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CicelyRobinLaing©2014
I had a nightmare just before I woke up this morning.
 
As I lay there half asleep… my mind filled with thoughts. Thought that made me feel bad about myself and the things I do. I was sent down the slippery path of wondering why I don’t get to do certain things that I want to do, or why I don’t feel accepted for who I am, or could be if given a chance. Or why I can’t be a better person for those that I love.
The nightmare made me wonder if every nice thing anyone’s ever said to me, were just empty acts of kindness. That I don’t really see the truth about myself. I don’t see the way others see me and the way I truly am. In my head every voice that ever said “Why did you even bother showing up?” was out in full force. And my little, childlike self confidence just curled up into a ball and rolled under the bed. This kind of mental crap is the real waking nightmare…
 
The mind can be incredibly mean sometimes. Depression can sneak in and spoil things that should be successes. The social pressure to be humble (but great), the selfish needs of the ego and the “aloneness” of being a human, conspire to knock that fragile kite of happiness out of the sky. Even in a strong positive wind a kite can spin out of control and smash into the ground. The wind that holds up my kite is full of the support of kind people. People who have said nice things to me, or shown me love and friendship. And I have been buoyed by the short lasting gusts of life experiences. Experiences that have given me a chance to grow as a human. But that wind can only hold up my kite if the attached string holds tight. And I feel like my string is full of knots and frayed ends.
 
I know I am not alone in my kitemare. There are lots of struggling kites up in this very cloudy sky. And most of us don’t even know what is anchoring us to the earth. But knowing you are not the only one doesn’t really help with the fear. The terrifying fear that comes when you feel the wind drop, and you get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. You don’t even tell yourself to hold on, cause there’s nothing to hold on to. And you try to drum up your own wind. One that’s just strong enough to carry you on until a real wind blows again.
 
But maybe, just maybe, that wind that we make for ourselves is more like a whistle. One that summons a sunny gale or a dark storm. Either way it lifts us up and keeps us going a bit longer. And maybe, our string is stronger because it’s all tangled up in the strings of others. Hopefully those others are entwined friends and not the messy knots of crazy-makers. I hope that I will always have enough breath left to whistle a little.

 
I don’t have a cure for my nightmares or my kitemares. I can’t see a way to make it better because I am already doing the best I can do. And maybe that’s enough. My father told me to do what makes you happy. But I learned soon enough by watching him that life is never just “happy”. “Happy” is often sandwiched in between struggles, grief and pain. You can’t always control things, maybe you can’t control anything. You can try to control yourself, but even that is not always possible. So, there are no answers, only questions and a great deal of effort. I cherish my happy sandwich, even if I wouldn’t mind less bread.
 
So… I guess I finally understand that life is a picnic.
Ants and all…
And if I fall asleep for a nap, I may have a nightmare.
Okay…
Thanks for letting me talk it all out at you.
 
Anyone want to go fly a kite?

In My Dreams by Cicely Robin Laing.


Words & images by Cicely Robin Laing © 2017

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CicelyRobinLaing©2014

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Life can be a lonely place…

Even surrounded by people

The ache of solitude can get so strong.

An overwhelming tide of responsibilities

The undertow of everyone else’s happiness

The grinding sands of your own failings and flaws

All you want is love, a little intimacy

Someone to take care of you for a little while.

The touch of a hand on your cheek,

A shoulder strong enough to hold all your tears.

Life is a lonely place…

Sometimes the only person left to pick you up is you

It hurts so bad

The exhaustion of just existing drags you down

It becomes an evil cycle of just maintaining

But not well enough to get ahead.

Every failure becomes the truth

And every success, a short lived lucky shot.

The spiral into darkness is not a choice

It is an unplanned ride down a greased spiral slide.

Once at the bottom you have to choose

Live there or try to climb back out…

Life is lonely…

We walk the Earth in a soft solitary shell

Touching those around us, but rarely ever joining

When we finally shuffle off this mortal coil

All we have are the choices we made in this life.

The way we touched others and how we cared for the world

We don’t need to be perfect, or strong

We don’t need to be happy, or a “success”

We just need to be ourselves…

Life is… lonely…

But

We are not alone.

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Thank you to everyone who joined me for the month of April… the NaPoWriMo challenge of writing a poem everyday was, I hope, a success.  I have to admit some days were harder than others. But writing is a good way to get out feelings I can’t really voice in any other way.  If you have read this far, you have likely read my poem above… I do live with depression, and I have loved ones who also struggle with it… including two of my children. I can not take the pain away, but I can understand. I can tell you that even in your most deepest, darkest pit… you are not alone. I’m right there next to you………….. and if you just reach out, I will enfold you in my arms and we will hug each other in the darkness…………………..  If enough of us hug each other, eventually a little sunshine will break through… and a little laughter is sure to follow.

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Image and words by Cicely Robin Laing © 2015

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Cicely Robin Laing © 2014

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I don’t have the answers to the woes of the world…
I can’t even solve my own…
but a little fuzzy love…
and mindless distraction…
helps bring the stress level down…

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It’s been that kind of day….

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Hope your’s has been better….

 

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CicelyRobinLaing©2014

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No matter how sad and depressed I get… there is always someone else who is worse off…

and that makes me more depressed…

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It’s not a competition… really…
at least not one anyone can or wants to win…

Seeing other people sad makes me even more sad… and frustrated…

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Skip the pity… and just give me a hug.
…or a Bite of chocolate…

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