I’ve decided to get up close and personal with my Depression. Turns out it’s name is “Oscar”, and he is a beast.
A Dreadifuss Beast.
From now on all my monsters shall be known as Dreadifuss Beasties, unless they prove themselves to be something else entirely. Which is unlikely, because they suck.
Oscar the Dreadifuss Beast and I are communing with nature this weekend. Yes, we are on retreat! At this very moment I am sitting in a yellow plastic Adirondack chair (except it is plastic, which means, by definition, it’s not an Adirondack chair…) approximately 4 feet away from the Big Thompson River and about a mile away from the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park.** And I am blogging…. God I love wi-fi. And the internet.
It is gorgeous here. The river is running really high, which is a little scary, but that also means it’s really loud, which I love. It almost drowns out Oscar’s voice-o-doom….
but not quite….
Oscar: “I fucking hate nature. I want to go back home and straight into our bedroom and under the covers. Plus there are people here and they want to chat. Let’s go home, can’t we just go home now?”
Me: “I love it here, but you are totally welcome to leave at any time. I don’t even understand how it is possible for you to exist when I’m in such a lovely, peaceful place.”
Oscar: “Nice try. I’m not leaving you now, or ever, for that matter. You should know that by now. If years of medication and therapy hasn’t worked to get rid of me, a little sunshine and communing with nature is sure as hell not going to motivate me to go anywhere. That is just crazy thinking, Kim. We need to go home.”
Me: “How ironic that you accuse me of “crazy thinking”….. You ARE crazy thinking! AARRGGH! I hate you. I don’t want you to be part of me. I hate everything about you. You’ve stolen so much of my life that I can never get back, I’m not letting you steal this experience. We’re staying.”
Oscar: “Interesting. If you had paid any attention to any of the obsessive reading you’ve been doing about depression, you would know that I am not just “crazy thinking”, I am an actual brain disorder, a physical problem with the structure of your actual brain and I would appreciate it if you would keep that in mind. Furthermore, I hate you too.
I haven’t stolen anything from you — what did you have to steal? You’re fat and lazy and incompetent, a really bad mother (and sister and daughter, and auntie, and, sweet mother of JESUS, did you ever suck as a wife) you’re horrible with money, a slob (borderline hoarder) and I don’t know how you ever had a job or a relationship. You’re a fraud. You don’t even deserve to be here, in this beautiful place. For one thing, you have no income. You can’t afford to “take a break” and you really don’t need one. A break from what? Unemployment? A break from not taking care of the shit you should be taking care of? A break from reality TV? Maybe the world needs a break from you and your awfulness.”
Me: “Wow. You’re going easy on me today…”
Oscar: “Well. I don’t want people to think I”m a total dick.”
Me: (snort/laugh) “Right. It’s important to protect your image. Obviously I don’t want people to think my mental illness sucks, because that would just reflect badly on me.”
Oscar: “Exactly. Just one more thing about you that sucks. By the way, have you noticed how old you look?”
Me: “What? Where did that come from?”
Oscar: “Are you not seeing your reflection on the computer screen? That old woman with the stupid hat on and multiple chins is you. Gross! We need to go inside immediately, I think you are scaring nature.”
Me: “Oh. I do see more than one chin. Thanks for pointing it out, asshole…. Anyway – I doubt I am offending nature, Oscar. Have you ever seen a platypus? Or one of those monkeys with it’s butt hanging out all red and bare naked? Nature loves that shit.”
Oscar: “Yet you disgust her. Let’s go go go go go away and save nature from your presence.”
Me: “I’m starting to notice the incredible lengths you will go to in order to convince me that I’m awful and useless. It’s kind of embarrassing when I see it in black and white on the page. I think maybe I am not as bad as you say that I am. I think maybe I’m starting to be done with you. I would like to know what life could be like if you were properly managed. I would love it if I could see what life would be like with a different — dare I say “healthy” — brain, but I don’t think my insurance will cover a brain transplant, plus, ewwwww.”
Oscar: “You are awful and useless. You say you want to “manage” me, but you’re just going to stop taking the antidepressants? AWESOME. That gives me even more room to work my magic…. What an idiot. Honestly. Don’t you know that going off meds is crazy? Are you smarter than your psychiatrist now? What a joke. What next? Are you just going to sit by a river and expect that to “manage” me? OH, maybe you’ll take up praying too. That would be super-effective….NOT.”
Me: “No. I’m not going to just sit by a river and hope I get better. I have A PLAN, Oscar. And I’m not ruling out medication. I’m just trying to see where my “baseline” is without it and I don’t think that is totally crazy. I realize that is exactly what crazy people probably say when they stop taking meds, but still, I don’t think it’s that crazy for me. I guess we will find out. And guess what else, smarty-mcfuckpants…. I think I will take up praying (in some form that probably looks a lot like meditation or soul writing) and I think it just might help. It can’t hurt.”
Oscar: “If there is a “GOD”, which I doubt, why would he/she/it help you? What have you ever done to deserve help from God?”
Me: “I was born, Oscar. Turns out that is enough. I am worthy and deserving just the way I am, and I always have been. Bet you never thought I would figure that out.”
Oscar: (almost speechless with shock….) “What? Where did you hear that? Someone is blowing sunshine up your ass, sweetheart. You are the definition of “not worthy.”
Me: “Yes. You’re right. Jesus has been blowing sunshine up my ass. I was hoping no one would notice, but nothing gets past you, Oscar.”
Oscar: “That’s disgusting. And sacrilegious. Now you are even more not worthy.”
Me: “It was a joke, Oscar. I would never let Jesus near my ass.“
And that is how things are going with Oscar and I today. It’s super fun.
Time for a nap…. OUTSIDE. In nature, dammit.
* Or maybe you just didn’t grow up here. Or maybe you grew up here, but didn’t have a TV or radio, which seems unlikely. How could you not know the jingle “My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R, my bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R, I love to eat it every day and if you ask me why I’ll say…… cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A. 🙂
** I’m staying at “Idlewilde on the River” (www.idlewilde.net) outside Estes Park, otherwise known as heaven on earth.