Monday, 8 December 2014

The Dam Broke Today (And Why It May Not Be A Bad Thing)

Don't expect amazing writing here. I'm not editing this beyond correcting my spelling as I go, this is something that has to be written, has to be written down raw.

So, for those who know me, or read my blog (All some of you), you may remember that I have depression. It's not severe. At least, I thought it wasn't. And maybe it still isn't. I just don't know for sure. There's only one thing I know for sure:

Today, the dam broke. Just a little, but enough that I was getting strange looks, because it was pretty plain to see on my face. It happened just over ten minutes ago. I'd just finished posting a series of old vignettes I'd written, based on characters from tabletop sessions (And some who, sadly, never reached a table to have their tales grow, like Finlay Houlihan, the Irish Hunter, or Saint Nicky, the Demon of the Spring Court)... And, just before I left the house, I tweeted that I had to sort the electricity...

...Which is when I started crying. Not full on tears, and it still isn't full on tears, bawling, tearing of the hair, that sort of thing. But it's pretty obvious that my many masks had slipped, and even as I'm writing this, I have to pause for a moment and take a deep breath, close my eyes.

But not to fight back the tears. Because, for the first time, perhaps in a long time, these tears are healthy. I want you to understand that. I need you to understand that. Because a big part of depression is locking your heart away, a little piece at a time, so that you don't do this anymore.

It's not the done thing.
You just need to man up.
What do you have to feel bad about?

Right now, as I'm writing this down (You'll see why it has to be written down soon, I hope), I know what I have to feel bad about. I've reminded myself, and opened a door I closed on myself some time ago.

I have songs, but I only sing them to amuse close friends, people I trust. I locked away those songs, because they're not the done thing.

I have stories, so many stories, so many dreams, and I locked most of them away, treated them almost clinically, because technique, writer, technique, you'll never get good if you don't master technique before flair, or feeling.

I have love to give, so much love, and nobody seems to want it. There are friends, family who accept it, and I love them dearly for the kindness they pay (And it is a kindness, for they know as well as I how valuable a gift it is to give)... But as much as I love them, I am too far away from most to share this love, and perhaps I've not found love in recent years because I don't want to show someone how much I want to hold them, kiss them, caress them, because if you do that right off the bat, no matter how passionate a person you really are, that's creepy, what a creeper, what a freak.

Even knowing that some of these things are exaggerations, my mind magnifying the pain, the fear, the loathing, I know they're also true, at least to some extent. We fear close contact. We're told not to sing, to show joy, after a certain age. We're told that having our own look is unfashionable, or dressing like a douche, or asked why would you want to look different? Answer? Because we want to show people more than one aspect of ourselves, or we want to change ourselves for the better, reach the ideals we know exist, or we just do it to have fun.

The dam's closing up a little now, but I want you to know that, for all that this has sounded like a bad thing, that dam is holding something back that should be in the light, plain for all to see. I shouldn't feel the need to hide it.

I have songs, but I do not sing.
I have words, but I concentrate on meaning, on interest, rather than the raw emotion.
I have love, but I do not express the passion in my soul.

This short (and it is short) outpouring of pain and grief and loss and a million other things that have quietly reverberated through my mind and my heart? For one terrible, awe inspiring, and blackly beautiful moment, they came out. You may think "Oh my god, he's in terrible pain" or "Such a god-damn drama queen!", but the fact is... They've been there. They've been there for a long time... And it is not healthy for them to hide so well.

Today, the dam broke. Just a little. And though folks inexperienced with depression won't think this, that is a healthy thing to have happened. Even if I am crying a little, I'm more worried that the tears are drying up than that they started.

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