Aug, 2014

My Misery Does Not Love Company

I sat outside for the last hour and a half and got a small sampling of the Perseid shower from my backyard. I wish I could stay up later to see it when it’s more visible, but alas, I have to be at the dentist tomorrow morning at 8am for crown #2 prep. Don’t be jealous.

Anyway, I saw at least four or five meteors and staring up at the sky, in solitude, was both beautiful and humbling. I don’t know about you, but sometimes witnessing something massive makes me ache a wee bit. I felt the same way when I visited Sequoia National Park and saw the tremendous redwoods. Small and alone.

Strangely, I’m very comfortable with feeling alone in the universe. Maybe because I come from abandonment and spend a large part of my childhood feeling alone, betrayed and misunderstood.

There is so much talk about depression swirling around social media and the internet following Robin Williams’ passing. I suffered from a bout of depression in my youth (pretty much a blur now) and once again, after the birth of my beloved Aubrey. While I never felt I would take my own life, I am familiar with the dark cloud of hopelessness that is depression and I hope to never sit beneath it again. I am fortunate that my experience with depression has been episodic rather than chronic. I can not imagine what it is like to wrestle with that beast regularly.

So just tonight, while sitting beneath a sprinkle of flashing meteors, I remembered that a quote from one of Robin Williams’ movies was what helped me make sense of some of the harder times in my life and I recall it almost every time I have a personal struggle.

Robin Williams’ Russian defector character “Vladimir Ivanoff” from the 1984 movie “Moscow On The Hudson”:

“When I was in Russia, I did not love my life, but I loved my misery. You know why? Because it was MY misery. I could hold it. I could caress it. It was my misery.”

That one scene from that one movie helped me learn to embrace the struggles in life as a part of the journey. To love even the worst moments because they belong to no one else. I have experienced the greatest joy making a life that is mine and mine alone.

So maybe I’m a freak or just an extreme introvert, but the sensation of being alone – that ache, that pang – is one that gives me clarity and makes me feel alive like nothing else.  For this, I am so grateful.

If you can, do yourself a favor and go outside right now. Look up and feel small.


Leave Your Comment

  1. Kevin Measimer says:

    Amy, I do remember some of your posts on FB after Aubrey was born. Depression sucks.

    Depression is a regular companion in my life. Glad to have been on the right combination of medications to help me most of the time.

    It’s dark. No one should suffer but it’s an all too common condition and still very much misunderstood.


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