Monday, 26 January 2015

And you pulled me out of the dark.

[We interrupt your Silent Scream viewing to bring you this important message.]

So it’s been a while since I’ve done an over-the-top I-LUUUHVE-HIM-SO-MUCH post.
I need to remedy that.
For science.

As we all know by now, I am dark and twisty inside. Scary and damaged. For the most part I would say that I am “recovered” from the worst of my problems – though that really depends on what recovery actually means – but there are still some days where I wake up and it’s like the lights are out in my brain. All I see is darkness. Deep, swirling, never-ending darkness.

The last few days have been like that.

I’d felt it coming for a while. The darkness. It comes in waves, you know. Like a dark tide inching a little closer every day, every hour, every minute. I always feel it coming. Creeping up on me like a plague. Sometimes I’m able to get off the beach entirely before the water touches me. Other times I get caught in the tide, but manage to swim back to the safety of the beach before I get in too deep. And then other times...Other times I am dragged into the deepest, darkest part of the ocean of depression where sharks live, and also jellyfish because I’m more afraid of jellyfish than I am of sharks because like TENTACLES, HELLO, and the water is so deep and dark and the tide is so strong that it’s all I can do just to keep my head above water.

And then other times still, I give up trying to keep my head above water and let the tide and the water and the sharks and the jellyfish have me. Because what’s the point in fighting when this is who I really am inside.

No prizes for guessing where I’ve been on the safely on the beach-------getting eaten alive by jellyfish scale.

(Oh yeah. These are man-eating jellyfish. With tentacles. Did I mention the tentacles?? The STINGING tentacles?? LIKE SO MANY TENTACLES. ALSO I’M PRETTY SURE THE TENTACLES HAVE TEETH. AND THOSE TEETH HAVE TENTACLES OF THEIR OWN. I MEAN I’M JUST SAYING.)

So that's where I've been, limply floating along while the tentacle-bearing jellyfish with tentacle-teeth ate me alive, feeling like fighting it was totally pointless because I always end up back here anyway. There are things that I know will help me see daylight when I’m in the depths of the dark place, but sometimes when I’m in the really dark place, I decide that I don’t actually deserve to feel better and I actively avoid those things.
Those bands.

Of course that doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but no one ever said I was intelligent.

This went on for a few days. And, naturally, each day I sunk a little deeper. Apparently this is quite common for creative people – the depression thing, not the avoiding him thing – and apparently writers are twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population.

By the way, thanks for that, Google. That’s definitely what I needed to know. That totally wasn’t triggering at ALL. (Obviously I searched for that information on my own…Because like I said, sometimes I think I deserve to be eaten alive by man-eating-tentacle-bearing jellyfish. Again, no one ever said I was intelligent.)

It may seem a little romantic, you know, the struggling creative suffering for their art. Certainly some movies and novels on the topic tend to make it seem that way, at least to my mind. Maybe that’s part of the reason I sometimes give myself permission to give up trying. Because it feels expected, almost. Like, Hey, you choose this life, and science says you’re probably going to kill yourself. You wouldn’t want to turn science into a liar, would you? 

I know that's not logical or reasonable but when you're in the dark place, logic and reason tend not to exist.


Sometimes The Universe* works in incredible ways.

This morning was episode six of Into The Wild, which for those of you who don’t know, is a Bartholomew Cubbins documentary about the longest tour in the history of rock. Although I’ve dutifully woken up at 6am every Monday morning for the last five episodes, today I decided I wasn’t going to watch it. Watching it makes me happy, and I’m not allowed to be happy, right? So although my body woke me up at about 6:30am (I swear I have Jardar**), I stayed in bed. I could hear my phone buzzing every two seconds with notifications from everyone proclaiming it to be VyRT DAY! but I ignored them. However, my puppy Klaus decided that today would be the first time in at least two weeks that he would wake me up to let him outside. Normally he waits until I’m up, but not today. Today he sat by the door and started to whine quietly.

I ignored him.

So he started to scratch at the door.

I still ignored him.

So he came and sat right by my bedside and pawed at me. Human, he was saying. Get yo’ ass up. I need to pee.

So I had no choice. I got my ass out of bed and went to let him outside. While I stood there waiting for him to come back inside, my gaze drifted to my laptop. And being the weak-willed person I am when it comes to anything Mars related…I caved and decided to watch the episode.

And thank The Universe that I did.

I can’t even list all the reasons why today’s episode was perfect. I mean it is ALWAYS perfect because it’s Mars and my love for them burns like the fire of a thousand suns, but today in particular…It was exactly what I needed.

In this episode, aptly titled The Edge of the Earth, the focus was on all the amazing places the band were able to visit on the tour. One of those places was Jerusalem, and in particular, the Western Wall. Each year, over a million prayers are placed in the cracks of the wall by people visiting the sacred site. Naturally, having the reverence for spiritual places that they do, the guys placed their own prayers/wishes into the wall. This one was Jared’s:

Freedom from pain for all.

Needless to say…Instatears.

