If I could take you up in paradise up above…
My hero, Fred Rogers
Rest in Peace neighbor
I say this rather as a matter of fact. Not to whine or complain. If anything, to vent I reckon.
I took on a massive amount of credit card debt supporting my fiancé while he was unemployed for the first 4 years of our relationship. He went back and forth through 8 separate detoxes trying to get sober from alcohol. He would get a year, then relapse. Get a month then relapse. And so on. At his worst he was drinking a quart and a half of vodka a day. Everyday. He was vomiting blood many mornings. (Esophageal varices)
His parents and other family had turned their back on him. Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I had asked him to leave. I loved him and as bad as things got, I didn’t have the heart to turn him to the streets. He was suicidal, at times. I felt like it would be my fault if something happened. At one point he texted me he was leaving this world. He did hang himself. Police found him in respiratory arrest in the basement of a local building, emergency responders cut him down.. He was very lucky to have lived.
Today he has over 2 years of sobriety from alcohol.
On the one hand, I feel it was a good decision to go into debt to support him. Every person is valuable and worth saving. On the other hand, when half your monthly income goes to paying debt it’s a suffocating feeling. Especially when you are out of work on medical.
I feel mixed about my decision. Had I left the relationship years ago I would not be in the massive debt. Had I not helped him, he might not be alive. The kids suffer from the debt the most. There are things they go without. So I guess that’s what hurts today. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to pay it off?
Here is a song that made me laugh and reminds me of me. Right down to the panic attacks. LOL
To all those who are in the red for whatever reasons, know you are most certainly not alone, and this one’s for you! 🥃
The distance you crossed with your pen,
word by word, line by line.
you only ever saw in me
a paper concubine
In despair you lifted me up,
healing words of solace
one moment you would comfort me
then you would just transgress
Ghost friend that never existed.
things felt strangely amiss.
actions don’t meet the words you said.
you blew a fatal kiss
Your prowess with the written word,
can’t match your cunning tongue
your nose pointed up in the air
you are a charlatan.
Flummery you speak to lost girls,
you saw me as a whore,
a dullard, just leagues beneath you
a girl you could abhor.
Mirrored flaws, becoming each one.
so I’d feel empathy,
then you’d slink into the shadows
Gather your gold pieces in hand
pleasure reading my pain.
so unless I am mistaken
don’t, come back again.
The bad moon is rising
cursing me once again
hours drag past, lids weigh heavy
tik tock goes the pendulum clock
fluorescent flashes, flickering, dancing across the wall
muffled sounds from a distant channel singing it’s muted lullaby
profound perseveration persisting
hot-poker searing memories shroud me in a soft adrenaline blanket
knight after knight
night after night
obsessive rumination of unrelenting pain and problems
solutions drip from faucets of logic, then drain down gutters to nowhere
tik tock goes the pendulum clock
an infinite loop of
hope turning into despair
body aching, muscles contorting becoming twisted, knotty, tangled vines
ensnaring me to the mattress
time melts, regroups, defying physics
eternity in the space of some hours
tik tock goes the pendulum clock
exhausted now, shaking, hypnogic images form in my peripheral vision
spectral apparitions, angels? demons? in the far corner of room
fear can’t restrain my pummeled body from collapse
sinking down, submitting to sleep
until dusk falls again…
Invisible child seen, not heard
given something to cry about.
sought your own switches
received many stitches
you’re no good, you know
Never had a “no”
His fast hand was
given a slipknot lifeline
a lynching of the heart
tightening each time
Secrets oathed in darkened rooms
hiding the profane
silent rage erupted
love lies bleeding
Life is receding….
It’s coming for me
from the darkest recesses it can reside
stalking, creeping, looming, wanting
to devour me.
With its sinewy arms grabbing,
place of unbearable heartache.
a fountain of never-ending sorrow.
Running faster, breathing harder.
Always need to stay ahead,
must out run this.
No time now.
Quickly! Break ground!
Dig down deep
bury it alive.
Layers of dirt.
Layers of dirty.
Silenced by vices for years.
Silenced with anything to muffle its shrieking pleas.
I discerned its voice,
this thing that’s been chasing,
It occurred to me the other day as I stared blankly out of the window, not wanting to get out of bed, just like every other day, I am in the Bell Jar.
So many of the commercials on TV for medications to treat depression are so fake. They depict people suffering with it having a seemingly mild case of the doldrums. Just moving as if stuck in molasses.
They never show you what depression really looks like.
I am willing to let a pharmaceutical company film me to get a more accurate depiction. It would look something like this…..
Voice over of announcer: “Depression robs a person of their energy.”
Camera pans to me sitting in the middle of my living room with a mountain of dirty laundry staring at it like the woman from Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Saying, “I know I should wash you” and then just shaking my head no and finally collapsing back into the cushion and saying “fuck it.” I am down to one pair of clean panties this is now my “edge play.”
Voice of announcer: “Depression feels physical.”
Camera lens catches me glancing outside at the morning school bus through the window . I move to the kitchen and stare at the heaping pile of dishes that has amassed in the sink and repeat “fuck it” as I then head to the bed and proceed to pull the blinds and dive in to the sheets. (Time elapses) I rise in my pajamas in a haze hearing the afternoon school bus pulls around the block again.
Voice of announcer: “Depression causes changes in appetite.”
Last scene too fucking easy. Like a vampire rising from the mist I awake from bed to eat a box of Girl Scout cookies. Because anyone knows that if doesn’t come out of a package or ready-to-eat microvave box, then food isn’t consumed. Camera fades with me on the couch with said cookies in the middle of the night swearing at the Girl Scouts, blaming them for peddling their crack.
Depression is wearing the same pear of sweat pants and tee-shirts every day like a uniform, and having hygiene fall to the wayside til’ someone has to insist a shower is taken. Brushing teeth? what’s that? there’s no energy. Sleeping 16 hours a day feels natural. Feeling black even when the sun is shining.
Depressions steals a person of their emotions. Such that life holds neither joy, nor sorrow, no anger, no pain. It steals away the ability to imagine, to dream, to hope for a better day. It is the great equalizer changing healthy, robust, thriving people into living, breathing, vacuous zombies pondering their very existence.
Why doesn’t Roche, Pfizer, or GlaxoSmithKline want to show what real depression looks like? Because their drugs are largely ineffective against severe forms of it. You will look and feel the same on their drugs as you will off them. Big Pharma doesn’t want anyone to know that. If the efficacy of their products aren’t much better than a placebo than Lord have mercy, where would their capitalist enterprise be?
I have tried 13 anti-depressants over my lifetime and only one did something. Not a great track record for pills as monotherapy. If you are mildly depressed, pills may snap your serotonin back into shape. Buddy, if you have a severe case of dysthymia, and some C-PTSD you are not going to have that sort of response.
Millions of people are suffering with depression. Big Pharma wants to profit from the pills they produce to treat a condition that is largely unresponsive to pharmacological intervention.
The most common reason for people to become depressed is sustaining stress and trauma. Until we become more pro-active as a society about preventing trauma both in childhood and in adulthood we are destined to fail by looking for a pharmaceutical panacea to remedy the problem.
Learning how to intervene once children and adults have been identified as having been exposed to trauma and getting these individuals trauma informed care, we have the hope of healing them.
People need people. The broken trust that happens through the process of trauma needs to be repaired. Pharmaceuticals certainly have their place as an aide. The way out of depression starts with the desire; the wanting to climb out of the bell jar. Once that decision has been made to seek help, the human factor, not a pill, will always be a more effective “treatment”.