If their research is true, these three simple lifestyle changes slashes the risk of developing clinical depression 92%. Or, in my case, having dealt with the symptoms of atypical depression nearly all of my life, can put me in remission 92% of the time. Ninety.two.freaking.percent.
Depression is one of the five pillars of the things wrong with me emotionally:
1. undune anxiety
Discovering that depression is manageable without having to deal with the terrifying side-effects of the medications they’d prescribe me was the light of the tunnel I’ve been praying for. And if I can crumble even just oneof those pillars, the whole kit and caboodle will collapse. I’ll have a shot at the only thing I’ve ever wanted: a life with a balanced perspective.
I always feel like I’m running through the forest of life while looking at things through a magnifying glass. Sometimes I catch great details, but most of the time, I just see lots of little things that are either ugly,dirty or unimportant. I want the whole picture that everybody else sees. I’m tired of looking at ants. Where’s the sunrise, the sequoias, the mountains?
I am tired of missing the forest for the trees.
There are two sentences I have written on my dry-erase board in my room:
Lost soul, get found.
Patient, heal thyself.
These two sentences are my current mantras.
I have spent the last two nights fighting these demons. I don’t know if I’m losing or winning the battle yet, but I know I’ve got the strength to keep fighting through Jehovah.
“”My undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for [my] power is being made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
She is a delight— brilliant sense of humour, good storyteller, empathetic listener. What I like about her the most is that fact that she completely owns herself— she is who she is and she sticks to it.
She brought with her one of her friends— a very nice man with beautiful eyes. He was soft-spoken and well-dressed and sweet, sweet, sweet. He also, disappointingly, likes men as much as we do. Perhaps I’ll introduce him to Sam.
We talked about our jobs, our families, our hair, our clothes, religion and relationships.
Amanda said something very insightful about the way I feel about Sal.
"You love him, right?"
"So when you love someone, you put them first. But he doesn’t love you. He puts himself first. So if you’re putting him first and he’s putting himself first, where does that leave you?" She paused. Brandon nodded in agreement. It was put so elegantly. I wish I had thought of it myself.
"You’ve gotta nip that in the bud. They’re gonna be cute, but they’re not gonna mean it. It’s already bloomed. You’ve gotta cut it down."
"Exactly that." she said, laughing. "Relationship RoundUp."
Thank you, Amanda, for coming out and meeting me to give me this gem of wisdom. I hope that we will meet up again soon and have more banana-flavoured microbrew and more heart-to-hearts.
long days/starry nights/ travelling, alone (part two);
Yesterday was very odd.
After two nights of almost no sleep, I slept away Wednesday morning. I woke up with a start in the middle of the afternoon with a runny nose and a headache. I took a quick shower, ate a light breakfast and left the house after finding the internet wasn’t working properly.
I went to Barnes and Noble to get work done, but I found I still couldn’t focus on anything. After an hour of Facebook and fidgeting, I bought a large tea and tried to make plans for the night. Not one of my single friends were free today, and hanging out with married people… well, it’s more complicated. With married people, I hardly ever like both halves of a couple. I either like the wife or the husband. Hanging out with someone else’s husband is not appropriate. Hanging out with a wife usually ends up with her telling me about having to ask her husband. I understand why other single people don’t bother with it.
By three o’clock, I knew that this would be another night where I’d be drinking alone.
As I walking back to my car, a man in a souped-up sedan stopped his car and rolled down his window.
"Excuse me, ma’am."
"Yes?" The tone of his voice made me think he was going to ask me for directions. Instead, he offered me this sweet appeal:
"If I gave you my number, would you call me, please?" He said this with a soft voice and with soft eyes. He had olive skin, a shaved head and a nice smile. "I saw you walking a couple of blocks away." , he added bashfully.
"Oh, you are so sweet!" I said to him. Suddenly I found myself on the verge of tears. "But…but I can’t. I’m sorry."
"It’s okay, ma’am." he said, a bit taken aback by the sadness in my voice. "Have a good day."
I felt sad because he accosted me while I was thinking about how shy and awkward I felt with men. It reminded me of a conversation Abigail and I had before I had left the office.
"I’ve got it." she said suddenly, while we were taking a break.
"Why you feel so shy with men, even that Sal guy that you told me about."
"Well, what you do think?"
"You don’t think you’re beautiful, do you?"
I was a bit struck by this. I don’t discuss it, but that’s basically how I feel. I don’t think I’m hideous…just unremarkable. I never discuss how I look at my appearance through a disaffected lens, but apparently every one else can see it too.
"Well, no, not really." I said this in a passive voice that infuriated me. I paused, trying to collect myself. "I try not to focus on what I look like. I try to look at the person I am within, and whether or not I’m proud of that.” I felt a sense of disgust with how trite the words sounded. Abigail didn’t seem to be buying it either.
I decided to drive around. I didn’t have any destination in mind. I just wanted to get some more air, and perhaps leave my sadness behind on the road.
After driving around Belle Isle and enjoying all of the greenery, I saw an old house with three signs that said “ROOMS FOR RENT”. They were not the kind of plastic signs one gets from the hardware store, either. They were handmade and seemed to be a permanent fixture of the house. One of the signs were fixed to the tree in the yard. I felt intruiged.
The owner of the tumbling mansion was a brown-skinned welterweight with about a month’s stubble, a runny nose and a permanent limp. A lit cigarette dangled out of his mouth. He opened the door and had me take a seat in the cluttered living room.
"I’ve been here 27 years." he said, his voice scratchy from Newports and age. "I rent month-to-month.I’ve got four vacancies. I’ll charge you 325 for the room."
"Can I see the room?"
