Category Archives: Depression/Anxiety

Depression/Anxiety

Depression is an Abuser

Here’s a novel idea: Maybe I’m not actually a terrible person who’s basically a lazy sinner?

No, but really though. This is something that, at 36, I am just now digging out of the muck of my psyche. In fact, this is such a recent and active mental archeological site that the use of the word “sinner” up there surprised me and then led to a WHOLE BUNCH MORE ARTIFACTS. Disclaimer for those new to this blog: there is a lot that is beautiful about Christianity, and certainly a lot of Christians actually act as Jesus would have, but the churches I grew up in were more focused on control and hate than on the love they pretended to preach. And, as it turns out, I just found a new layer of pain from having grown up with the belief system that if I wasn’t perfect I was sinful (full of sin, apart from God, alike to darkness, bad).

But backing up a few months. Sometime last winter my hands were doing the thing they do sometimes where they go numb or tingly or tingly-numb. I have been told this is stress. And lord knows it could be. But it also seems entirely unrelated to anything. It happens on its own schedule, independent of anxiety attacks. I don’t know. But I hate it. So every so often I’ll take a moment to re-Google it, in case I am missing something. And this time I fell down the autoimmune disease rabbit hole and, oh my goodness do I have a lot of symptoms. Throughout my adult life, at one time or many, I’ve had sudden exhaustion, weight gain or inability to lose, hair loss, and on and on and on and seriously on. And a lightbulb went off: mayyyyyybe when I get suddenly too tired to do something, it’s not just that I am a lazy sinner who’s just the absolute worst – maybe there is a real reason for it?

And of course, the thing is that there IS a real reason for it. I’m not feeling terrible just cause I think it’s super fun. And, regardless of what the spiritual leaders of my youth would say, there actually isn’t any such thing as sin.

And then just last week I read this (from this post).

Until I started taking my antidepressants, though, I didn’t actually know that I was depressed. I thought the dark staticky corners were part of who I was. It was the same way I felt before I put on my first pair of glasses at age 14 and suddenly realized that trees weren’t green blobs but intricate filigrees of thousands of individual leaves; I hadn’t known, before, that I couldn’t see the leaves, because I didn’t realize that seeing leaves was a possibility at all. And it wasn’t until I started using tools to counterbalance my depression that I even realized there was depression there to need counterbalancing. I had no idea that not everyone felt the gravitational pull of nothingness, the ongoing, slow-as-molasses feeling of melting down into a lump of clay. I had no way of knowing that what I thought were just my ingrained bad habits… weren’t actually my habits at all. They were the habits of depression, which whoa, holy shit, it turns out I had a raging case of.

I read that and started bawling. The bolded bits clearly came out of my own heart.

At the beginning of the summer I had that, for lack of a less cheesy term, breakthrough that helped me so much. And I felt pretty much instantly better. And at the time I wondered if that wasn’t just the high of a release after having been trapped in my own head for too long – and it turns out that, yes, that probably is exactly what it was. I had a terrible week the week that Robin Williams died and all that terrible shit in Ferguson was happening, and I haven’t really felt consistently good since.

But there is still a difference. Because things are clearer now. I can see what I am dealing with (depression) and I know that it lies, and I know that it’s real, and I know that it isn’t me. I may not feel good, but I am working to change my inner dialogue so that it reflects the truths. Instead of, “Ugh. I am so lazy today and can’t get anything done!” I say, “Wow. Depression is strong today. That’s okay. Tomorrow might be better. If not tomorrow, certainly one day in the near future. Depression comes and it always goes.”

For the record, I am also working to find meds (or something) but for reasons I won’t go into right now, that’s currently at a standstill, and anyhow, hasn’t been a simple process for me this year.

