The Bloggess made me cry. Twice. In twenty minutes. She wasn’t being mean to me. Instead, she sat on a stage directly across from me and spoke to my soul. It took everything I had in me to not lose my shit.
If you follow Jenny, you know that she draws as part of her coping mechanisms. Last night, she was drawing doors. Today, I sat and watched her before she started speaking and I understood with an alarming clarity these doors she draws and why she draws them. I saw her anxiety and watched it manifest in front of me. Most people wouldn’t have seen it, but I was looking for it. The doors hide her. They taunt her. They keep her safe.
I was looking for it, because I saw me mirrored like the outline of a tree on a glassy lake and needed to know I wasn’t alone in the auditorium.
The doors in our brain are stuck open or shut in some strange Victorian Edgar Allan Poe sequence, creaking open, flying open, staying stuck, always tapping.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—Only this and nothing more.” ~ “The Raven” Edgar Allan Poe
You see, I have “generalized anxiety disorder,” GAD for short and clinical depression. It has been a defining part of my life since I was a child, except then everyone just told me I needed to stop being so sensitive, or to “get over myself.”
But there is no getting over it when you’re 43 and somedays the only thing you can do is leave the house to take your son to school and drive back home. I know that I am safe from the panic attacks. When I travel and lock myself in my hotel room, I know that I am okay from the prying eyes of the world trying to bore into my soul and suck me dry.
When you’re laying in bed at night the thoughts won’t stop racing through your mind of all the things you have done wrong, or imagined you’ve done wrong. You can’t be the friend, wife, family member, you’re supposed to be. There are days you don’t want to get out of the bed, and you don’t.
This is my normal and it sucks. Mine is currently being exacerbated by hormonal issues otherwise known as peri-menopause. This time of life makes any woman crazy, toss in GAD and depression and I’m a Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich dripping with gravy kind of mess.
I wanted to laugh in the most desperate way. Had I started, the laughing would have turned into the most ugly, raging cry that room has ever seen, culminating with me curled up fetal on the floor in front of you.
Thank you, Dear Jenny. Thank you for being you, for sharing you, for talking openly to the world about your brain. You were sitting on the stage, but you weren’t alone.