Tag Archives: self-help

Yes, this is a new blog theme. And yes, I’m a little cranky. Surprise.

(Note:  This post has nothing to do with Frida Kahlo (as far as I can tell…) but she looks cranky (I think it’s the eyebrows?) and I’m cranky, so the picture resonated with me and voila! here it is, on my blog, without permission from anyone.  I’m sorry.)

I’m not even sure why I’m writing this except that I just spent HOURS trying to find a new blog theme that worked better than the old blog theme and I finally found one I kind-of-sort-of like and I installed it and I feel like I should write a post acknowledging that yes, the blog looks different.

So.

Yes, the blog looks different.  I kinda like it.  I wanted to make it easier to navigate and easier to see the comments and also to leave comments.  Let me know your thoughts, por favor.

In other news:

UGH

There is no other news.

I’m a wee bit cranky, y’all.

For one thing, I think my body and brain are very confused about the fact that we don’t live where there are seasons anymore.  Colorado = 4 seasons.  Mexico (as far as I can tell) = 1 season + some rain sometimes… Last year was the first year I pretty much totally missed winter (except for a few weeks) and now I’ve also missed Spring and am missing Fall.

I hate missing Fall in Colorado.

The days are warm and the nights are cool.  There is excitement in the air.  The quality of the sunlight is different from any other time of year.  It’s completion, harvest, preparing for winter-time.  Fall has always been my favorite time of year.

So I’ve been a bit down about THAT and also just in general.  I mentioned to a friend that I was down and that I was not sure why and she was all “ummm, you’ve had a few losses recently…?”

Oh yes, loss.  Now my mood makes a little more sense.

In the “totally obvious” category is the loss of my artistic genius mommy (who had great hair!)(and who I miss every single damn day, damn damn damn damn) and then there are the other losses — my home, my career (yes, I hated it most of the time, but still, a career of 20 years is over and that is hard in it’s own way), my son (not dead THANK GOD but away at school and, because of the douchebag who stole all my shit, I got to spend virtually NO time with him before I had to come back to Mexico), my home was violated by a person who masqueraded as a friend, double-whammy, and then another friendship that meant a lot to me seems to be over for reasons unknown to me.

LOSS.

It hurts.

And I hate the conversations that go on in my head about this shit:

*****

Me:  “Mom died and I’m so sad.”

Asshole in my head:  “Everyone dies.  You knew she was sick, you had plenty of time to prepare for her death. She’s in a better place. Move on.”

******

Me:  “I miss my baby boy!  It’s like an ache that never goes away and I just want to see him.”

Asshole in my head:  “He’s 20.  He’s in college.  He’s fine.  Why are you living in Mexico if you’re dying to see him?  Kids grow up.  Get over it.”

******

Me:  “I can’t believe that pendejo pretended to be my friend and then systematically stole all my stuff and tried to rent my house to other people and still lied when I conronted him!  That hurts!  I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach.  I feel violated.”

Asshole in my head:  “It’s your own fault, you idiot.  You should never have trusted the pendejo.  Everyone else knew he was a bad seed.  You deserve what you got.”

*****

Me:  “I miss my friend.  I’m sad.”

Asshole in my head:  “You have other friends.  If she were really your friend, she would tell you what is wrong.  You don’t need this drama. Move on.”

*****

You get the picture….

 

Here’s what I want to say to the asshole in my head (and anyone else who thinks like he/she does):

“What you say may be true, and it still hurts. It’s not the end of the world, my life isn’t over, I’m not spending every day lying in bed just waiting to fucking DIE, but it still hurts. So here’s what we’re going to do, you are going to shut up and I’m going to acknowledge the pain, wrap my arms around myself and tell myself everything will be ok, it’s just a little pain, and then I’m going to go the fuck on with my life and try to keep remembering that you are just an asshole voice in my head who clearly wasn’t loved enough as a child.”

🙂

And yes, I realize that I’m talking to no one but myself.

Is that weird?

xoxo

kim

p.s.  so, the pendejo is still “at large” but i finally received the electric bill that he racked up while living here (electricity is very expensive here) — $500 — so that sucks, but i’m glad to get it because once i pay that bill (ouch) the last of HIS damage will be accounted for and over.  expensive lesson.

p.p.s.  i haven’t been to the beach in AGES which makes no sense since that is why i wanted to live here.  i’ve got lots of reasons but none really make much sense.  not sure what is going on there….

p.p.p.s.  partially i haven’t been getting out much because it’s HOTTER THAN FUCK here.  but if i went to the beach it would be breezy and cooler, so that is dumb.

