Thursday, March 07, 2013

I Reach Out to the World

(I am listening to “All This Time” by Sara Watkins and other melancholy tunes as I process my thoughts about yesterday.)

Lonely train station in Utah

Thursday - Entry 27:

After a full day of parent-teacher meetings, a church meeting, and an emergency school meeting with family at my old home, I was pretty pooped for the day.

It was Day70. I still struggled with a bronchial cough and limited energy. A test on Monday had ruled out allergies as my problem. I still had left a CT scan and a blood test for weak immunities to complete. The day had been a beautiful one, and I had been in high spirits. I had received a check from some freelance writing I had done. I had a contract for a new paid blogging gig awaiting my attention. My children loved me. I had positive experiences with my daughters' teachers. And nobody had tried to kill me while I drove around—a rare event. Yet those high spirits had set with the sun. As midnight encroached, a darker mood came along with it.

Despite the drizzle, I decided to go for a walk to clear my head and uplift my mood. Walking & talking always helps set my mind right. I'm not sure why except that my ADHD mind needs to vocalize my thoughts when things become complicated. Otherwise, they remain a jumble tumbling around my brain.

I charted my walk by taking pictures in Path since it had just been updated that day with new camera filters, and I posted many of my photos to Twitter. (You'd have to join me on Path to see them all. nudge…nudge…) And I prayed and thought and walked until the drizzle stopped, and I had as much winter as I dared.

Yet my spirits remained down, and I stayed awake reading news and fiddling on my computer until 5am. It wasn't a great day for my battle against insomnia.

And now you have been given a peek into my mind for the previous evening. The setting has been given concrete details with evocative imagery that I hope paints my mood in somber colors, but with a palette of more than black.

I wonder why I share as I do. And, because my heart is still aching with sadness from seeing my replacement, I think “Why do you share your feelings like this online? Isn’t this just vanity? Who cares about photos taken in the middle of the night? Who cares about “evocative imagery” painted in “somber colors”? Who cares how you deal with Depression?”

Apparently, a lot of people do. My blog is approaching the 300,000 unique visitor mark. I'm getting over 4000 unique visitors a month—over 50,000 a year—which is not a small number. I realize that there are bigger blogs out there, but considering I started with just me, my mother, and my ex-mother-in-law eight years ago, it is a great accomplishment. I also realize that half of those visitors are interested in my writings on ADHD. Not everybody shares co-morbid conditions of ADHD & Depression. But I do. So I write about it.

In fact, I recently received an award for being a top Depression blogger. They said my blog was “raw and evocative…” and an easy choice. I should be on top of the world…

…yet I'm still sad.

Now, before you leap in to give me advice, I know that Depression is just a trick of the mind—a misfiring of chemicals. Depression is the malefic jester who pulls the rug out from under you and laughs as your heart tumbles down the stairs. But the stairs are not real, so I don't share online to find comfort. I know that Depression will pass, and happiness is around the corner. I'll pick myself up and dust myself off. I always do. I know this as well as I know that my heart will mend.

I've written about the difference between sadness and depression before. I recognize that the intensity—and shall I say theatrics?—of my sadness come from Depression. So logically I tell myself that all is not as bad as it seems. So yesterday I did smiling exercises and went for a walk despite the drizzle and strove to lift my spirits back up. In regards to my lost marriage, I wasn't pining for the past because it changed. I was pining for being a person who was loved—for that intense union of two spirits commingled in happiness. And then I realized one reason why I share so much online.

I share to not be alone.

I reach out into the world and make my mark with whatever colors my palette has at the moment. Sometimes the colors are neon bright and splash out in a cacophony of whim & distraction. Sometimes they are the muted tones of sunset, gloriously toned with a golden hue. Sometimes they are inspired by the dead of night in dark blues, plums, and burgundy. But always I share. It's how I fight off the artificial tones of sadness that counterpoint my life.

I'm not always understood, but I am glad to know that I do reach people with my writings. In this way I am not alone. I hope to continue to share even when love returns to my life and my palette changes into brighter, more sanguine tones. I might not take pictures of lonely train stations then. Instead I would choose more upbeat imagery. My mood would have changed, but my need to share will likely remain because of my need to reach out and connect with others.

And I'm alright with that.