What Are You?

Hi, friends.

I’m working on swimming my way back to the surface. Watching my meds carefully. And my sleep. And trying to give myself a break for being human. Depression sucks. And it lies. And it sucks. But mostly right now it just makes me weary.

I’ve begun a dozen letters to you in the past 2 weeks. I haven’t finished any, but beginning them feels like a step on the way to the surface.

I’ll be back with you soon. Swearsies. In the meantime, I’m doing what’s necessary, letting everything else go, and painting my toenails blue because it’s the color of the water, where I wait, but also the color of the sky by daylight, which I seek.

With love — and always waving,

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P.S. My daughter texted me this morning.

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“What are you?” she asked.

I think she meant to ask where I was, but I decided to answer her question anyway because I’m rad.

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“What are you?” she asked, so I told her I’m human. And partly divine. Magical and messy. Most days heavy on the mess. Weird and wonky. Also, wild and wonderful, although I have to remind myself of that a lot, and sometimes I don’t belive me. I am incredibly complex and also very simple, and I spend a lot of time being simultaneously sad and content, and giddy and joyful and bone deep exhausted.

P.P.S. Abby thanked me for the recap, and noted she just wanted to know where I was in case I wanted to bring her coffee. So at least I raised a kid with the right priorities. COFFEE. Coffee is always the priority.

P.P.P.S. When I told her I wasn’t getting her coffee, she texted me back sad faces. IMG_8338

And I reminded her it’s part of the human condition to be sad and happy. Both/And, friends. Both/And.

I’m pretty sure she liked that reminder as much as she would’ve liked free coffee.

In conclusion, I give and I give.

P.P.P.P.S. What are YOU? I’d like to know.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
32 comments
  1. […] easing back right now to calmer seas, and I’m peeking out from underneath my covers, sipping air that’s less […]

  2. What am I? I’m not sure I know. I think I’m still human. God made me, and souls are eternal, so mine must be here somewhere. (Maybe under the laundry? Haven’t checked there yet.)

    I am collateral damage. I am also scrappy. In 2011 I told someone that everything I had ever been afraid of had already happened to me, and I had survived all of those things, so I guessed I’d keep on surviving.

    I only know what I used to be. It seems all those old things are gone now, either destroyed or lost or abandoned.
    I used to be that beautiful secret walled garden from the Song of Solomon. But that’s been scorched to smoking cinders, and salted for good measure.
    I used to be a professional pianist. But I haven’t had time or opportunity to play for months, and besides my hands are strained and cracked and bloody from my “day” (24/7) job. Lack of music has contributed to the shriveling of my soul.
    I used to be a math tutor and a metrics analyst. Numbers are black and white and logical, and calculus is elegant. But in the place in which I exist now, it seems logic is dead and gone too. I do what I am told to do, and then get snarled at for it.
    Even my knee-length hair, that I have worn long for decades, will very shortly give way to a buzz cut. Functionality is the order of the day, and the $$. I won’t miss it though. Can’t waste the emotion.

    I once heard in an AlAnon meeting that “You are called a human BEING, not a human DOING.” And I still tell it to other people. But I don’t believe it for myself. What makes me a being? The attributes I once valued? But what is the point of intelligence if there is not time or opportunity to study and learn things? What is the point of musical gifts, or creativity, or humour, if they are not used? My only present purpose is what I accomplish day-to-day to keep us afloat. It’s never enough, but we’re still barely floating.

    Night is falling. Sometimes I fear the dark. But sometimes it is comforting because I can hide in it. And other times, the dark inside rises up to join the dark outside until, to quote that old Pink Floyd song, I am comfortably numb. But the comfortable part is a lie I tell myself so as not to go crazier.

  3. At the moment I am exhausted, scared, furious at myself, embarassed. This week I crashed the car that I bought not even 2 months ago, my first car. I just wasn’t paying attention and made a mistake. I’m exhausted because I spent the last day-and-a-half crying and not sleeping.

    I wasn’t hurt and no-one else was hurt and I know I should be grateful for that but it’s very hard to feel that right now.

    But I am grateful for this place, and for you, Beth. Waving!

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