And then, this week, I started noticing that the bad thoughts were sinking back in. The abusive ones. (I nearly wrote self-abusive, but it’s not me doing the abusing and I will no longer blame the victim.) But I could see them for what they are. Nearly, anyway. It was like trying to spot ghosts in the mist – I knew they were there and I could almost make them out clearly. But it didn’t matter. I didn’t need to be able to take a clear photo, I just needed to know they were there so I could work to stop them and to change my internal dialogue. To take back my power.

Late last year I wrote that I am so sick of writing about depression. And then shortly after that, I wrote about how everything was good again and depression was totes gone forever and ever. That has been the story of my entire adult life. Depression -> having a good day and feeling like Depression was gone -> being depressed and being embarrassed -> overly hopeful that the depression was gone for good this time for reals. And feeling like I let everyone down if I was, in fact, still depressed (oh look! Another new artifact!).

Aw, how dearly innocent I was 11 months ago. It’s embarrassingly hilarious that I didn’t see what was so obvious.

I think I see now that I’ve just always been depressed. It’s hard to see for a lot of reasons. Partly because it looks so much different than my mom’s did. Partly because it doesn’t let me see it (it lies, remember? it’s an abuser, so it puts the blame on me). But also partly because it’s not really that bad. I allowed it to let me believe that I didn’t suffer from it enough so I didn’t really have the right to be gentle with me.

In fact, yes, let’s take a look at some of the more subtle signs of abuse (from this list), here are the things my depression did to me:

#2 Incessant lectures. Your partner constantly tells you how you’re so flawed and how you still need to improve in so many ways.
#3 Painful comparisons. Your partner constantly compares you, either with your more prettier or successful friends, and tells you how much better than you they are. (Also comparing me to those who are “more depressed”.)
#5 You get blamed for no fault.
#7 Your self esteem is crippled. Your partner constantly tells you how bad or worthless you are.
#10 The humiliation.
#11 Big demands.
They set unreasonable expectations and make big demands from you.
#19 Emotional memories. Your partner constantly reminds you of all the times you’ve screwed up each time there’s an argument or a discussion.
#20 Your achievements don’t matter. Your partner glorifies even the smallest of their achievements and proudly brags about it. But on the other hand, no matter what you achieve or do, your partner always mocks your achievements and makes you feel silly for celebrating it.
#21 Denial. Even when you point out their emotionally abusive ways, your partner doesn’t accept their emotionally abusive ways as a flaw. Instead, they convince themselves and try to convince you that they’re doing all this only to help you become a better person and stand on your own feet.

I don’t know what the future holds. I know it will hold a lot of ups and downs. I know that depression will always be a part of my story and a part of who I am. I hope that I will continue to be able to make the distinction between it and me, but I also know that abusers are crafty and that I might not sometimes. I believe that the more I dig and the more artifacts I discover, the more I will be able to separate myself from the depression, even if the depression is here to stay. So, even though I feel like crap today and told Facebook that I was having a hard time humaning and was, instead, turning into blankets, I feel so much clearer than I did last year. And I’m holding on to that feeling.

Depression/Anxiety

I am so, so sad today.

Logo

I am rarely hit so hard by celebrity deaths, but losing Robin Williams was, as someone on Facebook said, a punch in the childhood. His suicide has renewed the cultural discussion on depression and that is a good thing – so long as people listen with compassion to those who have experience in this area. The minute you start throwing out words like “coward” or “selfish” or saying that he just wasn’t as strong as everyone else the conversation is halted. From that point on, no one listens anymore and the words of those who really understand are minimized or disqualified. And that makes me angry.

I recently wrote about how I am coming out of a bad place. A place where I wholly believed I’d seen the only happy days of my life and I’d never be really happy again. It was a bad place. And I wasn’t even close to suicide. I can’t even imagine the level of despair that a person must have to get to to reach that place.

