Monday, August 20, 2012

Let Me Spell It Out for You

Two of my friends who read my last post each sent me private messages, the gist of which in both cases was, "w..w..wha???"

And here I thought I was being pretty clear.  Yes, I can be coy if I need to be, or want to be, but in this case I was telling you how I felt about things.

To explain further, let me give you a timeline of my life in recent years:

* May 5, 2008: Father dies
* May 6, 2008: Descent into the abyss
* May 6, 2008 - ca. July 1, 2012: In the abyss.  Pretty damned abysmal.
* July 1, 2012: Beginning of ascent from the abyss
* August 20, 2012: Reasonably content for the first time in over four years

When you're depressed, it changes on a pretty fundamental level the way you think about things. A depression that's initiated by the death of a loved one can be especially deep and dark. General feelings of sadness are enhanced by a very present grief that acts like a black hole: it swallows everything, even light, and vomits inky black nothingness back at you. It darkens your relationships, especially your closest ones. It turns you into an apathetic, uncaring, paranoid shitbag of a person who pushes away everyone who loves you.

And it feeds upon itself.  Time doesn't heal it - it deepens it.  And soon you become so familiar with being alone, with dark thoughts racing in your head and robbing you of sleep, that you sort of welcome it, like a well-worn yet comfortable pair of shoes. Because whatever else it is, it's yours, and it's not going to die on you, or stop loving you.

It becomes part of you, for good or bad. And it became part of me for a long time.

But I think I can make it now; the pain is gone.  All of the bad feelings have disappeared (see what I did there?). I feel like I've climbed out of the hole. And all the shit that was upon me, and colored the road ahead, now seems to be behind me.

Am I the same man I was before?  Well, no, not exactly.  The death of a parent, especially one who was well-loved, is a trauma that changes you forever - ask anyone to whom it has happened. But neither am I any longer paralyzed by grief, or longing, or loneliness, or a feeling of being abandoned.

And since this blog stands as such a potent symbol of that time in my life, I feel like it's time to step away for a while.  It's not really a difficult decision; my blog posts were either pathetic shoe-gazing melancholic rambles about how the whole world is sticking it to me, or pathetic, forced attempts at humor that only occasionally succeeded.

So I'm turning away from it for a while; maybe forever, but who knows.  Life is calling me for the first time in a long time, and I can't wait to see what awaits me out there.

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.  Look all around: There's nothing but blue sky.

Josie and Lightning (sitting in a tree) know how to get a hold of me if any of you wish to do so.  I'll miss you all. I'll never forget any of you, and I wish nothing but good things for all of you.

In closing, let me quote Gustav Flaubert: Tout s'en va, tout passe, l'eau coule, et le coeur oublie. Everything goes away, everything passes, the water flows, and the heart forgets.


  1. Hey Crafty,

    Glad to hear things are looking up...the world has much to offer us all, go out and find what it has in store for you. I will miss reading your always made me think.

  2. Good luck my friend.

    Even if you won't write here anymore, do the world a favor and don't put down your pen.

    I shall miss you.

  3. Good luck Gary. I'm glad to see this transformation in you and I wish you all the best. Go live,

  4. Good luck, my friend. For selfish reasons--ie, I enjoy your posts--I hope this is a temporary leave of absense from blogging.

    And thanks for being one of the first--and possibly the very first--blogger to link to my blog. And if nothing else, I hope to see you pop up in the comments section of ur various blogs from time to time.

  5. I'm definitely happy that you're feeling better about life, Gary. I'll miss your presence around these digital parts.

    I hope your departure from the inter-webz doesn't completely eliminate the chance you might still join the group at the WPBT in Vegas in December.

  6. Jew Boy, I shall not miss you cuz you're only a short (very short) phone call away. You do what's best for you. I'm glad you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

  7. So Um,.. what exactly are you trying to say? ;)

    I too have enjoyed your posts and did not find them to be horrible dribble.. not even the Beatles ones! Good luck man and glad you are feeling better about life.

  8. Love you Gary.

    I always thought they were funny.

    It's gonna be a bright sunshiney day!

  9. Hi, Gary--

    Just want you to know I'm thinking of you and hope all is well. Maybe you'll decide to start posting again down the line, or start a new blog. You're a very good writer! So glad you're on the upswing. XOXO