You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘blues’ tag.

Well, not exactly, but the blues are singing a song of me today, and kitties always seem to help, whether it is images on a screen, or the real thing sitting on my heart. Mr. Man does have a tendency to lay on whatever part of me isn’t feeling up to snuff. He’s a wise healing kitty. It was a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope you all enjoyed it or at least kept family disputes to a minimum. I know it can be a tense time, especially this year.

For me now, we enter into a strange chrysalis-like phase that often lasts from after Thanksgiving until after the anniversary of my Mother’s passing. It will be ten years this year, and seems like yesterday sometimes. Two friends have lost a parent in the last week, and my heart goes out to them. It alters the character of the holidays when a loss is associated with days that the rest of the world associates with a certain celebration.

So for now, kitties.

img_4554
Littleton, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Daily gratitudes:
A lovely day
A lovely yesterday with MKL
A Downton Abbey marathon
A long talk with Kelsea
The East Simpson Coffee Shop

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell, especially when depression shadows you, constantly grabbing for your hand to hold you back. Even when I know the things I need to do to come out from a bout, I sabotage myself by not doing them. Sigh.

IMG_8419Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Rabbits
Clean dishes
An empty drawer
Birds flying in formation
The Olympics

Save

Today was one of those blue days when I just want to crawl into the spiral of a shell and stay there until my spirits lift. But that’s not the way life – or depression – works. On these days. sometimes, my mind wanders to things that made me bluer, and then I have to shift my perspective on those things to see the blessings inside them. They’re in there, just like a conch is nestled within the spirals of its shell.

Conched Out
Surf City, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space.” — Annie Kaufman

Daily gratitudes:
That my mother used to let me eat frozen peas in the summer when it was hot. They were so good and sweet, one at a time.

That I could afford to pay Kelsea’s first quarter college tuition today

The “golden hours” even when I don’t have my camera

The art collages on my bedroom walls

Watching “Catfish” with Kelsea – it’s her favorite show

It was one of those days when my depression got the best of me and I was enveloped by blues – and not the good tropical kind of blues either. I jumped to erroneous conclusions, berated myself for everything, and questioned the choices I’ve made in my life. I felt all my losses and all my regrets and relived pain in excruciating detail in my head. I was too cold. I was too hot. I was just all wrong.

MKL made things a lot better. He gave me a biiiiiiggggg hug at lunch. He helped me remember who I am and what I am and how loveable I am. That I am worth having as a partner. That my ability to love and that the love I give is as deep as the space beyond the stars. And for all that, I thank him. I feel better.

20140613_074319

Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” —  Louise Erdrich

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Feelings that pass like storm clouds
Happy bus drivers
Giving little old ladies directions downtown
Sarongs

Ah, those winter blues.  SAD has made its customary January appearance. I was hoping it would pass my house, like the creeping mist passed the houses marked with a cross when striking down the firstborn of Israel, or wherever – sorry, my knowledge of such things is from vague memories of watching Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments.

Remember SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder? Yes, my nemesis of the frigid months.  I wrote about it here last year. I realized that I’ve been feeling twinges for a month – it has just manifested differently this year. I have been feeling rundown and almost sick but not sick enough to stay home for almost a month. Yesterday, I realized that it wasn’t my body feeling bad. It was my brain. I was just manifesting it in my body for a while. Once I figured that out, my brain grabbed the ball and ran with it. Weird, especially since, I’ve been particularly happy with MKL, and happy with work, and happy with Kelsea.

So now that the bleus are out of the bag, they are on a bit of a rampage. Worries about money, about health, about paying for Kelsea’s college, about never being able to travel again. I’m going wild with worry. I have decided to let it flow, and run its course for a day or two, to see if that helps. In the meantime, I splurged (even though I’m feeling very broke) and ordered a SAD light that can come with me to work. I’m trying to walk more every day. I’m making sure not to miss my happy pills. I’m trying to clean one thing a day, to relax the chaos that I feel surrounds me at home. And I’m hoping we can head up to Cottonwood for a blissful brain break in the next couple of weeks.

