls on the people waiting for the bus home,
(for the bus home),
No matter who you are, you feel the same when you're wet, cold and alone,
Soaked hair and dress and all the rest divided by the rain,
When you get home you're still alone reminded by the rain, rain


So I went home like I normally do and I put on something dry,
I went out to get a coffee, read a book about anarchy,
And watched the commuters walk by,
Tears from the sky, I'm satisfied that I can't stop the rain,
Can't justify, and I can't define, and I can't stop the rain, rain


We only dream to float downstream, reminded by the rain,
Tied to a tree, cannot break free, reminded by the rain  


November Rain
by Guns N' Roses


When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain
We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
in the cold November rain
Do you need some time.. on your own
Do you need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone
I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you
Sometimes I need some time.. on my own
Sometimes I need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone
And when your fears subside
and shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
when there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
we still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
even cold November rain
Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one


Gone 'Til November
by Wyclef
I wanna dedicate this song, Gone 'Til November...
To all you ladies out there, crying all alone in your room
And all you fellas, going down south...Not making it back...
May the lord bless your soul, I love you girl
Every time I make a run
Girl you turn around and cry
I ask myself, why oh why?
See you must understand
I can't work a nine to five
so I'll be Gone...'Til November
Said I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November
Yo, tell my girl yo I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November
Yo, tell my girl yo I'll be Gone 'Til November
January, February, March, April, May...
I see you crying, but girl I can't stay
I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November...
And give a kiss to my mother...
Girl I gotta leave, please don't cry
When I come back, you know the limit's the sky
I'll take you out to dinner, to your favorite spot
Feed you an aphrodisiac just to get you hot
Drive-by movies, by a cemetery
If my corpse could talk then I would tell you I was sorry
Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous,
Some die with a name, some die nameless
We had nothin'
I had to do something
So I'm Knocking On Heaven's Door, like I'm Bob Dylan
Ever contemplating, the charges I'm facing
My new-born son, I hope I see his graduation
Take him to the movies, by the cemetery
If my corpse could talk then I would tell him, I was sorry
Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous
Some die with a name, some die nameless!


And, there you have it--Rock solid, lyrical evidence, folks.  November…  It’s… something.



Rhodopsin.

I add the darkness into my calendar where it looks like it fits right, and not always when it will really happen.  But damn it, then it hits me,  and I don't expect to feel that way, and I don't understand what is wrong with me.  Why am I so tired?  Why am I so sad?  Why does it feel like I'm walking around in daylight, yet my eyes can't adjust and I can't see?  Bright light to a dim room...  I'm blinded.  My mind is empty, taking in nothing of the day or what is around me; My eyes are looking for darker, lonelier, quieter, emptier places.  I have very tangible and gut wrenching reasons to feel sad.  This must be some serious sadness, because it can't already be back.


I don't know how I ended up here.  I've never felt this way before.  I've never felt so lost and empty.  This type of sadness is foreign to me.  I have no idea how to behave or deal with this sadness.  I see no good in this.  I see nothing that can comfort this grief.  There is no one to talk to and no one to share this feeling with.  I am alone with this sadness.  
That was all that was real to me, yesterday.  That was all I could see.  I felt desperately depressed...  and part of it was because I didn't know if I would ever feel happy again... because I'm not depressed like that unless I have PMDD... and it had to be something deeper than hormones and brain chemicals...  Right?


As if I could stop it by trying to schedule it for less than 14 days, or place it into the month during a week that isn't right now...  Not today.  Not today...


I felt it yesterday, but I denied it.


Yesterday I wrote this:  I've isolated myself.  The things that have made me feel depressed and crazy over the last few years are all that surround me now.  This blog isn't even public.  No one will read it.  I'm writing to no one... because I cut myself off.


I am desperately sad and depressed.  I forgot how to float.  I'm just standing here, instead--Standing here staring at nothing, my eyes unfocused, wondering what the fuck is going on and how I got here.  How did I get to this place, right now, in my life?  How did I do this to myself?


And I don't want to float.  Floating actually requires effort and some semblance of thought and action.  I don't have any control over how I feel or what I am doing.  I want to sleep all day, so I don't think.  I don't want to cry.  I don't want to stop crying, and feel nothing.  I want to sleep and never wake up.  I want to wake up and run away.  I do nothing.


But, my chest ached endlessly and electric pain shot through my breasts and my back all day.  I would deny these telltale signs too.


I was sitting at the top of the stairs, after putting Michael's clothes away in his drawers, with my head in my hands.  Sam asked me to check my calendar again.  I counted the days and saw that it didn't matter that the blue colored bar, stating:  PMDD, began on December 7th, and crossed through the days after that...  I put it there.  I counted the days and saw that I was way off with my blue bar.  I was spacing the colors on the calendar so they looked uniform and...  It looked right...  No, not only that, It looked just right because that would mean I would be happy for Christmas.  It would not be here on Christmas.  My finger touched the computer screen on November 30th, not December 7th, when I counted it properly...  I started to cry.  Sam got my liquid Prozac and measured the correct dose into my glass of water.


This shadow, this darkness, is unwelcome and uninvited, yet it is a relief to know that it was here yesterday.  It was here; I was tired, and sad, and numb, and blinded for a reason.  I know it will pass, and I will see again...


Even if it's only for 14 days.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Second Chances.

