I seem to have noticed it’s October. I think I might have noticed before, but I was trying to proceed with the next step of my life. October is hard. It is the hardest month of all.

And mostly I want to kill myself. The last two nights, our school held a culture show. It was mostly dance—some of it traditional, some modern Country X, a few numbers Western-style. There were something like 35 or 40 routines. C danced in maybe 8 of them, about four on each night. I wanted to see her. I have to go anyway, but I wanted to watch and to see what the students had managed to accomplish. I did. On the first night, I really wanted to just enjoy it and I put everything else aside and I did. I was able to do that. I am usually fighting to stay integrated and stay connected to my feelings, but that night I chose not to. The second night, I couldn’t. The feelings were too strong and I didn’t have the energy maybe to keep them boxed up. So it was a very different experience. I didn’t really talk to anyone. I didn’t connect as much even to students. But I lived through it.

That was Saturday night. Then Sunday, I could relax some, but I am trying to let it out in small doses, because actually it makes me intensely suicidal and I just cannot take it for that long. The result is that things just feel unreal. My whole life feels unreal. The present feel unreal. It feels unreal that I teach, that I talk to the people that I do, that I am in Country X. The past feels unreal too. Old memories I know happened feel unreal. New memories that I am not very sure about feel unreal. That’s the trade-off. If I feel less pain, it’s because I have made it all unreal to myself and it is disorienting.

I don’t know what to say about the place I’m in. Just I have to get through the month.


6 thoughts on “October

  1. Ellen October 5, 2015 / 6:08 am

    I’m glad you posted Ash. You’ve been more silent than usual. It sounds very difficult. Maybe you need to be a bit derealized in order to get through to a place where you can stand to feel more?

    Kids dancing can be cute, but that many dances sounds a bit much. Wishing you much strength to get through this month.

    • Ashana M October 5, 2015 / 10:31 am

      Thanks. It is really hard. The pain is so great, but I cannot just let it bury me right now . So, yes, that’s what I’m doing: making it unreal so that I can get through other things.

      Yes, it was cute, and it means a lot to some of the students that I watch, but more the first night. I think it meant a lot to C also, but I don’t know. The first night she seemed very happy and was very happy to see me and have my attention, but the second night she did not seem to be happy. It was more like the whole thing was just a chore to be done.

  2. ridicuryder October 5, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Wise Ash,

    You really get me thinking. I’m sorry the suicide urges are so strong, but what you are talking about reminds me of how uncomfortable being untethered can be. I sometimes get these numbing decelerations where it feels like I’ve unconsciously been breezing along, but now suddenly the air is like molasses. Sometimes the things I take for granted about my life (stuff that normally whiz along with me) are crashing into the back of my skull or worse, I sense they veered off somewhere behind me and they are miles away.

    I don’t feel disconnected just really isolated…like I’m never going to experience anything the same again. There is this crushing and bleak stretch where I have to curl up and ride it out. I’ve learned to let it happen…just let it hollow me out…I accept nothing will be the same again. Things change slightly every second, but sometimes this can feel like I’m losing a whole month, maybe an entire lifetime is being shattered elsewhere.

    When this begins subsiding I notice things are different, some slower, some richer, some thinner etc. I think these little isolations I feel must be a walk in the park compared to how jarring and terrifying you can crumple. I know worlds can shift under your feet in a blink, but understand all that twist can happen and we’ll still be around afterwards.

    Your friends here on blog, VP Ma’am, Maths Ma’am, C and your students – everyone slightly out of step somehow, but still here. You may not feel all that different though. What I’ve started to realize is that those first few spins where everything flattens out are where 90% of the loss happens. Another 9% gets pulled off over days or weeks until things start to pulse back in. My layers don’t quite settle back the same.

    I’m sorry if what I am relating is vastly different than what you experience and it seems somehow off or irritating. I’m just curious if any of this resonates with you. Do you crawl back roughly the same or has the scraping remolded you a bit? I don’t mind the remolded Mark…I can’t do anything about him anyway. The interesting thing is to see where something feels a twitch more vibrant or softer than before. Sometimes I really don’t notice.

    I know it maybe days before you respond, just thought I’d ask. 🙂


    • Ashana M October 5, 2015 / 5:24 pm

      I don’t really know. I wonder sometimes if I’ve changed at all, or if only my own perspective on myself has changed. There’s something to this idea that it’s just a trick my brain is playing to let me keep moving. There might be something real going on for you: things have actually changed. Maybe it’s just you only notice life changing in sudden bursts. Then it’s a shock, and you have to approach in a larger piece of grief than someone noticing the small changes all along. But in my case actually the world is exactly the same. I am the same. I am just trying to handle the pain. For a long time, I didn’t know that though. Every time I felt unreal, it seemed like something was really wrong.

  3. ridicuryder October 5, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    Yeah, I sorta get the trick the brain rolls out to shift the experience. It’s hard to say if my patience with rebuilding is a way to recalibrate my perspectives or that burst effect yanks me out of the current nest I’ve constructed so completely that I must realign myself to things in a new or slightly new way. Around 1/3 of me associates these dives with grief, but another 1/3 seems to welcome the “shedding” of caked on experience…it feels like these times down to bare bones lets me experience a subtle essence. The last 1/3 of me is mostly physiological attuning…remember to eat, shower etc. go into the body to settle things down. Outward functions can appear pretty regular to others (not those who know me well). The outward socially acceptable persona is sort of a cloak that remains unaffected by my moods, swirls or crashes…it is always available for me to wear when I need it, only my authentic animation is absent and things have that “going through the motions” quality.

    I find it fascinating that you sense the world as “exactly the same” when you emerge. When I walk barefoot in the sand my toes experience the beach the same and the ocean bubbles around me in familiar ways then yes the world seems unchanged, but I am different…I am grounding to my environment differently – mostly in very slight ways.

    I wonder if the difference for us is I encounter this light shift in things in such a way that grief along with other experience must be weighed differently when I recalibrate. Lately I am not into extinguishing grief, just bonding to it differently. It seems to me that your brain is tricking you to move along, but maybe part of you is still determined to stay bonded to things in familiar ways. Could these larger, more expansive withdrawals be your body and brain’s way of saying they are tired of being stuck?

  4. desilef October 5, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    You are very very real.

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