Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blue Period

We all learned in art class in junior high school that Picasso went through what they call the Blue Period, which was a span of a few years when his paintings were all done in monochromatic shades of blue and blue-green, and only occasionally warmed by other colors. We remember this, yes? So, okay. This pic of me is a little of Picasso and Andy Warhol mixed all in one. But I likes. This is very me today (I mean, literally. I just snapped this photo).

Well, I’m pretty sure I’m going through my own little blue time. And, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m incredibly depressed, or that life feels unbearably monochromatic, but it does mean that this is a time of a lot of introspection and soul-searching and Brie finding and identity hunting. Times like these in one’s life aren’t meant to be perfect and bright and full or rainbows and pink and yellow paint, are they? I think a bit of solemnity and respect for what I’m going through is warranted – and not just warranted, but needed.

Like, today, with brute honesty, I just can’t be funny. I want to be, oh how I desperately wish I could throw a few jokes out there and cover up my hurt with a bandaid and call it a day, but today, this day, it’s not enough. In fact, I think if I tried to crack a joke I’d start sobbing.

My mom just sent me a fabulous email that cheered me up a bit, and in it was a beautiful quote by CS Lewis:

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good...only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find the strength of the German Army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have always given in. We never find the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it; and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full extent what temptation really means---the only realist.”

I suppose I need to realize that life isn’t meant to be talked about, or watched, but lived – lived. I think I am who I am meant to be…with all my short-comings and trials along the way. I think my imperfections and my relapses and my silly tube jokes have made me who I am...who I am to become, and my Bran Man and my mini man and my dear friends and family perhaps love me because of who my eating disorder and sufferings have shaped me to be. How boring I would be without the character building experiences I have gone through! How monotonous would life be if one never experienced our own Blue Periods…because then how could one celebrate the time of our life when we experienced every color, every texture, every shade of happiness and sadness and joy and heartbreak and everything in between? There is beauty in pain.

So, because my motto is no tale tells all, and because I’m never very good at putting it all out there anyway, I think letting you all know that I’m a bit blue is going to be enough; just to let you know that I can’t be funny and I have to hurt today.


Laurie and Corey Kunz said...

I love CS Lewis, so insightful...
so did you want to hang out? Did you get my email?
I think we all go thru phases like this, where we are introspective and wondering what we are doing and where we are going in life...
People who feel things deeply tend to get more depressed than the average person because we care so much about things.
Use it to your advantage and write a lot! Maybe you will find some things inside yourself that come out that you didn't know were in there!
email me or call me asap :)

Emily said...

What a great quote! It makes so much sense.

It's okay to not be funny. It's okay to hurt.

I've been doing some identity hunting myself, mostly in therapy, but also out of therapy, too. I am trying to find out who I am, who the healthy Emily is (even though I am not healthy now, I will be in the future!)... most of my identity, now, is of an eating disordered, mentally ill person, and I am trying to change that. It's hard.

I agree... our imperfections, relapses, negative (and positive) experiences all help us become the people we are today.

Krista said...

Even when you are feeling blue, you are still an inspiration to me. I needed to read this blog today. It helped me realize that it's ok to feel down sometimes. I'm sure it must be hard to put your feelings out there like that and be so vulnerable. You have encouraged me with your writing to be more open with others. Thank you!

KC Elaine said...

I love your honesty. sorry you're going through a blue time, but like you said - these times help shape who you are.

jana bananas said...

Brie, I'm sorry you're having a rough time. Sometimes I go through a low period after I have a higher period. You just had a great weekend away and now you're back home and have to deal with stuff again. I think it's only natural for you to feel a bit down. We all have our blue periods and no matter what, you're still a cool chick that everybody loves. :)

Feel better soon.

heather said...

I agree with the others. And wow, what an amazing quote. You're mom really seems to know her stuff! You're lucky to have her in your life. Just the other day, Monday perhaps, I was singing all the verses to Puff the Magic Dragon (I know, cheezy as can be, but the kids in my class love it), and I burst into tears when Jackie Paper grew up and Puff was all alone again. I got so choked up that the kids all came and surrounded me to give hugs. It's hard for them to understand stuff sometimes, but oh how loving they can be. But I do feel kind of silly....Puff? So, anyway, I think we all have our "blue periods" even throughout the day. But also, sometimes longer. Be kind to yourself today and the days to come. Allow your heart to think instead of your mind. Feel what's in there and you may feel a few rays of sunshine soon. I love ya brie girl! You're one tough cookie.
- Heather

Jackie said...

