There are times in a person’s life where it dawns on them that maybe they are cracked. Maybe there really is truth when someone looks at you after you say something or do something and state the little phrase: “You are crazy.” I used to get so offended by that comment. My paternal grandmother does have mental health issues, and as you have been able to read thus far in my blog, so do I. Depression is one of the largest diagnosed diseases in the United States. I would bet that one in every five people are diagnosed or being treated. This includes depression in its many forms (i.e. major depressive disorder, bipolar I and bipolar II, etc.). Today feels like a cracked day. One of those days where it would be so much easier to just lay down in bed and cry until your muscles hurt from the sheer force of the tears. It would be such a great relief to let out all the pent-up stress and emotion. But here I sit, with it contained in my chest, feeling slightly ashamed.
I went out grocery shopping and on the way home I called Jonathan up and for a good fifteen minutes yelled into the phone until all he said was, “Stephanie, you need to take care of yourself first and foremost.” All I responded was, “I wish I could. Sorry I called. I shouldn’t have. It’s still easiest to talk… well, yell… at you. Sorry about that. It was out of line, though thank you for letting me continue and not hanging up on me.” We said our goodbyes after that. I need to find a different outlet. I feel like I have made vast improvements in releasing my emotions, both negative and positive, but for the most part I am still stuck in a rut. I had a certain way of handling (or, better described as NOT handling) things for six years. I feel like I am coming out of a cocoon still when I have to deal with certain stresses and emotions. I unfortunately am turning things inward again. Despite some people believing I am outspoken, I actually fear confrontation more than anything. Unless I am the one confronting. And that only happens when I am pressed past the point of no return and I see nothing but a red blinking light à la Perry Cox in Scrubs. At that point it is yelling and if someone tries to respond they get a withering glare and possibly my back. Or a kick in the shins depending on how childish I am feeling. Okay, not really. I don’t kick in the shins. But I have been known to throw a chair, a massive candle, the garbage… I know, NOT good.
Emotional and mental growth is an ever constant battle. Intriguing that the first word that came to mind was battle and not just left it as “ever constant,” which it is. There are days where it feels easy, but then there are days where to put a smile on my face, to operate and move through the day and talk with people is difficult. It would be easier to sit in my room surrounded by the things that I love. It reminds me of a Simon & Garfunkel song, one that is my favorite and one that I consider an anthem of sorts: I Am a Rock. I remember the first time I heard the song I immediately felt a kinship with the words. They spoke to me on such a deep and profound level, even though I was relatively young then. I also remember my dad having a similar reaction (not on initial listen, but any time he heard the song). It was like it spoke to him in such a way that I glimpsed into his psyche. To kind of understand that comment you have to know that my dad is not always the most forthcoming with how he feels. He often is a stone wall, never really showing emotion. It’s not that he doesn’t have emotion, it’s that I know while growing up, his mother always held disdain for showing it. My grandma encouraged my dad and his sister to contain themselves and never complain, but never praise, anything. So being able to glimpse at a small pleasure or see kinship and acknowledgment register in his eyes was surreal and wonderful. I believe that a level of my appreciation for the song also stems from those windows my father allowed when relating to the lyrics.
And here they are: “A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December. I am alone gazing from my window to the streets below on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. I am a rock, I am an island. I’ve built walls, a fortress deep and mighty that none may penetrate. I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain, it’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain. I am a rock, I am an island. Don’t talk of love, well I’ve heard the words before, it’s sleeping in my memory and I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. If I never loved I never would have cried. I am a rock, I am an island. I have my books and my poetry to protect me. I am shielded in my armor, hiding in my room, safe within my womb, I touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock can feel no pain. And an island never cries.”
It’s just been one of those days.