Friday, May 04, 2007

Let It All Come Out

Lift yourself out of it all
Come out from the shadows to the sun
Oh you gotta lift yourself out of it all
Yesterday’s over, a new day’s begun
You’re only sick as all your secrets
Let them all come out, let them come
This devil came to steal your name away
This devil came to give your name away


Newsboys, from the song Let It All Come Out.

What's more self centered than a blog? What is it about blogs?

I know that I have loved, hated, and dreaded blogging. But it's also the first time since I was in college, took photography classes and had to show my work, that I've shown any of my photographs to anyone other than my family. So that's cool.

But right now, I'm in a rather dark place. As a Christian, I know that I have hope. I know that I'm blessed, but it doesn't prevent the darkness from descending from time to time.

I talked on here one day about how as kids my classmates and I had "seasons" at school where we would bring and play with certain items at recess. Marbles for a while, yo-yos for a while, and things like that.

A curious thing about my life has been that just like made up seasons for toys, or even the real climatic seasons on the earth, I go through periods of moods.

I've had a lifelong tendency toward depression and seeing the glass as half empty, but with the onset of chronic back pain, my life is pretty much upside down.

My back has been hurting a good bit lately, and as the darkness follows the setting of the sun, depression follows the unrelenting periods of pain.

I am doing ok, but one of the worst side effects of the chronic pain and depression is that I feel as if I lose about 50 I.Q. points.

My work as an engineer can be damanding on the intellectual side of me, but in periods like I'm in right now, I struggle. A lot. Things that I can remember off the top of my head on a good day, send me scrambling for my engineering books to look up formulas and things because my mind is being dragged down by the pain.

Again, I'm doing ok, but where this blog is so incredibly easy to write for on a good day, I honestly and truly draw a blank when the darkness descends. I DREAD writing, the self imposed deadline of posting every morning, yet the compulsion to write never abates, but my personal standards of what I want to put out there via this blog makes the effort a chore.

Normally something on the news, something someone says, anything really, can remind me of a childhood or youth story, and I write myself a note, and when I can, write that story out and post it here.

Right now I'm in a personal drought. I actually have any number of posts that I could write, but the flair and humor I like to sprinkle within them is just not there. In those cases where I write anyway, the writing seems completely dead.

It's as if the pain robs me of much of my sense of humor, and the joy of telling a story, no matter mundane, comes alive. The deadness of my writing reflects the deadness I feel inside at times, and I hate it. I know I can do better, but not until I wait it out, or put in huge amounts of thought, energy, and caring to make what should be an easy post to write, to at least show a weak heartbeat.

These are the times where I can usually throw in a good batch of pictures and let it go at that. But lately even that has taken monumental effort; just to resize, upload and write brief descriptions for the photos is a challenge.

Don't get me wrong, I love blogging, the reason I started it in the first place was because I KNOW I'm supposed to write, it's a compulsion. But I wasn't writing and I was about to blow a gasket. So I started this blog as a vent in the true sense, a pressure valve. Not necessarily as a place TO vent, as in ranting and anger, but to relieve pressure within me. I felt I had some stories to tell.

On another level, I don't think that there is a human alive that doesn't feel, regardless of how introverted, that they would like to put something "out there" to prove that they're alive. That's what this blog is for me; a way of saying, Hey! I'm alive! I'm here! even if no one reads or cares.

It's the modern version of putting notes in a bottle and setting them out on the waves of the ocean.

Bear with me. I'll get back to some stories when I can.

I just have some issues to work out, along with some kinks in my back.

Thank you to all who read, and especially the ones who take the time to de-lurk and to comment. You don't know what it means to be one of 6 billion or so people on the earth and have a few folks say, hey, I hear ya or I know you're there.


Hammer said...

I hear ya.

I've been making silly videos to fill the void.

I'm sure this will pass.

Hope you feel better, we'll keep enjoying the pictures.

Heather Smith said...

I'm praying for you now, Jam! I know that God is with you. I know you usually read my funny site, but I also write a devotional site. Check it out sometime:

Msbatman said...

Have you ever considered the possibility you might be bipolar? I have suffered with depression since I was 12 or 13, off and on for years. It was just recently we finally figured out why it was 'off and on', the times I wasn't depressed? I was manic...

Now with a diagnosis, there is hope, and treatment. The worst your dr could say is No you're not, but the best they could say is Yes, and it's treatable...

Janet said...

Hang in there, this, too, shall pass!

Norma said...

I've only had bouts of depression a few times, but remember them well. Sometimes I'd play the radio too loud in the car and sing along at the top of my lungs; sometimes I'd ask a friend to pray because my mood was too ugly to do that simple thing. As for blogging, if you've written anything in the past that you can resurrect, sometime that is fresh for others.

And back pain. Ooooo. That I know well! Sooooo sorry.

Babystepper said...

It's hard to know that a friend is hurting and be unable to do anything about it. I'm praying for you, because that's my only option.

I know what you mean about blogging being a release. I felt much the same way about getting something out there. If you don't post, you don't. I know your restrictions are self-imposed. Sometimes it's okay to change you mind. I'll still come read, no matter how often you post. I love your pictures, and enjoy just a post full of them, or one or two.

Cindy said...

Wow...I just commented on someone else's blog, a man who is a pastor and is going to back off of blogging for a bit to re-prioritize and concentrate on his family. He said he would never stop writing/blogging, because he *has* to write. I commented that I could SO identify with that because I have a "compulsion" to write--your very words here!

John, try to relax and realize that you don't have to be "on" all the time. My husband has been having a lot of back pain too, and it does zap the joy out of you. Blog when you can and however you can. If you need to put it on the back burner at times, do it. We'll be here when you come back.

And when all else fails, do what I do something from your archives. I'm fairly new to your blog, so I know there's probably some awesome stuff that I missed out on!



Sharon Lynne said...

You probably hold yourself to a high standard. It's okay to post a dead post. (And not spend a lot of time crafting it.)

I too, struggle with blogging. I don't want it to take over my life. Most likely, the people that read my blog---their lives won't be changed--if I don't post for awhile. They have alot of other blogs they enjoy visiting.

So it's okay to fade out once in awhile. No problem. The world will stay together.

I am going through something at the moment that needs a lot of prayer. So I'm considering a BLOG FAST. No blogging for a certain amount of days, and using that time to pray.

Okay that's it. Oh...I would still read your blog, even if it wasn't funny.

Marion said...

I know what you're saying...writing, the joy of my life, sometimes seems just too much, and I have to back off for awhile.

I have learned it really is no biggie if I don't write, the world continues on...and then eventually the muse comes back, the joy comes back...and a new post is born!

Keep writing, you're good!

Travis said...

I'm with you on the issue of chronic pain - for me it's knees, which affect my lower back. I just made it through one of the worst winters ever. I'm suffering a little now because of the move.

All you can do is hang in and work at the therapies you have for pain. And ease the pressure on yourself for blogging.

I understand the compulsion though. I haven't been writing much on my blog these days either. I post reviews and videos, and the occasional blurb of thought, but not much original poetry or stories. I expect to get back to that soon though.

This comment got a little long, but I just wanted you to know that I really identify with what you've written in this post. Don't beat yourself up about it though. Blogging should be fun, and when it's not then we can always step back a little.

The cool thing is that the community will still be here.

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