Sunday, 12 February 2012


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
I walk down the street.
  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  I fall in.
  I am lost...I am helpless
  It isn't my fault.
 It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
   There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
   I pretend I don't see it.
   I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
   But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
   I see it is there.
   I still fall's a habit...but,
         my eyes are open.
         I know were I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
     I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

From: The Middle Passage, James Hollis (author of poem unknown)

The weather sucks. Or perhaps saying that in February is redundant. It poured rain all day and night, yesterday. Now there’s snow. For the love of heaven, make up your mind, weather gods. It’s a dim, leaden dawn with little promise of sunshine and Jake The Coat is hibernating in his closet today. I am also hibernating, where it’s warm and there is little danger of killing myself on black ice.

I’ve had a headache for two weeks now. After the first couple days, the phrase, “brain tumor” haunts me. I remember laughing at myself for tossing off that self-diagnosis when I’ve had inner ear viruses. Since the discovery of the alien on my cerebellum, however, it’s lost it’s amusing self-mocking quality. I run a mental check – dizziness? No. Vertigo? No. Loss of motor control? No. Blurred vision? No. Sudden memory loss? No worse than usual. Okay. Sinuses? I’ve been gobbling Tylenol for days and as an experiment, I try an allergy pill instead. Voila! Headache gone, at least until the pill wears off.

It seems unfair to me to have cancer and catch the cold from hell after my first chemo and develop a sinus problem that renders me (officially – I had the hearing test) nearly deaf in my left ear. I mean, doesn’t the shit fairy know anybody else? And after nearly four months of being deaf and my voice sounding to me like I’m under water, the hearing issue suddenly clears up and the headaches start.

To hell with it. I’m still above ground and I’m actually beginning to do a little bead work and I’ve made the list of all my personal information for the friends who have my power of attorney and are executors of my will. I’m rusty at the former and have been procrastinating about the latter because I’m trying to maintain a healthy level of denial. Finally though, I manage to slot it into the category of “just business” and get it done.

Whining. I’m working on that too. When the why-me starts, I think about the millions of people in the world who face hardship I can't even imagine. And then I tell myself to shut the f*ck up and can the pity-party. Because deafness, headaches and colds aside – I’m holding up pretty well.

It’s easy to follow the trail depression has laid. The path is well-established and often walked. Some years ago, when I swore off medical intervention, I started creating different trails. Sometimes, just to get going, I scrub a floor. Sometimes I walk it off. Most importantly though, I’ve learnt not to fear depression. I’ve come to understand that it’s an habitual way of coping with fear, anger, hurt and uncertainty. By no means do I have the new trails perfected – and I still walk down that same old road and fall into that same old hole. The difference is that, eventually, it always comes to me that I can make a different choice. You do not have to feed pain.

So, cheers, everyone! I’m taking this foreboding February day and I’m going to make it into a good day. I’ll think of all the friends who have stuck by me when others might have fled.

And if the sun won’t shine outside, I’ll light candles.


NEDbeads said...

You are my inspiration always. I am SO glad you have candles, and that you think to light them!!!

VanBeads said...

*hugs* to you, Linda. Personally, I always embrace the cold, yucky, crappy winter days as a good excuse to make myself a BIG cup of hot chocolate and big plate of homemade cookies. Enjoy the grey skies as a way of nature telling you to sit back and put your feet up with the most delicious thing to eat that you can imagine and a marathon of favorite movies. (And some beads, if you can!) I have struggled with depression and anxiety for the last twenty two years, and if there's one thing that I've learned, it's that you can never pamper yourself too much when you feel like crap. Hope you find some grace this crappy, grey February day!

Roberta said...

Ha! The shit fairy. I like that. I may use that expression some time if you don't mind.

And as far as a pity party goes, don't you think that you, of all people, deserve to throw a few of those?

Pity partys are highly under rated. I'll bring the snacks or whatever you bring to a pity party. Poison? Oh wait you have already had that and it made you deaf in one ear.

Sigh...and sigh.... (it is a 2 sigh day)

Howpublic said...

I agree wholeheartedly that if a pity party hits and you start down the rabbit hole to hell, chocolate and spoiling is required. I treat it like a mild case of flu - but (and this is the important part)I give myself a day, not a week. :D

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

"Shit Fairy." *snort*

*Cyn hands Linda a flyswatter for that one.*

Howpublic said...

You know, I have NO idea where "shit fairy" came from. I may have originally heard it from Wendy - but I can't say. I've been using it for years. And yes, I believe in her.

Lea Avroch said...

You are such an inspiration to me! You've learned the art of making delicious lemonade out of the most sour lemons. Touche!