Bitterness: As soon as you consciously wish to forget something, it becomes almost impossible.

It's hard for me to remember physical pain once it's passed, but I can remember how it felt to be profoundly depressed, and re-collecting the original pain, holding it whole again in my hands — old, but whole — strikes an echo hurt, a meta-pain.

Melissa wrote [trigger warning for eating disorders] that this grief for the past self and for those unforgettable things is a good sign, even when it hurts deeply. Because it means that sympathy has grown where the hatred used to be.

You should read Lexi's post too, about the mean reds vs. the blues and "it's like depression has its own version of ptsd." I'm grateful for her brain.

In what sense can you leave it behind, the days of leaving scars, of wanting to be dead? And how, without forgetting, without pretending that I don't still have to watch against depression?

I want to say, Too much lost. That's part of the pain.

What lost? Some innocence, I guess. Hatred and violence and hopelessness put an end to a certain type of innocence, and those have had their place in parts of my saga with depression.

And so much to leave behind.

Theodicy. Is it the essence of evil, that suffering is meaningless?

"Humans, including women, construct meaning. That means that when something happens to us, when we have experiences, we try to find in them some reason for them, some significance that they have to us or for us. Humans find meaning in poverty and tyranny and the atrocities of history; those who have suffered most still construct meaning; and those who know nothing take their ignorance as if it were a precious, rare clay and they too construct meaning. In this way, humans assert that we have worth; what has happened to us matters; our time here on earth is not entirely filled with random events and spurious pain. On the contrary, we can understand some things if we try hard to learn empathy; we can seek freedom and honor and dignity; that we care about meaning gives us a human pride that has the fragility of a butterfly and the strength of tempered steel."
– Andrea Dworkin

The evangelical in me says that that's what grace means here, that this will all mean something, and that it's not just self-illusion to think so.

I have to believe that. In an integrity of experience and purpose that will be clear in the end, with enough distance, or in those rare minutes. That there will be a story to this, to me, and that it will not be senseless.


11/03/2011 3:39 PM  

"In what sense can you leave it behind, the days of leaving scars, of wanting to be dead? And how, without forgetting, without pretending that I am now invulnerable to depression?"

i wonder this a lot. how to learn to trust myself, when those times where i was such a danger to myself are still there in my head, and when i remember that the times i have been most hurt were not when other people hurt me, though they were sometimes what triggered my actions, but when it was myself inflicting the pain. and struggling to reconcile the fact that it was, in a sense, me being the one who was in control of those situations, and yet directed by something in my head that felt so out of my control, so not-me, something i still can't pretend isn't there.

Holly 11/03/2011 3:48 PM  

Fé - I feel fairly confident that I know how to be depressed without being self-destructive (whatta skill!), so it's not so much fear of the past repeating itself, just...the depression is the common denom, the bridge between memory and now/future. So I guess what I have to say to what you have said is that, I do trust myself to take care of myself now, no matter what -- so it is learnable.

sui 11/03/2011 4:13 PM  

Holly, I love you. (I should tell you that next time in person.)

By the way, the link to Lexi's post isn't working.

The mean reds and blues... that reminds me of something... a movie, maybe... oh. Breakfast at Tiffany's. I liked that movie a lot, until I watched it again and saw again: in the end, she is saved by (ro)man(ce).

I'm musing on that Margaret Atwood poem.

I'm musing.

Reminds me of when I read C.S.Lewis' Problem of Pain. I still didn't feel like it made it any clearer why pain exists, especially if you're Christian.

Dawn 11/03/2011 8:14 PM  

I get it. Praying for you, Sweet Lady. Keep hanging in there!

Jenica 11/03/2011 9:48 PM  

Prayers with you.<3

odessa 11/05/2011 2:39 AM  

hugs, my dear. such an honest post.

Holly 11/05/2011 9:37 AM  

sui - Your mentions of The Problem of Pain have made me want to read it so I can comment too...I'll let you know when I did.

Fixed the link. Thanks. :) Yes, I think she's a Breakfast at Tiffany's/Holly Golightly fan.

I love you too. <3

Dawn - Thank you, Dawn. Thank you for being here.

Jenica - Thank you, lovely Jenica-of-the-Rose.

odessa - [[hugsback]]. Honesty is what I MOST want these days from writing, so thanks, a lot -- that's the best affirmation you could have given me.

queen of all I survey 11/25/2011 5:18 AM  

You've been on my mind a lot lately, Holly. This is actually the firt time I've read any of your blogs. I wish I could think as deeply and write as poignantly as you do.
I hope your time at Wheaton finishes well.

Holly 1/19/2012 1:43 AM  

queen of all I survey - Ahh, thank you for stopping by! And thank you so much, Deborah.

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