Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beer and circuses

Not one of my better days...

Like what seems like the entire, fracking world, I am on Facebook. Started out innocently enough, I wanted to communicate with my children and grandchildren who are scattered from here to there. Actually, it started with a MySpace which I couldn't seem to stick with...just wasn't working. Then my daughter suggested Facebook. Oh, Lord.

Now, I am not the most tech savvy woman on the planet (keep the snide comments to yourselves, children) but neither am I a complete luddite. I felt my way along, got inundated with requests for bags of fertilizer and announcements of newborn fish(??), offers to have me join a mafia or adopt a cause- all the dohickeys available to people that, as near as I can tell, must be independently wealthy and have household staff to take care of the vacuuming and the toilet-plunging, cooking and lawn mowing. Figured out how to block/ignore these, finally got over the guilt and quit sending messages of apology.

As time passed, my Friends list increased, I learned how to dodge invasive applications (sneaky bastards) and I figured out how to look for stuff. I found a support group for people who are diagnosed bipolar. Links and suggestions, lurking and commenting, I began to get comfortable. I read blogs and about-me's, histories, poetry and bad jokes, looked at photo albums and artwork. And made some friends.

There is a huge number of people out there, who, like me, wrestle with mental health issues. Such a nice euphemism, isn't it? My technical diagnosis falls in the bipolar family combined with fibromyalgia, not a "mental" illness per se, but still one that affects my state of mind as well as my body. These folks have reached out to one another to give and receive peer support. It takes one to know one, so to speak.

The other day I was communicating with a woman I met thru this online community and she got the mistaken impression that I was way ahead of her as far as not having to struggle against the darkness of depression anymore. After disabusing her of that notion with a few pithy descriptions of my current state of being, I told her I didn't want her to think that it was all beer and circuses at the Casselman house.

There are times when we desperately need to get our complaints, trials and pain out in the open. To be transparent, let some light into the dark and grungy closets where we try to hide all that crap we don't know what to do with. "Airing our grievances." And then we need to leave them out there for the sun and the rain and the wind to cleanse them. Let the colors fade away, the toxins leach out, the dust and ashes of death and destruction be blown far, far away. Let the poison go.

Sometimes it is so hard to do! As filthy and festered and painful as these things may be, they are familiar. They are ours in a way that may have come to define who and what we are. Sometimes the attempts we made in the past to clean out the closet have been met with ridicule or even violent rejection. Fearful of this, we keep our filth hidden, suffering illness and pain, wasting away inside. Even worse, we may mask the pain, seal up the closets and paint over their very existence until we are but a hollow shell of a person with nothing alive left inside.

My goal is to clean out my closets. I want all that garbage gone in a definite and substantial way. I want those spaces to be filled with light and life and the fragrance of the Presence of God, the Head of the Homemaking Department in my life. And along the way, I want to help others do the same thing.

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