Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the cave

and after the storm
i run & run as the rains come
and i look up
i look up, i look up
on my knees and out of luck, i look up

Life has been a struggle lately. I'm not sure I've stated it explicitly on this blog, but two years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It was situationally-triggered during a particularly difficult period in my life, and unfortunately it has been something I've had to manage ever since. I've been on and off a variety of medications, which I hate, but have yet to find exactly what works for me. I know that may seem small, trivial even, but it's a constant source of frustration and, yes, despair.

night has always pushed up day
you must know life to see decay
but i won't rot, i won't rot
not this mind & not this heart
i won't rot

i took you by the hand
and we stood tall
and remembered our own land, what we lived for

I realize "despair" must seem like such an overly dramatic word to use in this instance. And I sincerely wish I was exaggerating for effect, but I'm not. Clinical depression isn't just feeling down or sad, or the product of one bad day. Clinical depression is a serious medical condition which affects every aspect of my day to day life. God, I hate that. It's overwhelming to face stressful situations and feel positively daunted by them, to feel like I'll never be able to rise above or find a solution for my depression. To feel like life will always, always be this way... Suddenly being down on your luck becomes a death sentence, a dark cloud looming over everything I see, do, touch.

there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears
and love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears
get over your hill
and see what you find there
with grace in your heart & flowers in your hair
Since graduating in December, I've searched for employment in education. As August has come and almost gone, I've watched people all over become hired at this school or that school. It's been tough to take because it makes me wonder...what is so wrong with me? Anyway, I'm able to do contract work for a company that does school photography in the DFW area, a bittersweet gig. It's such a blessing to be in schools four days a week, meeting teachers and interacting with students. But as I stand behind the camera, focusing staff pictures, all I can think of is how on the fringe I feel. I'm in schools, but I'm not a part of them. I suppose it makes me feel as if I'm not good enough, that no one could ever think I am.
now i cling to what i knew
i saw exactly what was true, but oh no more
that's why i hold
oh, that's why i hold with all i have

i will die alone and be left there
well, i guess i'll just go home (oh, God knows where)
because death is just so full
and man so small
well, i'm scared of what's behind and what's before
I'm so grateful to have work, to have a reason to get up in the morning, to have places to go. And, of course, I'm grateful for the money. But at night I lay in bed and my mind races. I wonder, what will become of me? What will I do when the school photography season ends in November? What will I do if I don't get hired by next August? It's enough to drive even a sane person insane. And trust me, there's nothing worse than feeling crazy.

but there will come a time, you'll see
with no more tears
and love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears
get over your hill and see what you find there
with grace in your heart
and flowers in your hair

Mitchell told me something last summer that I don't think I'll ever forget. After a particularly hard day full of tears and extreme lows, I sobbed how sorry I was for him having to deal with me and my mess. He halfway laughed and said, "Andrea, your depression isn't you; it's something separate that we work at together because I love you." He's probably the only person in the world who makes me feel pretty when I'm ugly, happy when I'm sad, peaceful when I'm panicked. And because of that one little comment, I try to remind myself that my depression doesn't define me. My faults, my worst moments don't define me, and I'm able to recognize a flash of hope when I remember to take that to heart.

I apologize for the melancholia of this post, but my heart has been heavy and troubled these past several weeks. I feel lost, you know? Completely unsure of how to be well and successful, unsure of where to go from here.

but i will hold on hope
and i won't let you choke on the noose around your neck
and i'll find strength in pain
and i will change my ways
and i'll know my name when it's called again
- "the cave", mumford & sons

*first lyrics were mumford & son's "after the storm"

Monday, August 23, 2010

love is a temple

...You say, one love
One life...

We're one
But we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other

You say, love is a temple
Love is a higher law
Love is a temple
Love is the higher law

One love
One blood
One life
You've got to do what you should
One life with each other, my sisters [and my brothers]

One life, but we're not the same
We get to carry each other

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