There is little in this world that drags me down more than one of my now infrequent bouts with depression. Over the years I’ve been able to keep myself on a pretty even keel, thus not falling down that nasty little rabbit hole that can quite often seem bottomless. I take my meds religiously, try to keep a positive attitude, exercise regularly and eat right – all the things “they” tell you to do in order to maintain the “emotional buffet” while navigating through life. But sometimes, there is that moment when no matter how you look at a situation, it makes you want to crawl under the covers and hide, or in my case, hide in the closet with a martini…or five.
So, it would seem that this is one of those times when everything is towering over me, insurmountable situations that aren’t even really fully in my control. Bill being laid off from his job after nearly 33 years is a big part of it, but not all of it. Yes, I am nervous about being the only breadwinner until Bill finds a new line of employment, but we have planned for it, and I can certainly keep us comfortable on my salary. Still, nerve-wrecking though. But this time, most of my looming downward spiral revolves around family relationships, manipulation, lies and drama – all of which I cannot become truly involved in, because it’s not my side of the family. Trust me, this is not about an argument between family at the Thanksgiving table. I’ve been dismissed, told I “don’t know anything about it”, and asked to step back. I’ve watched these mini-soap operas grow into full length movies, complete with underlying plots…emotional rollercoasters that bring you to the top of a hopeful situation, only to mercilessly push you over the other side, and all you can do is watch and try to keep from screaming.
Anyone who knows me will tell you in a heartbeat that my tolerance for bullshit is at a level somewhere below zero. For some reason this strikes fear in the hearts of some, but usually only those who are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. That’s a really tough thing to do. But when the situation involves people that you have no power to say what is on your mind, then it turns into something akin to emotional paralysis. On the inside, my mind is screaming “are you people fucking stupid???” and on the outside, I am forced to stand on the sidelines, knowing what the final chapter will be – utter disappointment and complete betrayal. I used to be hopeful, but that ship has sailed. I don’t fault those involved for trying. Family is family and when it is yours, you will do anything to save those involved. I get that. But when you constantly beat your head against a wall, only to get the same response from the one you are trying to save, then it turns into an act of desperation. I’ve made my opinion known the few times I have been asked how things should be handled, and every time my response has been the same. “You cannot save someone who has no desire or intention of saving themselves, I don’t care how good a game they talk.” Actions speak louder than any spoken word and when they say one thing then do the exact opposite, it’s time to step back and let that person, no matter how much you love them, find their own bottom. Their bottom is their determination, not those who are trying to help. What may seem like the bottom to you may be nowhere near the bottom for the person in question. Interventions only work when the person being intervened on is absolutely willing to take the steps to do the hard work to get better. Otherwise, it’s like spinning your wheels in the sand. You just get sucked in deeper. When you have to witness a significant other or partner get sucked into that hole by the person they are trying to save, it is gutwrenching and heartbreaking. But there is nothing you can do but be there for him. I’m trying to remember that, I really am.
So this nightmare scenario, along other life-altering melodramas, has me wishing I was anywhere but along the sidelines watching it all go down. I am trying to see the bright side of things, and tell myself “It will all be just fine. It always is” but I am wondering at whose expense. I’m not sure I can watch, so that rabbit hole is looking mighty inviting. I bet there is room for my martini glass and maybe even a bag of Grandma Utz’s potato chips. I can hide in there, pretend the outside world doesn’t exist, sleep as much as I want, and generally forget all about the fact that my home, and my loved ones, are about to fall apart like a house of cards…in my home, right in front of my eyes. I know it. I can feel it. But I am helpless to do anything about it. To those who think that my life is always sunshine and lollipops, glitter and butterflies, it most certainly is not. Today…today it pretty much sucks, and it will probably suck tomorrow.
I’m going to try to ignore that cozy rabbit hole for now. It might be time to up my meds I’m thinking. I really need to call my damn doctor about that. I’m going to march on, smile on my face, with my wit and sarcasm to sustain me as I watch the idiocy of the world go by. I know there are people who are in far worse situations, but right now, at this moment this is my albatross, my hell. Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. Wish me luck. And if you see me around, just give me a smile and a nod. I’ll know you “get it.” Trust me, I will appreciate it more than you could even know.