New Year’s resolve: fighting back the darkness


(This post is dedicated to and inspired by the bravery of The Bloggess, who reached out to over 200 000 Twitter followers and countless other Facebook followers and blog readers today with her devastatingly honest narrative of her own struggles with depression. Jenny, thank you thank you thank you.)

I’ve been pretty much surrounded by batshit crazy for the last few months. Oh, let me be honest: things are often batshit crazy in my world. That’s part of what living with mental illness is. My flavour of crazy is, as far as I’ve been told, moderate to severe depression and anxiety. I’ve been like this forever, and now I’m raising a child who looks about as crazy as I am. I’m going to choose to see that as a blessing, in spite of how unfuckingbelievably hard it is sometimes: it could be so much harder for my kid if I didn’t have such intimate knowledge of what crazy can look like.

Recently, after my child’s most recent crisis (it’s password-protected, so if you really want to read it, let me know), the adults in this kid’s life decided to own up to our crazy. We stand with you, child, in our shared crazy. I never want this kid to think that a mental health crisis is a shameful secretive thing. I want them to grow into a strong crazy adult who knows when to ask for help, and isn’t afraid to do so.

That’s a shitload of work, though, y’all. And I’m tired. So tired. I’m in the middle of a loooooong depressive episode. Not my worst, but not fabulous. Wait lists abound for help with this, and a whole lot of people in my life are also, well, crazy. Empathetic as hell, but tunneling out of their own dark holes. So, what am I going to do to fight my way back to the surface? ‘Cause I am, you know. Fighting. All the damned time.

Here’s my plan: listen to the Bloggess. It’s a simple plan, really. I need to do more things that make me furiously happy. I’m not so much for climbing inside wolf pelts, tauntaun-style, or buying giant metal chickens, but I need to do more to revel in my innate ridiculousness. I need to remember that woman who ran away to join the circus. I need to stand in front of friends and strangers and test my spelling skills, and leave the stage more naked than when I started. I need to splash in puddles, start bizarre and inappropriate conversations with my children on public transit, knit while walking. I need to remember that all of those things and more come from me, and make me happy. And then I need to make them happen.

2011 was stupidly hard, and I forgot myself too many times. 2012? Is the year of being furiously happy as often as I can be. It may sometimes be an effort in faking it until I make it, but I will make it. And I’m taking that crazy kid of mine along for the ride.

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6 Comments

  1. MOM said,

    January 2, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Rule #1 – – -you need to believe in your self-worth . . .and not allow others to diminish that , ,

  2. jennfarr said,

    January 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

    (((hugs)))

  3. Anna Maranta said,

    January 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Hazak Hazak V’nithazek! Be strong. Be strong. And let us strengthen. each other!

  4. Libby Lu said,

    January 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks for bringing in the aspect of raising a child in the middle of craziness. My child is 18 now and I have, most of the time, had on my best acting skills in order to protect her from my insanity and my dark place. I see now that I was wrong. She needed to see me fall apart. I should have never hid in the shower to cry. I needed to take her with me on my journey into the pit of despair and then back into the light so she would know how to handle what cannot be helped. But what’s done is done and we do talk a lot. She knows I have an illness.She knows it’s okay to get help. She knows that there should be no shame. And although I’ve tried to hide, I know she’s witnessed more of dark me than I think.
    I appreciate you sharing your story.
    Libby

  5. January 4, 2012 at 11:06 am

    […] blog posts by The Bloggess and Living My Social Work started me thinking about why I was reluctant to voice my experiences. Sure, we can give words […]

  6. Hazel Cohen said,

    January 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I like you and admire you so much.

    If you’d like to share the post about your kiddo’s recent mental health challenges, I’d love to know what’s up so I can be supportive from afar, but only if it feels right for you.
    Hugs, regardless.


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