Here’s the thing: depression lies. I wasn’t suicidal and I still couldn’t see the truth. If someone had told me that good days would come back, I would not have been able to even HEAR them over the depression screaming at me about how terrible everything would always be. I was so fucked that I didn’t even realize until I came out of it, that those were conscious thoughts I was having. I mean. I might have even verbalized those thoughts, but it didn’t make me aware of them. Depression is like that person that tries to pick fights in your family and they isolate you and tell you what everyone else is saying but don’t let you actually speak to those people and clarify things yourself – except that it’s keeping your own mind and soul from you. It’s like those estranged parents I always heard about growing up who would abduct their own children and say, “Mommy didn’t want you anymore” often enough until the child finally believed it. Except that it’s your own brain telling you that your heart left forever.

And I wasn’t even close to suicide.

I don’t know what to say, guys. If your ears aren’t open and listening to your fellow humans when they need you, if your heart isn’t open with compassion… then you’re the real problem here. End of story.

FYI: Since it is sometimes hard or impossible for people to bring up the subject of their own suicidal thoughts here is a list of warning signs. Talk to your loved ones if needed. And you know what? It’s gonna be fucking HARD. And it’s gonna feel shitty. But if they know you’ve got their back no matter what, maybe you can save a life.

And if you are struggling with depression and think of suicide as an option, please know that you are valued and needed and that we – I – want you here on this Earth.

I don’t know if it’s the sad news I can’t tear myself away from, or if it’s the fact that it’s so hot again this week that I don’t want to cook or move (especially because not doing basic daily things can be a trigger for me), but today I am having a hard time remembering that tomorrow I might actually feel great. Today the depression is louder than my logic. So I am going to do some things for me:

1. Tell you guys how I am feeling.
2. Stop listening to the news about Robin Williams for now, even if it means staying off the internet.
3. Be extra nice to me today even if all I can do is breathe.

I hope that, if you are having a hard time right now, you join me in doing some things for you. Knowing you’re out there will help me, maybe I can help you.

Depression/Anxiety, Geek

Um. Hi.

So I had that major breakthrough moment almost a month ago. And, while there is still some depression, and varying amounts of anxiety, and while I’m looking into meds to treat all that, I am still feeling worlds better. It’s profound how terrible I felt. I wholly believed that I’d never have a good year again and that everything would always be terrible for the rest of my life. All that shit has been lifted and I can think more clearly and see positive possibilities on the horizon after all. Thank god.

But I haven’t been writing here.

Because I’ve mostly been playing video games.

And video games are weird, you know. Cause, like, Hermione will be trying to save Harry’s life during that quidditch match where Quirrell was trying to, you know, kill him, but first Hermione’s got to stop and put up decorations along the way.

I feel like I should make some sort of joke about her priorities here. But I feel like that’s already been done.

(I AM HILARIOUS, YOU GUYS.)

And then I’ve been playing the Sims. Because I heard someone say it, and someone else said “Lost” and naturally my first thought was I SHALL GIVE SAWYER AND JULIET THE HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER THAT THEY DESERVED. Except then Sawyer drove somewhere in his car and walked home and I looked EVERYWHERE for that damn car and could NOT figure out where he parked it. Several Sim-years later I found the car. In his pocket. I mean. I know Sims have a really hard time, say, using the bathroom if there is, for instance, a plate on the floor in the way. But I do believe that forgetting you put your car in your pocket is a new low.

It helps me feel better about my problems. I mean. There’s still a ton of shit going on that I have to somehow deal with, but at least I don’t accidentally leave my car in my pocket.

Children of Hoarders, Delving into the Psyche, Depression/Anxiety, Onwards, Spirituality, The Zebra

It’s like that Greek myth where Pandora cracked open Zeus’ brain and all the crazy came out, leaving him refreshed and way less assholey.

