By Paula S. Robin
Hello, Gloom, my old friend, where have you been? You just flew in from out of the blue? I wasn’t expecting you. Don’t worry; I prepared a place for you. I gotta say, crash landing straight through my heart, this is an unexpected jolt of pain, but welcomed. Pull up a chair, sit, stay awhile. You were not planning on staying long. Why? Wait a minute, who opened the door for hope and rejuvenation to come waltzing in? This is not a dance competition; this right here is a two-person waltz. My partner will be Gloom, of course. What do you mean Gloom and Doom go hand in hand, everywhere together? I only want Gloom. No one wants to get that crazy or has time for Doom. Settle down, sit down, and let us not talk this out. You want me to think about it. How original! Did I tell you I planted a new garden? In the produce section, there will be persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Hope, you can take your pal rejuvenation and boot-scoot yourselves right out the door. What’s that, Gloom? Of course, the garden has an entire row dedicated to despair. My choice fertilizer? Don’t be silly, I use my own mixture, a dash of guilt, a dabble of helplessness, and a pinch or two of pessimism. Yes, oh yes, it’s depression made all over again. Speak of the devil; it’s melancholy cutting in on our slow dance. I can always count on you, old friend, old pal of mine, to cut in on my motivation and concentration. We could line dance together. I wasn’t thinking of a fruit section. But hey, if the golden boots fit, pull them up by the straps cause we about to step into some real $*#@.
Happiness, ha. I am not overly concerned with my happiness. That is not what or who brought me to the dance. This is a seasonal dance. Step on my foot again, see what happens to you: physical pain. Move over, it’s emotional pain doing all the talking. Gloom, is that Doom over there? Such a complex little condition, isn’t he? Is he in the band? That’s music to my ears. Look, my toes are tapping now. What instrument does Doom play? Cause and effect, really now? Let’s move closer to the speakers. I want to hear this loud and clear. Wait a minute, is anxiety accompanying Doom on the guitar? What’s that, Gloom? Doom is going to dedicate this to us. Anxiety is strumming my pain with its fingers. Doom is going to sing my song, using my own words against me. This is a treat. If defeat comes in, kill me softly. Now I am humming the Fugees. Who is keeping score? You with me, reader? See what I just did here? Fugees, the score, killing me softly. The Super Bowl, keeping score, and a little million-dollar advertisement, let’s go. Happiness, ha. Do I have dance moves? Move over, boy. Watch this vulnerability. I got vulnerability patterns, y’all. Watch this: until today, this passing feeling has been elusive. Happiness, don’t come in here looking like that, dressed up like some kind of cognitive-behavioral therapy and shit. I’d recognize you anywhere. Happiness, who is your security? Oh, Joy Possible is in the house tonight. Listen up, Joy Possible, ain’t nobody going to start diminishing my reactivity to any distressing experiences. Security! Check, please!
Checkmate, Gloom, you can not escape me. I have to release you. You know the rules. You want to address my problematic thought patterns. Let’s get a shot first. Bartender, can we get two shots of severity? Gonna chase that down with two pickle backs. Pickleback always has my back, all sour and salty. I like it—all day baby. You want to tug on Superman’s cape? That’s okay, just don’t mess around with Jim. Yes, Jim was my daddy. I’m throwing in an entire halftime show here while we are out of the game, thanks to happiness bringing in Joy Possible, securing the opponent position in this game. What’s our next move? The past, blaming the parents, accusing genetics, any of these moves is in the right direction. We need what? Seven more yards to move the chains? Let’s go with a combination of biological, environmental, get some genetics in there, kind of play. Stressful situations, you need to come up from the backside. Trauma, where is trauma? Trauma, you have to blindside them. Loss of a loved one, that’s just another name for severity. We shot you, and chased you with salty and sour. This is how this party started, and I will cry if I want to. I’m no ones Patsy, but she was everyone’s everything. Overwhelming, there you are, didn’t think I could drum you up while the band was on a break. I have my finger on the trigger, ready to lock and load. The referee has thrown a flag. Illegal use of subsequent depressive episodes. That is the call. We should have chosen wrestling. It’s kind of like dancing with you, Gloom. You keep pinning me down.
