Tag Archives: Depression

Attempting a comeback.

I’ve had a very difficult time since the car wreck in February of 2014. My depression has been intense, and there were many months of physical therapy, plus as usually happens to anyone suffering from ME/CFS. it got worse following the trauma/injury of the accident and I had little to no energy, turning being largely housebound to being almost entirely bedbound. I have hardly  had the energy to take care of myself and feed myself (I’ve had a few periods of losing a lot of weight because I couldn’t cook and eat regularly), and my ability to do spiritual things went away, and I could not concentrate to meditate.

Then we also had to move in the autumn when our lease was up because one of our neighbors was behaving very dangerously toward us, driving nails into our tires and things like that, and coming to our house to scream at us because he did not like it when we parked in front of his house on a street with no off-street parking. We double-checked: it is legal to park in front of anyone’s house anywhere. We also filed a police report. But we began to wonder if the accident, when our brakes made a strange noise and failed and we slid through an intersection on ice, was also due to sabotage on the part of this neighbor, and no one wanted to stay there.

There are willow trees near the new apartment and I’ve hoped that would ultimately be a good sign. It is warmer and I should walk over to one to visit with it when I can and see what it is like.

But it probably says more about my fatigue and depression than anything else that we have been here since November and I have not unboxed my altar yet. I don’t actually have any statues of Freyr, so it is mostly other little things like willow wood, or things that make me think of him (some little ceramic boars and deer), and my Buddhist stuff.

It would do me a world of good to start extremely small and try to meditate for ten minutes again every day, and work that back up to half an hour for daily practice, and then get back into my online classes that require a day of full practice to finish each module.

I have still travelled when I’ve slept, and sometimes when I’ve been awake, so I know that if nothing else, I have been able to maintain my friendships and relationship, with him and his household, and people like Brand’s parents, and some of the other gods and spirits that Brand works with or is friends with.

It isn’t very satisfying, though, to only do things that way. No one has seemed to mind it, particularly, except insofar as that I have been unhappy with it. He has never demanded more from me or been disappointed that I’ve been too unwell to do anything. He tells me love is not about what someone can do for you. When you love someone who becomes very sick, you do not stop loving them simply because they are in bed and very weak, and can’t do things like they used to.

I have, however, had the experience with other people that they do, in fact, stop loving you when you get sick. What few friends I had not already lost from being sick, I seem to have lost during the time when I was too tired to write emails or chat with them, and subsequent attempts at talking when I was feeling better resulted in things like, “I thought you weren’t talking to me anymore,” despite how many times I said in multiple places they could read that I was doing very badly. It hurt a lot, and has always hurt, every time it has happened, which  has been every time I have gotten sicker. Most people never stop being ill, so it is always going to come in waves, and if this is what is always going to happen, even with friends I’ve had for close to ten years, I feel incredibly hopeless about the concept of friendship with other humans.

When I mentioned this situation to him, he gave me a long look — the sort that he usually does when what he wants to say is something that I will not like and he is trying to find another way to word it. Then Loki saved him from it by saying, “You can do better,” and literally patting me on the head.

I don’t remember where some of the things are on wordpress like subscribers, but probably most people who read this journal are not still reading it, and I can’t blame them for that, but I am planning to use the extra energy of the springtime to try to regrow the barren wasteland of my spiritual life, and start writing nearly every day again.

Aridity

I had been strongly considering participating in the PBP, but the first relevant word that came to mind for me was ‘Adoption’ and that peeled open a festering mess I wasn’t quite expecting.

I don’t have contact with any human family. It has been a painful mess since I was twelve and understood the depth of my father’s disinterest in my existence (I didn’t even know him, really — I saw him a couple of times when I was very, very young and never again after I was about five — but I knew where he lived, and I spent some time sitting on my bike across the road from his house, thinking about what would happen if I knocked on the door) and there were levels of increasing understanding of my mother’s hatred for me, starting with being told that I should have been aborted when I was four or five, to worse things and repeats of that and similar statements, until I was seventeen. I had already left home by then — going halfway across the country and working full time from the moment I was sixteen and living with awful people actually seemed better than living with her, and I’d already dropped out of school due to a nervous breakdown when I was fourteen — but during a phone call in either late 1998 or early 1999, she reminded me that not having had an abortion had “fucked up her life.”

I never stopped being depressed about it, or wounded. The best I could manage was ignoring it.

