Thursday, May 4, 2017

the pillow

the sweetest strands support my head
hold me above the world

I can watch the turmoil pass by
from the top of my pedestal

I'm restless
I'm detached

I am reminded
I am needed
I am placated

the comforting hold brushes my neck
softly, so nice, keeps me here

I can see so far
I can see my dreams

touch them, even, if I stretch my fingers and wave

but the sweetest strands hold my head
and the pedestal ends so near

I dare not step
I cannot die

not yet

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Everything turned out well in the end, but this is about suicide.

Today I came across one of those list articles on facebook. This one promised all the quotes that people with depression had found helpful. I clicked, dubiously. These things are usually full of feel-good bs that advises us to just think happy thoughts. As if we weren't already struggling to do that every single moment. As it happened, this article wasn't the worst offender I've seen. It wasn't particularly helpful or memorable, but at least it wasn't completely offensive. I would have forgotten it completely if I'd come across it before now.

For a long time, I thought there were no words that could help. Or if there were, I thought they might always elude me. Recently, I found words that affected me. Words that ripped my heart out, showed it the world outside depression, and stuffed it back into my aching chest.

It wasn't pleasant, but nothing pleasant had ever affected the feelings of hopelessness and aloneness that are the hallmarks of my depression. Maybe it had to be something that hurt, to put my chronic hurt into perspective.

Because of these words, I learned what it looks like to be on the outside of depression, looking in, and the insight I gained surprised me. I learned that I wasn't able to figure out the words that would help me fight depression because I was too far inside my own head. This was something I had to see from the outside. These were words that could have been pulled from my own writings; they were the voice of my depression, verbatim.

The words? They were a suicide note, written by someone else, using the script that reverberates every time I spiral down. Only the names were changed.

It was eery.
My heart broke.
Cracked open like a rotten pomegranate.
All the worms escaped the fruit,
and the sun lit every bleeding corner.
And I understood.

And it would have killed me if that person had not made it to safety.
The day they almost died, they taught me how to live. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

[Book review] Boy meets depression

My first impression of this book was not favorable. This, I thought, is not a person who has mastered themself, who can look back and be objective. This person still carries the hurt of their loneliness everywhere, and their writing is imbued with it. The humor sounds snide; the stories sound whiny. The author acknowledges this early on, though, so at least there's fair warning. The first paragraph ends with, "I came into the world kicking, screaming, and crying. And maybe not much has changed since." 

My first impression was arrogant, apathetic, and wrong. This book demonstrates the real pathology of depression, and for that, it's brilliant. You hear the negative thought processes that people with a depressive disorder experience, the anhedonia, the alienation, the feeling of being lost. "All you can see is the moment you're stuck in," he says, and he's right. 

So read this. It'll help you understand, and maybe have a little empathy for the millions of people who suffer from depressive disorders. But maybe be prepared to find the author's tone a little annoying.

Blogging for Books provided me a free review copy of this book... and I still feel kinda 'meh' about it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


There's a lot on my mind.
I'm going to write about it... as soon as I get my homework done, which could be a while.

Until then, here's a bit of prose:

I wish I could
gild your scars
so you could see your beauty.

It was inspired by a friend of mine, and a Japanese pottery style. I'll tell that story soon.

Monday, January 9, 2017

ground work

Dash and I are learning to do ground work. "It's all about energy," my trainer says.

Dash works harder than she asks: he canters when she asks for a trot. He does this four, five times. She doesn't try to stop him, but she changes her posture - lets her arms hang at her side, stands relaxed, calm. He gets tired eventually, and trots. She praises him. The next time she asks for a trot, it takes him only one round at a canter before he slows. 

His canter is fast. I know, that should be obvious since he's an old racehorse. This was one of those things I knew before I ever rode him, but I didn't really have a context for that knowledge; I couldn't picture just how fast his "fast" would be. The other day, he and I cantered around in the round pen for the first time and I finally got a feel for his speed. I've ridden a gallop before - speed on a horse is not new to me - but Dash's canter felt like I'd straddled a Ferrari.

Watching M do ground work with Dash, I got to see how very long his strides are at every gait. I commented on it, and M reminded me that -duh, he's a thoroughbred. I've been on a lot of different breeds of horses before, and I've seen huge differences between individual horses, but looking back, they all seem slow in comparison. Dash is the first OTTB (off-track thoroughbred) I have ridden, and the difference is huge. It's like going from a moped to a Maserati... after spending a lifetime thinking that mopeds were maybe a bit too fast sometimes.

I'm not sure I shouldn't be switching out my riding helmet for a motorcycle helmet.

Even his trot is fast and long; he extends his forelegs with a natural and commanding step. M wants to do dressage with him because he has such wonderful extension, but he doesn't like the dressage saddle. Dash prefers his western saddle, heavy beast that it is. I keep feeling like I should replace it with a lighter saddle, but I'm not sure whether he'd appreciate the gesture. 

Starting ground work now is going 'back to the drawing board,' after I skipped the sketch and went straight to execution in the beginning. Not in a bad way, though.

I haven't done ground work in a round pen since I was a teenager, working with my first horse (a Polish Arabian called Goldy). Dash hasn't worked in a round pen at all, except those couple of rounds of cantering the other day. It's an entry level tool for working with horses, but we managed to skip that until now.

There's an metaphor to be pointed out here... Something about the parallels between doing ground work with Dash and the 'ground work' I've been doing with my therapist, who's bringing my thoughts back to who I was before - eveything - and figuring out how to be who I want to be now... But all this ground work has me tired of heavy introspection, so I'll just say: it's fun, learning with Dash. He's a sweety.