I wrote this bit shortly after the shootings at Sandy Hook:
Life goes on. And on. Sometimes unspeakably terrible things happen, and for a brief moment, we all become just human beings for awhile, trying to make sense of the senseless.
Until the fingers point, and the memes start showing up on Facebook. It seems that a lot of people can make sense of the senseless in 12 words or less. People on wildly opposite sides of arguments over things like gun control are waiting for the other side to get a freaking clue already. Only a moron would disagree with my carefully constructed argument. Take my word for it.
I guess what’s bothering me is that the tragedy is paraded out, sexied up by a ridiculously over-empowered media, and dragged in front of our faces no matter how much we try to protect ourselves.
People seem to get over these things just about the time the news stops covering the story.
There’s really only so much darkness we can take as humans. I was thinking at the time, I think, about how easy it is to forget, or ignore someone who’s suffering from something like depression or chronic illness because it can just drain you to watch and listen, and you’re ready for some good news. Of course, most people in the hell of it all sense this, and it makes them withdraw even more.
I was lucky this time because along with a couple of incredibly supportive dogs, I had my husband, and one or two friends who checked in on me from time to time. I never made a public announcement of what was going on in my life, and I still haven’t. But the obvious thing is I’ve been very depressed. So I just… left life for awhile. Okay a few months. Truthfully, I still feel more comfortable on my couch under a few blankets than I do going out and seeing other humans, but I’m slowly peeking back out.
True story: I’m a “happy” person most of the time. People have expectations when they see me. I’m smiley and witty, with a dry sarcasm that brilliant people appreciate (see what I did there?). And obviously I can’t let my public down by being down myself, so I stay tucked away until I can be charming. Well I’ve been mostly uncharming for quite some time now. But it’s okay. My dogs love me even when I’m crying (in fact, they adore the taste of the salty tears, and making me giggle because that tickles). And at least a couple other people love me too. You really can’t lie to your dog, or to those close enough to really know you.
So my best advice to anyone, anywhere is to always have someone close enough to get you. Adopt a dog or cat, or make a friend or even two. Also, do kind things, tell someone they look wonderful, smell wonderful, have a terrific smile, hold the door… These things open a little window for just a smidgen of joy to creep in. Let it in, but don’t hate on yourself for letting it go too soon. Seek help when you can. And always keep breathing. The rest will come as long as you keep breathing. All in good time.
(By the way, if you’re a friend who sees what’s going on, don’t let us get away with that lie. It’s a bad lie.)