So much is running through my head today.
In the last month I’ve been on the verge of a full-blown depression. I’m clawing and fighting to stay above the surface, but it’s a lot of work.
March is always hard.
March 24 is the anniversary of my dad’s suicide.
Seventeen years ago, my mom and I came home from a shopping trip to an unusually empty house. We had dinner as I prepared to drive back to school, and we both silently wondered where my brother and dad were, fearing that something wasn’t right, but having no idea of the horror we were about to discover.
Two hours later I was loading up the last of my clean clothes into my loyal VW. I heard an engine running and assumed my dad and brother had made it home in time to see me off. What happened next still haunts me.
I walked out of the garage to find my mom frantically gesturing for me to go back into the house. I knew something was very wrong. I pushed her away and walked toward the storage shed. I could hear the truck running, and all I could see was my father lying on the ground. His feet were facing me and were fanned out — 10 and 2 o’clock. His familiar khakis and white sneakers — the weekend wardrobe that had been a constant for as long as I had memory. I knew, in that moment, that he was dead, and I knew that he had taken his own life.
Every year I become more and more out of touch with that twenty-year-old girl. My life was instantly altered. Most of the time, I convince myself that I’ve accepted my father’s death. Honestly, I know that this horrific event has shaped me and in many ways made me the person I am today. But every March, the anniversary KICKS MY ASS.
At the start of the month, I begin feeling a little down. I assure myself that it’s the end-of-winter blues. I need some warmer weather. It becomes gradually worse, and I start weighing the pros and cons of going back on medication.
So this year in the middle of the funk, my grandmother suffers another stroke and my mom informs me by text, nonetheless, that she has “lost her battle.”
My mother is the most indirect person I’ve ever met. She speaks of hard topics in metaphors. It’s exasperating. Enough with the war metaphors, Mom. She DIED. You can say it.
I’m okay, but I need space to grieve. Even as I type this, the words aren’t flowing as I would like. I feel empty, hollow, detached.
The ugliness of the world is more magnified, and I can’t tolerate much at the moment. I logged on to Facebook this morning, and as I mindlessly scrolled through my newsfeed I felt this rage well up inside of me. When did we become so uncivilized? I miss neutral interactions with people. I don’t need to know everyone’s views on everything at every moment of the day.
Without a millisecond of thought, I posted that I was DONE with Facebook indefinitely. I left it at that, and quite frankly, I feel great about it. I’m not a huge Facebook participant. I use it more for convenience to coordinate meet-ups with friends than anything else. I don’t know… This morning it all felt especially gritty and trivial — I couldn’t take it.
I feel strongly that I need to focus more on my writing. It helps me feel safe and centered, particularly when I’m sinking. I need the solace and stability that comes from making magic out of words. I have several projects in the works, and I hope to blog more regularly as well.
March will end, and spring will begin. I must trust and move through life.