The sunbeams were crazy awesome tonight.  Like the sun was grasping desperately before being dragged down into the underworld against his will. Or something less demonic. Whichever.  Adjusted in #snapseed

I’m in the midst of cracking shit open right now. The cauldron of my psyche is boiling and shit’s bubbling up to the surface that I never knew or consciously realized. I feel like I’ve been in that dark forest that a hero is supposed to head into to fight the monsters and I’m finally finding my way to the caves where the monsters live instead of just hiding in the darkness, too overwhelmed with all the new sensations to move.

I think my writing style is to throw as many metaphors into as small a space as possible with the intent to dizzy my prey readers into thinking I’m a better writer than I am?

Ahem.

As a child, I definitely had perfection issues. If I created something and didn’t like it, I considered it a failure. More often, if I created something and never finished it, I considered myself a failure. But when I was around middle school-age I started noticing imperfections in others around me and I saw that they could be beautiful. Messy handwriting, a botched-then-fixed art project, an unconventionally-beautiful body shape. And the more I began to notice imperfections, the more I began to realize that perfectness is bullshit. So I let all that shit go.

Except. Just a few weeks ago I realized that for the past few years I have been clearly and consciously, and very seriously, trying to choose what my character flaw will be. Will it be my flakiness? That’s adorable and forgivable. Maybe it’ll be my various superstitions – eccentricity is quirky and cute. It could even be my anxiety. I fucking love my anxiety. It defines me and I don’t even know who I’d be without it. The anxiety has to stay. (To be clear – there is actually zero sarcasm in that last point. Which is probably super fucked up.) But I cannot allow my other flaws – my desperate need for constant approval, my inability to be there for people when they need me sometimes, the fact that I sometimes miss jokes if they are too dry – those things have got to go.

So. Um. Maybe I still have perfection issues after all?

I have a fear of failure that I have been unknowingly nurturing and nourishing in the dark recesses of my mind. Coddling it and encouraging it to grow by secretly promoting this perfect me I wanted to create. The more I focused on becoming perfect in all the ways I felt needed to be perfect, the more anxious I became. Trying to hold it all together like a 1960’s Tonight Show guest with a few too many spinning plates, running more and more frantically between them. It’s exhausting.

I imagine that perfection is a goal that my Child of a Hoarder self set for me. From one extreme, I believed I needed the other.

I am pretty open about my various traumas, but I am seeing now that there are things I am still unwilling to talk about, at least until I feel I have a more perfect understanding of them, or a more perfect control of them, or a more perfect acceptance of how imperfect they are. I’m afraid to talk about dating in case a guy might not like me and my friends realize that I’m unlikeable, I’m afraid to show my personal creative writings to friends in case they find out I’m no good at it. I’m afraid to ask too much of people in case I become a burden and they stop loving me.

But obviously this keeps me imprisoned with only myself as cellmate, and I’m not always nice to me, or reliable in the things I tell to myself. And I don’t want that life. So I am forcing myself to write about things and talk about things. Transparency keeps me sane.

Those character flaws I considered keeping grew bigger and stronger, became my jailers, pacing back and forth in front of my cell all night long (and all my days were nights). I remember at one point last summer, in my deeply religious fear of Murphy’s Law, I nearly panicked when I dropped something and commented, “Dammit, gravity!” For a moment, I was literally afraid gravity would hear me and, just to prove a point, stop working and everything would float away. I immediately caught the ridiculousness of the thought and laughed it off. Mostly. A kernel of that fear lingered.

It is because of that general thought process, I think, that my entire spirituality has been shattered. Caught between the atheistic beauty of the tangible world and the metaphysical mysteries that also ring true for me, I couldn’t orient myself. And I was afraid to publicly stand for something that might not be understood by everyone. So I turned to science because no matter what science is unfailingly there and real and right. But in the process I lost my faith. After all, if there is no bigger message in the world, than what are the gifts I have been given? Why was I granted sanity when my mom wasn’t? If there’s no ultimate purpose, then maybe I am just a spoiled child? I still don’t know any more than I did before about what my spiritual thoughts and leanings are, but at least I can now see the pieces on the floor for what they are and I can take time to put them together in new ways to see what fits for me.

