Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lately

I've mostly been sleeping. Although there have been a few exciting moments in between shut-eye. My excessive sleeping has been driving my husband absolutely bonkers. He knows it is caused by depression but still he doesn't like it. I can't say that I blame him, honestly. I know how I feel when I'm wide awake, needing company, and he decides he wants to take a nap.


I'm still not used to not having a job to go to anymore. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable to imagine that when people ask me what my profession is, I won't have an answer to give them. I was so proud to tell everyone that I was a statistician. And now I'm nothing. Just a depressive who isn't able to function normally on a daily basis. I feel ashamed that I let this illness defeat me in this way, but I am consoled by the fact that at least now I'll be able to focus on achieving better mental health. I hope my bosses forgive me. Please let them forgive me, even though I don't have the courage to ask them personally. Let them not think of me as a failure, when they had once had so much faith and pride in me.


I've had so much paperwork to fill out, and it has caused me a lot of stress. I don't want to come out and say the words.... the word "disability" really bothers me. I have an I.Q. of 145. As a child I was involved in accelerated learning courses after going through a certain amount of testing. In high school I was in the Honors' Society, and in college I was in Alpha Chi. I've received numerous awards in high school and college. I am intelligent, even though I'm not necessarily knowledgable. I don't keep up with world affairs. I don't keep up with the presidential candidates. I don't keep up with current events or politics. I stay in here... in my head, with my thoughts. Yes, it bothers me that I will have to use the word "disabled" to describe myself. My husband joked earlier today, "Great. Just what the world needs: Another disabled genius." Sitting in the Social Security office I felt dirty, because I was surrounded by extremely poor, disabled, dirty people. I felt sorry for them but at the same time I felt a certain sense of disgust, as though I didn't want to touch them or smell them. Let alone be one of them.


OK, I'll come right out and say it. I'm feeling vulnerable right now but strangely I feel like being deeply honest. I'm terribly frightened. I don't know what the future holds. Not only am I afraid of going broke, I'm scared that I'll never get better. I've been fighting mental illness since 2002, when I was first diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The truth is, I suffered from it since high school, but I never knew what it was I was suffering from until I got help from a family doctor, a very kind man who explained to me that he understood me. After all, he himself had suffered from it. He pat me on the back and sent me to a well-known local psychiatrist. But after all the medications, after all the counseling, I feel like I'm falling deeper and deeper into a dark well, as if the severity of my condition is getting worse. At the same time, however, I feel a certain sense of comfort in knowing that I do have good days. So I do have more hope than I used to have, hope that for every down I go through, there will always be an up. I just wish I could stay up and be like everyone else. People think less of people like me. I can even feel that my own father is disappointed in me, because he can't quite seem to grasp what depression is. I can hear the disappointment in his voice when we speak on the phone, and I can see it in his eyes when we get together on rare occasions. That pride and glee he used to have when he looked at me seems to be gone. So I find it difficult to talk about with most people, with the exception of my doctor, therapist and husband. I even feel ashamed that I'm talking about this with my blog readers. I don't want to talk about it too much, because it might drive you away, yet I feel some relief in expressing myself in this way. So please PLEASE forgive me if it gets to be too much. I'll try my best not to come into this negative space too often.


Last Friday night my sister came over and we played Scrabble. I haven't played a board game in so long. Mostly it's difficult for me to find the interest in doing much of anything besides sleeping, but once we got into the game, surprisingly I enjoyed myself. I was laughing. A few times I laughed so hard I could feel my face burning red. My silly sister would try to get away with calling something a word, and I would protest. Then I'd resort to the dictionaries on the Internet to prove to her my points. I could tell she was devastated, because I was beating her. My final score was 320 and I won, much to her dismay. Here is a photo of the final product:




I surprised myself on Sunday. I actually made and kept a social appointment with a friend I have been talking to on the Internet for about a year. I put it off for so long because I have really been quite antisocial for a while. But once we got together, it was as if we'd known each other for a long time. I think we were really like two peas in a pod. Not once did I experience the anxiety I normally experience in social situations. In fact, I think I remember talking my head off. :) She was everything I had imagined her to be - cheerful, friendly, outgoing, warm, kind and so much more. People, I think I met a kindred spirit. I look forward to spending more time with her soon, whenever I can manage to drag my recluse self out of the house.


In other news - and thankfully quite good news - my artwork is receiving more attention. I received an email from a freelance writer who found my online art gallery. He's interested in writing an article about my work. I checked out his past articles, and he's interviewed and written about quite a lot of famous people, for example Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner and others. I felt quite honored that he'd want to include me in that company. The same week, a music band contacted me and wanted to know if they could use my art in their CD booklets and web page. In fact, they'd like for me to create some animations of my work for them to use. I hope it all works out! I attribute all this attention I've been getting to Dr. Cliff Pickover, an absolute genius, creative, intelligent, fun, pleasantly unusual man who has written loads of books. Please visit his site by clicking on his name. So many of his interests are congruous with mine. Anyway, what I was saying is that thanks to him I've received a lot of attention. He posted a link to my art gallery on his web site a year or so ago. Ever since then, I've watched my name spread to various places on the Internet. I don't sell any of my works, simply because I haven't really felt confident enough to work up to such an enterprise. But maybe someday I can make a few bucks to buy a cup of Mocha with or something.


