Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Yesterday's therapy exercise was "Name a color that describes your personality."

I like to wear charcoal shirts more than any other, but I never thought about why. And when I thought about it, I suddenly realized it's because it's not bright enough to draw attention to me (I'm very uncomfortable with that, even with my... humanity, I guess, being acknowledged) but not so dark that I disappear (which is part of a whole other deep issue with not mattering or not being acknowledged at all, ever).

Someone told me she saw me as tangerine. I asked why, and she told me "Because you're always sitting there and you're so calm and so friendly."

Those are two words I never would use to describe myself, and I was very touched by that.

I spent a lot of time last night thinking about Robin Williams' suicide and why it made me so sad, and this morning I saw that Roger had commented on my post: "You relate, I relate to that SOMETHING that would allow one to kill oneself." I certainly do, and that's what I told my wife last night. I'm going through one of my depressive periods right now (they happen every six or eight weeks, and nothing really triggers them; my therapist is considering an added diagnosis of depression), and I'm working hard to try and understand it and push back against it rather than just giving in and giving up and doing nothing for the next few weeks, which is what usually happens.

I told Becca that the suicide of Robin Williams scares me because, even though I have no idea what his situation was and what the specifics were, I know what it's like to be in a position where something inside you is telling you that the only peace you're ever going to have is that. You convince yourself that it's not only reasonable, but preferable, and that's pernicious. That's why I urge anyone struggling with it to seek professional help. I didn't know how deeply-rooted my issues were, or just how far they went, or even why they became so prominent over the last five years. And even knowing those things isn't enough. But at least I know them now, and that's because of professionals.

I'm in a bad place today, but I don't want to be, so I'm going to push back.

I'm going to be tangerine today. I feel charcoal, but I'm going to be tangerine.

UPDATE 2:30 PM: Nope, never mind. I dared to relax for a little while, so of course something bad happens. Sorry, universe, that was totally on me. I stupidly forgot. Fuck everything, I just want to sleep for a long, long time.

Don't pay attention to what I say because I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about.

UPDATE 11:54 PM: I was just reading that there's a spike in suicides when a famous person dies under these kinds of circumstances. That makes a lot of sense. Mental illness can be a hard battle, and it's one I came very close to losing today. Today was hard. My wife is probably getting tired of having to wrestle sharp objects out of my hand. All I can do is try and do better tomorrow. The fight is ongoing.

UPDATE 8/13: My wife and I talked some more about this last night, and I think yet another reason why I felt so stunned, so in despair about Robin Williams is that it's a reminder that what I'm struggling with is never going away. There may be periods where it has much less of a hold on me, but it will always be there in some way, even when I'm 63, assuming I live that long. That scares me. A lot.


Roger Owen Green said...

I hope I wasn't too direct there. I've always tried to be honest with you without being harsh. the news through me for a loop - see my blog tomorrow - - and though the closest I came was jumping out of a slow-moving car in 1976, right after college, when I had not a clue what to do with my life, I can relate to that sensation. Truth is, I'm probably too polite to actually do so.

Roger Owen Green said...

THREW - not THROUGH. arrgh!

Kal said...

I know what you feel like too but I admire how honest you are about your issues. I suffer too and this Robin Williams thing hit me hard. It helps to read your thoughts.

Kelly Sedinger said...

One thing that I've tried doing is, to use your terms, to see myself as a tangerine no matter what the damn universe seems to see. Sometimes it helps. Other times, not so much.