Digging out from the mental detritus of the past month has been tougher than I imagined. Last week, to be honest, I was suicidal. Not only was I at an all time low, feeling depressed and upset about the shooting, but the annoying run on “truthers” with their garbage being spread around the net really got to me. Adding to that sour mix was relentless anxiety about my seemingly never-ending financial failings—am I going to lose my home? How am I going to get through this year?
I couldn't focus on anything for more than a minute and I didn't want to work. I couldn't get up the energy to write. I wanted to sleep or watch movies to numb my pain between long crying jags.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Snow shadows.
This is not written to be dramatic or to get sympathy, it’s to share an experience, to dissect these feelings hoping to make sense of them, and possibly to help someone else if they’re feeling the same way.
Last week I gave up. For years I’ve struggled to get Kitten Associates off the ground and to find a way to do that AND write my precious blog AND somehow make a living. I’m very good at two out of the three, but where I fail is in making a living. I beat myself up about what I “should” do, which stops me from doing everything else. I try to give myself space to just do what I feel is best for me even if that means eating a lot of spaghetti and losing sleep over not being able to pay every bill on time. In my heart I feel close to being able to make a change for the better. I still have hopes of reaching my goal of better providing for myself through writing.
The post I wrote about the “truthers” pushed me into a very bad place and I also believe that the shooting affected me more deeply than I first thought.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.
I will forever be from Sandy Hook where “that terrible tragedy took place.” I still see signs posted up in our town and neighboring towns wishing us love and support, but seeing them makes me cry. I can’t even afford to leave, whether it be for a weekend or for the rest of my life. I recognize there is little joy and only more sadness ahead, more creditors getting angry, more worries about how to keep things going without my home collapsing on my head from disrepair.
Perhaps I need to give up completely? I did little last week. I stayed away from my computer; did the least amount possible on Facebook. I stayed in the foster room with the kittens and either slept or watched terrible movies on Netflix. Sam stopped talking to me and I stopped talking to him. We both have problems, both at the same time. I need support from him that I don’t get and I’m guessing he felt the same way about not getting support from me.
©2006 Robin A.F. Olson. The last trip to Bulls Bridge with my Mother.
I missed my parents so badly that it made me sink deeper. If only I had one person I could go to, one person who really knew me, who could hold me for a while; tell me it’s going to be okay. One person who would make me a cup of tea, just as my mother often did, and who would let me talk about my worries and who would find a way to soothe my soul.
But I’m a big girl now and my parents are dead and other than Sam there’s no one close by I have that connection with and certainly no family any more. This is not a pity party. I’m just trying to sort things out as I always do.
In the worst moments I thought about what if I wasn’t here any more. Would it matter? I suppose only to me. I’d like to think I left a worthwhile legacy, but mostly I feel like a loser. I ask myself why I didn’t do the things I dreamed of-like to go Italy or get any of my book projects finally finished. Then I realize all this struggling and feeling bad doesn’t get me anywhere closer to any of those things. It leaves me feeling inert.
©1964 Judith Feminella. A somber moment or was depression already part of who I was?
The only thing that helped me begin turn this around was on Saturday when a mom and her daughters came to visit the kittens. I didn’t want to see them and, in fact, I thought about canceling the visit. I couldn’t imagine how I would be friendly and smile when all I wanted to do was lay down and cry some more.
But I had to do this-at least my drive to be a “good girl” was still intact. I made a commitment. I needed to keep it.
It took most of the visit, but by the time the family was leaving I had the first smile on my face I’d had in a long time.
Not long after that I spoke with Gene Rosen on the phone. Considering this man has had threats, someone hacked into his phone, changed his outgoing message and re-directed all his calls; Gene was defiant. In fact he sounded quite chipper. He wasn’t going to let those jerks get him down. He changed his number. The police are keeping an eye on him and are ready to make sure he stays safe.
A group set up a special page for Gene on Facebook called Gene Rosen is a Hero and We Support Him. Some are calling him “America’s Grandpa!”
I can learn a lot from Gene. He can take lemons and make lemonade. He remembers all the hugs he gets, the pats on the back and he knows he has the support of the world and won’t let a small group of pestiferous twits ruin his day.
to be continued…
Suicide is a VERY serious matter. I've lost three family members to suicide. If you're struggling or want to help someone who is seriously depressed, here are a few links to help you speak with the right people who can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 (there are options for deaf and hard of hearing by visiting their web site.)