Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 6, 2007

Dark Days

"Don't push me
'Cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to loose my head
It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder
How I keep from going under."

Grandmaster Flash, "The Message"

I don't suffer from seasonal affective disorder, despite our dark winters. My bad mood, stress and anxiety can be traced back for many years, and they have been building and building, and I think they are going to breach the levee at any minute. If I had to put my finger on the one turning point or event that started me off, it's definitely 9/11/01.
  • In April, 2002, Brian was laid off from his job, although fortunately started a new job in October, 2002, but that was very stressful for both of us; his unemployment check was pitiful. My dear friend Stokely died suddenly right before Crissmiss, 2002.
  • My cousin Dickie also died suddenly in Feb. 2003, my Uncle Frank in April, 2003 and my beloved father from lung cancer in June, 2003.
  • In 2004, Brian underwent chemo for HCV. The side effects were horrendous. He was unable to function and barely able to work.
  • In 2005, we bought a piece of property that I wish we had never, ever bought because it was cursed. Maybe I'll do a post about "The Curse of the Neilton Land" sometime. It had to have been cursed b/c we went through some bad shit.
  • Anyway, 2006 Brian was miserable at his job so he started working at Weyco, but then spent more than a month working out of the Oregon office, only coming home late Friday and leaving on Sun. night or Mon. morning. We sold the Neilton property that summer.
  • In September, 2006, my boss Robyn left the firm to become a Court Commissioner. Steve and Debby were barely able to function, so I carried the firm and tried to keep the mood light w/ lots of jokes and stuff. Let's not forget the many storms last winter and our 5 day power outage a year ago next week.
  • In Jan., 2007, Deb's father started his long decline and I was at the office, often working on Sunday mornings and carrying the burden alone for most of the time, till last week when she came back. My left foot is in so much pain and nothing is helping, not even the shot the dr. gave me. My orthotics are finally in and I go get them next week. The pain keeps me awake. I can't take the dogs for a walk, I can't go to the gym, I can barely get thru grocery shopping and even then I'm using the shopping cart like a walker, hopping on my right foot as much as possible. I cut my shopping plans short b/c I can't walk. I haven't even been antiquing b/c I can't walk that much. I'm 43 fucking years old and I hobble around the house with a cane.

I could not care less about the holidays. I don't want to decorate. I don't want to bake. I made some cards last weekend but I don't feel like finishing. I still haven't sent out my mom's gift. Normally, everything is done by, or on, Thanksgiving weekend, including the decorating. Not this year. I usually watch all the Crissmiss shows and movies. No interest this year. It's just a big fat pain in the ass, the whole fucking holiday season. The Season of Brotherly Shove.

I went back on my antidepressants this fall. I was not doing at all well off them. But this time, they are not working. So I'm junking out on sugar, and stress-eating. NOTHING is making me feel better. Not shopping, not crafts, not donating to charity, not even the bitchin Crissmiss bonus my boss just handed me. Nothing.

Last night I fell and I just burst into hysterical wailing and sobbing. I let it all out for about 15 minutes: I just screamed obscenities and cried my eyes out; I managed to scare both the dogs with my keening. I thought that was the release I needed but it wasn't.

I fear that I am dangerously close to a serious mental and emotional breakdown. Every time Steve comes in my office with another task, I want to scream, "LEAVE ME ALONE!" and then start crying. There is so much anger boiling under the surface and all I want to do is punch and kick and scream and cry and swear. It's so bad that I'm starting to scare myself because of the sick musings I have in my head. Like wanting to take a hit out on some people I know. Like wishing I had a gun in my car so that I could kill everyone who gets in my way on the road. Just blow them away. Make them get on their knees and beg for mercy as I hold the barrel against their forehead, then pull the trigger. Or run them off the road or into the other lane of traffic, or purposely slam my brakes on to make the fucking asshole semi who won't get the fuck out of my lane jack-knife. I get so apoplectic that I get this dizzy feeling in my head, I literally see red or my vision blurs, and I go absolutely apeshit screaming and flipping people off and exaggerating the words "FUCK YOU", "ASSHOLE" and "CUNT" when they look in their rearview mirrors and see my raging. You may see me on the news one of these days because I am that angry behind the wheel.