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Filed under grief, My Big Book of Me, Oh Mexico..., Writing and Not-Writing

I’m having a relationship with an iguana who is pretending to be the Buddha. Or the Buddha is pretending to be the iguana. Either way, it’s weird.

This is the iguana who lives on the wall next to my Mom’s house in Puerto Morelos (a/k/a Casa de Colores).

More specifically, this is his head.

To be honest, I don’t actually know if it is a “he”.   Nor do I even know if  it is really an iguana.

But for now, I’m assuming it is a male iguana.

He’s a total peeping tom (see him staring into my living room window?) but I haven’t named him “Tom”.  In my head, his name is “Sue”.

Probably because when I look at him it seems like he might have a lot of issues, not unlike that guy in the Johnny Cash song “Boy named Sue” (“My name is Sue,  how do you do,  motherfucker….”)(OK, Johnny Cash doesn’t actually say ” motherfucker”, but it’s implied… he was super-pissed.)

He’s always like “yeah, I’m an iguana and this is my wall.  Fuck you, transient human beings.”

It’s totally his wall.

He’s been living there for several years.  Maybe a hundred years, I don’t know.  He seems ageless.

Nothing bothers him.  Nothing alarms him.  He doesn’t react to anything.

I can’t win a staring contest with him.

He’s totally focused.  Zenlike.

He meditates a lot.

It’s like he’s mocking my inability to meditate.

He’s all “Oh, look at that human being flailing around and reacting to shit while I just sit here on my wall in perfect, peaceful silence… clearly she has no spiritual life.”

He’s also some kind of ninja iguana.  I can watch him for HOURS and he doesn’t move a muscle, but then if I blink or look away and then look back all of the sudden he’s got like one little leg up in the air.  Just one little green front leg.  Just holding it there.  Acting as if it had always been that way.  No big deal.

Asshole.

He thinks he’s the Buddha for chrissakes.

I’m sure he’s here to teach me some spiritual lesson.

Because God knows I haven’t had any kind of challenges lately.

And of course he is an IGUANA.

Remember how I went to Portland last spring, to Rally! with Havi?   Havi teaches/talks about iguanas kind of a lot. 

In Havi-world, iguanas are the [stupid, crappy, annoying] things you don’t feel like doing.

I didn’t realize how perfect Havi’s metaphor was until I became more familiar with Sue (the iguana.  not my friend Sue, who I’ve never met in person, but who is totally lovely and not iguana-like at all…) 

Iguanas are prickly (and not in the cute hedgehog way, FYI) and scaly and ugh, not cuddly at all. (No offense to the iguana-lovers out there, if there are any, which I doubt….)  Moreover, they stare you down.  You try to go about your life — la di da — tra la la — and there they are, peeking in your windows, invading your privacy and staring you down.  My iguana, Sue, is not even that big, but I’m still totally intimidated by his unrelenting stare.

(Note:  I just opened my back bedroom door and there he is, staring at me from a new place on the wall…Ack!)

So.

To recap.

  • I’ve projected a personality onto this thing that may or may not be an iguana.
  • On one hand I feel he’s pretending to be the Buddha (or the Buddha is pretending to be him….see how that works?) and although I think he is kind of judgy in his Buddha-ness, I also think that I could probably learn a lot from him re: mindfulness.
  • On the other hand, he represents all the shit I am avoiding (little things like my finances, my career, where I’m going to live…) and all the issues I don’t want to deal with, but can never get away from, because, ummm, they are mine.  So they sit out there and stare at me wherever I go, whatever I do.
  • I’m not in therapy right now.

Hmmmm.

It seems the only good news here is that I’m ACTUALLY WRITING.