Regardless of whether this runs through the jungle, my family, out my back door, or in my veins, I relate. I direct my character(s). You will not treat me in several ways. No, I will not give you the right to my thinking patterns. My disorder has an enduring effect. Terms of endearment, hello 1983, way to produce a movie that was too messed up for color TV. Gloom, what is this that you whisper gently in my ear? Mental anguish. Move over, Tom Brady. There is a new GOAT in town, and it goes by the name Mental Anguish. Let me plead coincidence, Judge. I was not assuming or saying Tom left because of mental anguish. What would I know? I know this is as real as the Winter Olympics’ fake snow. You didn’t even see provoking coming. How did you miss that? What’s any game without heckling? Yes, I am calling you a fraud. You want to suggest early treatment. This has been going on for years. Haven’t you read my past blogs? How long? Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, since I ran down my own path, since someone sent in the clowns. Wait until you read my latest: “Catastrophic Neediness.” Midge and Mudge were only a smudge of the rage I’m feeling now. Great idea, Bartender, a shot of Reign Rain, and we will chase it down with some small insignificance. Let’s all take a shot for confidence to walk through the darkness alone again. See, and you thought I wouldn’t bring up Valentine’s – or is it Palentine’s, so we don’t forget the losers that need someone to feel whole. Oh, or they can’t get a date. Loser, anyone can get a date. It’s keeping them that’s a challenge.
Two halves don’t make a whole. When your other half is digging you a hole, run. Let’s not hand off. Have we gone too far? Run. No, I am Knot any ordinary knot. People, all shows have cliffhangers and season finales that include all the season’s work. This is mine. Does the reality of me not coming back for season two seem real? I am not sad over Valentine’s. I have already disclosed my secret love: coffee. I am not sad over the Super Bowl or the performance. Greatness is just that, extraordinary talent. I am not sad that my writing is not there yet. I said why I wanted to dance with Gloom. I know you are worried I’ll step over the line and foul again, watch the boundaries, get knocked back too far, take a sack or fumble this, and Doom is back in the saddle. No, really, look, Doom is on some mechanical bull right now. Too many football analogies; let’s rodeo. God created football for me. I am 56, born in October, had three older brothers. Fall is my favorite color. My favorite season, my favorite-favorite. Doom, get off the mechanical bull for one second, please? I am pulling all my thoughts, emotions, and feelings together. Time out. We have to pull this together. The fans, family, and friends don’t get it. They make it about them. I don’t want to make it about me. I wanted to dance with Gloom. I want to cope with the fear of a loved one dying. I want to motivate change. Shaming does not motivate or inspire. I was not asking to sit alone in a dark room. I wanted to dance with my reason for the season. If my heart isn’t real, forget about it.
I am sorry; I don’t understand where this is coming from. The feeling is smallness. I try to escape situations that bring me grief. I want to express my sadness, it’s personal. I have been holding this in, losing my mind a little. I think of Kathy and her family. What an honor to have known this family! We brought each other laughter and light in much darkness. Close the drapes, please, regardless if they match or not. Talk about pure innocents. I will never forget your beautiful mother’s laughter that day. Your dad brushing my hair aside, belly laughing. I love you. Tracey, it’s not simple to say; it took a while for you to recognize yourself. You were never attention sweet center. Far from perfect. You didn’t have to be so so hard on yourself. They, and you know who you are, they took it upon themselves to throw the stones. They will be condemned. Not my wish, but my promise. They don’t know us, and they don’t care. Now you to have lost so many precious to you. I am not a blackbird singing in the night. A mere Robin. I am thankful we have sung in harmony over so many years and will continue to soar. No more broken wings. My commenter that interchanges her name – I know who you are, too. You will be the best medicine for years to come, healing your family, healing the poor. To the extension of my mother’s soul, her favorite-favorite. Now you are in this familiar and unfamiliar place facing the unknown but standing oh so strong. I want to pretend like I don’t care. There is a line drawn across this bar. We were like two strangers, with the same blood running through our veins. I am going to drink like I have nothing to lose. What? It’s a family tradition.
