I wanted to try something new today. We have a lot of members on MyDepressionConnection who have never tried writing a sharepost yet. I think one of the reasons is that it is hard to open up and especially on a public venue such as this. But it can be very healing to do so not just for you but for the people who read you. It is a way to connect and to learn about how others are also managing their depression in the day to day.
In the past we have explored writing about our challenges with The Midweek Muse feature. I would like to continue with that theme in a slightly different way. I would like to encourage you to write a journal or diary style post about how you cope with depression. Don't worry about how well you write...this is more about you and getting things out.
I am going to lead by example here and try to write some diary entries about what this experience is like for me to cope with and manage depression. I am hoping that this may give you some inspiration to write and share as well.
Looking for Hope in the Library
When I was a little girl one of the highlights of my week was a trip to the library with my mother. We were living in the "bad" section of town and so it took maybe two bus rides to get there. This was my sanctuary. Here I could find stories and tales to distract me from my real life, living with a mother with a severe mental illness. In stories I could insert myself into the characters and become someone totally brand new, go to places I had never been, and find resolution with a happy ending. I was quite eclectic in my selections...riddle books, autobiographies, doll making how-tos, ghost stories, and even books on how to speak different languages. I still remember being mesmorized by the italian word for penguin which is simply...penguino. But it sounded so much more fascinating with a different accent.
The limit was ten books so I had to choose carefully. I always felt sad leaving so much behind.
The feeling I got when I entered the stoic brick building was hope. Here were thousands of voices speaking at once...all you had to do was open a book to hear one. And the message I received was that life is not so bad. It can be salvaged and resurrected in words and beautiful pictures. And if real life doesn't suit your fancy...fiction can help you to escape.
I still carry my little girl feelings with me when I go to the library. But adult depression and sadness pale the pages until I am no longer cognizant of the words. Sometimes I feel an ache...this longing to search until something...anything can be found among all the books to tell me what to do, how to live and how to fill up the hole. There are many times I find it. It may be in a cookbook reminding me of the distant memory of baking cookies with my mother. It may be in a poem about insomnia where the author finds solace to stare at the night sky. A treasure may be found in a coffee table book about Maine farms rich with stone walls and lounging cats. They all help in some small way to ease the emptiness and remind me of the beauty in the world.
There are times I have cried in the library, hidden in the stacks, a little sob comes wretching up and I try in vain to choke it back. It is all so silly, I think, to be crying here of all places but in some ways it makes so much sense. When you feel at home and safe the emotions run out as they have to. They must be freed. What a better place to do it than where so many writers have cried...suffered...some dying before their words have been immortalized. My small wail is just one of so many...all the secrets stored in these vast volumes...lives come and gone. I am so small.
It is in this space...my refuge...the library...where I feel human.
Published On: June 30, 2011