Woo-hoo!

xoxo

kim

p.s.  The non-memorial party for my sweet mommy was amazing.  I haven’t been able to write about it yet and I’m pretending that is because I haven’t received any of the pictures from the party to post to the blog, but that is probably bullshit.  Maybe I’m just not ready.

p.s.s.  In my defense (ha) I had a house full of guests from last Thursday to this past Thursday and all of that was wonderful and also pretty challenging for someone who recharges by being A-L-O-N-E.  I spent Friday completely cloistered in the casa (which was crazy because it was a ridiculously gorgeous day) and then ended up spending most of yesterday at a committee meeting (yes, there are committees here in paradise!) and then with friends, so this is really the first chunk of time I’ve had to write in awhile.

p.s.s.s.  Actually that is all true and also probably bullshit.  I’m sure I could’ve taken some time to write if I really wanted to.  I mean, if  I want my job to be “writer”, then it seems perfectly acceptable to say “hey, I need to go write for awhile” to guests/friends.  Maybe I don’t want my job to be “writer”?  Ugh and Heavy Sigh.

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Filed under grief, Writing and Not-Writing

Antidepressants: Eleventyseven billion dollars. Cheap Sparkly Bangle Bracelets: Priceless.

 
This post has taken me forever to write.
 
Like, at least four hours yesterday and almost three today.  And I just scrapped my entire last draft.
 
All I’m trying to say is that, despite the fact that I’m terrified that I’m never going to earn actual “income” again, I frivolously spent $9.50 (+ tax) on sparkly bangle bracelets yesterday. 
 
A whole stack of them.  All for me. 
 
And I think they are beautiful.
 
Sparkly greens, sparkly pinks, sparkly oranges, shiny silk coral thread with gold sparklies and probably my favorite one is made entirely of moss green silk thread. 
 
And here’s the thing:
 

They make me happy.

These silly bangles are so sweet/shiny/sparkly/tiny and they sound all “tinkle-tinkle” when I move my arm (normally this would annoy the shit out of me, but not today!) and also they are all “Sparklesurprise!” when I happen to see them out of the corner of my eye.

I fucking love these sparkly bangles. 

I love the way the way they slip around on my forearm, playfully reminding me that I’m a girly-girl at heart. 

I love that they make me think (or maybe remember) that I can be the kind of girl who doesn’t think twice about wearing 14 cheap sparkly bangles on a regular-old-Tuesday in July. 

Mostly I love that looking at these sparkly bangles on my wrist reminds me that, at least for today, I am the kind of girl who (a) has some sparkle and, (b) is not afraid to show it.

Today I am celebrating every hint of sparkle that comes from me (via sparkly bangle or otherwise).  Each little sliver of sparkle reflects a part of me that had to fight like hell through the doom doom doom of depression to even find a little light to reflect.  

I’ve spent like eleventyseven billion dollars over the past 15 years on antidepressants and not one of them ever made me feel as good as these cheap sparkly bangle bracelets.

Alive.  Playful.  Amused.  Grateful.  Curious.  Confident.  Silly.  Sexy.  Girly.  Happy.

These sparkly bangles are priceless.

 
xoxoxoxoxo
kim

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Filed under The Great Anti-Antidepressant Experiment of 2011, Uncategorized

Sometimes I wish I were related to someone who knew something about art or design, so they could just design this fucking blog.

I know what you’re thinking…

Who doesn’t wish they were related to someone who knew something about art and/or design, Kim?  No one, that’s who.”

Or, if you know me, you might be thinking:

“Ummmm, aren’t you always talking shit about your artistic genius mom (with great hair) who, like, uses her fancy MacBook to design amazing stuff all the time (when she isn’t actually painting stuff/making collages/making jewelry/bedazzling everything) and therefore is very familiar with design software and using it to make cool shit?

And you would be right! 

I am always talking shit about how creative and fabulous she is and it’s true that she uses design software in her sleep to create pictures and posters and prints and calendars and pretty much anything you can imagine.

Huh.

You might also be thinking:

“And aren’t you always going on and on, ad nauseum, about how your brother is rich and famous and a brilliant entrepreneur, but more importantly a kick-ass graphic designer who has tons of experience with website design and a finely tuned sense of knowing what it is that other people are going to think is cool long before the other people have any clue?”

Yes, I do that too!  He’s also an internationally famous kick-ass DJ, dontcha know.

Anyway.

All that is true.

And that makes me wonder why my blog design isn’t (a) done and (b) extremely cool and culturally relevant.

Oh sure, my Mom has that whole “ovarian cancer” excuse (also affectionately known as the “C-card”) to explain why she hasn’t been slaving away on creating some fabulous art for my blog and/or teaching me how to do stuff on the design software. 

