Monthly Archives: March 2017

Depression Expression

What do you call your depression?  How do you describe it?  How do you combat it?

This is something I wrote a few days ago:

I am so sad.  So deeply, deeply sad.  It’s almost that it is so strong of an emotion, so overpowering and overwhelming that simple words do not come close, not nearly close enough, to describe even an ounce of it.

I wish I were able to depict it artistically in some way.  I understand and appreciate those who do.  Sometimes I will google “sadness” or “depression” and click on the images tab to find the one that speaks to me the most.

All the synonyms, again, are unable to express it nor define it correctly nor accurately.  It is so immense and heavy and weighing.  Sorrow, gloom, despair – these all seem like cardboard cut-outs of the same word, and it does not express the true nature of it.

Sometimes in pictures, it’s shown as a heavy burden, like a ball and chain.  Or a weight on someone’s back or shoulders.  Sometimes it’s depicted like a ghost shrouded in black, or a scream, or a soul being tortured in some way.  Agony, defeat, these are getting closer when you look at others’ visual depictions of it.

It is a hopelessness

And that is where my writing ended that day.  It is strange for me to be unable to put things into words, as writing has always come so natural to me.  I can see poetry possibly being an effective strategy for helping me to express my depression, though I haven’t dove into poetry for 20 years.

Let me know what tools you use to describe your own depression, or to express whatever turmoil you’re struggling with inside.

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My OBGYN appointment

OB appt:  8:25 am

Goal for arriving at OB appt:  8:15 am with time to spare.

Intention to prepare, shower, drive cautiously and carefully, all with lots of time to spare.

Reality:  Begin day at 6 am, get through breakfast and school prep with kids, get them on the bus on time at 7:15 am, watch youtube and drink tea till 7:55 am, then check google maps to see how long it takes to get to ob appt.  Freak out, take a five minute shower, throw on clothes and race out the door, peeling out in the driveway while frantically punching the address into my phone.  Drive like hell to get there, only to be stopped by a l-o-n-g train.  Spend a furious amount of brain power in an enraged fury about the purpose and/or usefulness and/or efficiency of transporting stuff by train.

Careen into the parking lot at 8:30 am and arrive breathless at the desk to check in.

Pat on the back for making it on time (i.e. before being charged a fee for being a no-show.) Add an additional hurrah for not having a high blood pressure reading despite crazy use of  daredevil driving tactics.

 

Thank U

I can’t really do stream-of-consciousness writing.  I can’t cause I can’t really post anything without editing it first.  I can’t really write anything without editing it first.  Even when I was in high school my friends would tease me because they’d read my letters and know it was my final draft after several first drafts with errors I’d edited and paragraphs I’d revised.  And these were letters we simply passed back and forth in class, so…

It wasn’t like I was being (or am being) unauthentic, it’s just that I’m really into writing and grammar and it’s really the only way I know how to express myself and I’m also a perfectionist so I can’t just pass a note or even send a text without rereading it first.  Or second.  Or third times.

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I saved a bunch of those high school letters in a big box at my parents house and every time I always sit down to go through the whole batch hoping with my Adult Self looking back on my Younger Self with all my new Wisdom and Maturity I’ve acquired over the years that I’d discover some eye-opening revelations about my inner self but this isn’t the case EVER cause it’s always just about whatever boy I was “crushing” on at the time and that gets really boring, really fast.

Do you ever watch youtube videos or read other people’s blogs or books and think about what a horrible writer or performer or whatever the thing is that you like to do or want to do or strive to do is just something that you really suck at?

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Perfect segway into any one of you who has ever “liked” my blog post.  Cause I wrote for a good solid TWO days of posts in a row this past week, and I got alot of likes.  And by “alot” I mean like ten.  (And that is alot.)  And my email will beep-beep and tell me that I have an email and it will say, “soandso liked your blog post” and I will think, “wow!  Really?  Someone actually read it?!  And not only did they read it but they liked it?”

