Thank-you, Bruce Cockburn

The sun shines through my window and cascades onto the blanket, yet I don’t feel it in my heart.

I can see the crispness in the air – yet I don’t feel it in my soul.

Neither warmth nor cold can reach me today.

It may be a bit of depression?  Maybe it is anxiety?   I am sure this mood will leave me.  I am not worried it will be a permanent state – more like an unwelcome visitor.  At the same time – almost welcomed.

I am still.

My mind is almost empty.

Kevin asks, “How do you feel? What are you thinking?”

“I’m numb.  I am thinking of nothing.”

It just doesn’t make sense.  Is it chemical?  Is it related to chemo-therapy?  Am I nervous about the upcoming surgery?  Maybe I’m nervous about potential repeats of surgery?  Maybe it is the unknown?  Now I’m thinking.

I remind myself of the rat in the cage I learned about in my neuropsychopharmacology classes so many years ago.  This rat was doped up on cocaine.  At first, the rat paced back and forth in its cage.  As time moved along, the movements became more and more intense, faster and faster until the rat was moving so fast it was “frozen”.  Can I be frozen too?  Do I have so many thoughts to unwrap that they are frozen?  Am I “pacing the cage”? Is this what Bruce Cockburn meant with his song (

I want to have my old energy back.  I want to have my old zest for life back.  I want to care.  I don’t care right now.  I do care – that I don’t care – so maybe that means I care.  (I hope this thinking is chemo-related cuz it is pretty messed up)

I picked up a book a friend of mine gave me about miracles and poo-pooed every story in it.  I feel so skeptical right now.  Empty.  I am angry that I can’t seem to rise above this mood.  Yet – it interests me in the way it makes me feel.  I almost enjoy the anger and bitterness of the mood.  I see things through a different lens – and it is easier to be angry and skeptical.  It is easier to poo-poo miracles than to believe in them.  It is easy to ignore the love and support in favor of this overwhelming feeling of loneliness and exclusion.

Yet – as I write about it – I feel guilt.  I feel myself slide even further.  It is definitely that I am running an experiment with myself.  I can feel myself digging deeper as I allow my anger and fear to grow.  I know I don’t want to get too much further – what if I can’t get out.  It draws me down.  If I am left alone for too long – the walls may just become impenetrable.  I feel it.  I won’t let that happen.

Has anyone else ever felt this way?  Is this what real depression feels like?  Is it really controllable after-all?  For me, it is the feeling that I know I can snap out of it – but I don’t want to – not yet – but soon.  I like it and I hate it all at once.  I like the quiet and I hate it.  I like the Sun and I hate it.  I like the cold – and I hate it too.  I am in inner chaos.  I hate it and I like it.

I know chaos is the springboard for strength.  What does that strength look like?  Is that what “miracles” are all about?  Maybe that’s what I need right now is a little miracle.  I sit here waiting for a miracle: (

I envy the talent of Cockburn – his ability to express his thoughts so well – and the thoughts of others.  His song, “Waiting for a Miracle” describes the plight of the Nicaraguan people.  He explained, “The second trip to Nicaragua produced this song. Three years of low intensity conflict since my first visit – the revolution was getting tired, not over all, not hopeless, but tired.”

That’s me.  Today, I’m tired – but not over.  I’m not hopeless, but tired.

That’s it.

Thanks, Bruce.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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8 Responses to Thank-you, Bruce Cockburn

  1. Sometimes, it helps to remember that we are only human, not gods. I think that it is natural for you to feel this way because you are going through so much right now, and so much is uncertain. I didn’t have cancer, but I went through some rough times after a car accident (still do) and I relate to everything you have written here.

    How can you not want the energy back? How can you not want your old zest for life? To not have them is such loss. These feelings are also part of the journey of grief over what you’ve lost, and uncertainty about your future.

    Try to be kind to yourself, recognize that your self is going through an extremely rough time and is entitled to feel all those things you describe; know that your self needs some tender loving care and give it, if you can.

    My very best wishes to you.

    • inmycorner says:

      I certainly do appreciate your compassion. Indeed – how can I not want things back… it is tough to trust they will return. I have to act as though they will, I think, in order to set the cart in motion. It is tough to “get going”. Your words and thoughts are very comforting. Thank-you for understanding – and for continuing to be strong for me! I don’t know if it is appropriate to say it’s nice to have your insight since that means you’ve been there and I don’t wish that on anyone – but it is nice to have your insight as it is comforting.

  2. As much as I can, I ‘think’ I understand Stacy. I can only relate to this on a very minor level. A couple of years ago I was sick for quite a few months. Nothing serious, but it lingered and would not go away. Over the months I was on four or five different antibiotics. One of the antibiotics actually set off a chemical induced depression in me. It was horrific. Fortunately I was aware of what was happening. And I couldn’t just stop the medication, I had to wait it out. It was horrible to feel this weight descending on me, and forcing me further in to a downward spiral. Like you I was oddly fascinated (if that word is the appropriate word to use) by it. I felt an odd comfort in it’s weight and darkness and the ability to see what it was doing to me. But I didn’t like it. I knew it was going to be short lived, and I was able to verbalize what was happening and recognize the changes as they occurred. I remember sitting in my recliner and having a very vivid moment of sympathy and empathy for those who suffer from depression and vowing to never minimize what people who suffer from depression go through.

    You know I am always pulling for you. And I admire your ability to write this out so well. I look forward to the day when you look back at this, read it, and see what your feelings will be in regard to it.

    • inmycorner says:

      I must confess, Colleen, that is comforting to read what you wrote – to know that you do know what I am “in”. Thank-you for understanding. And I most vehemently agree that I will NEVER under-estimate depression from this day on!

      • Yes….I still have flashbacks to that when I’m talking to someone and they say they have depression. It’s like a sucker punch to the chest. I’m so grateful for being able to understand and sympathize with them. And saddened that there is such difficulty in healing this. It is not always ‘easy’ to treat. Be well to yourself.

  3. kiwiskan says:

    Thank you for introducing me to that song – it has a poignancy for me also as I face old age. I have also been in that spot with depression after some traumatic happenings in my life – but the tunnel does have an end. God bless you and lift you.

    • inmycorner says:

      It is a great song! Bruce Cockburn is one of my favorite artists – can’t for the life of me play his songs on guitar (sophisticated) – his lyrics are complex and poignant for sure. Glad you enjoyed him. In his peak time he wrote some very strong political songs speaking out against cruelties and injustices. I hope you get the chance to explore more of his music.

  4. Gallivanta says:

    I don’t doubt you are tired. And temporarily depressed. The remarkable Prof Jane Plant talks about the depression she suffered (if I remember correctly) in her books on her cancer story. Also, it’s good to remember how much energy your brain needs to cope when it is dealing with extra worry and stress. Rest well and relax into that soulful music.

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