But I honed the good traits until I was crazy, too. My desire to see all sides of every story is a beautiful and important trait to have, but it grew so strong that I could no longer see which side was my side. Like a tulip made of glass mirrors, each petal was broken and on the floor, reflecting every thought I might have on a subject. I had no sense of north, again with no way to orient myself. I couldn’t find me anymore, lost in a sea of concern for balance and justice that was more important than having an identity of my own.

Over the last couple of years I’ve stopped talking and writing. All of these things were growing like weeds and muzzling me. Sometimes I was too afraid to speak, but sometimes I just didn’t know where to begin. Interestingly, over the last year, I’ve become physically weaker, I’m in more pain, I hardly sleep, my depression and anxiety are through the roof, I’ve been sicker, and I’ve gotten fatter. By coincidence (or divine intervention?), I got the chance to participate in an interview for an upcoming series on NPR about the ACE study. I met with the doctor here who has been working on this for close to 30 years, and we talked about how childhood emotional trauma can affect our physical selves as adults. Science has found a link. It’s there. It’s clear. But because it’s so intangible, I tend to discount it. I feel like it’s crazy to find connections like that, despite the fact that, apparently, they are there. Despite the fact that I have seen connections like that over and over in my own life and body, I still wonder if I’m making up excuses (probably, hilariously, a leftover trait of my childhood trauma. How appropriate).

I don’t know what science might have to say about Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body, but I looked up “feet” because I’ve been having various problems with mine – from internal pains to the fact that I cannot stop dropping things on them. The suggestion was that feet problems can mean that you are standing, or lingering, in grief. AND HOLY FUCKING HELL AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH.

All of this has come up in the past few weeks. And a lot of these words came out of my fingers tonight in the past tense, suggesting that I am healed from this Crazy. The truth is that I probably have more to travel on this particular trip into the dark corners of my psyche. Hell, the last few days have been a whirlwind of emotional highs and lows. But I do feel like a major shift has happened. Like I’ve got a map, or a flashlight, or like at least I know the monsters I have to fight on this journey.

I can’t ever stop talking or writing, you guys. It’s dangerous, both psychologically and physically. Now here’s hoping that pain in my foot goes away. You hear that, Psyche? I’m leaving the grief behind.

Children of Hoarders, Delving into the Psyche, Depression/Anxiety, The Zebra

Where I get emotionally naked for you.

oak leaves

For most of my life, I didn’t actively choose my life’s direction. I have often described it as allowing myself to be carried by the current of my own personal river, or by following the strong, yet subconscious, pull of my own Oak Tree. I don’t know if this was a good thing or a bad thing, to just allow myself to be passive about where I went. Is it even passive? Or is it highly intuitive? Is it a result of having been raised in an abusive home? That I had to let go and just go wherever Life took me? Or that my conscious mind shut down and allowed my intuition to guide me? My inner core of self-hatred would tell you that I’m just lazy and undriven. I don’t know what the real reasoning is or whether it is a good or a bad thing – and right now in my life, I’m right on the cusp of fully believing either (or both). Although I may have some regrets and, if I had the chance to re-do some things in my life, I might find that tempting these days, ultimately I do acknowledge that every thing I’ve done had led me to where I was supposed to be.

peaceful river

But I’m a grownup now (it took me longer than most people) and I felt like I should make some decisions about where my life should go. Last year I made some major changes and intentions for what I wanted my life to be and where I want it to continue to go. And this past year has been really, really hard. I feel like I’m suddenly swimming against a very strong current in my River. And I can’t help but wonder if that means that The Universe doesn’t want me making my own choices. I resent that idea. I want to be able to choose my own life now. I want to go to school and find a career and maybe not be broke someday.

