Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not in the Clear

It seems that the lifting of spirits yesterday was more of a reprieve than recovery. Without getting into the nitty gritty of managing clinical depression, it is not always easy to know when you are merely evincing the current stressors of life, and when you need to ask if it's more serious. The big clues are how long the funk lasts (more than 2 weeks?) and how much impact it is having on day to day life.

Adrienne Rich wrote that "Marriage is lonelier than solitude." It certainly can be that, but it doesn't compare with the loneliness of ending a marriage, however necessary or right or hard-won was the decision to come to the ending. Explaining to the children, maintaining composure with the soon-to-be-ex, knowing that friends are watching for any sign that you are not okay and that everyone else is watching for clues to the "real scoop," is exhausting. I feel like every mistake I've made along the way is broadcasting itself in every word I use, and my weaknesses are public knowledge. There is no comfort, only putting one foot in front of the other each day.

I concetrate on the small joys, like hearing The Psychedelic Furs on the radio when I drove home from work last night. I used to have all their albums, on cassette tape, of course, and they bring to mind the one period in high school when I was consciously happy. This morning, I got in the car and heard Johnny Cash singing "I Walk the Line." Sometimes it's the whimsy, the simple surprise of music not aired very often.

Of course, there are also the kids, offering and asking for hugs, and telling me about their day. My older son built a Lego house yesterday with a working elevator, simply looking through the available pieces (never mind that half of them are scattered across the basement floor). In three weeks, I will be at the beach with family (thanks to Mom). I just had an email that the Avett Brothers will play in Philly again, in October, so I might get to see them perform. And, there are the friends who email and call, reminding me that I may have to do the work alone, but that I am not alone, not really. And, when I am able to think clearly, there is hope that the future will be better than this.

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