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night night

Sometimes, all I can manage is a few beers before breakfast and my face buried in couch pillows on a 'slice of life' Indie movie marathon.

'Turtle, go get yourself some peanut butter from the cupboard honey, Mommy is too tired...Oh you can't unscrew the lid because you're only one and a half? Okay, just let me finish this movie and I'll help you out - in a few hours.'

Ever seen Thumbsucker? Loved it.

'The best way to get through life is to go through it WITHOUT an answer...I think....I think."

So I just came upon a little thing called 'To Write Love on Her Arms' and I have something to say about it.

Though I thoroughly believe the people who started this organization have the best intentions in mind, I find myself a little disturbed by the overall tone of the thing.

Mostly in the way that it panders to a new generation of self obsessed teens who are (don't get me wrong) suffering in very real ways and have little to cling to beyond fantasies of who their favorite rockstars might be off in picture-land.

It's not that I believe depression is not real (believe me, I know it's real) or that I think we should all 'stuff it down' in some attempt to maintain the status quo. It's more that I have an eighteen and twenty year old brother who often buy into this current notion - another side of the fifties perma-smile coin - that depression is glamorous - that it is the only path to being a unique and beautiful snowflake. That we can't be artists or poets or musicians without it.

Hm -

So I have evolved from a place that told me 'happiness is plastic' to finding out for myself that depression is what keeps me FROM my feelings. It is the monster that tells me I should be afraid of them. So I go to sleep or I cut myself or I drink, rather than confronting the fact that maybe I feel out of sorts today, or this week or this month and I need to stop with the AMERICAN DRIVE TO SUCCEED for two seconds and examine what it is that I need that I am ignoring.

Feelings (even the 'negative' ones) are essential to my life as a human. They are what I paint with, make love with, kiss my baby on the head with, laugh with my friends with, smoke my new tobacco pipe with. Feelings (and intense ones at that) are what make me Cecilia.

One part of To Write Love on Her Arm's story struck me and confirmed my apprehension:

'She is full of contrast, more alive and closer to death than anyone I've known, like a Johnny Cash song or some theatre star. '

Let's get something straight here kids.


Not just the misunderstood artist types.

The cycle of joy and suffering and the messiness of life is what makes us Us.

Some of us got a really shit deal in our childhoods and our adulthoods and have some really heavy weight to work through, preferably with a professional and a good support group and, occasionally medication to get you through the times you can't handle on your own. In a better world, we would come together as a community and REALLY talk to one another. I see this as the initial aim of this organization and applaud it. I see this working miracles for my friends in AA - people who have every reason in the world to suffer and who make the choice FROM ONE MINUTE TO THE NEXT to step off the suffering. And I often wish people with Depression alone had the same organization - a place that will make it okay to be who they are and allow them to stop hiding from pain and let it pass through them rather than wrapping it around them and going to sleep.

Anyway - I am not feeling so articulate today and must return to more drooling. I just worry about my suicidal brother - I don't want him to go away. But I can't reach him where he's at right now. I recognize the place - I know why he goes there - because he doesn't want to deny his feelings but he doesn't yet know what to do with them.

What I can't seem to communicate to him is that he is still denying his feelings - he has run straight past the truth and into the opposite end of the tunnel from the place we were raised in which was denial.

I don't have an answer. I just have a lot of questions. But this is one of my latest unfoldings and I wanted to share it.

And now I am laying back down on the couch and watch Million Dollar Baby because I am too overwhelmed with the minutia I have built into my life and because I have built minutia into my life to avoid having to confront what I want most.

Which is to be an artist.

Night night.

12:47 p.m. - 2007-12-19


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