Recovery is full of ups and downs - I don't think it would be "normal" to never go through a period where you feel like this. You are entitled to feel however you want and I really, truly appreciate your frankness and honesty. We love Brie for Brie; not because she is funny all the time :) I am sorry you are struggling; I know exactly how you feel. I am thinking of you Brie, thank you for everything you have done for me. I won't give up if you don't - deal?

kristin said...

I know what those blue periods are like. They kind of suck, but, I agree with you, they makes us better and stronger and help to shape who we are.

I hope your blue time, though sucky, helps you to reflect upon yourself and your life and aids in some self-discovery and gives you some "ah-ha" moments.

Take care, Brie.

zubeldia said...

Brie, you've been so brave today. I've been thinking about you a lot all day, hoping that the desolation and despair was lifting a little, to give way, or at least to make space, for some melancholic reflection. I think you're so very right - that the suffering is so crucial to who you have become, and it reminds me of the beautiful comment you left for me on my blog yesterday, and how much that comment helped me. See, as you said to me, someone who has felt the pain of being human can touch others, and they can learn so much about themselves in the process. I love your humour, I love your feisty spirit, and I love that you can be lighthearted about all that you've endured, but I love this about you too, this honesty, this sharing of your pain, your wholeness, all of it.

You're so brave, brie.

Love you, sweetie. Take care.

Abby said...

Thank you for sharing this, Brie.

While sitting here deciding what to write in this comment, I noticed that my automatic response to what you've written is something to the effect of, "I'm so sorry you're feeling down, and I hope you feel fabulous soon!" But... personally, I'm okay with feeling down some of the time. I guess what I really hope is that you are gentle with yourself when you are having a blue period and that you allow yourself to just feel... and think... and be okay with that.

I don't usually go for therapeutic truisms, but I can't really argue with the claim that "there are no bad feelings."

You know that little kids' song about this? I might be getting some of the words wrong here, but this is the basic idea:

I love you when you're happy
I love you when you're sad
I love you when you're silly
I love you when you're mad
And no matter what
No matter what you do
No matter what happens
I'm always loving you

There's more, but I don't remember the other verses. In any case, I think it would be nice to have more of this idea in life.

heather said...

Wow Abby...I don't even know who you are, but that song really encouraged me too. Thanks for sharing it. I think I'll write it down and sing it to my kindergarten class (although I'll have to make up a melody...but that shouldn't be too hard). Anyway, thanks, you cheered me up.
- Heather

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you are going through a tough time, but I'm glad you have such a supportive mother. I have an older friend, of 20 years now, that is like a mother to me and it makes a huge difference in my life.

Kathy with a K said...

um,yeah. three hundred cheers for supportive moms. If you have one of those, count yourself lucky.
Interactions/relationships are so important. Anorexia is isolating. Isolation is the enemy. (It's taken me a flippin' lifetime to figure this one out.)
Blue becomes real dark blue without the ability to reach out to another. whoever that may be. So helpful and important to know you're not alone.
(cue music "We're all in this together"....couldn't resist some ridiculousness)

b said...

All of you, thank you for your words...thank you for your support for me during this admittedly pretty sad time.

Abbs - loved the words to that song. I could just picture you, with your cute little Betsy, humming it to me and trying not to laugh at yourself as you did it, but also willing to make the sacrifice to put a smile on my face.

Love you all.

Jodi said...

I admire your ability to speak honestly about your feelings and what you're going through. I've been in a bit of a blue period myself, not a depression but definitely very introspective. Thanks for sharing that CS Lewis quote, I definitely needed to read that today.

Abby said...

Heather, I'm all excited about you wanting to sing the song with your class, and I set about searching for it online so you could hear the tune and get the rest of the words, but I cannot find it anywhere! I even asked my mom if she made it up, but she said no... she thinks it was on an old cassette tape from a local person who writes and sings kids' music. There are a bunch of other songs out there with somewhat similar lyrics, but they aren't quite the same. In any case, I'm sure you can come up with a good tune for it... and maybe make up more verses if you're feeling industrious!

(By the way, as to who I am--a person who was a patient at the Center! Hi there!)

Brie, Betsy and I would come sing to you, but there's the issue with Betsy and your cats....

jana bananas said...

Thinking about you lots and lots tonight, Brie Bee.