I may complain a bit, but it’s therapeutic. Thanks for letting me whine.

Photo of the Day for January 3, 2012:  A Window of Blue

Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “When I reach the place of my dreams. I will thank my failures and tears. They too, kept me going.” — Dodinsky

Daily gratitudes:
The amazing sunrise this morning
The parking attendant who wished me a blessed day
The man playing fetch with his dog in the dark used a blue neon dog toy
The amazing big bright falling star on the way home tonight
The new MAC at work

I know that I’ve been – still or once again – rather silent in my writing.  As you can probably tell, my blues are still hanging on, and are influenced by the least (or the most) little thing.  Though I’ve had much to write about, between my mental state and another exceptionally busy time at work, I just haven’t been.  My little sister told me this morning that I would feel better if I was writing every day, even if what I was writing was about sadness.  She may well be right – she often is when it comes to me.

As I have been trying to instill more discipline in my life – in work, in training, and in taking care of myself – I am committing to try to instill more writing discipline in myself for the blog.  I’ve been well-disciplined with the Photo of the Day, and I’m proud of that.  But the blog is here to be my writing practice, as well as a form of self-expression.

Time to get down to the bones.

Black Cat Books

At the Bottom of the Deep Blue

I am caught in its tender tendrils, swept up in a rush of salt water,
Frustratingly feeble as I attempt
To catch a wave with my bare
hands.

The shades trap me, tripping me up, turning my head and my ankles
until I am nothing but a sodden heap of shattered fabric on the sand.

A sail rent so terribly that it cannot ever again love the wind.

So many tears trickled down the crevasse of my breasts,
tumbled into the wildness of my fragile hair,
teased into the tunnels of my ears as I lie on eiderdown alone.

Is the sea always as alone as I?

It has the sky to keep it company, a rich match made in changing tides and cycles of planets
and the light of certain stars.

The blue comes, a terrible torment, stealthily circuitous, catching me
innocently unaware, basking in a bliss that could never last.

It encroaches on my spirit, nibbles at the nape of my neck, an unease that I know
will smother me
until it fades away,
seeking some other
wayward
trusting
spirit.

Weapons are ineffectual.
Intellect is ignored.
The blue comes,
and stays,
of its own accord.

It curves around the edges of my light, false softness slipping a dream around my shoulders,
clouding my vision with gentle pulsating pain, pain so soft I can mistake it for pleasure,
until it is too late, and I am muffled, choking, speechless, sightless,

Drowning
in the unlenting blue.

“The  fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.”

This poem by Carl Sandburg is how I feel now, except substitute “blues” for fog. This is not a full-out, twelve round, knockout bout.  It feels like it’s creeping in, like I’m in a battle with my own brain and my own body for my own soul.

I had been doing so remarkably well, too, that when I have a misstep, I become discouraged.  I suppose one of the lessons of the Blues (yes, with a capital B) is that nothing – not even feelings – are permanent.

Somehow that does not make me feel better.

My small sage tells me to be patient, relax, and let things run their course, that everything will work out just fine.  It’s hard to believe that when you’re fighting the screaming blue meanies that seem to attack from every direction, leaving you tear-streaked and silent.

Honestly, writing helps.

But when that sense of tearing emotion seems to edge closer and closer, like some thick, wet, blue, velvet cloak trying to smother the life out of your heart…. it reminds me of women in gothic novels and B-movies, paralyzed at the approach of the charming vampiric villan, so desperately wanting to resist, but so powerless in his forthcoming embrace.

I sense a poem of my own coming on.

I’m very depressed today – meh.  It happens.  So what does the average girl do when she’s depressed?  C’mon, you know….that’s right!  She goes SHOPPING! 

Won’t you join me on a little spree?

