Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Birthday Blues

So today is my birthday.

It’s not an ‘odometer year’, but it still feels like a big one.  Let’s call it a speed limit year.  I recall when my father was this age he was eligible for a senior ‘free coffee’ discount at Roy Rogers (remembering Roy Rogers also makes me feel old).  I think that senior discounts were sort of a novelty then, because he was weirdly excited about it.  Of course, when he filled out his card they asked if my Mother would like one too, and he immediately said no – I think he was oddly protective of her, and didn’t want to make her feel old.  Aging is weird.

As of next month, if nothing changes,  I will be officially menopausal.  This means that I can declare myself a crone.  The fact makes me laugh out loud, but still…  Aging is weird.

I’m getting tons of birthday wishes on various social media platforms.  Both from people I see all the time and those I haven’t seen in years.    It’s really nice, mostly, but there’s still this shadowy corner in my mind which is full of negative comments, ranging from snarky to toxic.  Depression is weird.

So I’m trying to acknowledge the complexity of the whole thing, allow myself to have mixed emotions (because denying them is never a good idea), and enjoy the positives. Honestly, most of the negatives  come from the fact that I’m not where I’d like to be at this point in my life.  My best bet is to try to make sure I remember the good while acknowledging the bad.  I have plenty to complain about (I’m looking at you job situation, and you gall stones), but so much more to celebrate (I have a messed up family which really loves me, and crazy friends who accept me as I am, and a world which is beautiful and interesting all at the same time!)

Weird fact – a mug of Deathwish coffee has enough caffeine to generate the same sensation my dosage of Adderall used to when I was taking it.  Not sure if will help with the ADD (I can never notice that from the inside), or if it will lead to the end of day crash (that one I do notice).

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As I’ve mentioned before, I deal with depression. I’m currently doing it without professional assistance, but I do have a support network, and I take St. John’s Wort and try to use the skills I got from REBT in my daily life.

One of the things I keep remembering is the story of the Two Wolves. It’s a really positive image. More, it’s a great bit of imagery, and it serves as a reminder that every time you follow a thought chain you are building a path in your brain. For me, this doesn’t so much mean that I never follow my mind into dark places, or forbid myself negative feelings (yeah, you can really hurt yourself that way too) but I do make a conscious effort to keep most of my mental trips grounded, and I make sure to indulge in wishful thinking every now and then. Try to use all those different emotional muscles, so they don’t atrophy.

Still, because I’m perverse, and because I reject the idea that a wolf could be evil, now and then I allow that story to morph a bit. The ‘bad wolf’ is more like a wendigo. You think you are feeding it ‘the enemy’ by villifying those who have wronged you. You even get some energy back in the form of renewed anger. Do it long enough, though, and you’ll be feeding it all the time, and that ‘righteous’ anger you get back is all that sustains you. Do it long enough, and one day you’ll realize that the flesh you’ve been feeding it is your own…It’s a powerful image, and I’m fond of it, but I think the two wolves image is more suitable for everyday use.

The upshot is, this has really changed the way I approach serious emotional conflicts. I try to stay away from judging the other person, and I take a long, hard look at my own actions and motivations. I also figure out what reconciliation would take, and whether or not the relationship is worth it (not whether the person is worth it – that never works well).

The upshot is  I am (I’ve been told) the least satisfactory person to come to when you need to vent about how terrible your conflict with someone is, especially if that someone is central to your life.   Which is fine with me, because I’m completely unsatisfied to be put in the middle of other people’s conflicts.  I’m as prone as the next person to feed the drama llama from time to time, but I do my best to make sure that llama is grounded in fiction (literature, video, or role playing games) or distant from my life.  I find it’s just better all around.

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Happy Merry… never mind.

The winter holidays are always fraught for me.  Judging from the spike in hit on the ‘depression’ tagged posts here on my blog in the last few days, I’d venture to say that it’s not just me either.  I’m just starting from a position of being on the cranky (and vulnerable) side.

Then, the day before yesterday, I got my first ‘present’:


Because, when I was walking down the steps in front of my house I stumbled, fell, and did this:

MENDEL- LISE - - CR From 12-22-2015 S0 I0

I can barely see it, but there’s a little shadow just above and to the left of my ankle.  Apparently I sprained it so hard that the tendon tore a little chip away from my talus bone.  So I’ll be hurting for three to five days, and in the boot for about three weeks.  I got a flu shot on Tuesday along with the X-rays, so now my arm is sore.  So yeah, holiday fun.

That would have been plenty to deal with, really, but this morning, poor Steve had another flare up of the ‘mystery ailment’ we thought we had sussed out.  Turns out, not so much.  He’s had about four hours of nonstop misery.  Hopefully he’ll be able to sleep today and get through the celebrations tomorrow.

Dottie has been a trooper.  Trying to have a happy family vacation despite the fact that her parents are both on the DL and her sister is in Africa.    The plan is to bake Buckeyes this afternoon.  I texted with Abby this morning and she seems to be having a good time with the other Peace Corp volunteers (they get together at the regional house for the holiday).

So here’s wishing that you have a happy holiday, whatever your tradition is.  I hope that it is full of joy and love and light.  Failing that, I hope that you can keep your sense of humor about you, hold the ice weasels at bay, and remember that the nights will just keep getting shorter and the daylight will return.


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Nothing to See Here, Move Along

This is another of my infrequent posts about depression.  It will be quite morbid in parts (literally so, as it involves thinking about death in general, and suicide in particular).  This is a heads up to those who might be triggered by such thoughts that you might want to skip this post.

To my family and friends, no worries.  I’m not in a bad place, just noodling around.  This was mostly inspired by Podcastle Miniature 85: So Inflamed I Have Left and Podcastle 389: Old Foss is the Name of his Cat.  The stories are sad, and thought provoking, and what follows are some thoughts they have provoked.

If that’s not what you want to read, I’ll be going to the Maryland Alpaca Festival today, so expect more  friendly, yarn centered posts soon.


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F is for…

F is for Forgiveness

I had considered fiction, or fangirl, but I’ve been waving my geek pride flag pretty hard, and I think you can take it as read that it all started with books. So I’m going to talk about something that’s less fun.   It’s personal, it might be a downer, feel free to skip it and come back tomorrow for a lighter post.


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Depression Digression

First and foremost, I’m fine today.  I’m starting off with this because I know it’s hard sometimes for people to understand the difference between “I have depression” and “I’m depressed right now”.  I struggle with dysthymia (a mild, persistent clinical depression), my brain is wired in such a way that I am more likely than most people to fall into one of those deep dark pits of depression.  Something I saw today showed me how and why people who don’t deal with this from the inside can sometimes make those times worse when they are trying to make things better.

Between that, and the recent tragic death of Robin Williams, and the fact that I haven’t posted anything for about a month I decided it was time to post.  I’ll probably post later about how my flag socks have stalled and what I’m doing to bring them back on track.  (They’re going to be beautiful, it will just take longer than I’d like). (more…)

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