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Friday, March 24, 2006

that last update, by the way, was not any sort of covert confession.

Warren and i don't deal with the same monsters. mine, as long time readers probably know as well as i do, is chronic depression. i won't even get into comparisons, which is the bigger monster - your own always seems the worst - and i can't imagine the two are all that much alike. but being informed by the one allows compassion for the other.

and after yesterday's visit to my psych, i'm back on the path to managing my little terror. (i picture it as an ugly little troll, jumping around and drooling and waving its warty little arms.) finally unravelled three weeks of phone tag, her on vacation, insurance hassles, and appointments to get the happy magic pills. while i know it will take a while for the chemical effect to show, there's already the placebo effect of knowing the problem will be well in hand.

driving to work the other morning, making frantic, manic phone calls about everything, it hit me that it seems rather unbalanced - why is it, that when we are at our least capable, or at least feeling that way, that we need to do the most work to fix things? you have to get out there and be your own best advocate to get the help you need... and yet, all i wanted to do was sleep in or watch HGTV all day.

of course, there are plenty of reasons to want to do that. i've been feeling overwhelmed, as if i'm standing in the middle of a huge sand pit, or wave storm, lately - just... the ground is always moving. keeping house... ai yah. i feel like i'm the only one cleaning, doing dishes, laundry, sweeping, shopping, cooking, taking out the trash, cleaning the yard... and that may or may not be true, but it's how it feels. and of course, there's never a point where you're done. there's always the next thing to do.

bs once said to me (wise man) that you will always feel like you're the one giving 110% in a marriage. it's the nature of the beast. and he's right, in a lot of ways that i hadn't seen yet. once you start thinking 50/50, you're always going to be peeved that there's some imbalance. all you can do - all i can do - is give my everything, and be grateful for this wonderful relationship i have with my hubby. works better that way; otherwise, there's gonna be a big throwdown about who cleaned the toilet last. ;)

anyway, about the monster... getting back on balance won't solve the problems. there are plenty of things to worry about, and the meds won't make them go away. the financial scenario? one huge, soul sucking cavernous pit. but i'll be able to get back to feeling capable, and chip away at things a bit at a time.

and there are good things, too. as scary as the finances are, *it's just money*. we're all relatively healthy, happy, have good people in our lives, good relationships with each other, the warm weather is coming (hush, jen) - there's a good, solid foundation there. *inhale* *exhale* keep working at it, keep working at it...

:: scribbled at 8:45 AM ... ... o

right down the fucking rabbit hole.

y'know, i don't know as i've written about Warren before. i may have, a long time ago, maybe in some other iteration of this place. in any event, i've been thinking about him a lot lately, and it feels right to tell his story now.

Warren was someone i knew in church when i was growing up. i'm Episcopalian, not that the flavor of church matters all that much, and was very active right up until i went off to college. active, in this case, means attending services nearly every week, serving as an alter person, and helping out with the coffee hour, as well as occasionally trying out the choir (bad idea) and playing music (better idea). i still consider myself an active church member, altho it's a different church, and the frequency is much less.

anyway, Warren was a member of our congregation. he was at least a lay minister, if not fully ordained - i've never been clear on that part. and one of the treats of the week for me was getting to talk to him after services.

i was 12 or 14 at the time, and Warren was likely around 40. one thing i liked about him was that he was my height, so talking to him felt comfortable, less challenging, more equal. the thing i liked best, tho, was that he took me seriously. watching the scenes in my minds eye now, it seems mildly hilarious, the dignity with which i invested our interactions, how important it was to hold that styrofoam cup of coffee *just so* while talking, how i tried to nod at the right times. and i suppose i had a bit of a crush on him, but in a more paternal sort of role, if that makes sense.

but at the time, i relished the idea of being taken seriously, of being treated as an equal, that my ideas mattered, and that i could have adult conversations about big ideas with him. he was sweet, and unassuming, and never looked down to me.

and sometimes, he would vanish. for long months of time, he'd be gone. nobody ever discussed it. and he'd come back. something would be different, nothing i could put my finger on, and the conversations were sometimes strange. then eventually it would be back to normal. and then, he would vanish.

after a few years, my mom took me aside and said, 'Warren is schizophrenic. when he disappears, it's because he's stopped taking his lithium.'

i spent much of one night sitting in the puddle of moonlight on my bed, rocking back and forth, crying rivers of tears for my friend. how was it fair that he had to deal with this? and how could he not stay on his medication? why did he keep damaging himself this way? it wasn't fair, any way you looked at it.

one of the things i'm grateful for that comes with age is compassion and understanding. each year, i learn a little bit more about the people i've known, those who've raised me, and in turn a bit about myself.

it no longer surprises me that Warren would disappear, that the medication seemed less important some days that others, or that he would make the choice not to take it. i no longer think it was a choice, necessarily. and i'm far less angry with him for his actions, be they choice or not. instead, i'm holding his memory carefully, and nodding in recognition.

:: scribbled at 12:03 AM ... ... o