And then how much of this is a desire to JUST BE NORMAL FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE? A side-effect of growing up in a hoarder home is that I’ve always been desperate to live in a way that at least appears to be a regular middle-class lifestyle. As I write this I am realizing this is also tied directly to my intense need to always be liked by everyone. My self-worth is the same as my appearance or the appearance of my home. (This is why I need to never stop writing. Remind me, okay?) So maybe The Universe feels I need to live an unusual and quirky life, and it’s trying to steer me from the life that isn’t supposed to be mine?

Fuck if I know.

I just wish I knew what I’m supposed to do next. What my direction should be, or whether I should stop trying to pick a direction at all. When I decided to get divorced, I was heading into a long tunnel I couldn’t see all the way through, but even then I felt more sure of myself than I do now. At least a tunnel only has one way to go. These days I feel more like I’m lost in a misty forest – I can see a lot of way to go, and I can guess at some of the outcomes, but I don’t know which path is mine or if I’ve even stayed to the one path or if I’ve skipped around, confusing the issues at hand. Does anyone know where the manual to my Life is? Can I get another copy from my manufacturer? I think I’ve lost mine.

(If you can count and navigate all those metaphors, you win a cookie. But a theoretical cookie. Unless you’re local and I’ll see you soon in which case just remind me and I’ll bring you some cookies. There are these really good gluten-free ones at Costco these days.)

Depression/Anxiety, This Shit is Thursday as Fuck

Where I get all overdramatic about things.

I am always surprised by the sound two cars make when they try to share the same coordinates in space and time. It’s a BANG, not a CRASH. The word crash is too gentle, and too long-lasting. Crash ends with a shush, much too peaceful for the meaning, particularly when applied to large chunks of metal colliding. Cars don’t crash. They BANG. Begins and ends before you realize what’s happening and all your brain can come up with is, “NO.”

Fuck you, too, Friday.

The good:

It so far seems like the guy’s insurance is covering it and making my life easy(ish) (KNOCK WOOD).

I’m relatively unharmed and my foot that got shoved under the gas pedal is gonna heal just fine.

The kids weren’t with me.

My frappuccino didn’t spill. Although I left it in the car until my car was actually being loaded onto the flatbed because it just felt too First World to be calling the highway patrol with a frappuccino in my shaky hand.

The less good:

My car may take up to four weeks to fix. And while rental cars are novel in some ways (and while this one is like brand-spanking new which smells nice), I really just want my car back. I used to grumble about back-up cameras and how they were stupid but I was so wrong and I want mine back. So I can back up.

The accident also seems to have sort of kick-started my anxiety again. I mean, to be honest, it was lurking there, threatening, for awhile now. But this is a little different. My emotions aren’t necessarily connected to my anxiety which is a new thing for me, and I wake up with unconnected feelings of anxiety at nights now. I don’t really know how to handle that. Except to watch a lot of Scrubs. Which is mostly okay except for the few episodes which convince me I’m dying and I have to remind myself that this is a sitcom and not actually a diagnosis.

Last week was ridiculously difficult to get through. It was already going to be busy, but then I wound up having to deal with various accident-related issues for hours and hours on top of the good stuff like birthdays and the tour of the public television station (Steven Keaton shout-out!). I actually thought that if I had to do one more thing I would literally turn into butterflies like Movie Voldemort did at the end of Deathly Hallows. And then the anxiety was there, complicating things. I couldn’t keep my attention on things, and I forgot details and the poor insurance adjusters had to remind me like six times to scan a copy of the receipt for the new booster seat. It took me literally half an hour of being lost to finally find my way to KPBS. I was late to everything by at least 20 minutes. Perhaps as evidence of what I am trying to express here, I have forgotten what the point of this paragraph was. Except maybe to brag about how I got to tour the PBS station here. Cause I did. In case you missed that detail.