It sounds weird, I know, but it almost felt like it was just for me. Like The Universe was saying to me, So look. This is what you need. You don’t listen to anyone the way you listen to him. No one affects you the way he does. So listen to him. This was his wish. Freedom from pain, which includes pain you cause yourself, Girl With Words. Joy. Kindness. Patience. Optimism. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. Be optimistic. Be joyful. Stop telling yourself you don’t deserve to be happy and deliberately squashing any glimmer of hope you see shining through. Be free, be free.***

That alone would have set me up to try to swim against the tide. But The Universe wasn’t done. It had been giving me little shoves for days, which I was doing a great job of ignoring. It wasn't about to let me ignore this, too.

The episode also detailed their trip to The Meiji Shrine in Japan. As with the Western Wall, they each placed a wish on a wooden block and tied it along the temple entrance. Again, this was Jared’s:

Freedom for people
Freedom for the planet
Freedom for all

Although he did not write it, knowing what I know about him, I believe he was meaning freedom from the things that plague us. The things that hurt, the things that bring us down, the things that stop us from being who we want to be and living the life we want to lead. Freedom from pain, just as he wrote in Jerusalem.

Freedom from pain.

Pain is a tricky thing. It gets a bad rep, but really, we need pain in order to survive. Physical pain tells us that something is wrong. Don’t touch that hot stove; move your fingers out of the door jam; you are not fit enough to run up that hill. Sometimes we do well to ignore it and push past it, but most of the time, we rightfully stop and we listen. Emotional pain is a little trickier. It can tell us that a situation is no good for us, that what we are doing is not working or that we need to make changes in our lives. It can also tell us that we’ve lost something or someone important to us, or that something or someone is so important to us that our brains have blurred that fine line between pleasure and pain (/cough/ I love them so much that it hurts me inside /cough/). Pain can also teach us a valuable lesson about ourselves and about life in general. Often times the best moments are born out of pain. The best ideas. The best motivation. I know that for me, I write from a place of pain. I can’t write when I’m one hundred percent happy. Writing is my escape, and so I need something to escape from. I need the pain to fuel me, even if it’s that I-love-them-so-much-that-it-hurts-me-inside kind of pain. So even though Jared wished us to be free from pain, again using what I know about him (which is an embarrassing amount, folks), I believe he meant it as overcoming your pain. Not being free from it entirely, but feeling it, learning from it, and letting it go. Pushami, you know. No one will have a life free from pain, but we can certainly manage it and overcome it with the right tools and the right motivation. We can learn from it, as we are supposed to. I had the right tools. Every day that I sank further into the depths of the depression sea, I looked at my collection of CDs knowing full well that all it would take was five minutes and forty-eight seconds for me to start to feel like me again. But I didn’t do it. I lacked the motivation.

Thankfully this butthead had to pee, thus giving me the motivation I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and get my ass out of bed.

This is Niklaus.
Look at his butthead face :3

By the end of the episode, I was already starting to feel brighter because I’m pretty certain that he is magic. Don’t fight me on this. He is magic. And, as if everything he did and said in that episode was not enough, he was also watching the episode with us and chatting with us on VyRT. Just before he left, he said this…

 And then he tweeted it too, just to make sure we (I) got the damn message.

Like seriously, you guys. If that isn't a giant neon sign from The Universe, I don't know what is.

So Jared, I can promise this: I will be kinder to myself today. I will take care of myself today. I will stop running away from the things that make me happy and I will try to stop feeling like I don't deserve to feel better. I promise.

And if you need proof: I have been listening to a combination of A Beautiful Lie and This Is War on a repeat loop since Into The Wild ended. I think I’m on my twenty-seventh play of Kings and Queens, but who's counting?

My point is this: If you, like me, are currently struggling with something and feeling a little like you have nothing to live for or strive for, remember that there is always a light shining through. Sometimes it comes in the strangest forms, such as your puppy needing to pee, but it's always there. And no matter how you try to squash it, ignore it or put it out, it will find a way to you if you give it enough time. Don't give up. Don't let go. Don't let the darkness or the tentacle-bearing jellyfish with tentacle-teeth have you. You're stronger than that. I promise you that you are stronger than that. And if you need further motivation, consider this:

“You’re certainly not alone. All of us have dark days, including the long-haired hippy here on the screen. We all have lots of dark days, lots of failure, lots of doubt, lots of fear…So you’re certainly not alone. You know, when those moments happen, they’re…They’re…You know, I always think about it as an important part of life, you know. You can’t have the sun without the rainy day, and those rainy days help to make us who we are. You know? It’s usually where we learn the great lessons. It’s hard to remember that in the moment…In the valley. But…It makes life so much richer. Today’s curse is definitely tomorrow’s blessing. That’s what I’ve found many many times over.” 

~ Jared Leto, November 18 2014 on VyRT.

Fight against the tide and swim to the surface. The world looks a lot brighter with your head above the water.

TITLE LYRICS: ‘Out of the dark’ by Radford
Because accurate. I mean…

When the last hope couldn't be known
When the last chance was being alone
When the lights burn down
And you pull me out of the dark
And you pull me out of the dark
Oh, God, how can you see?

How can he see? How can he know? He is like the literal sun. And yes I mean literal. 

Today at the SAG awards.
Oh I love him.
Like seriously, you guys.
I love him so much.

*Or God, if you believe in God. I do, so when I say The Universe I actually mean Jesus.
**A radar telling me when a wild Leto is about to be appear on VyRT. Like for REAL.
***Bonus points if you have that song stuck in your head now!

****Double bonus if you’re now singing that song :p

I've said it before and I will say it again...