Monday, April 26, 2010

My Heart Is Too Big But It Won't Break

I have been so sad this week. I don't know if it's sad, depressed, melancholy, acedia; the semantics don't matter. My proverbial pen is sterile and dry. I've been unable to write.  A comment on FB, a comment on one or two blogs so people know I am alive, but mostly off the computer. Mostly just trying to chillax, trying to read, though it's reading the same sentences and paragraphs over and over again.

I keep thinking of this line from Supertramp's The Long Way Home-"Then your wife seems to think you're loosing your sanity/ oh /calamity/ or is it you're way out?" Well, I don't have a wife.  Or a husband. But substitute parents... or my beloved cat, and you get the idea. They were singing about a mid life crisis. I haven't had one of those yet. At least I don't think so. Don't have a fancy sports car, or a Ken doll in the front seat. Wouldn't know what to do with a boy toy/Ken doll anyway. Besides, any girl knows Ken dolls aren't anatomically correct. And I do want a boy friend, even if he would be a boy toy, to be someone I can discuss current affairs, politics and understand the  current Picasso exhibit at the Met with.

I can't read the news anymore. It's breaking my heart.  Take for example the news in NJ over the last few weeks. A dad throws his 3 month old daughter over the South Amboy bridge (12 lanes). A 15 year old girl allegedly takes her 7 year old sister to a party and allows her to be raped by several men at the party, while she drinks in the other room with some other party goers.  New York gets a second Kitty Genovese case where people walk over a dying hero taking pictures of him dying with their cell phones but cannot call 911. My mother is upset over the affairs in Arizona- with immigration laws. I see something else- a divide in the country not seen since the Civil Wars of Lincoln's time. Coffee Parties, Tea Parties- Not relating to Snapple or Starbucks.  And what got me to tears? Bret Michaels. Yeah. And I am not even a Poison Fan. Instead, I am a fan of that stupid VH1 franchise- the Flavor of Love/which begat Rock of Love, which begat I Love New York, which begat Charm School, I Love Money, etc.... all the shows that got me sane when my relationship ended that I watched over and over and over. And I get choked up and teary eyed over Bret Michaels. He who sucks spit with countless ladies (including one I interviewed back in the day I was an entertainment writer). All I can think of is he is my age, and he's got two small children.  He's smart- has anyone seen him on Celebrity Apprentice? If he hadn't gotten into rock and roll, he clearly could have been the CEO of some Fortune 500 company- he really is that smart. Maybe not the book smarts, but certainly the street smarts.

So why would I break down over Bret Michaels? I'm not a Poison fan, like I said. He's talented. I bought his latest song w/ Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. It's good. But I feel like-  It's like an episode of M*A*S*H, I recall. Hot Lips/Margaret is upset with her nurses during the episode, they keep breaking down in surgery while patients are dying. She keeps telling them to buck up, understand it's war, patients die, get a spine.  The nurses hate her and gripe about what a b**ch she is. Then at the end of the episode, a stray dog that a Margaret has been feeding gets run over by a truck. And she goes into the shower and cries like her heart will break. Over the dog. That's how I feel. All the news stories for the last few months have been causing me to bend, almost loosing my father and the loss of my friend caused me almost to break. And then something like a Celebrity death- or close to death reminds me I am about to break, stop, breathe- you are going to break. Cry now. Take care of yourself now.

We all have to do that. Everyone has breaking points. Here's one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite novels.

"If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders -- what would you tell him to do? I don't know. What could he do? What would you tell him? To shrug.", Francisco D'Anconia, Atlas Shrugged. 

Sometimes we have to shrug. Sometimes we have to walk away, to take care of ourselves. Get off the computer. Turn oft the TV. Go outside in the sunshine.  Especially those of us who are fragile and suffer from depression- we are the most important people. We aren't good to our friends and family if we aren't good to ourselves. That's what I have been doing the last week, trying to take care of me, because I am so fragile. My father's health is as fragile right now as a butterfly's wing. I still have nightmares about my friend's suicide. Maybe I needed the time off to heal. I'm still healing. I am grateful for my friends, family and the therapy cat. 

Here is the first episode of Rock of Love for those who can view it , who want to see some totally mindless TV. Get well Brett. Get well. You got more rocking to do.


Radagast said...

Laugh, Susan. Please. There is nothing else to do. I wish I had some valuable insight to offer, but I don't. So I'll tell you a story, instead...

I had an epiphany. Not a religious thing, you understand, but just a sudden realization that made the world look very different. It's when I realized that certain people had nothing good to say to me. They'd ridicule my best efforts; if I got upset, they'd ridicule that show of emotion; and so on, and so on. And when they spoke to me, I perceived a really ugly, greedy look in their eyes. And when I spoke to them, they would shut the conversation down, as quickly as possible, without resolution. I perceived that they wanted quick answers to their problems, as though I was kind some oracle, or something, and the idea that they should provide solutions to my stuff was not on the agenda.

The thing was, there was no counterpoise to this behaviour... There was never any praise, or compassion, or generosity. It was all one-way traffic. And that's when I realized: even if I'm not officially regarded as a slave, the distinction is a moot one - everybody perceives themselves as either inferior or superior in every relationship that they enter into. If they're not completely in control, then they seem to imagine that they're being controlled, which terrifies them and they become aggressive, more often than not (especially if they perceive themselves to be in a position of authority).

Everybody knows what's wrong, Susan, but nobody dares say it, because it is not what is done actively by way of punishment that people are afraid of, it is what will be withheld, and nobody dares rock the boat for fear of losing what little they have been granted.