Oh I think my point was just that I barely functioned last week. I was a huge mess. I’m still up and down. And I’m so sick of the word “depression”. I feel like I should have new and exciting problems rather than the same old ones that bore everyone to death. Basically, I feel like I’m terrible at picking problems to have? I don’t know. I’m becoming incoherent and I have two weeks of school to do this week. You know what helps depression? NOT SOCIOLOGY. People are the absolute worst. But that’s what I’m going to do now.

I was talking to a friend and telling her that this is the third time that this has happened to me. I mean, the third time I’ve been rear-ended and it was a big enough deal to go through insurance. She has not, apparently, had the same experience. So the question is, am I a magnet? What is a normal amount of times to be rear-ended? Readers, I need your answers.

Depression/Anxiety, Edumacation, Holidays, The Zebra

I exist. Possibly. Most likely.

Marie Callender's is pretty.

Right now I’m taking three accelerated-speed classes. Which is, I think, the equivalent of like six classes. That’s difficult enough, but just as these classes started in October I got sick. And I haven’t not been sick since. And these are bad respiratory things. One I ended up in urgent care with a prescription for an inhaler and cough syrup that made me fall asleep. The most recent one I muddled through with extra naps each day. And last night I had a research paper due for my history class. I feel like I’ve done nothing the last three weeks except study, sleep, and feel guilty that I’m neglecting my kids.

However difficult this has been, though, my depression seems to have lifted. When I pause for a moment and ask myself how I’m feeling – no matter what my current emotion is – there is a light undercurrent of not-depressed there. And it feels fucking fantastic. I think I’m too superstitious to outright call it happiness, but that is what it is (KNOCK WOOD, OKAY, UNIVERSE? KNOCK WOOD).

I have a couple more weeks of these classes but without that paper looming overhead, and with the possibility (PLEASE?) of good health on the horizon, I feel like I might possibly get caught up and live a normal, if busy life.

Today I went out to the movies with my kids and their dad, and then we went out to eat at Marie Callender’s which was a surprisingly pleasant experience on Thanksgiving. And then I came home and spent the rest of the day by myself. And it’s been pretty nice, actually. I caught up on some cleaning and laundry. I went to hang Yule lights on our balcony and I was bummed to find out the outlet out there wasn’t working. So I went to go flip some switches but I couldn’t even figure out which switch was for the balcony. So I gave up. But when I came back out into the living room, they were on! I call that a Thanksgiving miracle! Or maybe a serious electrical problem! One of those! Then I put up the tree and had some smoked English cheddar because smoked English cheddar. And you know what? Life is pretty lovely today.

Here’s to up and up! Happy Thanksgiving!

CHRISTMAS

Depression/Anxiety, Lady Links, This is a Woman

Lady Links 10.25

I’m sorry. I can’t win at life. I can’t even lose at life. I can only just barely life. I was to depressed last week to post Lady Links and pretty much too depressed today, too. But seeing as how my other option is studying, have some links.

I am the worst right now. I’m so sorry.

~TIAW on Tumblr and Pinterest.
~Maria Kang is the woman who posted a picture of herself with her three kids and her socially-accepted-idea-of-perfect body with the caption “What’s Your Excuse?” Now here’s the thing. GOOD FOR YOU, MARIA. Living a healthy life that makes you feel good. Awesome! I love it! However. By representing her happy life with pictures of her body she is, perhaps inadvertently, equating her body shape and size with happiness and insinuating that this is what we all strive for or should be striving for. By asking her readers what their excuse is, she is implying not only that we are making poor choices that are inferior to her choices, but that we all have the possibility of looking the way she does if we weren’t so lazy. Which is, of course, not true. But – and this is really the crux of everything related to fat-shaming – IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT EXCUSES THERE ARE. IT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER IF THERE ARE EXCUSES. It is none of anyone’s business what anyone else looks like. NONE. No. It’s not. Nope. Still not. Here’s a post I shared earlier this week with SOAM’s facebook page (which got me accused of fit-shaming and OH MY LORDY REALLY? If you think I am fit-shaming, you need to reread this until you, like, actually understand what I’m saying here). ANYWAY. This is the best response I’ve seen to Maria’s statement. Read it. Let it open your mind.
~I love this woman.
~On little girls and body image.
~This is the worst thing ever. Go find some bunnies to look at to cleanse your brain before you read it.