The soul afraid of dying never learns to live. My mother’s name was Rosa – she loved yellow roses. I love Better Middler and thank her for that deeply impactful truth. Who stole my heart? No one. We have to feel. I don’t want to numb my feelings. I want to feel it all inside. I want to live. I want my heart. It is hard to understand that your presence touches my soul. It is like being home again. The wonderful memories, the kitchen table, the pot of coffee brewing. The good old days. I will be crying. I will feel alone. I am sure you feel alone. With so many around you, not one can comfort you. It is so typical of us to talk about me all time. How do I turn the gloom and doom around? I sit with a warm cup of coffee in my chair, let the memories of your laughter, you dragging on your fresh lit cigarette, and your white go-go boots bring me back home again. Not just the past; you are present. You overcame so much. You have so much to face. I want you to know who I am. I am not perfect. I do want you to know something, this time we have spent, this precious time, and I do know every minute is just that. This was meant to be. I know why my mother fell in love with you. I can hear her giggling when your mother was upset about the bike accident. I do believe she tried to mother and mentor you. I want you to know you were worth all her precious time. When she heard your voice, when she heard your name, when she saw that smile, she was home again. Pardon me if I want to dance with a little Gloom, get over here, you! Don’t bury your pain. Embrace it. If I die young, lay me by the Rosa’s and the Nobles. You have been the greatest high I have had in years. Thank you for letting me in.
For those of you who did see that train derailing, you don’t know me at all. Funny when you are dead how people start listening. Anytime another lets you hold their heart, you break from the gloom and doom, and you dance. You change your mind, and you turn right back around. I can’t save anyone’s life. All I can do is listen. There is an importance in listening. Everyone wants to be heard. Become a great listener, be vulnerable to connect with open hearts and open minds. Settle down, conservatives. We aren’t talking about halftime anymore. Shut it, liberals. I do have a point, and everyone doesn’t have to agree, or no one would. You aren’t special. No one is, or no one would be. Just be. The key point to deeper listening is that it’s not the hardest thing to do. The hardest thing is the silence. Not hearing their voice, not having a choice. My mother was a great listener. I do want to be the greatest listener so that I can hear you. I want you to truly hear me. I am here. I am praying and thinking about you daily. I don’t know much, I can’t do much, but this I can do. This is one promise I have kept and will continue to keep. You talk at any time, in any place, and I will listen. Understanding the unspoken words you have said, these have been the most sacred times. My sadness has been triggered. It’s not like I am sad for no reason. It’s not like you aren’t sad for any reason. If you are, I’ll be here for that song and dance too. It is okay to let happiness cut in while you are dancing with gloom. They can co-exist.
Guilt, you are a little persuasive emotion, aren’t you? The guilt of feeling anything other than gloom, anything less than sadness, makes me feel guilty. Why? It is okay to feel happiness. Wait a minute, what am I saying? These are conflicted feelings. How did that get past me again, Joy Possible? I feel so common and ordinary being just happy or just sad. I am a multitasker; I can feel opposing feelings simultaneously. It isn’t wrong; I don’t need therapy. If I do, and when I did, I went. My feelings are not layered with contradictions. It isn’t about living on one side and rebuking the other. It’s about understanding myself, how and why I feel the way I do, before I respond out of it. Perhaps this is merely me reminding myself that loved ones have passed on. I am very much alive, and I need to not just carry on, but heal and embrace where I am. I need to work through the pain. Be careful with myself when I am overly sensitive. Instead of pushing aside this difficult moment, I will be open to joy and pain at the same time. Had I learned this when I was younger, I wouldn’t have lost all the living dead people around me. The negative can overtake me. You are more than a shimmering light of hope. I am so glad we found each other again. You can see we have danced through denial, anger, and acceptance. We are facing the complexity of your situation. We are in the bitter-sweet emotions now. I was grieving in silence, but I don’t want it to stagnate. Life isn’t meant to be lived stagnant. It is eternal. Heaven has a laid outplay for you, no doubt. I am greedy, but I am not selfish. I might want it, but I won’t take it. Not even the easy road. I love you eternally, intimately, understandably. Now and forever.
Hello sunshine, don’t be shy. Come out from around that cloud and brighten our day.
This is one of my favorite posts of Paula’s! Each of her stories gets richer and richer in content.
Thank you. That means a lot to me.
My new favorite! There is so much depth here. Paula never fails to deliver thought provoking topics.
Thank you. Life provokes us on so many different levels. Glad we run on the same wave.