I've been really struggling the last few days. Depression was grabbing hold again. It does that now and again. At least these days it tends to be fleeting. But, this was a different kinda feeling and I hadn't been able to put my finger on it. I've been struggling with having a purpose for quite some time. I feel like life just goes on around me and I'm stuck on the ride. Existing, not living. Waiting to see how I'll feel when I wake up and then deciding what I can or can't or don't want to do for the day. These days, I haven't been wanting to do much of anything - even when it's a not so bad day. I look so bad (to me) from this illness and while I stare in the mirror and feel absolutely awful about how I look, I haven't been able to get around to shaving or plucking my eyebrows or using the depillatory on my face (thank you steroids) or wearing makeup. Any of those things that make us feel more feminine. I haven't even put on real clothes in weeks. And I know that I'm sick and people will say, well you just don't feel good, I don't blame you for not wanting to, etc. But, you're talking to the person who wouldn't leave the house without being dressed, hair done and makeup applied - even just to get gas for the car. And then I'm struggling because my purpose was always my kids. But, difficult child is borderline and I really think that she really believes that I have done more harm to her as a parent than good. True or not, it is her perception and you know what they say about perception. And then it hits me that she will more than likely carry that perception with her throughout her life. So, no matter how hard I've tried - and I'm far from perfect - she will always remember her relationship with me in that respect. And it makes me wonder, again, what is my purpose. Why is it so important for me to be here, in this life. I guess I should explain a little why these things are so important to me, specifically. As most of you may know, I've struggled with devastating depression for years. (It is under control for the most part by far; but the illness doesn't help any.) The kind of depression where you pray for death every night; where you fantasize about cutting open your arms and watching the blood drain out of your body and how much relief you would feel. Death doesn't scare me. Living like this (physical/mental illness) scares me. So, reasons to stay alive are something I consider pretty much daily. One of the main things is that I have to stay alive 4 more years - until difficult child is 18. Non-negotiable - no matter what diagnosis may came along. But, I don't know. difficult child is so miserable and I seem to be the cause of it. While I know that I'm not all the things she says and I haven't done the things she accuses me of....to her, I am these things. To her, it's the way it is. And then I wonder....I just wonder what's the point of it all. I was chatting with my online friend tonight. We've been online friends for 6 years and chat almost nightly. Somehow we got on this subject, although in a more abstract way. And he said something to me. You know, there is a spark of brightness that marks the path from one moment to the next...it's a sort of momentum. The thousands of tiny continuities that link moments into minutes and days and provide the push forward that powers a life. It's contentment. And drive. It's the idea that things are ok as they are, and that i have a part in them. And I just sat here and stared at my computer screen. I read and re-read those words. And I realized that I used to have that. It was fleeting in my life, but I've had it. And then I realized that I had it, also, when I moved into this house. At a time when I shouldn't have had anything even resembling that, I had it. I was newly unemployed, sick, had just lost my home to foreclosure, my parents were going to be supporting me, and I was in the worst flare to date. Yet, I felt joy, peace and contentment. I had purpose and drive. I had hope for the future. At that time, I still saw a light at the end of the tunnel. But, it was dependent on very specific circumstances. And I lost sight of that when the circumstances changed. It didn't happen overnight. But, the days stretched into months stretched into years. Until I find myself back in the place I never wanted to be again. Existing. Inertia being the only thing propelling me through life. I thanked my friend for putting into words what has been missing for me that I couldn't define. I've been allowing life to just happen to me rather than being an active participant. Just needed to get this out. Thanks for listening.