Maybe it’s all the dairy I’ve had lately, but I’m feeling like I’m not making much of a difference in the world here with these links. I don’t know. Let me know if there’s a point to me continuing or maybe I’ll focus on other things.

/emo (only, if I’m being honest, it’s probably not actually the end. I’m so sorry.)

Depression/Anxiety, Happy Things, I Own a Home. WTF?, This is a Woman

Happy Things: Round 2

Happy Thing: Heart-Shaped Coffee

Oh look! It’s me not blogging!

I hate being a broken record. When I have to work my way through something, I get sick and tired of hearing myself use the same words to describe it over and over again. I suppose that using certain words is a normal part of psychological growth and healing, but holy crap I wish I would just shut up.

And so here I am not blogging about where I’m at in my life. Because it’s fucking boring. Blah blah blah depression. Blah blah blah loneliness. Blah blah blah anxiety. Because I don’t want my blog to be everything I hate about me, and I don’t want it to be a broken record.

I’m also having a hard time talking about it because I’m supposed to be happy right now. I bought a home and it’s lovely (and it is) and that’s exciting (and it is) and this is a time full of new beginnings which are supposed to be happy things (and they are). I feel like so many people are so excited about this for me that I’d be letting them down if I feel anything different.

And to complicate things, I actually do feel all the things I’m “supposed” to be feeling, but I’m also feeling all those key words I’m so sick of writing about.

And so here I am. Struggling to get by. Some days are pretty good. Some days are cloudy and hard. Logic and instinct tell me that this will pass as I settle into a routine and get used to all the changes. And I know that they (the logic and the instinct) are right. But the depression and the anxiety are big fat liars that terrify me with thoughts of never recovering.

In the mean time I think I might get back to my Happy Things project. From now until the end of the year (at least). It was like a meditation for me. To take a moment and dedicate it to at least one thing that brought me joy. To photograph it and make art out of it made it my daily prayer.

Does anyone want to join me? I think I’ll do it all on Instagram this time (since I’m still avoiding my big camera since it’s broken and I’m afraid it’s broken forever). We could use one of those newfangled hashtag thingamajigs people use to find each other’s projects or something. What do you think? Are you in?
UPDATE: the tag will be #findinghappy2013 Hope to see you there!

Being a Mom, Depression/Anxiety, I Own a Home. WTF?, The Zebra

One Green Bedroom

Someone's a comedian.

My son thinks he’s hilarious.

(He’s right.)

I amuse me.

(He gets it from me.)

upload

I put the kids to work with the painting. It was helpful to me, but there was a lot of screaming and tears (my son is a perfectionist who doesn’t handle mistakes and/or dripping paint very well). So I made a rule about how we aren’t allowed to scream unless there’s blood or fire. Or maybe if you’re the mommy and you just really need a good scream.

Dying.

Because. Really. I kind of need a lot of good screams right now, but it’s too hot and muggy to bother. I don’t know why the Universe wants me to move and/or clean out houses in the middle of summer, but that’s how things seem to work for me. Of the six times I’ve moved in my adult life only once has been not in July or August. And many of these occasions have been entirely out of my control. Landlords (more than one) pushing back move-in dates for one to four months (no. really), my mom’s death, this six-month-long short sale. Like. I don’t know what the message here is. But clearly it’s something. Something sweaty.

Done. Except for trim.

But things are moving along. I hope they are moving along in a timely fashion. I have cycles of emotions right now. Moments where I feel confidant things will work out, and moments where I lay awake all night panicking about all the things that still have to come together.

At least I’m still adorable with the labeling of the boxes.

Another Furby.