I get apoplectic in stores now too and I've nearly gotten into arguments with the stupid fucking morons in line in front of me because they are so fucking slow and stupid and "can I pay half with cash and half on my debit card?" or they don't have their money/check/card READY when the checker gives them the total, or it's some old bat who is all, "But the price of the milk is supposed to be $3.50 not $3.60, I want my dime back!" The person has just spent $100 or more for groceries and stuff and she's whining about goddamn .10? I start muttering out loud, "Oh for the love of god! Stupid fucking bitch. Way to be ready you stupid asshole. Oh that's right, I forgot you are the only person on planet earth and the only person in line." People taking up room in store aisles and being so oblivious that you stand there going, "Excuse me. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME!" then they give you a dirty look b/c you got terse. They're lucky I didn't say, "get the fuck out of my way asshole!" Oh and let's not forget the fuckers who are going in or out of store right in front of you, but they let the door slam in your face instead of holding it. Or I'll hold it for someone and they won't even say "thank you". Or I'll let someone with 2 items go ahead of me in the grocery store and that goes unacknowledged or they end up paying with 3 credit cards AND cash.

Counseling? Been there, done that. I went to counseling in California. Didn't do jack shit. All I did was air my many, many grievances and anger about my very fucked up self esteem as well as childhood "baggage" that I cannot seem to shake, and they never gave me any skills to cope or move on. I just gave them my money, bitched about stuff, and went home feeling the same way I did b/f I went in.

I have so many things for which to be thankful, and I am a very fortunate person. I know that. I have a wonderful hubby, 2 adorable dogs, a great house and job. Both our vehicles are paid. We have food, clothes, warmth.....But I cannot deal with day to day life anymore. It's killing me. My stomach hurts, my head hurts. Everything fucking hurts, 24/7. I put on such a happy face and joke around a lot and make people laugh, and inside I'm slowly dying. But isn't that always the way with funny people. Many of them are crying on the inside. That's me. I have no friends here in Washington. Not a one. All of you, my dearest friends, are scattered to the wind. I miss having a girlfriend to hang out with. I miss that so much.

When I was a senior in high school, my accounting teacher would often just space out in the middle of teaching. He'd just stop talking and stare out the windows behind us. The class would start shuffling uncomfortably, and we'd all steal glances behind us to see what he was looking at. Then he'd snap out of it and pick up where he left off. His name was Mr. Ash, but behind his back we started calling him "Mr. Hash". He had a complete breakdown right after that. I find myself staring off into space an awful lot.....more than usual.

I don't mean to scare or freak anyone out; I would not off myself. But I just feel like I'm painted into a corner and I am stuck but good. Anyways, think good thoughts for me because I'm in a pretty dark place right now.


  1. I never made this public, but these last almost 3 months it's been hell cos I lost my job and still haven't been able to find a new one.
    I'm exactly where you are, Jo, but I put a smile on my face too and try to go on...

  2. Oh Madi, I am so, so sorry. I had NO idea. Keep truckin' sista, I have you in my thoughts!!

  3. jojo, don't know what to say, except to tell you that with all my heart, i wish things would get better for you. i wish that you could come here and just hang with me and we could go to see kris and coerce tess to meet us....
    please, please take a deep breath everytime that you feel "it" rising in you. and concentrate on your hubby, your puppies and know that all of us are with you and love you.

  4. we've lived in parallel universes the last 6 years or so, jo. you wouldn't believe it. we all just get trained to chug along, pretending it's all okay.just know, you are not alone in your dark days. take care.

  5. I'm sending positive thought waves up your way. Maybe try a different antidepressant, there are so many now. I'm on a combo plan myself. Recently I increased one as a pre-emptive strike against the dark claws. It is working. Nobody's perfect, you can only do your best and no more. You beat yourself up too much.

  6. Oh Jojo, I wish I knew what to say. Just know there is a whole world (literally) of people who care about you. *Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way*

  7. Hi Jojo,I am new here and i read your last entry. Dear try to be nice to yourself, i know that's hard because nothing seems to feel good. I am also where you are, being depressed and on medication. December is not easy because according to public believe,everyone's life is wonderfull and everybody is happy. Well, WE ARE NOT!!
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with screaming in your car at others, ok its not nice but who cares about nice, at this moment you feel and you are not nice, so what!
    I am on so much medication that "it would make a cow smile" that is a quote from an Loci epi. and i still scream at people and i'm learning that this is a part of me. Your life, the past years, has not been easy and now your having a meltdown, that is not surprising.Because of all the busy lives we lead, we hardly get the chance to go that place in our head and to greeve. You can greeve about people you lost, or times and places that are gone, but you must take the time to give it a good place. Please do tell the people you love that your feeling so bad, because if you don't you start feeling guilty about barking at them and then you will need a lot of chocolate again. I hope that you are going to feel better soon, but if you don't: cry, scream and do what ever it takes to get it out in the open. Take care, Elka

  8. First let me say I agree with Elka.Second,thank you for the mail.It is awesome and hopefully I will get of my ass and reciprocate.

