The Voices Within

***Picture via Pintrest***

With tongue laced in acid

words drip venom down my chest

held deep within your binding spell

unable to tear myself away.

You rip me apart

words laden with bile and hatred

etching everlasting the loathing

that I carry within myself.

Voices dripping with disdain

a roar within my brain

ripping and tearing

the fragile fabric of ego

causing me to crumple in pain.

I raise my head

tears fleeing down my cheeks

defiant in the face of your abuse

pummelled by your voice no more.

 

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

September 16/17

Self-Assessment

***Meme is via Facebook***

Last week was not the greatest week for me. I have already detailed the difficulties that T and myself faced. I talked about how I fell ill. I did not tell mention that I spent my weekend wallowing. Feeling down and out, unmotivated, lethargic and not me. I was at a loss.

Sunday dawned and with it, a general feeling of well being. I awoke happy, energetic and optimistic. Wait? What? Optimistic? Had I missed something? I gave a mental shrug and began my day. Had been going to take another lazy day but as I looked around the clutter, the debris (not garbage but lego, dishes from the previous night) the laundry needing to be done, began to gnaw at me. I scrapped my hair back and set to work. An hour and a half later, my house was clean and I was again, feeling great.

I went for a walk and thought. Not about anything in particular until a scrap of memory came to me. My doctor and me had been talking awhile back, and I was giving him my self-assessment of how I had been doing and how I had been coping. Abashedly I paused and said or at least that is what I think. And my doctor looked at me and said, you know yourself the best, and you have a very good grasp on your mental state and how things affect you.

With a sudden start I realized that these last few days were not about my feeling ill. It was not about being lethargic or feeling useless.

The not feeling well.

In the last several months, when I have not felt well, it is my body’s first line of defense saying that I need to slow down and take a break. And once more I ignored it. Not willfully but due to the fact that I have only just realized the correlation.

After three weeks with me, T left for his week with his dad on Saturday. A day early as they had a wedding to attend.

My home was suddenly silent after being filled with little boy sounds and smells. I wandered around, a little bereft and the cats followed me, curious as to where the little one went. But at the same time, a small part of me was looking forward to my downtime. So now I added guilt into the mixture of feelings swirling throughout my body.

And my holidays were coming to an end.

I had had a wonderful two weeks, unwinding, recharging my batteries for work, reading, being with T and now it was over. To make matters worse, the weather has gone from late summer heat to fall’s crisp air and warmish temperatures. A rather sudden change for this beach bunny. Moving from the summer wear to my winter wear of hoodies, yoga pants and socks! Egads, I had to put socks on twice on the weekend. That is just plain wrong.

Add in the monthly hormonal issues and I am surprised that I was not sitting in the corner rocking myself back and forth. Instead, I had withdrawn and fallen back into patterns that I should have realized were detrimental to my well being. I was sliding down the rabbit’s hole, to wallow and be melancholy.

In other words, I had myself a little slip. A halfway slide down the slope of sadness. Guilt. Fear. Worry. Insecurity.

The voice that sometimes weasels its way free of the gilded cage I keep it in, whispering that I am not good enough. Not smart enough. That I am deluding myself with visions of grandeur. It found an inch and tried to take a mile before I was able to slam the cage door shut and relock it. With chains. And nails. And crossbars.

Since I began retaking my meds six months ago, life has been blissful. I have been doing so well. No sadness. No ruing my actions. No yelling. No screaming. T and me had been getting along so well. But the last week of holidays, it was old times all over again. Only I was unable to see it. And I am so good at putting on a face and smiling through my tears, that those I have in place to be my check point, were not even aware of what was going on with me.

My texts were brief and non-initiated. I did not face anyone so no one could read my face or my eyes. And I have been living with depression since I was a teenager. I know how to act so no one sees my pain. No one has to listen to my woeful complaints of loneliness and despair.

I do not paint this picture of myself to gain pity. I want others to understand that this illness sneaks up on you. It is not a matter of just taking medication, learning coping mechanisms or going to therapy. It is not even a matter of being aware and doing self-assessments so you know where you are at in your mental and physical well being.

Depression will drop over unannounced, settle into the comfortable spot on the couch and decide to stay awhile. I am lucky that it was a brief visit for me this time.

 

Better Days

Lost in the malestorm

sucked down the eddy

braving bleak thoughts

seeking always that peace.

Knowing that there will be a day;

when the pain,

the angst,

will no longer be in control.

Days when I shall see the sunshine,

hear my own laughter

and not be crippled 

by anxiety and depression.

Those are the goods days.

The ones I cling to.

For when that blackness enshrouds;

I remember that there

will always be 

a better day coming back to me.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

August 27/17

Untitled 10

Somewhere in time

fantasies did grow

Over-taking all reality

until no longer

can one differentiate.

Was it madness?

a disease?

An escape from life?

swallowed in a mimosa of hatred

swaddled in grey.

Beating against enclosing walls

fists bleeding

numb with pain.

There is no escape from this truth

no matter how hard

no matter how fast

one tries to flee.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

July 24/17

Triumph

Sittin on the end of the pier

staring out at wind swept waves

Curling and racing

tearing away my pain.

I don’ need no love

I don’ need no cares

All I need is belief in myself

And than I shall rise above.

You sought to tear me down

to eradicate

The beauty and truth I see

because it did not confirm

With your reals.

Who gave you the right?

The ability to judge and deem

that only your way is the path?

