Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Power of My Own Stupidity

A character in my novel says, “I enjoy the power of my own stupidity” in a chapter that I posted not long ago. Ironically that little quote has been bouncing around in my head non-stop lately.

I’ve started working again. Just a part time, minimum wage job stocking frozen food at a grocery store. It’s a fine job with nice people.

I feared working in public. I still battle being past the walls of my room, but the actor in me kicked in. As soon as I clock in this character I’ve created, known as me, kicks in.

The other day, as I was stocking ice cream a woman came to me and asked where all the “Nippelodian” flavor was. I smiled and told her I was unfamiliar with it but “Let’s look.”

Quickly she grabbed a carton and said, “Here it is. Right in front of you” with obvious disdain. She held it up to my face, pointed to the word “Neapolitan” on the carton and sounded it out phonetically for me as she pointed with her finger, “Nip-pul-oh-de-ann”. Finishing her lesson with “Can’t you read?”

I apologized and told her I had always called it Neapolitan.

She shook her head in disgust and said, “It’s French, you can’t talk the letters the way we do.” With that she tossed it in her cart smashing two loaves of bread to oblivion and was on her way. Probably to complain to someone about all the smashed bread on the shelves.

I just laughed to myself and continued to fill up the case with Blue Bunny. Not more than a half hour later a man came up and asked where all the “Nippelodian” ice cream was. Obviously, I’ve been wrong…about a lot of things.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’ve been having so much trouble shaking this depression. Oh, I’m functioning blindly and faking being normal real well.

That’s part of it. Trying to prove to the world that everything is fine, when you know that what few strings are left of the fabric in your mind are worn, frayed and snapped.

It’s so exhausting. I don’t want to function. I just want to lay flat out in a road somewhere and just let my mind and body throb.

The mental pain is hard enough. The constant ache of desperation takes its toll on me. The consistent clawing at my psyche to rid all the ache gives me headaches, robs my sleep and then plasters the scarring with guilt and shame.

The physical pain is even worse, especially in the last week since I’ve forced myself to become physical again by taking this much needed job. People don’t realize how physically painful severe depression is. Of course, most people aren’t even aware of others in depression, not a true malignant depression.

It is as though your body is trying to reject your mind. Every muscle of my being is sore and tender from the fight. My skin is covered in scratch marks from itching the rashes that come and go, mostly at night making what little sleep I get a nightmare.

I’m fighting, one foot in front of the other, and I am so tired of it all. I see pity or misunderstood disdain all around me. I am constantly battling tears; anger and the need to just pull inside my head, protecting myself from the hurt, the hurt I cannot control.

But I am getting better. I swear to God with every scratch of my fingernails, I am getting better. I am able to concentrate more, on other things beside the overwhelming desire to just stop and not move on. I am demanding that I concentrate on anything but the black vacuum sucking the life out of me.

I write a lot, obsessing about the novel. I know it’s not good, but I have to get it out. I keep fighting going back and starting from the beginning again. I’ve moved on to the second book of the trilogy, incorporating bits and pieces of what little of my mind is left into the main character.

The struggle to put into coherent words somehow gives me strength to deal with it. I avoid drugs, except aspirin and Tylenol PM. I can’t afford the medical/psychiatric attention I probably need anyone, so this is what I am doing.

But I continue. I have to. That’s have the battle isn’t it? It has to be. I pray minute by minute that I am doing the best that I can. That how I deal with this is intelligent and the right thing to do.

Then like Kellen in my novel maybe I am just holding on to the power of my own stupidity. But them, that power is really the only true defense any one has.