When Brand’s family found out about me, they were completely horrified by how neglected and hated I had been, and immediately decided that they would adopt me. He’s said before that there is nothing more important to the jotnar than family, but I didn’t realize that extended to adopting unwanted children to ensure they had family, too. That was probably a bit stupid of me, but I’ve internalized the idea that I am loathsome and unwantable by anyone very well (which I have to admit doesn’t do my romantic relationships any good, either).

I feel like a feral cat, haunting the edges of this civilization and scattering whenever someone looks at me or comes to close, and only creeping in when no one’s paying attention, or is busy elsewhere. I’m prone to raiding the trash for scraps because I can’t handle coming in to my place at the table. I don’t know how to come in. I can only tolerate it for a few minutes at most before I have a desperate urge to run away and be extremely alone. Alone is familiar; alone is what I know.

At our wedding, so many of his friends and family — and part of my brain was trying to consider the idea that they would think of me as part of their family also, while the rest of it was skittering away from that thought and relegating all of these people to his, his, his. No our anywhere involved. His house, his bed, his everything. What am I, exactly, inside my own mind? A doll that he felt sorry for. And decided to take home, try to clean it up, sit it around tea parties with other dolls and stuffed animals. But I don’t have a mouth. I do not know how to make sounds.

Generally struggling.

Between extreme CFS problems and having so little money that not all of our bills could get paid on time last month, we’ve not done Anything since we moved for our gods and spirits beyond pushing some love in their direction when we’ve had a scrap of energy that wasn’t immediately consumed by stress, chronic pain, and trying to deal with all of the things that aren’t getting done like they should (laundry, dishes, food beyond a can of tuna and an apple, etc).

I have never had the feeling that they minded much (though some of the wights where we live are irritated that we haven’t formally introduced ourselves and established regular contact) and that they understood that on so many levels I just Can’t right now, but I’m very distressed (which, of course, cycles back around into feeding the cfs, pain, and stress) by my lack of doing anything.

But it has to change. Because even if they don’t mind, it’s creating a lot of distance, which hurts.

So I need to figure out a devotional structure that invites a lot of closeness, but doesn’t involve physically doing very much or buying things.

I don’t know if it’s a permanent loss or if we can get them reinstated, but we are currently trying to feed two people on only one person’s food stamp allotment, and cannot afford to spend any cash on food. The feds also decided that cutting the amount of benefits anyone receives was acceptable. So we have around $150 for a month of food. I’ve lived on $100/mo for myself before, but not $75, and, frankly, I’m worried, because our health visibly suffers when we aren’t eating a lot of vegetables and fresh mushrooms.

They do not make it easy to find food pantries here, but I feel like it’s something we need to do. Getting some of the dried or canned staples another way would free up some of the food stamps for vegetables, etc. 

We were given a crockpot, and maybe if I do soup in batches when I can stand up for more than a few minutes at a time, we will be somewhat more nourished. We don’t have a microwave, but soup is easy to reheat in a pot.

I’ve also been having nightmares and flashbacks for over two months more often than not. I woke up today actually confused because I’d had a normal dream.

Fresh fuel for the sodium flares.

I feel very out of touch with people outside of my immediate family group. I know that the way to fix that is to start more conversations, comment more, reach out to other people more, and so on. It’s been difficult because I’ve been uprooted and so much is in flux; I’m sitting on a bed in a house where I have nothing I own but a couple of outfits and I’m generally afraid of the people who live here.

Trying to acquire housing has been more difficult than I expected it would be, even when I anticipated that it would be difficult. We’ve sent so many emails, made so many phone calls, done so much, and only had a few responses.

We were turned down, one place was rented out from under us, one person hasn’t spoken to us again about anything, either yes or no, and we’re waiting to hear about the most recent place, which we want to live in very badly and are worried that something like being on disability, even though we make plenty of money to pay for the rent (rent is ~1/3 our total income), is going to get us shafted again.

People in general seem to assume being on Disability = Welfare Queens, and so forth.

Ah. The night passed and I saw that the apartment had been reposted to Craig’s List yesterday morning, which was also when she emailed us back to say they were still processing our application. I don’t know what to make of that, and I feel frustrated and tired.

Since I don’t have my things, I’ve been doing rune readings with an app. If anyone is available and willing to do a reading for us about our housing situation (rune/tarot/anything), please email me at shannon dot kotono at gmail.

