Yesterday I stumbled on the most difficult sentence in the world for me to write. And it all came down to two words: too afraid. That’s what haunted me, bugged me, rang in my ears all day long and CONTINUES to ring in my ears this morning. Too afraid.
I like to think of myself as a warrior. Someone who, underneath her yellow hoodie and sunglasses, wears silver armor and carries a deadly sword, ready to defend or attack as necessary. I like to think I’m tough. That the pain I suffer – physical or mental – IS a lot of pain, that a lot of people would cave much sooner to tears or depression than I do, that I do well for all the problems I have. So writing down the words ‘too afraid’ as in ‘I’m too afraid to make the call to the counseling center’ – well, you can imagine. Wimp has been my favorite flogging word the past 24 hours. Weakling, pussy, baby – yep. Hearing them all.
Hell, if I go to see someone to complain about physical pain I’d better barely be able to walk. Otherwise, the same shit goes on.
I have a REAL issue asking for help.
I’ve heard all that ‘you’re too hard on yourself’ shit, too. Don’t ask me to back down from myself: it’s the only fucking thing that keeps me going, day to day. Without it, I’ll fall into a tube of marshmallow goo that will entangle me for the rest of my fucking life.
The note to my GP got half written, then it was put away in shame. I was going to just make an appointment and TALK with her, not leave a note like a child. But then I imagined just saying the words ‘I’m struggling with depression’ out loud and I began to cry. Just the contemplation of owning up to that fact made me want to crawl under the nearest rock. Deny, deny. Look at the bright and shiny. Don’t think too much about it. Some part of me realized how desperate I was feeling. I went back and finished the note – in an entirely different style of handwriting (wonder if my GP will notice). I contemplated getting my bro to drop it off; I wasn’t feeling too trusting of myself after declaring out here that yes, I was off to write that fucking note and then stumbling over it for more than an hour. But I whipped up my courage and did a quick drop off before my language class.
Score: me 1, depression 0.
My class went well. Thank you, goddess, for my instructor. He’s such a nice guy and so laid back and friendly he nullifies any of my ‘crazier’ reactions. Kind of wish he was my counselor; seems like the kind of person I could just talk to without having to get past the anxiety of talking. Anyway, there were only two other students, so we had mega rehearsal time. And we finally covered how to tell time – I know, I know. Laugh. Go on. It’s okay. You DO need to figure out how the Dutch tell time. Everything comes down to 5 minute intervals. It’s 5 or 10 minutes before or after this or that. Quarter and half hours are (lucky for me) called ‘kwart’ and ‘half’ so THAT’s easy to remember. Generally. I got used to the Irish/English references, meaning 1:30 was called half one. Here, 1:30 is called half two. That trips me up. The clock’s got 4 divisions here; time is either before or after quarter, half hour, and hour divisions. Believe me, figuring out how to say 1:25 ain’t easy (you’d say it as 5 minutes before half 2. Ugh. Give me 1:25, please).
So now I can tell time and list the days of the week and the months of the year. Somebody gimme a gold star to hang up on my refrigerator.
Did more proofing on my story. My biggest problem is tense swaps and switches. Fuck. You know, that’s something I wasn’t taught in school. The whole verb tense or what’s the object in a sentence wasn’t taught to me. I just picked it up from listening and reading. I’m gonna be SUCH a better writer in Dutch when I get there. No QUESTION on verb tense; I’m getting the proper usage drilled into me right now. But English? Oh, I’ll pop around from past to present to conditional in one paragraph. Get me enamored enough with my own words and I’ll never even see it; just blow right past and think how bloody brilliant I am. *sigh* Anyway. Got a bit more to tighten up and finish, but I got through all the TENSE problems yesterday. As the steel of the story – that stem of honesty and truth I try to put into what I write – began to emerge, I started to shake. I get that when I’m close and the story’s good. My whole torso shakes and shivers; can’t stop it. With the fat cut and the tense problems cleared up, I saw clearly what this story was all about. I’m admitting to depression in it; how bad it is, how much it drains me.
Some part of me is ready to talk about this.
That makes me defensive. I believe the word ‘fuck’ has run through my head close to 80 or 90 times already this morning, and I’ve only been up for an hour and a half.
Now’s the time to focus what concentration I’ve got. Remember I’m not there yet; I’m not talking to some fuck-wit who’s telling me I’m this or that or discounting me in some way. And stick. to. the fucking. plan. First appointment = Ativan chip to keep calm. Take control. This is MY process, not theirs. I’ll go about this any fucking way I please. Smoking marijuana? Yes, thank you. Want to get into that deeper? No, not now, let’s move on. Until I’m offered tools other than the ones I’ve learned to rely on, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.
Beep, beep, da-beep-beep in the free world. (thanks, Blah <3)