Those infamous 50 shades of grey cover a lot more than retrograde shower nozzle masturbation reading material that lasts for weeks. To live in the grey is to be in throes of depression. For the last few years, I’ve kept checking in and out of the same space. Finding the courage some months, stewing in my own primordial soup of ennui during others. But this last year has seen this constant waffling successful in robbing me of my smile. And it is permeating everything else around me.

Friends have been kind, offering their suggestions and even books to help me soldier forward away from this

Sometimes I feel like May Boatwright from “The Secret Life of Bees.” She just couldn’t handle the bad that comes with the good in being human. She’d write her pain down on slips of paper and tuck them into the gaps within the brick wall on the family’s property. In some ways, these journal entries function in the same manner. I’m just taking the hurt that I feel, writing it down, and placing it somewhere in the universe to make it go away.

But it doesn’t.

From Maurice Sendak’s “Pierre.”

I keep holding onto these feelings like a cashmere blanket, swaddling myself because it’s become that comfortable and safe. I’ve added another layer to this shield, the thought of “I don’t care” has also set in. It deflects all the kindness of people close to me trying to shake me out of this torpor. But no amount of self-help bon mots or books written by those affluent folks imbued with a sense of “I was once just like you! Except now I’m rich so I can tell you just how to get the fuck over it!” is going to work right now. I don’t want a “year of yes.” I know I am a badass. I’m exhausted by the basic bitchery of our time. I’m exhausted by feeling nothing but stagnation.


You see, I do care. It breaks through this exhausted self because I know how I can make things better. But what I see first is the reality of being painted into a corner by my own hand. What’s at the heart of it all? I’ll tell you. I hate walking this earth alone, folks. I thought I didn’t need someone to love, but I do. Problem is I don’t love myself enough to do anything about but complain. Like I said, it’s gone on so long now, I’ve become used to living with so many rocks on my chest. And I’m the one who put them there in first place!

What needs to happen is a little victory, of making one change, of taking away one stone so my heart won’t hurt as much. It can’t be all at once, right? Do I start with the weight gain? The rage in my house and out of it? The poor choices affecting my health? Ignoring the married men that seek me out as a distraction and nothing else? The punishing of co-workers with my mood swings and not-always-so-silent-judgments? Do I run away to another town where nobody knows me to start life all over again?

Would it be enough, putting distance between who I am and who I want to be? It’s such an attractive concept, even if people will smirk, “It doesn’t matter where you go, your problems will follow.” Yeah, but I don’t have the heart to tell these people, “I’m trying to get away from YOU. YOU’RE MY PROBLEM! YOU’RE WHY I AM SUFFOCATING!”

No one life should be made into a waiting room, where you remain still and tell yourself, “As soon as this one thing happens, I can move forward.” Fear sucks. But the alternative sucks even more because it debilitates you into submission and depression is usually not that far behind.

I keep being counseled by people close to me that I need to find my smile. I say to them, “Something is ending… and something begins.” As to when this will happen? I need to make one little victory happen. Just one.

Looking at my life
It’s very clear to me
I lived so selfishly
I was the only one
I realize that nobody wins
Something is ending
And something begins
—  From “Nothing Really Matters” by Madonna & Patrick Leonard

One thought on “Little Victories

  1. “Finding the courage some months, stewing in my own primordial stew of ennui during others” Such a beautifully written and revealing sentence.

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