Now, I recognize that it’s very easy to simply “like” something by just clicking on that little button but I spend alot of time deliberating on the choices of “likes” that I make clicking on that little button.  So if I have ever given you a “like,” it’s because I really did like it.

Now, I also realize that not all readers use the same discrepancy with their likes and so sometimes I forget that and so sometimes I give myself too much credit for getting a like from someone, when I go and look at their work and I realize they maaaaaay just be liking haphazardly and not using the full potential of the like button like I do (as I said, I use strong discretion and it carries alot of weight.)

But then I just like to pretend that they weighed it with as much emphasis as I do and then I get happy again.

Alot of the successful bloggers whose only commonality I have with them is that I started blogging and reading their blogs around the same time that they started blogging and reading blogs have now published books.  And that makes me sad (for me, but happy for them) because then I start to fall into this wistful dream-state of oh-what-might-have-been.

But then that’s just silly because immediately after I start to think, “well, what if that moment is now?” as in, if I start really caring and really trying and really pursuing something then couldn’t I accomplish it five or ten years from now?

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Do you ever think that,too?

Or maybe I would just rather use this blog to track my ups and downs (and mostly primarily all the downs cause that’s the only times I post) and not put all that much effort into it as if it were, like, a career path.  Cause I know that those who become successful blogging or vlogging or what-have-you have only been able to do so through rigorous hard work, that it takes years of dedication and commitment.

And then also there’s the instant “equal and opposite” negative BLAST from inside my inner self that says awful things to me about how I could never be as good as them and you’d never be able to write a book and who do you think you are.  And that force is a pretty strong one that typically takes away whatever sort of wispy winds had entered my sails for a brief second.

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So I don’t know what conclusion this leads me to, but I do know one thing:  I whole-heartedly want to send a big thank you to anybody who has liked my writing.  Cause it means alot to me.  And although I cannot measure the sincerity of your like, I still will receive it as such:  “They like me! They like me!

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My Support System

I am one of those people with bipolar disorder who happens to have a very strong support system.  These people include my family and friends, doctor and therapist (well, I’m in a transition with that, but my previous one was Rockin’ Awesome Therapist Lady) and also, my cat.  I can call up any one of my sisters and they will lend a solid listening ear no matter what time of the day or night it is.

I also have a simple, low-stress job currently.  It doesn’t provide much pay and doesn’t provide benefits and barely supports my family, but I can surely say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.  I have no worries whatsoever, the owners adore me, and the customers are sweethearts.  (Did you hear that?  I just said the word “customers” and “sweethearts” in the same sentence.  And I totally mean it.  I know you don’t believe me.  You should.)

So in saying all that, I’m pretty lucky.  I once was a manic mess battling myself in a mental hospital.  It gave me a deep, sincere empathy for certain populations of the mentally ill in this country – those who you might see outside a department store, homeless, muttering to themselves.  I truly and honestly believe that that would be my life if it weren’t for all the blessings I have been given to maintain a certain level of sanity in the maintenance of my bipolar disorder.

I did lose my job at one point when I had a manic episode and had to be hospitalized.  I almost didn’t finish college when I had my first psychotic episode and took time to recover.  But I did it.  Thanks to the support.

So if you are someone who loves someone with a mental illness and is supportive, please give yourself a hug.  Because it is HARD WORK and for some of you, you may be the reason that the person you care about is still alive right now.  I know that is true for the ones who helped me when I so desperately needed them.

 

Wish You Were Here

I can’t post videos and this is lame but Wish You Were Here (by Pink Floyd and only Pink Floyd by personal preference) is playing on repeat right now and for some reason I thought someone might give a crap.  I will never post about music again (by personal preference).

Oh yeah, and one more:  Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.  Totally probably most likely overused but understated all at the same time.  Okay, now I’m never going to post about music again (personal rules that don’t apply to anyone else – I’m totally okay hearing about music likes, choices, etc., etc.)