Here's my wish:  I wish everyone could have a second chance... when they really need one... with no strings attached.  When all things go to Hell, I want everyone to have a redo...  I want them to be able to say, "Okay, I'm going to get up, walk out the door, walk back in, and introduce myself again," or, "We are going to stop talking, close our eyes, take a deep breath, open our eyes, and start this conversation over."


How many people have that feeling after everything falls apart: "What could I have done differently?"  I always think of all the things I really wanted to say, and the things I really meant, wondering why they didn't come to me when I needed them.  Why did I say those things?  What was I even talking about?  (I also really, super-duper just wish I had one of those Men in Black memory eraser wand thingys, because I would need a whole lot of second chances with a whole lot of people and often... So that thing would come in handy).  Before I say something, I want to have the ability to take a moment to understand where my head is, and what I am doing, and see the big picture, the entire symbolic Tralfamadorian mountain range, see it clearly--past, present and future--and react with all that I truly know, and not all that I feel at that one moment... Especially when that moment is so claustrophobic and dark.


All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. --Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.


God knows my emotions are unreliable...  Or is it my mind?  I don't know.  I have a hard time delineating where my feelings stop and my thinking begins, because I'm a sensitive person anyway.  But I know PMDD makes feelings and thoughts all mix up together; they overlap, there is no delineation.


I had been feeling a lot better, you know?  However, when stress is added to PMDD, it can lead to many a frightening thing...  I'm still learning how much it can cripple me.  My thoughts and words and feelings are not my own;  I don't have control over them.  That's when I need my second chance. Because I say things I don't want to say.  I say things I don't even remotely connect to, and would never even think if I were rational.  When I read them later, sometimes, I think, "What a nutjob.  What's her problem?"  Then it's an understanding: "OMG, that is me.  That came from me."  I know I need to step away from people and conversations.  I need to step away until it passes...  Second chances...


The problem is, most people need you to walk right back into that room, and reintroduce yourself... They need you to open your eyes and start talking again, right now... Not a week or two from now.



And, I've tried to do that stepping back thing.  I will say, "I'm going to check the fuck out for a week or two, talk to you later."  But that doesn't work.  I'm at the bottom of a well, God Damn it.  My arms span the width easily:  I can touch each wet, slimy side at the same time. I can barely see the top...  The dark cylinder is all up, in one direction, and my thoughts are linear, shallow.  I don't even have a place to step back to... It's just Bang: wall, wall, wall, wall, wall, wall, wall, WALL! When we are alone in our paranoia, and assumptions, and anger, and our feelings of inadequacy and failure, it all festers.  Don't even bother stepping anywhere.  It's scarier to reach out and touch them. It's better to just sit and wait it out, with your arms wrapped around you, alone.


I need to say this: I have never expressed anger towards my children.  I have never yelled at them.  I protect them from PMDD.  I save up all hope and happiness and smiles I can muster for them. When I am not overwhelmed with unknowns and stress, I can even handle not being alone.  I'm only halfway down the well.  Hey, I can even talk to the people going about their lives up there, outside of the well.  I'm kind of a part of the world.


But there are months when I am not okay.  And It wasn't until today that I realized I was "yelling" in a different way, by writing, when I was "alone."  I think I'm protecting everyone, but the computer, (and my writing), is a tool for my own self-destruction, and for hurting others, when it all festers.  I have a stinging lash.  I leave welts and gashes, that lead to scars.  The proverb, "The pen is mightier than the sword," rings true.  I've stabbed the hell out of friends with my pen...  And I thought I was protecting everyone...


I dream that my wish for second chances could come true, yet scars remind us of pain.  Who wants to give someone who lashed you to pieces for being a good friend, and not just walking away, any more chances?  It's just putting salt in the wounds, or reopening them over and over again...


I guess the thing is, I would and will.  I would take the lashing from someone I loved, until I could get close enough to remove the weapon from her hands... and hug her... and tell her I love her, and I will forgive her every time.  No matter what.  


                                                                       Crazy Baby


And your hands are really shakin' something awful
As you light your 27th cigarette
Oh how long have you been sittin' in the darkness
You forget

Oh you know you're gettin' really hard to be with
And you're cryin' every time you turn around
And you wonder why you can not pick your head up
Off the ground

Oh my crazy baby
Try to hold on tight
Oh my crazy baby
Don't put out the light, the light,the light, the light

And they look at you like they don't speak your language
And you're living at the bottom of a well
And you swallowed all the awful bloody secrets
That you can't tell


Oh you know you ought to get yourself together
But you can not bear to walk outside your door
No, you can not bear to look into the mirror
Anymore, anymore


Oh my crazy baby
Try to hold on tight
Oh my crazy baby
Don't put out the light, the light,the light, the light


And your hands are really shakin' something awful
As your worries crawl around inside your clothes
Ooh how long will you be sittin in the darkness
Heaven knows

Oh my crazy baby
Try to hold on tight
Oh my crazy baby
Don't put out the light, the light,the light, the light, the 
light,the light, the light, the light,the light, the light
--Joan Osborne


(P.S.  I'm writing a lot more, lately, but don't get used to it.  I just have a massive sinus infection (apparently one that has been messing with me for over a month now), and I'm really run down and tired for other reasons... I'm sad... I am finishing blog posts I began and never finished).