I’m not doing well.

I am not doing well right now. Not at all. I feel like the shadowy man falling down, down, down, in Mad Men’s opening title sequence, though not nearly as well dressed. I have been working from home the past couple of months so my hair doesn’t always get combed and my shirts don’t always get tucked (into my pajama bottoms). The house smells vaguely of stale mud and I don’t know if it’s me or my dog. Even Diego, my pup, who used to enjoy the novelty of my company, looks at me with these pitying eyes as we take our millionth walk around the block.  “Again?” they say, “Can’t you find anyone else to hang out with!? Seriously, anyone!?” It is reminiscent of my cat’s doleful, “for the love of God, please have a baby already!” look, when I wrap her up in a scarf,  turning her into Babushka Kitty.  

I don’t even do that anymore. That’s how bad things have gotten: I don’t find cat memes funny anymore.  

I am just so unhappy; unhappy with what I am doing, unhappy with who I am, with how I feel, and I have no idea how to fix any of it. Each day feels harder, like I am sinking lower. Every resolution gives way to more disappointment, more disillusionment, and more depression. How do you climb out of a deep, dark abyss without any footwear or a flashlight? And how do you know where to get some? How long do you keep trying to claw your way out-the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet scraped raw with the effort-until you give up, because even wanting change, hoping for it, is just too painful? Sometimes dreams can be more toxic than failure.

I feel like I am descending into madness and that I should record the fall for artistic purposes, but even that is trite and unoriginal. I am not even breaking down well. I lack flare.

I sit like this, wringing my hands, until I stumble on the following link of Tim Minchin’s grad address at the University of Western Australia and I am stirred out of the sadness that I was certain, this time, would really never end: http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-the-most-inspiring-yet-depressing-yet-hilarious-yet-horrifying-yet-heartwarming-grad-speech?g=4

I am moved by Minchin-not just because I wish my hair was his shade of red or that I could rock the crazy look like he can-but because of the beauty in his realism and his humbling sincerity. (At first though I am surprised that Californication’s Atticus Fench is so brilliant and I immediately go from being grossed out by the image of this washed out rocker to wanting to have sex with him). I love that someone so wildly creative can be so practical about his gift. I love the beauty of his message, delivered in an elegant, understated way. His words are like a hand thrust out to me in my dark little hole, offering to help pull me out. I grab on. I listen to Minchin speak and I listen again and then I listen a third time with my husband who effusively declares the speech to be “pretty good” which for him is high praise. I am reminded of the humanity in my sadness, how utterly ordinary and familiar it is. So turned on am I with Minchin’s depiction of romance that I not only stop crying but I open up my computer and write this post, having been unable to write a single word for weeks. I am not a miserable depressive, but a romantic! A romantic who flirts with sadness! If romance is recognizing the chance to fill our one, small, random little life with things we love than I am teetering on the erotic!

Unable to inhabit any single moment, though, I again start to worry. Sure, I am writing this post now but what happens when I finish it? This helpful link surfaced today but what about tomorrow? What if there is no Tim Minchin for me tomorrow? I don’t know. But right now I feel an overwhelming need to wrap a handkerchief around my cat’s head and take a picture. Today, thankfully, that is enough to break my fall.