June 23, 2000 ~ What a Long, Long Time It's Been
First, I want to apologize. I have waited entirely too long to start this journal back up again. I promise that there will not be such a long gap between entries ever again. From now on, every few days is my rule, if not more frequently. If I caused concern, I am sorry. The last few months have been a healing time. I needed it badly. The good news is that I am back, and I really want to add extensively to this site. There are far too many sections that say "under construction." I am looking for a sense of completion now though, so you should expect to see some changes soon.
So why was I gone? That is a long story. Many circumstances conspired against me, and pulled me down for a long time.
Ever since Morgan and I got together, I had not been depressed. Such a lightness of spirit was amazing for me. The entirety of my life, I had been plagued by a certain sadness that would never go away. Depression was my constant state; it was all that I knew. When I found Morgan and a faith of sorts, all of that changed. Before, it had been as if I could hardly breathe but didn't notice, for I had never known air. When we finally came together, however, great wads of cotton were removed from my lungs, and the sweet taste of oxygen made me almost giddy. Joy I had never known. With him, all was wonder.
Near the end of last semester, however, I became reacquainted with my old friend, depression, along with a new arrival named frustration. I was frustrated because I could not find a source for my depression. Perhaps the beginning of this sinking can be found in the last few entries of this journal. I know I could see it coming; I just didn't want to face it.
I knew that everything was going well. Morgan and I were still madly in love. I was making enough money to stay in school. I was keeping up a 4.0 grade average. The magazine that I created met with exceptional success, and pleased all of the administrators of the college. Everyone was telling me how amazing my work was and thanking me for my commitment. I was making new friends. On the surface, I had every reason to be happy.
So I sent myself on a little quest to find the source of that ache developing in my heart that would not go away. Unfortunately, my work, classes, and service demands kept me too busy to really search. I was juggling five classes, four of which required a TON of reading and writing. I was attempting to finish the print version of the magazine I edit. I was working in the café, and finishing requirements for school. I was stressed out over my financial aid for the next year. I didn't even have time to write a quick note to concerned friends to tell them I was alive. Three hours of sleep a night, working until I dropped. Up early in the morning, working again, straight through the day, until I could no longer keep my eyes open. I developed a bad nervous twitch in my eyelid. Dark circles contrasted a sickly pallid complexion. Morgan and all my friends became increasingly worried, but I knew that if I could only keep it up for just three more weeks...
When the end of the semester finally came, I was a wreck. I had made it through, successful, as always... but something inside me was badly wounded.
I clung to Morgan as my last constant, but he could only do so much. And my nerves were so short, I did snap at him unfairly at times. He was the last person that deserved to receive my frustrated out-lashing. He took it well, but put me in my place.
After the semester ended and the summer began, I finally had time to myself. It was somewhat sad, really, for I was still working a full time job, and extra shifts in the cafeteria. If I wasn't busy at all then, you can imagine what the semester was like.
The obvious cause was all the stress and busy-ness. But I soon realized that it probably went much deeper than that and that I would be cheating myself if I did not go deeper. So deeper I went.
One cause was also fairly obvious. A very close friend of mine had been missing. I have never met him, but we have spent hours chatting and emailing online. He is a person I had established a very rare link with, and I realized that deep down inside I was grieving him. I had not heard from him in months, and I was beginning to fear that something terrible had happened to him and there was no way I would ever know. I had this wonderful friendship, but it's future was hanging over my head, with no continuation or closure. I did not know if he was dead, deathly ill, or just had a broken computer. What I felt with him was akin to deep grief, and I came to recognize it as such when I realized that my tears were for him. I wanted to know what had happened, and if he was in pain. I didn't know how to let go when I didn't know for sure that he was gone. It was then that I realized what women must have felt like during war, when their husbands were reported as "missing in action." How can one grieve when one still has hope? At least I knew what the problem was.
As I dug deeper still, I found that I was still confused about my father. He had been in jail for months, and I still had not written him. I honestly don't know why, aside from the fact that I was just very busy. I also had no idea how to fill him in on the last two years of my life. Where to start? I was confused and hurting that he had missed it all. I wanted to share it with him, but I could not find the words to sum it all up. So I didn't even write a postcard; it seemed like a post card would be tacky. I wanted to show him my life, not just two lines saying, "hey, how are you? Hang in there." So I wrote him a letter, and it started to fix things for me. Things are rough, but at least communication with him is open again.
Another problem I had was that I was sure I had done badly those last few weeks of the semester. I got my grade report though, and it was all A's. That did a great deal to ease my stress.
I was sure that with all of these things up at the surface, I would be ready to return to journaling. I sat down to write, however, and nothing would come. It was then that I realized that I was still not well. I realized that I really just needed some time to think and really relax.
I started taking long walks. After dinner a few nights, Morgan, Phillip, and I would walk down to the garden, and pick the left over strawberries. The gardeners had stopped picking them for sale, for they were past the height of their growing season. There were still plenty of them left, though, and they are organic and thus delicious, some of the sweetest I have ever tasted. I read for fun instead of for class. I just sat and did nothing. I relaxed.
And then the friend that had been absent for so long that I had worried myself sick over suddenly reappeared. He was fine, and very happy to talk once again. Turns out his computer had been broken and he had some family commitments.
One other issue that had been bothering me greatly was an unresolved conflict with an old friend. We had parted under very unfortunate circumstances, with her calling me all sorts of awful names and telling me she hated me. (I wrote about my confusion over this in a past journal entry). Well, she showed up out of the blue and we made up. She apologized for the name-calling, and we worked out some misunderstandings. There is peace, once again, between us.
The following weekend (this last weekend) we took a little excursion in the mountains with Morgan's father and stepmother. We hiked to all sorts of scenic areas, and stopped by secluded areas. I waded through a creek and walked barefoot through the woods on the other side, hiking my skirt up to keep it dry. That night I watched the clouds roll in over the mountains as it started to rain. Lightning far to the south... It was beautiful. We saw a deer on the way home, the first one I have seen since I moved here. That is one thing I miss about Oregon, is how friendly and plentiful the deer are. Maybe there are hunted less there; I don't know.
I knew I was ready to write.
So yes, I am better now, and I plan to keep this journal religiously. Expect regular entries from now on, and I apologize for the long pause. I needed to heal.
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