Sometimes I have really strong convictions about very specific things even though I have no basis for really strong convictions about very specific things.  Like flu vaccines.  I don’t want one and never will and there is absolutely no logic nor explanation nor reason behind this choice.  (These tendencies drive my sisters nuts.)

I feel a strong conviction to express all this in a blog post RIGHT NOW.

Oh my gosh, someone put me to bed already I have so much to do in the morning and I have absolutely no chance in hell of waking up to my alarm now.  I have four hours to sleep and I need 18.

Good night.  Peace.

 

One Day at a Time

One day at a time.IMAG0264

It’s been my motto for a while now.  I have it posted in various places where I can see it often along with visually soothing images (usually with farm machinery involved (I grew up on a farm)).

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Only today did not feel like a one-day-at-a-time day.  It felt like one moment at a time, then it felt like five seconds at a time, then it felt like a complete panic that said “oh shiznick I’m crying in front of co-workers, wipe your tears off with your sleeve and try to keep moving.”  I go on break and I soak myself in mindless youtube videos and for the short half hour I forget where I am and suddenly I’m late punching back in on the timeclock.  (And yes, my job has a literal old-timey timeclock where you put in the time card and it cha-chunks and stamps your ticket.)

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I wiped my tears on my sleeve all day long today and when one co-worker asked if I was okay, I confessed that no, I was not okay.  Yet, I didn’t burst out in sobs as I had expected I would.  She just turned to me and said, “Life, huh?” and I confirmed that yes, I was not fine because of Life and we left it at that.  And I was grateful.

Because the thing is, even with all this depression floating around, I still have to do my job.  And I’m actually glad I have one, otherwise my depression could spiral out of control with no steering wheel attached, or burst out in flames with just the right spark.

I’m glad I have to routinely converse with other human beings, as much as I loathe getting out of bed and have to spend a good 45 minutes talking myself into the entire process of opening my eyes, getting myself into an upright position, and putting both feet on the floor.  And that 45 minutes  doesn’t even include remembering all the other parts like pants, shoes, and socks.

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This whirl of depression has snuck up on me, jumped onto my back, as Winston Churchill’s sneaky ol’ Black Dog will do.  He’ll sit in the corner, tight into the dark, so you become almost unaware he is there.  Maybe he’ll bare his teeth once in a while, growl, or in some other frightening way, remind you of his presence.  But eventually, inevitably, he will attack, always with a ferocity that scares me, sinking his teeth into my neck in a complete ambush, debilitating me.  And I suffer.  And sadly, in turn, my family suffers.

And imagine with this dog on your neck (or for my unlucky readers who have their own Black Dog of depression who already understand and don’t have to imagine) trying to perform normal day-to-day tasks.

He drags you down, you’re bleeding from your neck with a wound no one can see, and you falter at every step.

Take a walk!  Go outside!   Enjoy the sunshine!  Count your blessings!  I would if it would get him off me or even keep him at bay.  Sometimes when I write, I’m able to alleviate some of the pain enough to continue.  So I’ll keep taking it one day at a time.  And I’ll keep my chin up and hope he releases his grip soon.

Please, Black Dog of Depression.  Please, release your grip soon.

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The Sad

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I don’t want The Sad.  I didn’t ask for The Sad.  It’s just here anyway.

I’m kind of angry at The Sad and it makes me mad that The Sad tricks me into thinking I’m the only one with it.

It comes and goes as it pleases and disrupts my life and poops on it and then leaves.  I’m glad when it’s gone but I hate that it has returned and I hate that it is always returning.

Why is it so hard to beat The Sad?  All the things I know to do don’t make sense when The Sad is around.

I have no words for The Sad.  I can’t even write to beat The Sad.  And now I have to go to work and fight every moment against The Sad so that I don’t just up and leave suddenly when it becomes too overwhelming and the only other thing I can do is drive home and sneak into bed and hope that no one notices and no one finds me and tries to make me do anything other than hide.