New avenues of thought
My latest attempt to generate content for the blog included begging on Twitter for co-bloggers or ideas for topics to write about. It's interesting that recently I've started to feel alone out here in the wild wild web. Not that I feel I've ever had many interesting thoughts or stories to share, but lately I feel like I'm boring myself here. How can I create interesting and useful content if I'm yawning my way through the typing?
My friend Kate has come through for me. For those of you who don't know Kate, she runs a fantastic blog (the kind of page I fantasize about this being) over at The Colour of Madness. Go check it out right now, I'll wait...
Back? Great, See I told you it was a great place to visit.
Nearly immediately after I tweeted my pleas for help with the blog she sent out;
"I can send you "blog today!" Tweets if u like or topic ideas? 1 would be how has ur life changed since u became aware of your depression?"
We had a short back and forth where she offered up two more ideas.
"Did u feel watched & less trusted after ur suicide attempt & how did that make you feel?"
"Childhood expectations of adult life vs how it turned out - what did u want to be when you grew up?"
I seems to me there are two requirements to answering these. Memory and Self Awareness. Two of my (many) great shortcomings in life.
My poor memory is summed up quite nicely by a joke I've stolen from the wonderful American comedy show Everybody Loves Raymond, "If I closed my eyes I couldn't remember what color shirt I'm wearing." This is not necessarily hyperbole either. I just gave it a try. I closed my eyes, thought of how I need to mow the lawn and clean the bathroom, then tried to recall the color of my t-shirt. I stumbled over recalling if I'd put on a new shirt this morning or decided to wait a bit until after chores and showering is done. I, in fact, had to open my eyes to see the answer.
So let's look at the second two questions given this poor memory.
Did I feel less trusted and watched after my last suicide attempt? I've mentioned it before (I think) that it was took me some time to realize there was a person in my room 24/7, that I was on a suicide watch. But I don't think that realization, or the week(ish) after that on the Mental Health floor, is what the question is asking.
Right after graduating, that's what it really was, from the MH floor I moved here to St Paul with Nora. I don't remember any specifics from that first few months. I can infer that there were considerable "getting used to's" in my life. New house, new kids, new town etc. About the only thing I recall is wondering if every new person I was introduced to knew I had just tried to kill myself. I wondered if they looked at Nora differently for welcoming such a mess of a person into her home.
I know now that Nora was quietly vigilant in checking on me. That she spent considerable energy worrying about me. There was one business trip she took me on, I caught some 24hr bug, or maybe my APD was in high gear, and I spent the day in bed. We were to go to dinner with Nora's friend. Nora was running late and the friend was knocking on the hotel room door for some time. Nora was trying to call me, text me, get a hold of me somehow. I was absent from the world. Nora was terrified that she would return to the room and find me dead.
What did I want to be when I grew up? My mom will tell me I used to want to be a Certified Public Accountant. How's that for an exciting childhood dream? I don't remember having that dream, but why would Mom lie about this?
This is one of the reasons I think my depression has been with me for much, much longer than diagnosed. I have no recollection of ever having future thoughts, dreams or expectations. I seemingly always lived in the uncomfortable now or the regrettable past. I know I had a deep affinity for Physics in high school, but never considered going into a related field. I chose the college I went to not for the curriculum it offered but because it was the one Scott and I had visited. Hell, I only went to college because that was what you were supposed to do.
I ended up in business because that's what Dad's job was. He ran Kmart stores, advised Japanese firms how to be like Kmart and eventually ran the corporate headquarters. Sometime after graduating I had thoughts of being a teacher, a high school physics teacher. I started working on a physics degree. That plan petered for some reason. Probably money.
Now I'm a house husband with no clear vision on a career. Nora is supportive of me returning to school. She's supportive of me just taking care of the house. I don't know what I want to do.
You know what? I think we just realized that my adult reality matches up quite nicely with my childhood expectations. I didn't know, and I still don't. I will say that up until March of 2014, I never would have thought someone as wonderful as Nora would find me wonderful too.
This leaves us with thinking about how my life has changed since learning the category of illness I have that makes me feel so awful. Well, on this one I'm a tease. I've gone on long enough here and would like to think more about this one.
Be safe and be well.