Wednesday, October 29, 2014

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me





Luke doesn't want me to die. Breathlessly. Desperately. My friend posted this video today, and I think he meant to post it primarily for the musical background. But as I listened to the words of the essay, it struck me. What...why...am I hanging around, when everything is black? Why did I forward it to Luke? What was my point?

That point was the tiny little hole of light pinpointed in the direction of life that is my son.

I cried most of today, for reasons understood and not understood. Remember, it was Englishman Stephen Fry who said to please resolve yourself never to ask a depressed person WHY they're depressed; just be there for them when they come out the other end. I just hope there is an end. I would like to smile beamingly and laugh heartily. I would like to take pleasure in the world. To not dread the holidays already in October. To not risk failing or incompleting another class in school. To not ache and hate myself as much as I do. To have the smokin' bod I had a year and a half ago. To be more than just somebody's friend.

I resolved myself to working all day today, to play catch-up. In reality, nothing got done. Nothing will get done. I need this space to vent and let out my feelings as they engulf me. My mom wasn't feeling well this morning, so when I got up at 10am, thinking she'd be gone, I was surprised to see her bedroom door closed and checked on her. She didn't make it to Bible class and stayed in bed for several more hours. I basically hung around the house until Meg convinced me to get out of the house for at least a little while, so I drove across the county to buy cigarettes and get gas. That took all of an hour.


I was up at 2am making Ramen. (Thank you, Ambien Walrus. I hadn't had anything to eat in 12 hours.) Luke let me know tonight that I'd left the stove on all night. I have no recollection of this. Thank God we have an electric stove. He didn't report me to Grandma, because he knows better than to get me into more trouble than I usually already am. 

After school, I had awoken from a nap about an hour after Luke got home. He was lying on his bed video chatting with friends. I tearfully asked if I could lie down beside him, just for the comfort and the tenderness. He said no. Then he said something snarky like, "Get a boyfriend or something," which hurt even more. I gave it some time, and tried again. No again. I went back in my room and cried mightily. Luke came in and asked me what was wrong. I couldn't tell him. I couldn't let him into the loneliness and despair I felt, because to do so would be to sink him into the same sand which was choking me.

He told me he ran the mile today and cut 2 minutes off his time, and for that I was proud. Still crying, but proud. He quickly retreated back to his room,and I asked him to close my door. He wanted to know why. I said, "Just close the door." I reported back to Meg that I'd failed to win over my son's affections. 

I sent the above video to him, and he bitingly wrote back, "You have no reason to die, so stop." I found it pressing to find any reason besides him to keep living. Apparently, he was able to talk via chat instead of in person. I think that's a fear and defense mechanism. And I totally understand. He said it was far from true that he wouldn't care if I lived or died. We exchanged a bit more back and forth about me wanting to die and Luke not wanting me to die, to the point where I asked him if my life held any value to him. 

"What would I do without you?" he asked.

That made me relieved and sorrowful. What I don't put that boy through. His resilience is remarkable. I know what it's like to have a depressed parent, because I have one, but her depression seems totally irrational and kooky. Luke knows the root of my depression but is afraid to expound upon it. Not to play down my mom's depression entirely, but she refuses to get help for hers, whereas I seek medication and counseling. 

What would I do without Luke? I would die. Of that I am certain.

We had our practice session last night with our student therapists with whom we'll be assigned the rest of the semester. It was tough. It was hard enough to break down how I was feeling to one girl, let alone 3 observers. But we are to be truthful. And I got choked up a few times talking about the last week or so. About falling behind on projects. About being unhappy and missing Guy, which I have lately. About feeling inadequate in all facets of my life. 

But I also mentioned my son. It was funny, and harrowing and informative and probably more than the student counselor was prepared for. I told her, really as an aside, that I'd lost my father when I was 11, and she didn't interrupt (when she could and should have) and that when that happened, and I'd never told this to anyone before, that I'd constructed a whole make-believe world where I would let my mind wander, where everything was okay. Where I hadn't lost my parent. Where we wanted for nothing. And that was my escapism. Later in life, my escapism would turn to drugs and alcohol, but I still remember the fantasy life. Sometimes my psychotic mind wanders and constructs what it'd be like now in a utopia. 

Perhaps an early symptom of psychosis, I don't know, but whenever the real world got to be too much for me, I'd retreat my head into this fantasy world. I'd just lie down and imagine how nicely things would work out if things were different than they were in real life. Or I'd roller skate in the basement, around and around in circles, listening to music. That was my way of not dealing with the pain. My son has a much more direct and solid approach. I think that's largely due to his personality and largely due to the bone-crunching realities which he's seen. But he can breathe easy at night, because I haven't died. I wonder if, when he rests his head at night, if he says a little prayer that I made through another day. That's probably a delusion of grandiosity and he's just tired from the rigors of the day.

I'd hate to be Luke, teetering with a mom who's as unstable as I am. I feel an immense amount of guilt about how he must feel, what thoughts must go through his head, and the overall feeling that is morose in our household. Still in all, I know he wouldn't trade me. He wouldn't want any other mom than me. And my love for him jettisons into the stratosphere. I'm mamby-pambying but I'm a very lucky woman. I have a young man who, in his own way, won't let me sink the Titanic I feel my life has become.

Which only proves that he's just as crazy as I am.





7 comments:

Rob Cheney said...

Stephen Fry was right on that point! And there I was thinking I would share a sweet bit of ambient music that I liked without watching the clip first, unaware that it would be the catalyst for a powerful blog post

Andrea Miklasz said...

Don't worry about it, Rob. It is nice, ambient music. But the message struck a powerful chord in me yesterday, when I was feeling depressed (I still am). I'm glad you shared that clip with us. At least I got something done yesterday, right? I wish I had a job where I could just write and write and write all day.

BMF said...

You and I have discussed all of this privately, so I'm not going to say much. I just want you to know once again how much I love you and need you.

Kezia Su said...

When I feel that way, I paint. Like you write I suppose. I get paint and just throw it at the wall or the canvas. I let my tears mix in. I scream suicide over and over until it passes. Doing something physical gets me through the time. Others, related or not, will never understand. That is a blessing to them. I am glad for them. But, you should see my walls. I love them.

Kezia Su said...

Andrea, when I feel that way, I paint. Like you write I suppose. I get paint and just throw it at the wall or the canvas. I let my tears mix in. I scream suicide over and over until it passes. Doing something physical gets me through the time. Others, related or not, will never understand. That is a blessing to them. I am glad for them. But, you should see my walls. I love them.

Anonymous said...

When I feel that way, I paint. Like you write I suppose. I get paint and just throw it at the wall or the canvas. I let my tears mix in. I scream suicide over and over until it passes. Doing something physical gets me through the time. Others, related or not, will never understand. That is a blessing to them. I am glad for them. But, you should see my walls. I love them.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Kezia, thank you for weighing in. Painting or any other artistic pursuit is certainly a healthy coping mechanism. I do write therapeutically. Oftentimes, that interferes with my grad school work, but I would rather keep my life and suicide-watch in check than handle homework. I can rattle this stuff off very quickly. In a depressive episode, it's very, very hard for my to stay on-task, though I can write creatively. I play my drums creatively. These, and, well, smoking, are my coping mechanisms.

I think it's wonderful that you paint. My best friend, Kate, is a professional artist. She made the comment above.

I sort of wish I'd gone into the art therapy program at my old grad school. Maybe I could've helped a lot more people. But what's done is done and I'm behind in all my current school projects, but I'll get caught up, I know I will. I always do.

Thanks for posting!