And those who do not follow

you make undone.

I sit on the end of the pier

wind dancing in my hair

Watching the glories of the day

as the sun rises high above.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

July 12/17

Understanding

I had a conversation tonight that made me think. When one is going through the depths of depression, we are not aware of the environment around us. We are not aware, or I am not aware of the stresses that I put others through. I mean, I know with the bf I was angry and argumentative and I was trying to drive him away. Why? Because it fit with the way I was feeling, the emotions that were whirling through my head. So, how do you explain to someone who has never been through it what you are going through?

Again, due to this conversation, both of us realized there is a real face to diseases like cancer, diabetes, ms, parkinsons, dementia, but when it comes to depression there is no physical ailment. There is no understanding. It is not as though you can see a physical change in the person.  Yes, it is a chemical imbalance in my brain. But you cannot see it. What you see is one day I appear to be moping around and the next, I am so hyper and high that you are not sure how to deal with me.

So I began to think…..how do I explain how I feel, what I see, what is going on that affects me? And I cannot. I am so wrapped up in my own misery and sadness, that I do not care. I do not even notice how I am affecting those around me. I begin to notice when I start being angry all the time, and that the smallest things make me rage. But I put it off as others not caring and I take it all into myself.

All I can hear are the voices in my head, the ones that taunt me, tease me, tell me the things that I do not need nor want to hear. How I am a horrid mother, lover, friend. I am the world’s worst sister and daughter. And in doing so, I isolate myself so as to not subjugate anyone to the horror that has become me. I have not suddenly morphed into The Phantom of the Opera but I am most definitely within the Cersei  dispicable category.

Do I use my depression as an excuse for my behaviour? I do not know. Have I ever thought about how it affects those around me? I will admit that I have not. I have not even considered how hard it must be for someone standing on the outside trying to breach that wall. To have to stand there, to watch the person you care for tearing themselves apart and yet you do not know what to do? When you can feel their pain, as a palpable heart beat in the room, and yet you just do not know how to relate.

I caution patience. I caution self regard. I caution a little leeway for the depressed and yet I understand if it becomes so hard that you cannot. Every face of depression, whether worn by your mother, father, sister, lover, aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather, is different. Each one of us views that blackness in varying hues of greys and shadows.

For myself, I am sorry; to my son, my mother, my brother and my bf, to my friends and co-workers. I am sorry for the pain I put you through, the anger and mean things that I said. I cannot tell you that it will not happen again, because it will. There will come a time when my meds might plateau or something so incredibly devastating happens that I cannot even fathom reality; and I will plunge back into that waterfall of pain and hatred. I will be wrapped in a blanket of misery so thick you may dismay. But know I will come back. I will struggle and fight my way free.

And most of all I thank you for your patience. For you belief that I will not always be this bleak and so you stayed beside me. Holding my hand and coaching me through never turning your back. For trying to understand, even when you cannot……I thank you.

 

Morty The Face of My Depression

I am deep in the midst of a cycle of depression. It is dark, it is all consuming. I feel as though I spend my days wading through water, not really there. It physically hurts to smile and I am freezing. All I want to do is sleep. I eat just enough so that my stomach does not rumble. And I stare mindlessly at the television not even seeing what is there unable to enjoy reading.

I cry for no reason. And I do not need one that is what depression does. I had to explain to my two bosses at work what is going on with me. I mean, I have a hangdog expression on my face, I often emerge from my office with red eyes…..obviously there is a problem. But how do you explain to someone what it feels like to be depressed. To live with depression. So I came up with a character and I gave him a name and a look.

My depression is named Morty. Morty is an asshole. He is the uninvited uncle that moves in and never ever leaves. He may go visit another family member once in awhile but for the most part he resides with me. He is short and rotund, with greasy black hair and a handlebar mustache.  He is aggressive and snappy, his voice is harsh and grating. He dresses in a mix of leisure suits from the ’70’s to the ’90’s wife beaters. His jeans never really quite fit.

Morty when he arrives is careful. He is on his best behaviour for awhile so you never really realize the insults, the taunting, the words running on a loop……you are worthless…..you don’t know how to be a mother……you are going to get fired…..you are so stupid…..you are…..you are…….and suddenly he is right in my face.

And that is another aspect of my depression. See I get to feeling really good and I can push Morty away. I can shut him up, relegate him to the small attic room. The one that gets so humid in the summer the boards swell.  In the winter he huddles next to the chimney eking his warmth from there.  And I imagine Morty is gone. I have conquered him and I stop taking my meds.

It doesn’t happen right away. This last time was a year and a half before I was hit. And I woke up and realized that Morty had somehow escaped. Now this venomous glutton sits on my chest and his claws are buried deep within me. And I start screaming. Only you would never know that I am screaming because I do not make a sound. But they reverberate in my head.

This time is not as bad as my last crash three years ago. I could not even look after my son. I was wrapped in grey wool and I slept my days away. I watched him play with tears running down my cheeks because I was so sad. I could not explain it to him. But a break through came the day I got dressed before I took him down to the bus rather than my pj’s. So I know that it will come with this cycle as well.

Morty has me in his clutches right now and it is painful. I am back on my medication and the amount of crying I have done since Sunday is slowly lessening. It will take time for me to get to exactly where I need to be. I do know though that I will be fortifying the room that I am locking Morty up in this time so that the chances of further escape will be slim. I know they will happen and deal with them when they do.