Satan Butter Handmade Soap – what can one say?
www.hogmalion.com

Enema Bag pin or earrings – but you can only get the butt as a pin.
www.lunaparc.com

Bungee Jumper Man Bird Feeder – would I feel bad as he was consumed?
www.iwantoneofthose.com

Gentleman’s Nose Hair Trimmer – could be for ladies as well, I suppose.

The Gravitational Force of Breasts in Physics – or something like that – hey, don’t blame me, I was taught physics by a fiddle-playing ex-nun.
wwww.thatsbizarre.co.uk

The Wine Rack – enhances your figure AND allows you to smuggle alcohol into sporting events or concerts!

Christopher the Scab with his Bandage Friend – they’re practically inseparable.
www.baronbob.com

I don’t like shoes, and I’m not Jewish, but I couldn’t resist.
www.stupid.com

Cane Toad Leather Shoulder Bag – this would probably deter purse snatchers.
www.roopooco.com

Black Playing Cards – for those morbid Solitaire-playing days.

Hand soap – literally.  Pretty creepy, huh?
www.freshtrend.com

Fallen Angel – handmade, and she’s actually NOT a doll.
www.etsy.com

Squishable stress egg – bounces back every time.
www.amazon.com

Well, that should clean out the coffers for tonight.   Thanks for coming along.

I have always gotten the Winter Blues.  They’re a little late in their severity this year – they just seem to have hit now.  I am subdued.  I am quiet.  I am teary.  I anger quickly.  I am despairing.  And I just figured out this morning, when I looked at all the bare trees and felt my soul sink, aching for want of green leaves, that SAD had finally struck.

When I first started noticing it years ago, it hit in January.  In recent years, it’s moved up to hitting in November or December.  This year, while I was, as usual, disgusted with the cold, and only satisfied with the snow when it was too deep to leave the house, I wasn’t experiencing the exceptional indigo blues that typically accompany winter.  Yes, I had the blues, but between divorce, the holidays and the cold, that was to be expected – they were your standard Crayola Blue blues.

Today, they hit me like a ton of sapphire bricks.

While Seasonal Affective Disorder is not, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM-IV), a mood disorder with its own classification code, it is what they call a “course specifier”, which means that it can contribute to major depression.  It appears to be a biochemical imbalance in the brain due to the shorter days of winter.  There have been arguments made that SAD is a natural response to cold and an absence of light – a sort of hibernation response that might very well have been a survival technique of our distant ancestors.  I’d believe that.

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • fatigue – got it, but what else is new?
  • lack of interest in normal activities – kind of got it
  • social withdrawal – no more so than usual
  • craving foods high in carbohydrates – no, no cravings thanks to Atkins
  • weight gain – again, kudos to Atkins for keeping this one at bay

While you might think that SAD would be worse in countries towards the Arctic Circle, such as Iceland and Norway, it’s actually less so.  Researchers suspect this may be some kind of genetic adaptation, or it may have to do with the large amounts of Vitamin D that people in these countries consume.  (Did you know that Icelandic people eat 225 pounds of fish per person per year?  I didn’t.)

SAD is primary treated with light therapy.  A special light that emits full spectrum bright white light can be helpful.  I used one off and on when I first started feeling the severe effects of SAD.  I pointed it to the backs of my knees (yes, I know, but it seemed to work) every morning for about 20 minutes.  I should probably retrieve it from Pat’s house, but it’s pretty big, being one of the first of its’ kind.  I’m sure they have more compact models now.

Other suggested treatments are:

  • Medicines – already doing that
  • Changes in diet – I can do that – fish are golden on Atkins
  • Learning to manage stress – Bah-Hah! SNORT!  Yeah, right….
  • Going to a sunny climate for the cold months – That one sounds like the best of all plans to me

One of my bosses insists that my SAD should start abating on December 22, when the days start getting longer.  He considers that date to be the beginning of spring.  I have tried, but I am unable to buy into that theory.

I am just going to have grumble and mourn my way through the cold until the first crocuses start appearing.  Until then, just be sure that all knives and sleeping pills are well out of my reach.  And keep the Kleenex handy.

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