You Can’t Go Home Again


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As everyone who suffers from depression knows, depressive shutdowns are bound to happen every now and then.  I had one this week.  It was pretty rough.  A social situation happened and then my sister (the only one I talk to) broke the news to me that there was a scare of some lymph node swelling on her lungs being lung cancer.  Well, I got into full blown can’t breathe panic attack mode as I laid on my bed (still in my dress clothes from the day) and sobbed.  I wanted my mom.  I wanted to talk to her.  It took me 4-5 hours to stop sobbing and I had a splitting headache so all I could do was go to bed with an ice pack on my head.

I had a four day weekend this weekend, so I decided to take Friday off and venture out into the mountains to a little town.  Just to give my soul some rest and marvel in the beauty of a new place.  Traveling alone to new places just helps me get grounded again.  While there, I traced the steps of Thomas Wolfe (he was born and raised in this town).  I went and toured the house he grew up in, looked at monuments dedicated to him, and even went to see where he is buried.  Honestly, I have never read a Thomas Wolfe book.  I didn’t even know who he was until I watched the movie Genius a few weeks ago (and only because Fitzgerald was in it).  I quickly came to realize that I relate to Thomas Wolfe.  Passages from Look Homeward Angel and You Can’t Go Home Again spoke to me.  He had a situation much like mine and wrote about it.  He was traumatized by the death of a loved one at a young age and moved away from the town he grew up in, vowing to never go back.  That is just like me.

I sat down to lunch by myself at a nice little bistro.  I watched people walk by as I ate.  Then, I got the idea to text someone that used to be a friend pictures of Thomas Wolfe’s stuff because literature is something she enjoys.  It made me think of her and I just thought she would enjoy it.  One thing led to the other and we got to talking about “us.”  We were pretty much unbiological sisters before my father passed away.  After my father passed, we hardly talked and decided to just stop being friends.  It was a lot for me to handle.  The death of a parent, family, and best friend all at once.  No wonder I went crazy.

For some reason, I just kept hoping I could open this relationship back up.  That we maybe could go back to being friends.  But, I was wrong.  Every time I open the lines of communication with some hope, I am wrong.  I understand there is hurt on both sides.  I finally admitted to her that all I ever wanted was for her to be there for me.  For a hug from her.  For some comfort from her.  For some indication from her that she cared about me during my time of sorrow.  It never came.  All that ever happened was fighting or silence.  Both therapists I have had told me to just let it go.  To let the friendship die because someone that can’t be there for you in the worst of times, can’t be there with you in the best of times.  I agreed with them.  I understood.  I tried to tell myself to not look back and just cut the line.  But, I kept hoping.  I finally understood on Friday that I can’t do this to myself anymore.  I am so tired of life and fighting.  Why should I be tired and exhausted from one more thing?  I have got to stop hoping and trying.  As Thomas Wolfe says in You Can’t Go Home Again:

“The human mind is a fearful instrument of adaptation, and in nothing is this more clearly shown than in its mysterious powers of resilience, self-protection, and self-healing. Unless an event completely shatters the order of one’s life, the mind, if it has youth and health and time enough, accepts the inevitable and gets itself ready for the next happening like a grimly dutiful American tourist who, on arriving at a new town, looks around him, takes his bearings, and says, “Well, where do I go from here?”

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