And I guess my brother is just too insanely busy being the boss at his design firm* and/or hob-nobbing with celebrities and/or having a life, to create a fabulous online presence for me.

I don’t really know, because I haven’t actually asked either of them to help, directly

And, unfortunately,  I may have said something like “DON’T BOSS MY ART!” when my Mom “offered a suggestion” (read: told me that I doing something WRONG, according to her) on my first theme.  This, in hindsight, maybe wasn’t exactly the right response.  What I should have said is “DON’T BOSS MY ART, please” and “maybe you can show me how to use your fancy-pants graphics stuff on your computer some day and then you can be all gloaty about how superior your MacBook is and I can be all “I’m my own artist, thankyouverymuch.”

Win-win, mamacita.

When I started this post, I really just intended to address the elephant in the room, i.e., my ever-changing theme so you wouldn’t think one or both of these things (a) “Am I going nuts?  This theme was totally different 15 minutes ago.” or (b)  “Is Kim going (more) nuts?  This theme was totally different 15 minutes ago.”

And then it turned into wanting to reassure you that neither of us is (completely) nuts AND, I guess, to shame my Mom and brother into helping me.  I mean, you would think that they would be kind of embarrassed about the bad graphic design going on here. 

I know I am and I’ve never even come close to being an award-winning graphic designer, Jonas.

And that is when I realized that I’m passive-aggressive.  Sometimes.  Especially with the people I love the most and/or when the topic is something I’m feeling particularly vulnerable about.

FUCK.

FUCK.

FUCK.

I hate when I have uncomfortable epiphanies while doing something totally benign, like just trying to get SOMETHING posted on my blog, for the love of Gawd.

Insightfulness is not as easy as it looks, people.

xoxo

kim

p.s.  YES!  That “Don’t Boss My Art” picture is something my artistic genius mother (with fabulous hair) just doodled in her journal one day, while recovering from brain surgery. Art just oozes out of her when she isn’t even trying.  When she is trying, it shoots out like water out of a high-pressure firehose, except with more bling and bedazzle.  Anyway, her name is Marguerite, and she owns that art so don’t use it without her permission, or else.

*Ok, Mom says Factory is not some two-bit “design firm”, and she’s offended with how I’ve referred to it.  She’s right, of course,  Factory Design Labs is like a huge bazillion dollar a year full-service advertising agency that represents little brands like, oh, I don’t know, “The North Face” and “Audi” and “Oakley”, to name a few.  What Mom doesn’t understand, since she isn’t a famous blogger, is that I was trying to make it seems like all my brother does all the time is graphic design/web design/whatever it takes to make it seem like it would be super-easy for him to just fucking design this blog in his spare time.  That’s all.  I am fully aware that Factory is a big-ass deal.

 

 

 

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My Depression has a first name…. it’s O-S-C-A-R.

If you have no idea why my headline is super-catchy, you aren’t old enough to be reading my blog and/or you’re anti-American.*

Anyway.

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.

xoxo

kim

*  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.

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On a lighter note, I’m an eccentric creative genius, probably.

One thing I do when I’m not doing anything because I’m so fucking depressed is roam around the world-wide interweb.

Mostly because I fancy myself  a brilliant researcher and, apparently, a Doctor. [Note:  I mean, technically, I am  – cuz I’m a  juris doctor, yo + I am pretty good at researching shit.]  So I’m pretty sure I can figure out what is wrong with me and then get the real doctors to fix me.  Granted, this has led me down a few rabbit holes.  For example, I’m kind of an expert on Cushing’s Disease now.  Turns out I don’t have it, but I can diagnose it in other people.  I know a lot about iodine deficiency (thank you, commenter!) and iron deficiency and adrenal exhaustion (which I totally have, fyi…) and early-onset dementia and Crohn’s disease and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and mercury poisoning and autism and diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and yeast issues and gluten intolerance and why I should probably be a vegetarian and stop drinking Diet Coke.

