A Writer’s (Re)Reading Life

In a world with a million distractions and life that moves faster than ever, it’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come — and how many hard grades, sharp turns, trying twists were along the way.

The devil really is in the details.

This morning I’m facing the reality that I’ve gained five pounds in three weeks. I’m not surprised, I’m an emotional eater. I got laid off, then threw myself into the hardest project of my life. Five pounds? I’m surprised it wasn’t 10.

The hardest part of that hardest project is just opening the door — the door to my past and all those crazy fucking worlds I’ve travelled through.

I like my re-runs left on television, thanks.

But I’ve cracked that door this week and it’s been every bit as hard as I expected. Better than I expected, too. But it’s taking longer, which makes the “hard” part that much more insufferable. The last couple days have been spent poring over the months leading up to what was the hardest part of my life.

‘Cos, as much as I’ve had REALLY hard times in the past, that’s the only time when I truly was NOT myself and couldn’t find my strength and self inside. It was a chemical depression.

I’m rereading these passages and little cracks are appearing in my heart. My heart’s slowly breaking for myself because I can truly remember the pain and horror of going through that terrible, terrible depression. Fucking pharmaceuticals, man. Birth control pills sent me spiralling into the darkest place I’ve known. (I doubt I’ll ever take them again. The right choice for me, but not necessarily for you. Know your options and proceed carefully & judiciously.)

The depression is not there yet in full, but it’s starting to arrive. Bleakness, sorrow, a sense of loss about choices and the future.

I know why it cost me my readers. I understand and accept exactly why people walked away from the blog.

I probably would have, too.

When I write in a “normal” depression, I’m readable. I’m insightful, level-headed, never the victim. I’m determined, I try to be objective about the adversity.

But in a chemical depression? There was nothing to gain from me. I offered nothing.

I was a shapeless, meaningless cloud moving through a thick intimidating fog. Nothing in nothing, with nothing to define it.

That time period is just unfolding for me now in my archives. I’m plodding through, a heavy weight holding down my chest, gulping often.

You see, the thing is, it’s kind of worse than I remember.

Only now that I’m so far away from it can I  admit that I forgot how oppressive it was, how scared I was, how day after day after day after day the struggle to hang on to that last little bit of dignity and hope was so goddamned HARD.

In frequent postings, my desperation of reaching out is hitting me hard. I’m not that person anymore. But I was.

And while I’m re-reading all that, I’m “unpublishing” some of the posts. I’m making them private. They’re there. I’m not deleting them. I’m just being true to my original statement, that I write this blog for me, not you.

I overshared. I take it back.

At the beginning, I felt bad for changing a post’s status to “private”, but as I’ve progressed, it occurs to me: I’ve written about a lot of really important things. I’ve written some really good stuff. Not ALWAYS, probably not even that OFTEN. But I’ve got a lot of good content on this blog.

And I had so much BULLSHIT in between them. Needy, desperate, oversharing little blurbs that you don’t give a fuck about and I don’t give a fuck about, so why’s it there?

Probably because Twitter hadn’t been invented yet, really.

But this tweaking, slimming-down, and weeding-out of my blog is for the best. You’ll get the best of me, or just the most readable of the journalling (because, let’s face it, some of those journal posts are exactly the kind of thing we like to read in a blog — it just depends on the mood within).

Coming up? This weekend I’ll probably read through the darkest part of that chemical depression.

The part where suicide started seeming like maybe it might make more sense than this seemingly-endless waiting for something better. God help me, that’s going to be a hard time to wade through, too. But important to revisit, methinks.

Then it’s a year of reading through just holding on, just trying to stay alive.

Then I start reading about my journey to be 60 or so pounds lighter.

Then the rest of my blog is tagged and it’s the Post-Wordpress era, and I can probably avoid going there.

But it’s been a heavy fucking few days. It’s probably why I got so worked up in my posting from yesterday, because I went from the girl I was before EVERYTHING went horrible in my life to being that kind of woman who needs to respect herself and know her value isn’t in a man — and that’s the part I’ve been re-reading recently.

All the pain and the little moments and the stupidity of that year, it’s just a little too much to take in at once. I’ve been trying to slowly digest it, but it’s still a mighty big meal. I should be through the worst of it in the next few days.

I’m really, really happy I’m doing this, though.

We need to be reminded of how much we’ve really done. As time slips past us and the years blur together more and more, we forget just how hard the day-to-day once was, and how much an accomplishment just getting through that really, really was.

I’m patting myself on the back. Rightfully so.

But I’ll still be happy when this part of my project is dead and buried.*

*Well. Until I dig it up again. Part of this tagging/SEO/editing project is so I’m not as intimidated with researching my archives for my book. Now I’ll be able to just search a “depression” tag or “money” tag and get what I need, and just skim through relevant areas, instead of reading the whole blog post-to-post and trying to figure out what’s worth saving & for where in a herky-jerky by-the-post method. Hey, it’s a book. This shit’s slow going! But it’s going. And I like this method, because I’m thinking a lot of how the pieces all unfold one to another, and the in-the-head stuff’s helpful too. Also… some writing. Just not for you.