I AM inconsistent: I present a certain face with certain qualities I admire to the world: strength, self-confidence, surety, humor...all the qualities I think are valued by others. All the things I'd like to be all the time. On rare occasions when I'm feeling particularly good I AM the way I present. On those days I'm funny, clever, happy with myself and my accomplishments so far and enthusiastically passionate about life. In all honesty, those days are treasured rarities in my universe that I'm trying to learn to allow more often. I'd prefer they be the norm, after all.
Most of the time I use my public face as a combination of shield and bolster. It's actually fairly exhausting. Emotional energy is a well, and eventually that well runs low, the flow becomes silty and clogged, and I slow down. I am a person who refreshes the well with periods of relaxing alone-time (books, Lifetime TV, walks, repeated viewings of Gladiator...you know, silly mindless things) not by being with others. I'm actually pretty envious of all you folk who get energized and excited about parties and social situations. I NEED that bit of time every week to sustain.
The real person underneath is...sigh...well hidden. This causes an issue if I let anyone in past a certain point, because ultimately that person discovers I've been untruthful about who I really am all along, and that's probably unfair. How can I be enough and loved just as I am if you can't see what I REALLY am until it's too late? Ah, conundrums that feed the demons.
It's something I've been working on for a long time, actually, when I have enough in my emotional well to work on myself. Sometimes, the well just fucking dries up. I've worked on myself enough to USUALLY be able to head the bastard off at the pass before he weasels his way into my brain like a fucking Khan earworm. Sometimes I fail.
Today I've failed. Since it's the Holidays and that's likely a part of the depression heavily holding me down, I envision it as this:
|Holiday cheer my ASS. I'm coming for you...|
Last night the same someone said "I wish I could go back and find the bastard(s) who made you feel so worthless and ..." well, the graphically violent nature of the comment probably doesn't need to be repeated. It was one of those things most people would likely be horrified and offended by, but was an utterly sweet thing to say to me.
I know where my self-loathing comes from. I know where the unworthiness comes from. I also know the reason I'm still here after those feelings hit me in wave after wave is something my dad said to me once when I was really young: suicide is the most selfish thing you can do to those who love you. All the bullying, all the nastiness, all the isolation that fed my genetic pre-disposition to depression is tempered by that statement, because I've always been more concerned with others' feelings than my own. It's another point of contention between me and the few insiders who know me best (I don't take care of myself if someone else needs me, which is stupid and harmful). My point is: I'm not in suicidal danger. I'm just not taking sufficient care of myself to avoid the hit right now.
My friend Superbetsy sent me this about depression today: The bloggess calls depression a lying bastard. When it tries to take me down, I lie right back to it. I put on a shit ton of makeup and sing loudly and look at pictures of puppies. If it can tell us falsehoods, we can do the same. BECAUSE IM A GREAT SINGER, DAMMIT!
This post isn't any sort of request for validation, compliments, or anything of the sort. I've written about this many times before privately and it's done nothing: maybe taking the risk of putting it out here will make some difference in my heart. If not, at least any reader also battling that bastard will know they're not alone in the fight.