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Goat by the Horns

Identifying my problem is just the first step. It is important to also acknowledge that my life is not dire. I have a handful of friends who have reached out since my last blog; and I'm very grateful. It's good to know I'm not as alone as I sometimes feel. It's also good that I've let people know how I'm feeling because suffering in silence helps no one.

I've also been taking steps to enrich my life again. I found 3 of my cousins who live in Greece and I've reconnected with two of them and connected for the first time with the third. Facebook is good for something other than reminding me of gaps in my life. Now I have family somewhere in the world; and there is always a possibility of meeting up.

I've also reconnected with art. The happiest I've ever been was when I was immersed in a community of artists, writers and musicians. The positive flow of ideas and action helped me thrive. I need that again.

So I've started doing digital art again. This was the first piece.

Forest of memories
One of the reasons my angst started was that I was comparing my life now to my life in the past. Of course I focused on the happy memories, the close connections and the fulfilling experiences. You could say that it's a good thing to reminisce about good times. Not if I'm focusing on loss, making myself go deeper into the abyss. Like I'm on my death bed. Like I'm full of regret.

Not yet, buddy. Not for a long time hopefully.

Focusing on the past is basically like trying to remake a movie; it's never as good as the original and it loses something in the interpretation. I don't want a remake. I want something new, fresh and now. Sure, it will be colored by the past; it's impossible not to but why focus on it? It will only make me feel more depressed.

It's hard to strike a balance between focusing on positive growth and learning from the past without getting stuck in it. It's always best to resolve issues with people, make amends, build bridges, have conversations. But it requires the willing participation of all parties.

Sometimes, often, that is not possible. For instance how do you ask a once friend why she suggested you communicate with her via email when you called to make arrangements to meet for coffee? How do you recover from that bitch slap?

Sometimes you don't. You edge through the outskirts of your now online relationship, like a few posts and pics, send a "Happy bday" message and move on.

But the pain lingers. The question, "WHY?" is never answered. You want to know in order to move but you fear the answer will dissolve what little balance you're maintaining. You don't want to know the kind of monster you must be to a person who so coldly cut you off.

It's interesting to note that since talking about this particular experience, I switched from the first person 'I' to the second person 'you'. I clearly want to distance myself from the trauma of that experience. It most definitely is imperative I gather the courage to have that conversation, one that she has most likely forgotten because she made a conscious decision that I no longer mattered in her life. How can I even think otherwise?

But that's my pattern. If something goes wrong, I wonder what I did to fuck things up. This happens every time; and I know where it comes from - a father who was constantly critical, constantly disappointed in me, constantly pushing for 'better'. Needless to say, I failed in his eyes. And there's nothing I can do about it because he is dead so I need to move on.

Yet, I need to move on without this tendency to always blame myself. Everyone has a part to play in every relationship. I'm no longer going to... no. I will try to no longer appoint myself the scapegoat in every situation.

That's a good step.

Stay tuned


It`s not Clinical. It`s not that easy.

It's been a long time since I've blogged or participated in the blogging community; but it's not the only place I've been silent. My online presence is mirroring the silence that has taken over my existence. Since my parents` death, a heart-wrenching disastrous relationship soon after, a lack of any family nearby and friends who moved on to other chapters in their lives, I've found myself more and more isolated. I've discovered that my world has emptied despite the fact that I reach out, go out, try to stay active and meet new people.

Nothing works. My heart and life are in stasis. I make myself laugh but to be honest, I don't feel it. I don't feel joy. Or sadness really. Or anything. I feel dead inside. And shame. Shame that I am somehow so lacking that people do not want me in their lives.

This sounds dramatic. It probably is. But it's besides the point.The point is this does not mean I have had nothing to say, just that the thing I've been gathering the courage to say has remained unsaid.

I've been suffering in a deep, unshakable emptiness, trying to hide it behind humor or forced joviality. I jumped on the 'fake it to make it' train, desperate to get to a happy destination. The problem is this train is being conducted by Captain Delusion who is navigating me through a minefield of feel-good blogs and posts, each one driving my emptiness further into the core of me. The train has crashed.

I don't want to feel this way. Who does?

Before I get a stream of advice. I respectfully and warmly say that I have tried everything to change this state of affairs. To be brutally honest, the last thing I need is platitudes, quick fixes or lists of ailments others are experiencing. I know it sounds heartless; it probably is; but right now, I need help. I need to be able to crack through this hard cocoon that I`m trapped in. My jailer is firmly housed inside me. The only person who can break me out is me. That is not to say that I do not welcome others` similar experiences, struggles and victories. Those would be helpful. So would unconditional support and an acknowledgement that what I`m going through is not a topic for debate. Support can be given without advice.

What I am suffering is not clinical depression; it`s existential angst; mid-life crisis; absolute loneliness all rolled up into one huge monster of a situation. It`s just easier to call it depression. I have gone the therapy route but I haven`t found someone I feel comfortable talking to. It`s difficult to crack myself open in front of two, dispassionate eyes. Like T.S Eliot, therapists make me feel like a specimen, pinned and wriggling on the wall. I feel judgement and coldness. But it`s not them. It`s me, because it comes from within.

Even now, here, in my first step to push myself out on the ledge of admission, of confession, of an attempt to feel that finally I might be able to break out, break free and break open, I`m hesitant, very wary and ashamed.

I will hit publish. I need to. It`s the first step in dealing with this parasite feeding off my life force.
I will post this so people will know that my attempts to reach out are actual requests for help.

I`ve been taught to solve my own problems, that it`s impolite to complain or air out your `dirty laundry`. Fuck that. I`m about to be very impolite. And this is just the beginning.