I'd like to prevent you from seeing the world as I see it: mass chaos and the deliberate inflicting of widespread misery, which nearly everybody perceives as normal. The trouble is, I think you already see it, like that.

Laugh, Susan. Please. There is nothing else to do.


susan said...

Hi Radagast.

I once was told something by a wise blogger- who's blog I actually met you on.... who said (paraphrase) the universe is truly absurd. Once you accept that you can live your life).

Or something like that.

I just have to remember to breathe. I did work in a news room! But even some news stories can make the most seasoned news journos cry. We're human. Maybe as they said in Red Dwarf- in a Multiverse- we are in the universe that got messed up and should be running backwards, eh?

Anonymous said...

I love Atlas Shrugged!

test said...

You've always been a sensitive person, Susan. I mean that in the best way possible. While the rest of us trudged through life, you could see the beauty and joy in the tiniest things. It's not surprising that the opposites of beauty and joy also make you feel such strong emotions. I think that this is just who you are (not the BP, not the meds for it, it's just you.) My suggestion would be to do a media fast (rough words coming from a media junkie). But if the news is bringing you down, it's time for something completely different. Drag out all of your mindless entertainment and watch (or read) something funny. - Beth

susan said...

@ Crazy Mermaid- I love you and your blog! ;-) OOh I had the biggest crush on Frisco when I first read that novel when I was 18. More than John Galt. Imagine that.

@ Beth- yep you remember those terminals w/ the headlines going round and round... .Nirvana! My RSS feeds cannot hold a candle to that. And you were the one who got me hooked on Rock of Love... oh my. oh my.

I actually spent three or four days plugged away from the news and just watched old VHS tapes of Red Dwarf last week, wrote something about it but not happy enough to post it yet. Red Dwarf, and my kitty cat. That is when I wasn't w/ Dad. The last two days I've been watching Rock of Love on Hulu. Sigh. I hope I get my writing groove back.

Riayn said...

I wish I could come over there and lift that horrid depression of yours.

I agree with Radagast that you have to laugh. Find some mindless comedy that never fails to make you laugh and watch it and then watch it again.

I hope tomorrow is looking more positive.

Sonya's World said...

I think we can learn from all of the emotions we experience, including apathy, indifference, isolation, and media frustration. I think you know as well as all of us how much the shadows prove the light. If you want to feel passionate and connected, you also have to tolerate and even embrace the times when you feel gone and out of it. I actually suspect that the extremes of BP, which are radical and potentially destructive, mirror what the universe tries to teach us about balance, yin and yang, you and I, us and them.

I'm sorry you've had to feel out of it but it's the predecessor you need to feel in it. Easier said than done, which is why I can say it.

Anonymous said...

I just don't watch the news...period. The world is a lot bigger than the news peddlers would have us think. One day they'll carry on about something horrible happening in, say Seattle. Sad, but I'm sorry...Seattle is 2500+ miles away and I don't know anyone in that part of the country. News isn't information, anymore. It's manipulation. (I'm off the soap box, now.)

Thanks for staying in touch. We care about you.

susan said...

@Riayn, Hi, Thanks, been watching my favorite Red Dwarf a lot, and also reruns of Seinfeld when I can... which is a big help...and trying not to watch the news anymore other than the Weather Channel..

@Sonya's World, easier said then done, exactly. You hit the nail on the head.

@Interchanges, never been to Seattle, but I understand. I wonder if it smells like Starbucks.

Syd said...

When things like you write about here get to me, I don't watch TV but will read and get outside, go on my boat, and recapture my spirit. I don't want to be bombarded with tragedy nor do I want to ignore its existence. But I have to take care of myself.

Anonymous said...

I'm a very sensitive person too. I have to definitely take breaks from news. I care about what happens to people no matter where they are because I know that,in a heartbeat, it could be my family.

So I will ready funny blogs, watch cartoons or 80's sitcoms, or read, or whatever. Laughing is a great way to go but if you can't manage it then if you can just get quiet. Watch the wind move through the trees or watch youtube rain or whatever videos and veg out.

Music is a good way to escape the madness for a little while too.

Just take the time you need. Everyone has an opinion and I hope you find one inside yourself or on here that can help you if even for a little while.

My therapist always says: take it 20 minutes at a time and keep taking deep breaths.


susan said...

@Syd, I don't have a boat, by my apt has a balcony and I can imagine I am on a boat. If you ever are looking for a good crew- my cat would be great at catching little fishies with sharp paws.

@Anon-I have some cute links posted- the LOL cats for example...cartoons, Spongebob works for me. Music yes... I love music. Or now the weather is nice- walking....

Christian Prophet said...

Trust. Remember, "In God We Trust." Incidentally, Ayn Rand is so thoroughly misinterpreted! You may or may not have seen the article: "Ayn Rand, 20th Century Prophetess."

Stephi said...

Hi Susan, thanks for you honesty and your blog. It has been a great comfort to read.

You are more of a seasoned fighter than I am so any advice I give you will probably have heard before:)Watching the news when you are in this rut though is the WORST thing to do. Yes people should always keep abreast of what is happening on our planet, but sometimes a break is in order.

What I find helps is to get into nature- get to the greenest, quietest spot you find and just be still. Or go for a drive in the country (do NOT turn on the radio). Find something really funny to laugh at.

I hope you don't mind but I made a special mention about your blog on my blog. Just because reading yours has been so helpful to me :)

Take care of yourself. Hope you feel better soon

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