anxiety

Drop Dead, Fred.

Depression has been causing fights between me and my husband. Not bad fights, but those frustrating, “I can’t say anything right so I’m just not going to say anything at all,” walking on eggshell, uncomfortable kind of fights.

The monster in me is winning these fights. It’s telling me lies about what Mike REALLY means when he says something, what I SHOULD be doing instead of what I AM doing, how useless I am at getting ANYTHING right. And I’ve been listening way too much to the bullshit this monster spouts. And it’s coming between me and the one person who always tells me the truth.

So last Sunday I gave my monster a name. Fred. And now, when I’m feeling Fred’s fingernails dragging across the chalkboard of my soul and Mike asks me how I’m doing, I can tell him, “Fred is being an asshole today. He’s messing with my mellow.”

And all of a sudden, Mike and I are on the same side, pitted against a monster named Fred, instead of sitting on opposite ends of the couch not talking.

Yes, I’ve talked about accepting my monster because he is me and I am him and I am on a quest to love ALL of me. But sometimes I need to remind Depression it is not who I want to be. It may be PART of me, but it is not ME. So naming it Fred gives me that distance, that disconnect, and allows me to step away and see the whole picture. A picture that Fred is coloring the wrong color.

And best of all, it allows Mike and I to laugh together, instead of sit on the couch and not talk. It allows me to hear the truth. It allows me to hear love.

The second best thing about naming my monster Fred? When things get really bad, I can shout, “Drop dead, Fred!” The neighbors might wonder what the hell is going on over here, but it’s a pretty powerful feeling to say those words.

And it makes me giggle. Fred is completely powerless against giggles.

Planting a Garden

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The summer of 2012 ripped me open like the plow rips open the earth. The death of my father and the near death and subsequent incarceration of my son tore through me, digging up long buried rot and fear. For awhile I lay open and exposed, pounded by storms, barren and dark.
Into this dark, cold place monsters crawled. Anxiety. Depression. Panic. Insomnia. Everything they touched turned to shit. Tons of shit.
But that summer also brought into existence a new sun, bright and warm. The birth of my first grandchild. Her smile chased away the fear, lit up the darkness and warmed my soul.
And in that warmth I found the strength to go talk to a very wise woman. A woman who gave me seeds of light and love. Seeds that took hold and sprouted. Grew. Flourished.
My garden needed all of these components to come into being. Fresh soil, fertilizer, sun and seeds. My crop? Stories. Many stories. After dreaming for most of my life about being a writer, I am finally making that dream come true.
I may have waited until my Autumn years to begin writing, but Autumn is harvest time. And this harvest is going to be a bumper one!
Anyone else out there who needed a swift kick in rear to get started writing? I’d love to hear your story!
Love, Chris