Complicated

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”  – Confucius

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To the casual observer we look happy and in love. He has his arms around me and I’m laughing into his face. But, if you look closer, things are different, kind of like one of those Magic Eye pictures.

His hand is grabbing a little too tightly at my waist. His fingers digging hard enough to leave bruises.

My lips aren’t parted in joy, but in a grimace at the pain he’s causing now, and what I know is to come.

He’s not leaning towards me to kiss me, I’m pulling away from him because I’m scared by the words he’s just whispered to me.

My hand resting on his chest, is not on its way to slide around his neck and play in his hair, but to push him back, so he’s not so close.

We look like other couples but nothing could be further from the truth.

Because sometimes what looks simple is more complicated than you can imagine.

A Departure

Normally I use this blog as a place to practice my writing and hone my skills. What I usually put here is fiction, usually prompted by a photo or word provided by someone else. But today I’m going to write about what’s going on in my head. This is not fiction, these are the thoughts that are consuming me right now.

I should say up front that I have depression. I’ve had it for my most of my life, but since I’ve had my kids and as I’ve got older it’s gotten worse. This morning I got a phone call to say that I just missed out on a job I’d gone for. It’s made me feel really sad. Sad that again I haven’t got a job I’ve applied for. Sad that I feel rejected, even though I know it’s not really personal. Sad that I’m not good enough. Sad that I’m letting my family down.

Even though I would never do it, the suicidal thoughts are floating through my head. I know suicide never solves anything and I would never do that to my husband or kids, nevertheless, the idea still bobs and weaves and dodges through my more rational thought.

When I start to feel like this it’s like someone pulls a shade down on my life. Not a sheer, white shade but a thick, black one that blocks out all the light and leaves me sitting in the dark. Sometimes there is a little crack of light and it is that light that keeps me hanging on and eventually guides me out.

You know what? I HATE feeling this way. I have a great life; a wonderful husband that I love and who loves me back for some unknown reason, great kids who are growing into amazing young adults that I am so proud of and in awe of, a lovely home and good friends. I have no excuse for being so miserable. I hate that it’s such an effort to get myself out of bed every day. I hate that even though I’m busy doing things I find very little that interests me. I hate that even though I smile at my kids and joke and laugh with them I feel no joy.

But unfortunately, this is the reality of depression. It doesn’t discriminate. There’s no point in telling yourself to snap out of it, or cheer up because there’s nothing you can do about it except hang on desperately and hope that you come out the other side soon.

Until that happens I’ll keep faking it till I make it.

Less Travelled

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They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So why did we take the meandering path, the road less travelled?

In the cafe where I got my coffee each morning you were always at the same table. The first thing I noticed was your eyes — the lines in the corners that I just knew were from smiling. I’d sit at a neighboring table and pretend not to watch you. One week you’d be reading Dan Brown and I’d judge you, the next week, E.M. Forster, and I’d swoon.

I loved the glasses you sometimes wore, your overcoat in winter, the way you folded your shirtsleeves up to your elbows, showing off your forearms. You took your coffee black and occasionally you’d treat yourself to a brownie. You used a green fountain pen to scribble notes on scraps of paper.

I hated weekends and the days when, for some reason, you weren’t there.

Almost a year after I first saw you, I looked up, and there you were at my table, smiling.

“Hi,” you said. “May I join you?” I nodded and I knew.

We took the road less travelled and it has made all the difference.

What Do You See?

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal?

I think the name of my blog reveals a lot about me.  I spend a lot of time in my head. There’s always a lot going on in there, but the problem is getting it all out of my head and on to a page.

It’s nice to know I’m not alone though.

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One of these contraptions is just what I need, but not just for when I’m asleep. I can have the most wonderful ideas, getting them on the page is another thing. My words come together easily and sound flawless in my head but …

Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?

Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

Too Far Away

Finish this sentence: “My Closest Friend is …”

My closest friend is too far away. She’s an hour away and, although that doesn’t seem all that far, it may as well be the other side of the world to me.

She started out as my neighbour. Not one of those neighbours that you wave at as you drive past, but the one that is there for you when the world starts to fall apart, or you need a tea bag for a much needed cup of tea.

We first met when I went searching for my children who were AWOL in our street. It turns out they were visiting the house across the road with the new kitten, Cate’s house. Cate and her family had just emigrated from South Africa and were horrified by these children that kept turning up their front door unaccompanied. That would never have happened in Johannesburg. We introduced ourselves and had a quick chat. She had two small children and no family, so I decided to be a good neighbour and invite her over for coffee. So began an amazing friendship.

We’ve been there for each other through an unexpected pregnancy, children starting school, husbands losing and changing jobs, emergency babysitting, childhood illnesses, death of a parent, birthday parties and BBQs.

But it’s the little things that have mattered most; phone calls when the kids are driving us to the edge of insanity, saving dinner with a packet of rice or a tin of tuna, a shoulder to cry on when things go pear-shaped.

When Cate told me that they were looking for a house to buy, I was so happy for them. They had come to a new country and worked hard to establish themselves here and now they were going to be enjoying the results. I’ll admit though, that a small part of me was sad and mad. I didn’t want her to go. I freely admit that that was a very selfish attitude, but that was the way I felt.

Cate’s been in her new home for nearly two years and I miss having her so close every single day.

 

The Daily Prompt:  A Friend in Need