Learning to Swim

For as long as I can remember, the question, “If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you want with you” has floated around. There are other variations, but nonetheless, same type of question.

Obviously, the question is preposterous to me because I don’t do very many things which haven’t been planned, down to the smallest detail. If I happened to be stranded on an island, that would mean that I was either flying over an ocean, which I don’t see in my future, or I would be in a boat that wrecked.

I’ve seen too many of those stranded at sea type of movies to know that I must see the shore. Not that I could swim to the shore if the boat cracked in half and I had no choice but to swim. I just need to see there is a possibility to improve my situation.

Joking about having Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds to keep me company just adds to the tangibility of any of this happening.

But…..if I were to use my imagination, which is small, but I do have one, I would get in a boat and row myself to that island. Behind it I would tether another boat full of sheep, some alpacas, a cat or twelve, sheep shears, spinning/fiber making tools, various sizes of knitting needles, a way to make fire, pray for a source of fresh water and lots of fruits and vegetables that would grow on the island. I must be sure to include myΒ mini Juiceman multi-tool, and I would probably have to learn to like eating fish.

I would live on that island alone.

That way—every time I feel like crying, I could cry and not have to explain what makes me so sad, because I don’t know. I could keep my mouth shut and live in my world of knit one, purl one, and not have to explain that I’m okay—just quiet. When dealing with a bout of depression—again, and again—I wouldn’t have to feel any guilt for making life rough for anyone around me. I wouldn’t have to come up with an explanation why I can’t move, or don’t feel happy, because I don’t know why.

Maybe–if I lived there long enough, I would have not have distractions, and I could replay all the positive thoughts in my mind I can think of. Could I possibly learn that it is my choice to be happy or sad? Would it even matter?

If there were no people that I had to disguise my torment from, would that release some of my angst? Would that be enough to create happiness?

It would certainly remove the social phobia I constantly seem to fight against. There would be nowhere to go, nobody to see. If I lived there, I wouldn’t feel the pressure or fear of hanging out with anybody. I wouldn’t feel guilty if I sat on my little island for years at a time–never venturing from the little camp I create.

I wouldn’t let anybody down. Perhaps, I could learn to not let myself down.

If Bradley Cooper, or Ryan Reynolds just so happened to be on that island when I reached it, I’m pretty sure they would become too smelly and I would have to move to the other side of the island. Either that, or I would make them so crazy that they would gladly take my little boats and row into the unknown.

As much as I would like some relief from depression, lasting longer than a couple of weeks, I dream of relief for my family. They are the ones who suffer the most.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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22 Responses to Learning to Swim

  1. mewhoami says:

    I don’t live with you (obviously), but I would dare say that your family doesn’t suffer as much as you think they do. The love of family overlooks the flaws of others. Even on the worst of days, they still love you and see the best in you. They see what you can’t. It’s no different than how you see your children. Some days they’re a pain in the neck, but you love them just the same and see the good in them. I think many times, the way we believe that others perceive us, is not how they perceive us at all. Instead, it’s how we perceive ourselves and so we expect others to feel the same. Most of the time, they don’t. They just see us. The person they love, their mother and wife.

    As for the island though – I would love to be on my own island! I’d probably take along one person, just for those days when I actually get lonely. Maybe we’d get together once a week for a couple of hours. For the most part though, they’d be on one side and me on the other. Ah, that’s a nice dream.

    • April says:

      You’re right, I think I am harder on myself. Every day I wish for the day to be good. I go about trying to live with some sort of structure to avoid doing what I want to–return to bed. I push to get out around others because that’s supposed to make me feel better. I try smoothing music, positive affirmations, subliminal positive tapes, and activities I enjoy…..Sometimes I seem to just be so full of nothing and I don’t want to be around anybody, my family included. I dread each day when my husband comes home and I feel the same today as I did yesterday. The biggest fear? That this isn’t temporary, and any of the progress I’ve made so far will all go out the window. It’s defeating, but I will not give up.

      Thank you so much for your support!

  2. It is so tough when the depression shows up. I was happy to receive the right help in those years, but it takes time and we become so not social, while it is going on.
    What kind of help do you receive April?
    I hope it helps you.
    Irene

    • April says:

      I have a therapist, who is wonderful–and I’m on various medications. My husband is very supportive and patient, and friends who try to understand and be supportive, but they haven’t experienced depression. Their patience isn’t so wonderful at times. Blogging helps as well. It helps me to get what is in my head out. It’s very cathartic.

      • When I did live with a very bad depression, I went to a psykotherapeut who worked with kognitive therapy. That did help me very much. Maybe it could be a help for you too?
        It is difficult for other people to understand, how the depression take us so much down.
        Irene

  3. suzjones says:

    Hang in there gorgeous lady. The sun will come up again tomorrow.

    • April says:

      I know I can do it, I’ve done it many times. Sometimes it makes me feel too weak, and I just want it all to go away. Thank you for your support, I appreciate it.

  4. It’s hard to “like” this post. But I do like your writing it out and looking at it. Honestly though, I love your humor too. I wasn’t sure where you going with pulling the sheep and alpacas and cats etc with you. But the knit one purl one elicited a chuckle. And if those men are surrounded by water and still get smelly…..uhm….there’s no excuse for that.

    I have seen depression in many forms. And depression it’s self is not a laughing matter. I’ve seen the struggles and suffering. I’m very sorry you have to deal with that. But I do appreciate your sense of humor in trying to deal with it.

    • April says:

      I’m a compulsive knitter, it helps me through the tough times. As far as the humor? I have to laugh to keep from sinking. I’ve only found my humor in the last couple of months. I found the right combination of drugs, but I’m extremely impatient when I still have to struggle some days. Also, I live with the fear that the medication won’t work and I will end up back where I was. My therapist is helping me, but again, I’m too impatient. πŸ™‚

  5. Gallivanta says:

    We do suffer but my daughter says it’s no where near what she goes through. And I believe her.

    • April says:

      Depression is a tough thing to move through. Some simply give up. I will keep fighting. I have been to the place where I shut myself completely off from everybody except my family. Just glad there are medications and doctors who specialize in this area. I may always have to struggle, but I hope I don’t return to where I was. These up and down days are “normal” all people have bad days. I just have anxiety that mine won’t go away. I know it’s up to me to continue doing what I know I need to.

      • Gallivanta says:

        It’s curious (and probably frustrating too) that, at the time ,when a person most needs to reach out, the brain says no. Anything to do with the brain and stress and anxiety uses up a lot of energy, so I wonder if the retreat is partly a conservation of energy strategy by the brain.

        • April says:

          I kind of think of it this way. When anxious or depressed, the brain isn’t functioning normally. There is an awareness of logic, but the illness overrides the logic. What we are experiencing is real, even though not logical. When I want to isolate, it’s to escape the torturous thoughts running through my brain, but isolation is the worst thing to do. The brain is amazing, and we will probably never totally understand the way it functions.

          • Gallivanta says:

            I hear you πŸ™‚ And, yes, the brain is amazing. I don’t make many donations to good causes, (heart willing, but not the finances πŸ™‚ ) but I do make a regular contribution to brain/neuroscience research in NZ.

  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    I know that if I was stuck on a deserted island, I wouldn’t last very long. I wouldn’t be able to do what Tom Hanks did in Cast Away and just adapt to those surroundings. As much as I like my solitude, I do need other people in my life once in a while.

    • April says:

      I was thinking I wouldn’t mind bringing along a character like he played, he sure was inventive. It might be hard to be alone all the time, but being human, we do need contact with others. It just sounds dreamy at the moment.

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