I don’t understand why we seem to be being blocked constantly.

A summer evening.

Before this internet drama, we had been extremely preoccupied with thinking we would have to move, and were incredibly stressed by that for a variety of reasons, not least of which that I was given responsibilities to spirits who live here and close to here, and I wouldn’t have any control, particularly, over where we ended up living (when you’re disabled and poor, you basically go where there is an opening, when there is an opening). That may still happen.

That has been doing a rather good job of squeezing most of the joy out of my life, as has having worse symptoms than usual, and spending too much of my time watching the sand run through the hourglass, mazed with suffering.

It may be the illness, it may be the stress over housing insecurity (so soon after I thought I had secure housing), it may be being too ill to focus on anything I care about, but it is probably all of them that is causing me to be so depressed.

It is a warm summer night. During the summer, we typically cannot burn candles because the ceiling fan has to always be on, due to a general lack of air conditioning. I reached for Freyr, and reached for the bottle of mead, unable to find the glass I usually use, and toasted him with the bottle. I took three drinks of it, for love, honor, and devotion, and put the cork back in.

As I leaned back against the pillows set up for the sake of my shoulder, I felt him reach for me and gently pull me out of my body and home with him, where I hadn’t been in far too long.

Weekend/Weakened

My volunteer work became extremely busy and I decided to take a meditation retreat (in the city, coming home and returning) this weekend. I have come home and we have had no hot water, so I have had to take cold showers, and then slept, heavily.

My friend’s mother… is so much on the verge of terrible death, and as soon as things seem to get better, they get much worse. I started to cry today, reading his most recent update. Brand pulled together some practical advice on household issues he was having, being suddenly in charge of two thoroughly irresponsible girls whose friends are all drug addicts, a four year old, and his brother who seems reasonably human. Brand is very good at phrasing things for other people. Giving them scripts. To explain how these myriads of people can “help” when his refrigerator and freezer are stuffed and his little brother will not eat much of what people are making. Specific nonperishables (cereal the child will eat, whatever “breakfast foods” people will eat such as pop-tarts (not a food), canned chicken/tuna, etc), household needs like toilet paper, a list of what the child eats, a request for Amazon cards for bulk shopping that our friend does not have to do. Brand is helpful; I cry.

Though it was him today who fell apart about everything else.

And then I also cried because he had to take a cold shower when he was already feeling so very miserable. That was all before we were updated about our friend’s mother.

Tomatoes.

Today’s rune: Eiwaz.

After I went to bed feeling suicidal (one of the only sane ways of dealing with it), I was gently removed from this body and much of what I remember is colored like late afternoon summer sunlight. Some of it was afternoon sunlight. Some of it was him. Some of it was warm wood. The colors of fabrics complementing it. Decidedly out of season but nonetheless sumptuously healthy tomatoes (cherry) and pears, with more seasonable arugula and asparagus. Perfect spring asparagus. The sort you can only get from your own garden or if you are fortunate enough to have access to a farmer’s market. The kind you steam delicately and do absolutely nothing else to, because it would be an outrageous sin.

I’ve only had such perfect tomatoes from my own plants, twisted from the vine and immediately put in my mouth while I was working on getting the rest of them off of the plants. Sun-warm.

When I commented on the tomatoes, looking at one of them on my fork with a slightly baffled expression, he smiled crookedly, said something about being a god of the harvest and of plenty and if he wanted perfectly ripe tomatoes in late March, why shouldn’t he have them?

He was deliberately hitting my food weaknesses.

I was not complaining.

CherryTomatoes

I actually forgot for a while that I’d spent most of the night crying until I finally cried myself to sleep and that I was extremely upset. Truly forgot.

What a gift.

Yesterday, when however I was holding myself together after the news of the night before collapsed on the exterior of my therapist’s building, and I felt like I was ten miles underwater as I tried to get myself underway to the train station, he was abruptly hugging me hard.

That terrible question: when was the last time someone else did this? When was the last time someone wanted to see me, even when I was miserable? When did someone want to be there?

Brand doesn’t count; he’s practically obligated. Is obligated. Willingly. But there are all sorts of ties in there that neither of us can walk away from, and while it’s always his completely genuine choice, I don’t think he could avoid it if he really wanted to, so the dynamic is different. Also: thorough, very thorough, lack of romantic interest. Oh lord.