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Just Write

October 4, 2011

Everything is itchy. My skin, my eyes, my head. I’d like to take off my skin because for the last three days, I have not been at home in it. I feel sketchy, dodgey and raw.

I sat down to finally write last night. And you know what’s a great feeling? To sit down to write and have the crap-writing come out of my mind and through my fingers and press out onto the letters of my computer keyboard. All my little inner critic kept saying as I was typing was


and that’s super-duper helpful to hear when you’re just trying to eek out a blog post.  And then I thought,

I’m never going to ever write anything meaningful again. Dribble Dribble Dribble.


It’s cold this morning. 49 degrees and noses are pinked with chill and coats are pulled just a bit tighter and closer to everyone’s bodies. I got home and the house felt a lot like the outside. I walked into my office to write and I did what I always do: turn on the overhead light, turn on my desk lamp and light my Aunt Sadie’s Tree in a Can candle. The flicker of the candle sends up smoke signals of tranquility. My finger tips are cold because I don’t want to turn on the heat.


I’ve suffered from depression for more than a decade now and I would think that I would get better at understanding and recognizing her inky marks, indelibly weaving through my mind like an octopus’ …

Well shit, my phone is ringing and it’s Hubby and I should answer it because he probably just needs something quick.

Yup, it was quick. But now where-oh-where is that train of thought??

Oh yes, depression weaving through my mind like an octopus’ ink. Powerful yet subtle, noticable but ethereal. Depression. Geesh. I’d really like to just not have depression any more.  And when I write or talk about depression, I start to imagine what I think the recievers of my malaise-filled depressive meanderings will think. Here’s an example:

BLAH BLAH BLAH and Blah. Um, yeah, Denise, we all got the memo. You suffer from depression. (mental eye roll)

And well, I think that’s shitty of me to think that because that gives the people in my life, the most important people in my life, way-less than the benefit of the doubt. Really, what I’m doing is pushing my judgments of myself onto others;  my depression tires me and I judge myself for suffering from it and I think myself weak for continuing to struggle.

And you know what else? I find it difficult to distinguish between regular self-doubt, from which I know we all suffer at times, and depression. Because for so many years, depression has provided a filter through which I experience life. Is it normal to have days turn into weeks when you feel like everything you say and do is quite drab and uninspired and boring? Is it normal to be so uncomfortable in your own skin that you’d like to molt out of it?


I wish you could see my hair right now. Because I’m so itchy I just wanted it all out of my face so I did crazyshit to it while I was writing. Oh wait! I’ll take a picture!

Ok, so I just stopped writing to take a picture of my hair and I noticed that in the photo, you can see the random cowlick that travels the maternal lines of my family. My grandmother had it and my mother has it and now, apparently, I have it. Good times.

Oh I want to check my Twitter feed. And my email. And my text messages. Must. Not. Look. At. Social. Media. 


This morning, after dropping the kiddos at school (and doing the high-five happy dance with myself because I was SO ready for them to be at school, after four days of togetherness and a solo-parent weekend), I blared my music in the car. After listening to Bach’s Bradenburg Concerto at a deafening volume, my iPod played Erasure’s Respect.

This line jumped out at me:

And if I should falter, would you open your arms up to me?

Would you? I realized that this is one of my deepest desires: to show all my gritty parts and still be accepted, loved and walking into empathetic, open arms.

I feel that a good cry would help my misaligned mood quite a bit. A new favorite Rilke quote floats into my mind:

But in these dancing tears, what is often withheld can be found: our strength.

I wish the tears would come.


Thanks to Heather from Extraordinary-Ordinary for hosting this cool Just Write movement. I approached this exercise as a sorta free-flow, train-of-thought writing exercise and the above ramblings are the result. Lucky, lucky you. xo

13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2011 8:40 am

    I am suffering from depression as well, although my doctor terms mine “situational”, you know, just a nice way of saying “you’re situation is depressing”. Nice. Thanks. Not helpful.

    I completely get you feeling uncomfortable in your skin. I’m there many days unfortunately and boy, although I am not comfortable, it does sound nice to have someone know and see my every flaw and still love me completely and unconditionally. (we’re working on that one)

    I love that last quote. Tears DO help. Let them come.

    ps Nice to meet another Bach fan.

