Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The one about redemption

Every year, when August gets here, I know that December is just around the corner. And I dread it. December is like swallowing all the regret I've had for every year before. It weighs me down.

In August, when it hits triple digits every single day, when the sweat pops up at just the thought of going outside, I know that I'll blink my eyes, and December will be here.

Sometimes I feel like hiding inside, as if that will keep big, bad December away. I know it's supposed to be that magical time of year when you're with family on Christmas. It's the last month of the year, it's the ending, counting down to the beginning of something new.

But, December.

December always sticks around for far too long for me. The days drag by, this very last month, the very last of the year, where you see people in twos, always in twos, and here I am, forever a one some, just a little bit of leftover that hasn't yet been cleaned up.

December is when I hold on with everything I am, with every bit of my will. December is when I shine it on the hardest, December is the make or break month for me.

It feels like being on an icy pond, wearing slick soled shoes. I keep trying to move forward, to walk, trying to get off this place, trying, trying, trying, and I keep falling. I keep falling, and maybe I'm able to move forward the tiniest bit. But I keep trying. That's the important thing, isn't it? I try, and I get back up. And I fall. But I keep trying. And keep falling. I have the bruised hands and knees to prove it.

But I can't be sad. Never. Never in life. Because some people don't know the difference between sad and depression. If I could tell them, I'd tell them that sad is normal. Sad is only three or four jumps from happy, most days. At least sad means I'm feeling. Depression is that well that everything ends up falling into. Emotions, friends, and the things I want the most.

Bad is getting lost in that fog, because once you're in it, lost and caught up, it's easier to just hide there. It's easy to hide, because otherwise, there are things to face that make the depression seem almost like a vacation.
Those deceptively idle insults, things about state of mind and did you take your medicine today. It feels like a rock hitting a wound that has just started to heal. It's reaching for the most vulnerable of hurt places, and twisting. It's a slap followed by a kiss.

It hurts.

And even as I've told him about all this, things about how some of the best people I've ever known were people like me, stories I can't tell anyone else, names I will never forget (Ronnie Sam Jamie Levi) because of the look in their eyes. Judgement. Contempt. Condescension, that vaccination against compassion.

I get to the end of it, I tell him, and I'm exhausted with the telling of it. I'm exhausted at showing the wounds, the scars, the names of people who were there for me, the names that might as well be carved on my soul, for the debt of gratitude I owe them.

I get to the end of it, and he says the most beautiful words. Words that cradle the broken places, places I've patched over with my very best efforts. You hold hands until they can let go, not when you need to.

Somehow, instead of seeing what the mirror tells him, he was able to really see. It shouldn't be able to take away the bruised places, the words, like a kiss on a bruise, shouldn't be able to make them ache any less, but it does.

Just like that, he helps me up off that ice, helps me until I'm ready to let go, because he knows December is my worst month. He knows that I am a broken mirror that's been glued back together.

He knows that thing that I've been trying to tell myself, that I've been trying to hold onto. The one about hope, how if you only have a little, then a little is enough.

I remember seeing people who looked the way I used to look, and how I was never too busy to reach out a hand to them, a hand to steady them, not because I'm brave, but because sometimes you're off balance without knowing it. Sometimes I reach out as much to steady myself as to share what I have to give. And he somehow...knew.

Just that one brush of a life against another one. So soft, so tenderly meant, the words that were the kiss that took the ache away. And when it was all over, it was his hand that pulled me away from that patch of ice.

Thank you.


sarah at secret housewife said...

this is beautiful.

Delta said...

This is a beautiful post.

I only know how I feel when I get into this headspace, but what you say rings true for more than a few people I'm sure. I've learned to look at my "quiet times" as mandatory breaks, a statement by forces bigger than I (chemistry, evolution) that I'd been burning too hard for too long and needed to spend a little time circling closer to home to find my feet again.
This struck me as rather romantic at the time, but it worked for me. I was more than a little vindicated to discover that science has come to many of the same conclusions. It means it's real, and useful, and the monkey comforts are still part of the point. maybe the monkey comforts of people who reach out and connect you to humanity are the whole *point*
It doesn't change the reality or what I need, but it does make my feel better about telling people to fuck right off when they tell me "it's all in my head" or "just cheer up"

I'm glad to hear someone understands you.

slommler said...

Such a sweet and beautiful post!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart!
These words are filled with comfort in spite of the pain; in spite of the loneliness!! I reach out to you and hug you ever so gently!!!
Hugging you

jules said...

Well written.
I know the December feeling well.

Fortunes Fool said...

December haunts me too. :( Feel better soon! You are an amazing writer every month of the year.


Shopgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trish said...

This was beautiful to read.

Anonymous said...

For me August is when the things I have planted can be harvested. A garden is a beautiful gift that gives from the first preparation to the planting, caring and then harvest. December is a beautiful time when everything in nature has changed color and now has gone to sleep. The animals have scurried about preparing for their winter quite time. The changing seasons are a gift. Look for these gifts. Now the air may have a 'snap' to it which is wonderful. Any given month has what God gives to us. Be thankful, not remorseful.

NWO said...

Sounds to my like Sal's Mojo is back in action!

dream man said...

i like this blog

by: www.piyooh.com

Constance said...


Valley Girl said...

Beautiful post. Sounds like some serious Dark&Twisty days. But the good thing about those kind of days is that they're always followed by Bright&Shiny ones. Hang in there

Shopgirl said...

Your pain is too high a price to pay for even a post as wonderful as this. I found myself bargaining with life that you didn't write as well if that meant less icy patches, brokenness, and insulting people. Instead I see "beauty from ashes" in your work, and the way you have reached out to others. I can't help but smile in the end.

Murr Brewster said...

"Condescension, that vaccination against compassion." Thanks for that.

Good luck. I love December, and it has nothing to do with Christmas or family. If it weren't for tomatoes, I'd start cutting myself in August.

The Mad Fat Girl said...

Its strange that I would tumble onto your blog and read this particular piece today...thatz exactly how I've been feeling this December day! I like your sad :)

ladytruth said...

I hate it when people say "I'm feeling so depressed today" when they have no clue what depression is like. I had a friend with depression and I know that it is not just a matter of getting up and brushing your teeth. I'm not a big December fan either. Let's not do December together.

downfromtheledge said...

the idea of being seen for who we really are - the good, the bad, and the ugly - how lovely it would be for people to NOT run the other direction.

delta's comment made me laugh out loud - i hear ya, girl: http://downfromtheledge.blogspot.com/2009/12/this-too-shall-pass.html