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Cerulean Soul

Cerulean Soul

My soul is tired. Myriad thoughts have been swirling around for days and weeks and months, coaxing me to turn them into legible words.

I simply haven't been able. Physically, emotionally, mentally; every system is drained and dust blows about the empty basin of my being. Part of me, the eternal optimist, says, "This isn't forever. It's just for a time." Then something else--depression? realism? Captain Obvious?--says, "There is no putting toothpaste back in the tube and this barren wasteland is who you are now."

It's so much more than not being able to write. It's facing my soul while limping through each day in excruciating pain, physically and emotionally. 

Physically, I can't even list it all out. I feel like if I tried I might have a breakdown. Some of it is pregnancy (third trimester), some of it is that I always struggle November through February with depression which leads to exacerbation of all that ails me from chronic illness plus I can't distract myself as easily, and some of it is just that this body I live in carries pain in every single part with things like an abdomen ripped to shreds by hernias to boot. And pregnancy necessitates no means of relief until after she is born.

Emotionally, it's depression. It's the November through February thing. It's finally realizing that my childhood really fucked me up and I'm not ok. My therapist said if I didn't have deep and at times disabling depression she'd be worried about me. Humans aren't supposed to live through all I did and then live like none of it happened.

I should be dead. I have heard that so many times now, but I can't FEEL it. Cannot reconcile it. 

I cannot access the devastation that my body carries and desperately wants to communicate to my consciousness so there can be a reckoning and a move toward health. Instead it worsens and still my mind won't let it in. I am frustrated and want to be destroyed and blown apart like an old, unwanted sports arena so I can try to rebuild the new one where technicolor life can be lived untinged by the black and white past. I am paralyzed and want to ignore it all and think things will just get better after the baby is born and this is all just pregnancy hormones and aches. 

Lily 26 weeks.jpg

Lily May

26 weeks

 

But then there is that. My darling Lily has severe kidney issues and I don't know what to expect. Yet I can't bring myself to get the info to my best friend to plan a small little shower to celebrate her existence inside of me. It took me two months just to say yes, let's do one. I am haunted by a doom that tells my soul not to attach. And I cry as I write that because I hate it and I have never struggled with attaching to my children yet every time she moves and kicks I wonder how much it will hurt if her movement and kicking ends because her kidneys failed. And then I think so many kids with worse kidney issues are just fine so what the fuck is my problem? She'll be fine. Just believe she'll be fine. But then somewhere else, mother's intuition maybe?, there is a deeper knowing that even as things have worsened the worst is yet to come. 

And still I can't feel. Not the full, healthy way I yearn to. The way I know depth of emotion for others, be they the Pearsons on This Is Us or my closest friends or a stranger I come across who bares their soul because the one consistent true thing about me is that there are few people with whom one is safer to be absolutely and completely vulnerable. A heavy, impenetrable wall spans my chest, an unbearable burden that locks away the emotion below, in the beneath, my guts where I can know it is there but not feel the agony, and my chest is tight with the onerous barrier but I cannot break through. It's like the Berlin Wall, where neither mind above nor body below, eastern socialists nor western democracies, are the good or bad guy. They both simply are in their existence and complexity and cannot meet because the wall is always there. And this feels impossible to tear down, because any monument can be bulldozed and moved a brick at a time but how does one unlock a soul?

I am frustrated. I want so badly to get my YouTube going, make a few videos, and my setup has allthethings purchased and furniture assembled and placed, just waiting for me to have the few hours of energy to set up lights and cameras and adjust settings. But my current all of the time is to grit my teeth through tears just to get up and go to the bathroom. I take photos of things I am loving or no to share on my Instagram account, to at least make some forward motion, yet when I try there is a mental blockage for what to say or I realize I have to get a better picture which requires getting up and getting the thing and getting the photo and then it's all for naught and the despair resurrects. 

Blue.jpg

"...trying to get whatever light the sky lets through."

 

It's fascinating to me that colors associated with being down--the "blues"--and dreary--grey--are my two favorites and beloved to me. Blue has always been my favorite color, every shade except powder or baby blue. Teal to cyan, azure to navy; they make me feel light and hope. And grey is so soothing to me in all its spectrum, particularly the mid-tones to darker end. I see my normal optimistic personality tinged with all the pain of life as akin to days with a bright sky battling ashen viscous clouds that obscure but don't defeat my cerulean soul.

So do I have the blues? Am I in a dark night of the soul? Is it merely blanket cloud cover that creeps east so slowly I cannot perceive it with the naked eye? Am I facing the reality that my body may never be healed from all of the damage wrought by 35 years of excessive inflammation from severe trauma? I don't know. 

I just know there is no escaping. I can't distract myself. Not with my kids or TV or Twitter or music or a video game or a book or anything. My only slight reprieve has been sports; namely, the NFL playoffs and those are drawing to a close. 

So each day I sit in my grey chaise, by my giant window, trying to get whatever light the sky lets through, with water and the iced mocha my amazing husband makes me, and simply try to exist available for another day, just long enough to stave off the despair implosion. I don't want to kill myself, don't want to die, but also feel unbearable purposeless at the thought of going on living. Caught in limbo that simultaneously strangles and disintegrates. 

I snuggle my kids when they want to. I desperately try to balance all that my body and fragile state cannot handle with their being kids who yell and fight and play loudly, with their bodies in need of touch that is laying and jumping on me when I can barely handle the pain of wearing clothes or my body sunk into a soft and otherwise comfortable chaise. I try to communicate with my husband while weighed down by the incredible guilt of being such a burden with all the pressure on him to do the work of two parents while taking care of what feels like a terminally ill spouse. 

grey.jpg

"...I can barely handle the pain of...my body sunk into a soft and otherwise comfortable chaise."

 

Today I had to write. This burgeoning realization that I am an artist, one who needs to create with words, threatened to consume me if I didn't clamp my jaw together and press through. I know that my driving purpose--one I did not choose, one which chose me--is to share and speak and keep doing so against all odds because I simply cannot not.

And so now here it is. Words created, letters strung together to present jumbled thoughts to any who would see and receive them as they are. 

A cloud break to allow a window's view into my cerulean soul.

I Don't Want to Live Like This

I Don't Want to Live Like This

leaning in to fall away

leaning in to fall away