I know all of this because I really, really want there to be a reason for my depression that isn’t Mental Illness.  And there probably are some physical things contributing to my fatigue/exhaustion/inability to concentrate because, frankly, I haven’t taken care of myself.  (I’ve never been good at the self-care thing, but the past few years since Mom’s ovarian cancer diagnosis have been the worst)  But it’s all so circular — the physical problems contribute to depression and the depression makes it difficult to impossible for me to take care of myself, which leads to more physical problems, and, well, depression.  And guilt.  Because, of course, everyone knows things like “diet” and “exercise” and “leaving the house” are “healthy”, including me.

Anyway, I do a lot of research…. but I haven’t found a physical ailment that seems to explain away my depression.  Heavy sigh.

I realize that, objectively, I actually have good reason to be depressed –  I live with my brilliant artistic mother (with great hair) who is fighting ovarian cancer which means all that shit is coming up for me + I’m going to be an orphan, my grandma (who was like my best friend) died less than a year ago, my other grandma (who was like my Mom’s best friend) died right before my Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I have no job and rapidly diminishing funds and my son just graduated from high school — which is not depressing, but it is a major life change and therefore an issue.

But this isn’t my first depression-rodeo.

Consequently, I know that, while those things suck and are sad and scary, all of that is distinct from the depression with a capital “D” that drains the life force right out of me. [Note:  I’m feeling somewhat dramatic today.]  Depression with a capital “D” is not related to anything outside my brain, it just is.  And it has been here before.  Sometimes (when I’m depressed, of course) I think that depression is my “normal” state and that the times in my life when I’ve been stable and happy/content are the exception to the norm, and, therefore, something to be concerned about.

So, essentially, I’m like Eeyore with a law degree and PMS….

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.

“Why, what’s the matter?” “Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”

“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose. “Gaiety. Song-and-dance.  Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

Just kidding.  I don’t think Eeyore suffered from Depression.  I think he was a gloomy, sarcastic pessimist (with a pink bow on his tail!), but not clinically depressed.  More melancholy-ish.

So, I’m like Eeyore, except more Depressed.

Oh, joy.

On a lighter note, it is statistically likely that Eeyore and I are eccentric creative genius-es…

Yes.  The internet told me that there a remarkable correlation between depression/melancholy and Creative Genius.  There is a really high correlation between bi-polar disorder (which I may or may not have, depending on which doctor you speak to…) and super creative writers, artists, poets,  composers, etc.  But, really, any mental illness will work.  For example, it turns out schizophrenia is a good thing to have if you’re a mathematician. (Personally, I question who in their right mind would choose to even be a mathematician, but that is beside the point and, well, schizophrenics, apparently…)  And we can see what depression did for Michelangelo…(yep, totally depressed while painting the Sistine Chapel). 

Hemingway, Plath, Poe, Tolstoy, Vonnegut = super depressed.  Even Charles Schulz (Charlie Brown!) suffered from clinical depression.

I am not even going to try to summarize the scientific studies that have uncovered the link between Mental Illness and Creative Genius, but, basically, it has something to do with how our brains work  (“we” being human beings, not “we” Creative Genius-es) and how we process stimuli.  Non-linear thinking and emotional vulnerability.  Neurotransmitters.  Stuff like that…

So.  Maybe I haven’t really been avoiding my Brilliant Writing Career, I just haven’t been depressed enough to be inspired?

Well, watch out world, because this Depression is a doozy and might unleash my Creative Genius, finally. 🙂

It’s a theory.

xoxo,

kim

p.s.  I found out that “doozy” is a real word, weird, huh?

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Book of Me: On Doom, Gloom and Utter Depression

I’ve had almost a full week of Doom, Gloom and Utter Depression.  I pulled out of it for an hour or two here and there, but mostly I’ve been right down in it.  Unfortunately this is not a rare occurrence for me.  I’ve struggled with anxiety/depression for as long as I can remember.  So, of course, my “story” is that I struggle with anxiety/depression…  I’m going to work on changing that story, but not today.  Today I want to write to the Me who is enmeshed in Doom, Gloom and Utter Depression.

Doomy, Gloomy and Utterly Depressed?  Read this!!

Oh sweet pea, I’m sorry you’re having a Hard Time.  If you’re reading this you’re probably just starting to feel the slide into the muck, or, maybe you are all the way in it.  I know it is hard and scary and exhausting and makes you feel hollow and horrible and that is before you start beating yourself up about feeling that way.