  2. Martie permalink
    October 4, 2011 12:57 pm

    I WOULD HIDE YOU. (from Jann’s blog) Even MORE than opening my arms. I wish you had my Alaskan lightbox; I used it 4 hours a day last October. I’m SO Empathetic to your Fall plight. I wish I could make it vanish. Maybe screaming these words will help you find the tears – they’re buried way, way down. I’m so sorry. I love you unconditionally. M

  3. October 4, 2011 4:34 pm

    I too have endured depression for years and can totally relate to how you feel. I saw this quote last month and it really struck home with me…

    In the words of James Stockdale, USNA ’46 and Medal of Honor Winner: “The test of character is not ‘hanging in there’ when you expect a light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty and persistence of example when you know that no light is coming.”

  4. October 4, 2011 5:53 pm

    I know how you feel. I have been diagnosed with depression as well (realizing it’s more common than one would think).  Your statement about being uncomfortable in your own skin hit close to home. Ouch!  I’ve felt that way for as long as I can remember but I’m working to change that not only for me but because I have a pair of little eyes watching me and taking note as to whether or not I am good to myself.  I realize that I’m shaping not only the way she sees me but also how she sees herself.  You are so brave to share your story and I admire that in you.

    The tears will come.  Seems they always do.  May we find strength in them when they do.

  5. October 4, 2011 8:58 pm

    I get it. I totally get it. No mental eye rolls here.

    I’m so glad you just wrote.


  6. October 4, 2011 11:05 pm

    I don’t suffer from depression, but I do get melancholy and reflective and self-critical when the sun starts to fade and the leaves start turning. It always seems like something inside of me is losing, again.

    Also? Writing through, around, and past your mental critic is the best way to put that bitch in her place.

  7. October 5, 2011 8:17 am

    I’ve suffered from depression for more than a decade now and I would think that I would get better at understanding and recognizing her inky marks, indelibly weaving through my mind like an octopus’…WOW.

    That line gave me chills all the way to my pink-tinted toes. Gorgeous metaphor.

    I love that Erasure follows Bach–you are a woman of many colors, I can tell, just by that one detail.

    I also love that you stopped to take a picture of your hair. I almost hate you because it’s so thick and lush, but I’ll forgive you because of the cowlick.

  8. October 5, 2011 8:27 am

    Oh honey.

    I am so happy you are writing. Your words were missed, in my world.

    The depression thing? You know I know that one. I want to have brilliant, precise words to give you to quickly excise it from your life, but here’s the thing – I know it is part of waking up. I know it will serve you, if you let it. I hope it does it’s work quickly, and you move through it with ease.

    My arms are open wide and I send you love…


    And I love the hair. Just love it.

  9. October 5, 2011 3:34 pm

    I love the description “Powerful yet subtle, noticable but ethereal” – so perfect.

  10. Kirsten permalink
    October 6, 2011 1:46 pm

    I am so glad you stopped at my blog today. Because then I came here to read you, and dammit! If I find someone who is stopped short by Erasure, then by golly I know I found My People.

    Heather’s Just Write prompt has saved so many of us from our inky thoughts. I love love love it.

  11. October 6, 2011 8:39 pm

    I just needed to say thank you to everyone for your fabulous comments. Your words and quips and sharing helped that day feel brighter. Thank you all for journeying with me.

  12. October 25, 2012 10:10 pm

    Love this. Really everything about it. How real you are, how truly gritty. Also, how lovely it is that I actually “know” you and we get to wait for our kiddos every day after school in the “south” walker lot. For months last year I was cursing the fact that we didn’t get a bus and as the days pass and I get to connect with more and more cool, down to earth, totally fun Mommy friends like yourself I am reminded that sometimes things do happen for a reason! Delighted to be following your blog, although I am certainly not a professional writer and have been known to make many a grammatical error I love to write and have a stream of conscious to the paper. Creative writing was actually one of my favorite courses in high school and college. It is extremely therapeutic and lord knows I need all the therapy I can get, haha! Keep on sharing the grit, it is so endearing as well as relative and comforting to know we are not alone! See ya around town!

Give me your grit.

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