    Lastly,I know how dark depression is and I know there is no consoling you that I or anyone could do.

    But I am here and I am thinking of you Jojo.

  9. It's very brave of you to tell us about this, it can't ahve been easy. I hope that writing it helped you clear your mind a little.

    JoJo, this is not about how I feel about guns, but out of concern for you, sweetie - get rid of that gun. Then you can ONLY fantasize about doing what you say, not do it for real.

  10. You guys are THE BEST!!! Even though I'm alone here, it warms my heart to know my friends are still out there, even miles and miles away.

    Elka - welcome to my blog and thank you so, so much for your kind and wise words. It's good to know I'm not alone.

    Val - No worries, I like my freedom to much to actually carry out my fantasies of blowing people away!! I mean, they probably won't let me do beadwork in prison b/c of the sharp tools. lol

  11. Jojo, writing it down is maybe a start to clearing your head. You're NOT alone honey; you have friends all over the world, even if we can only keep in touch electronically. As someone else said, 'just keep chugging along'. We all have dark days that can seem endless, and I know some suffer more than others. As Jim Morrison wrote '....don't go quietly into that dark night...' Just hang on in there babe!

  12. hey there jojo,

    i know the place where you are right now very well and i also know that we can't get you out of there just with wishing you the best. but i'm sending warm and happy thoughts your way and a virtual hug on top.
    i found it always helped just telling someone about it or writing your feelings down, even when nobody reads it. in that sense you definitely made a good step already and i admire your courage.
    and you might fear a major breakdown, but sometimes that just has to happen so that you can move on afterwards. a lot of big fucking rocks have been thrown your way, but please don't let them hurt you forever.
    we're all with you. and smile once more for me now, will ya?

  13. Kristy11:50 PM

    Oh JoJo! I am so sorry you're feeling this way. What can I do?

    Okay, for unsolicited advice, does your foot prevent you from getting on your bike? I ask because sometimes physical motion is every bit as good as anti-depressants, and it seems like your body/brain may be crying out for some physical activity. Is there anything you can be doing without your foot causing you pain? Starting walking/hiking five years ago was my salvation, but I wasn't facing the challenges you are.

    Thinking good thoughts for you!

  14. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Hi Jojo, I've been thinking about you lately, miss you at Molly's, and am glad I decided to drop in on your blog. So sorry to hear you are feeling so dark. I know pain can really get you down. I've been depressed in my life too. I found a good, competent, compassionate therapist 23 years ago and I've never regretted spending the money and the time to figure myself out. It helped me decide to become a therapist myself. I hope you will see someone who can help you get on the right med to get you out of the hole you are in. How about a good does of Good Luck or Happy Accidents in the mean time. There is help out there. I'm thinking about you and sending warm positive thoughts your way. Come one back to Molly when you have time. We miss you.

  15. Anonymous8:08 AM

    Bobby's Girl here. Jojo, that last comment was from me. I did it wrong and my name didn't come up. This thought you'd want to know. Take care.

  16. I'm sorry you are feeling down.You sound alot like my mom did.

    Can I send you something to cheer you up?
    Say hi to Pepper and Sagan for us!

  17. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Jo! I do realize what you are going through, it seems you have been through a lot and it is catching up to you all at once, but you are a very strong young lady, one I do admire and know that with a little help you can get through this too. You have a wonderful husband that loves you dearly, your two babies(4 legged) and all of us from Molly as well. Things have just gotten piled up for you, but the crying, cursing, screaming is good as it gets it out of your system. I have been very depressed since I lost my husband, it is tough to come to terms with it too. Think of your self as a pressure cooker that has it's valve closed and can't get it open, you need to rant and get rid of that build up so that you can deal with life. I know it isn't easy, but you girl are one tough cookie and like I said "I admire you a lot".
    Wish I could be closer to just sit and chat, but if you want to email me I would love it. Jean

  18. jojo:nothing much I can add..just know that you aren't alone..and that from the sound of it,most of us go through similar dark least you know we understand a bit

    Take care sweetheart

  19. Averie FKA Margaret11:32 PM

    Oh Jo,

    I'm so sorry to hear that. I know the feeling, well kinda. I'm currently on 2 anti depressants and I don't even know if they are working! I just want to sleep all the time and am irritated with everyone... I hope that you get to feeling more like your old self. It hurts to feel this way--You're in my thoughts! You can call me anytime if you want to vent or whatever! 206-234-6214