Here are some things to remember:

  • No matter how horrible this feels today, it isn’t going to last forever.  I promise.  It just doesn’t work that way.  You will pull out of this and come out on the other side where things look a bit brighter.
  • Beating yourself up for having these feelings seems “appropriate” (“Other people don’t have this problem, what is wrong with me?  Snap out of it!”) but totally isn’t.  Would you attack someone else who is struggling with depression/anxiety/whatever?  No, you wouldn’t.  Try to give yourself an ounce of the compassion that you give others.
  • Sometimes this stuff is really just bio-chemical and sometimes it is really, truly emotional and it helps when you figure out what exactly is going on this time.  Because if it is just bio-chemical, you could look at whether something has changed in your medications/sleep schedule/environment that could be causing this Hard Time.  If it is truly emotional, though, no amount of medication/sleep/alcohol/sex/reading/internet use is going to “fix” anything.  You’re going to need to feel the feelings (I know, I know, it sucks….) before things will start to get better. 
  • It is important to feel your feelings without judging yourself for having them.  What good does that do?  Really, drop the judgement and feel the feelings.  You have permission.
  • If you still don’t think you have permission to feel your feelings, no matter what they are, then try giving yourself written permission – maybe on a popsicle stick or sticky note.
  • If you are isolating (and I know you pretty well, so I’m guessing you are isolating yourself) consider not doing that.  Who could you hang out with safely?  Who do you know who wouldn’t judge you, tell you to snap out of it, make you explain yourself or be super perky?  Find that person.
  • Honey, are you avoiding some Big, Bad Awful Thing that you Don’t Want To Do and/or Even Think About Because It Is Too Big Bad and Awful?  (And beating yourself up for avoiding it?) (Thereby making it Even Worse?)  This would not be unprecedented…If you think this might be what is going on, you might want to try to write about it, draw it in all of it’s ugliness and awfulness so you can get a handle on it, try to break it down into itty-bitty bite-sized pieces, imagine how you will feel when it is done already (!) and off your mind.  Things are rarely as Big, Bad and Awful as they seem to be.
  • Remember this is Now, not Then.  What is different about Now?

These things sometime work to make things feel less awful:

  • Seek out sunshine (are you taking your Vitamin D?)
  • Listen to music that makes you happy.
  • Cry.  Aggressively.
  • Watch the Jessica videos (“I Like My Stuff!” and “You ok, you fine”)
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Go for a walk.  Yes, I’m suggesting that you leave the house….
  • Get the mail.
  • Call your sassy, virgo sister.
  • Scream and yell and cuss for a few minutes.
  • Write.  I know you don’t feel like writing, write anyway.  Dude, it always helps.
  • Do laundry.
  • Take yourself to a movie.
  • Read some Hafiz.
  • Locate and consume chocolate.
  • Take a nap.  For real.
  • Do just one thing.

And, Kim, remember that it is okay.  It really is.  Everything is part of everything else, nothing is wasted.

THE END

Sooooooooooooooo, as I wrote this I realized that I have a multitude of things going on this week that might explain my Doom, Gloom and Utter Depression.  First, physical stuff:  Hormone Hell + no anti-depressant for 4 days + not sleeping.  Always a recipe for disaster.  Emotionally:  well, Mom is out of town, so I’m alone in my house which is both awesome and sad because it makes me think of a time when she won’t ever be around.  And I’m avoiding at least two Big Bad Awful Things that I really need to address, but can’t even bring myself to name here.  And my son is going to college soon….?  And Mom’s good friend Joan died.  Which is sad for all the regular reasons but also horrifying because Joan had cancer, then she went into remission, then this winter she got a brain tumor, had surgery, felt better and now she has passed away.  It’s all a little too close to home.  And Mom is so, so sad…. So, yes, I’m SAD, dammit!  And Mom has her MRI next week and I’m SCARED, dammit.  I’m afraid to make any plans whatsoever because I don’t know what is going to happen — either she has more brain mets and has to have Gamma Knife again (and then what?) or she doesn’t and she either gets into a Clinical Trial (long-shot) or goes back to chemotherapy (which makes her feel like shit.)  And, of course, there is the little issue of what I’m doing with my life….?  Oh, and our lease will be up here soon and we haven’t decided whether we are moving, so, basically, everything is up in the air.  And I hate moving.  Anyway.  It’s a lot.

I’m going on a mission for chocolate.

xoxo

kim

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