One of the symptoms of depression is a general lack of interest in hobbies and otherwise enjoyable activities. So, it is quite natural that I haven't created art since April of 2007. And even back then I was only creating it sporadically. My goal is to regain the love of creating that I once had. Today I felt a hint of inspiration. I'm hoping it will grow from a spark to a flame.


That's all for tonight. I wasn't feeling this talkative in the beginning, but as you can see I managed to work my way into quite a long chat. At first I didn't know what I wanted to say, but I wanted to say something since it's been almost four days since my last post. It seems I was quite capable of coming up with material. I don't really have anything to say about my spiritual journey, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this entire spiel was completely about the spiritual journey.

8 comments:

Mossy said...

Sophia,

It is nice to hear so much from you. You seem more real all the time.

I think that your ordinary life is your real spirtual journey.

It would be nice to have a career in art wouldnt it. Isn't art good for the Heart?

Don't forget to take a walk and enjoy the spring beauty. I am walking or running 3 times a day now and I can hardly live without it any more.

Suze said...

Sophia,

Oh, Sophia, I am not you and I have not been exactly where you are, but it resonates so much with me. My reaction is to say please know that there is so much hope to be had. And it sounds like you already know that. Please know that you are having a real effect on the world. I hope I am not repeating myself too much, but I think that it is so true. It is so important for each of us to know just how OK it is to be who were are. I speak as a confirmed self-denier, maybe even self-hater. My experience with my own well that I fell down into was that it lead me to the way out.

And your art! How exiting and wonderful! Sophia, I don't know where your art gallery is. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough on this site to find a link. Can you please tell me where it is so that I can check it out?

Please know that you have a friend here and it seems like you have a lot of others as well here in the digital world. I am glad that you are also finding kindred spirits directly around you and are enjoying laughter and fun.

Sophia said...

Hi Mossy,

I think my blog readers know me better than just about anyone. The person that knows me best of course is my husband, but my blog readers come in second place. That's more than even my family!

I would love to make a living creating art. When I'm involved in creating it, I get so lost, but in such a wonderful way, because my thoughts seem to disappear and I zone out while working on a piece.

Speaking of walks... it's about time for me to do another walk for the March of Dimes. I just set-up my personal page this morning. I'm not on a team this year; I'm just going to do it individually, but maybe I'll get my mother to join me.

I've been thinking about taking Peabody for daily walks. He's starting to get a bit porky.

Sophia said...

Hi Suze,

I think we resonate with each other, actually. When I read your blog sometimes it feels like I'm reading my own words. While we may have different situations in our lives, I believe that our reactions and emotions to those situations are similar. We also tend to express ourselves in words similarly, I've noticed. It's interesting!

I don't know that I'm a self-hater, because I wouldn't want to be anyone else but me. But I certainly experience guilt, shame and disappointment. I still feel love for myself, though. It might not be as much love as I feel for others, but it's still love. Between December of 2004 and September of 2007 I was sure that I would end up taking my own life one day. Now, I still have the fantasies, but I am almost certain I won't act on them. That's a big step in the right direction! If I can make that step, I can keep improving.

If I do have an effect on the world, I hope part of it is to help others feel less lonely.

I sent you a link to my online gallery to your email. I don't have a link to it on my blog.

If anyone else wants to see it, just send me an email and I'll send it along.

I'm very glad, Suze, to know I have a friend in you. You're just a blog and an email away. :)

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Here are a couple of my I-don't-feel-good-enough-to-pray prayers...

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

- 'Abdu'l-Bahá

(Bahá'í Prayers, p. 150)

Glory be Thee, O my God! But for the tribulations which are sustained in Thy path, how could Thy true lovers be recognized; and 191 were it not for the trials which are borne for love of Thee, how could the station of such as yearn for Thee be revealed? Thy might beareth me witness! The companions of all who adore Thee are the tears they shed, and the comforters of such as seek Thee are the groans they utter, and the food of them who haste to meet Thee is the fragments of their broken hearts.

How sweet to my taste is the bitterness of death suffered in Thy path, and how precious in my estimation are the shafts of Thine enemies when encountered for the sake of the exaltation of Thy word! Let me quaff in Thy Cause, O my God, whatsoever Thou didst desire, and send down upon me in Thy love all Thou didst ordain. By Thy glory! I wish only what Thou wishest, and cherish what Thou cherishest. In Thee have I, at all times, placed my whole trust and confidence.

Raise up, I implore Thee, O my God, as helpers to this Revelation such as shall be counted worthy of Thy name and of Thy sovereignty, that they may remember me among Thy creatures, and hoist the ensigns of Thy victory in Thy land.

Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No 192 God is there but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

- Bahá’u’lláh

(Bahá'í Prayers, p. 190)

Sophia said...

Thanks, Alex. I especially liked the first prayer, and felt that it is perfect for what I would need to say to God.

However, my favorite prayer is still:

Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone, help

When I was younger (So much younger than) so much younger than today
(I never needed) I never needed anybody's help in any way
(Now) But now these days are gone (These days are gone), I'm not so self assured
(I know I've found) Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me

(Now) And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
(My independence) My independence seems to vanish in the haze
(But) But every now (Every now and then) and then I feel so insecure
(I know that I) I know that I just need you like I've never done before

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
(But) But now these days are gone (These days are gone), I'm not so self assured
(I know I've found) Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me, get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, ooh

~The Beatles

Alexander M Zoltai said...

The Beatles praying...

Whew !

Superb !!!

Sophia said...

I hope God likes the Beatles.