"Yes. Follow me." He shuffled up the narrow stairs. He noticed that I was watching him limp. "I had hip surgery a short while ago."
"I’m sorry to hear that."
The house is just like many of the houses in the West Village— sprawling, worn-out, sagging with age, but beautiful in its tumbling squalor. Both upstairs bathrooms were missing plaster in the ceiling but were bright with sunshine. The hallway was dark,and the kitchen in the middle of it was bare.
"That sink don’t work. Eventually I’ll fix it." he murmured. "Here’s the room."
He opened the bright red door. Behind it was an airy bedroom with worn furniture— a loveseat, a chaise, a twin-size bed, a dressor. The floor was wooden and had not been sanded in many moons. The bed still had the previous tenant’s linens. There was a steam heat furnance in the left hand corner. The closet was large and cobwebby, with built in dressors, a shelf and a bare light bulb. All the room needed a was a typewriter and an ashtray, and it was a Bohemian’s dream. I’ve already imagined myself there.
"When are you looking to move?" he asked.
Yesterday, I thought to myself. “Within the next six weeks. I’m just looking around right now. Who else lives here, besides you?”
"Three women and an old man downstairs."
"Can I have your phone number?"
He wrote down his name, address and telephone number in warbling but neat handwriting.
"Do you require a deposit?"
"No deposit. Rent’s due on the 1st."
"I’ll call you soon." I promised.
I love that monastic little room in that shopworn house. The only thing that would get me is the secondhand smoke. It seems like the perfect little place to hide out and write a novel until my train comes in.
I drove around a bit more and was accosted by a man looking for bus fare to get back home while in line at White Castle.
"I live in Clarkston." he explained. "My granddad’s in the hospital down here with cancer. I came to see him."
"I can take you to Clarkston." I said, matter-of-factly. The lady running the drive-through seemed aghast. "Don’t do that." she whispered to me. He seemed reluctant to get into my car. I showed him my ID and told him that I am a gypsy cab driver (I am) but that I’d take him for free. I had him show me his papers so I knew he wasn’t a serial killer.
"I live north of here anyway. I’d hate to see you stranded." I was at the New Center-Highland Park border. It’s extremely tough down there.
He didn’t get in, but ended up taking the stash of pennies I had.
"Be careful out here." he said, surprised at my willingness to take in a hitchhiker. But crazier things have happened to me than taking in hitch hikers. I’ve tasted homelessness, lack of transportation and have hitchhiked in this wild town myself. I’ve lived in cheap motels, tumbling houses, with mice and roaches and biting flies. I’ve slept in cars. Poverty and trouble and risk is what I do. This is how I live. I carry an axe underneath my driver’s seat.
I’m not afraid of anything anymore.
I bought a bottle of wine and a shot of jagermeister on the way in. Iris bought pizza when I came home. So that’s how I spent the night—pizza, jager and punk rock music. The other guests at the party were missing, but that’s how it is sometimes a lot of the time. This time last week I thought I was going to be on the road with my bosses on my way down to Atlanta. Instead I drank and now I am waiting for tomorrow. I hope that tomorrow is less solitary.
AS YOUR BLACK HAIR BLOWS AND THE SUN SETS BEHIND THE TREES;
One of these days, I will get another opportunity to tell you how I really feel. I’m confident that the Lord will hear me out on this one, and give me another shot at you, alone, sitting in the grass while you take off your cleats. Surely Jehovah will give me another chance to open up my mouth and let the things my cowardice holds back fall out of my soul and into your (not-so-deaf-as-they-once-seemed) ears and you will look at me, with those wide, hazelish-brown eyes and we will come to an understanding. I am confident that Jah sees my strain over you, and has gotten sick of watching me suffer.
Perhaps our paths will not cross again on that sun-soaked playground called the soccer field. Maybe I’ll run into you in the costume we were both wearing when I fell— me in snug dresses and stiletto heels and seamed stockings;you in dark suits and dark shoes and vests and pocket squares. Perhaps at the next wedding, at the next big talk, at the very next convention, our paths will meet again and I will be able to, properly, tenderly, unequivocally declare to you all of the fire that burns inside of me, the sweet agony that rules me when you are near.
Perhaps I’ll be able to give to you the sweet and heartwrenching confession I was robbed of, instead of the dazed and terse one that was left in its place.
One day soon I am confident that I will be free of the burden of loving you so steadfastly.
It’s funny that they don’t make pink slips anymore, and that they don’t call them “letters of termination” anymore either. They call it a “separation” form… as though you and your job were married. My bosses fired me as their secretary yesterday.
I wasn’t blindsided. I knew it was coming.
They both assured me of their fondness of me, and that it was strictly business.
As for myself? Well, anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention can tell that I’m depressed. I don’t even have much cause. I just don’t feel well. Working in a tiny office with no windows didn’t help. Neither did waking up before 10 AM to fight traffic on I-94 either. And I spend so much time in the car that junk food is a given. Maybe with the pressures of 9-5 work gone, I’ll be able to feel like myself again.
Now the funny thing about this job is that I am still an insurance agent on their team. So technically I just got fired from my hourly position. I can get out and sell life insurance as soon as I pass the exam (which I want to take next week). I think that this will be better for me. I’ll only have to spend as much time running appointments as I need to. Maybe if I can come and go as I please as an agent, I won’t feel so bad about office work.
What I’d really like is something I only have to spend a few hours a week online doing inbetween chatting on Facebook, reading LifeHacker and writing here, and it makes the same amount of money as 20 hours worth of work selling insurance does. That way, when I decide to go preach in Bolivia or volunteer for MSF in India or lay on a Mediterrean beach somewhere, my bank account won’t suffer.
Alas, I haven’t found that yet. But in the meantime, I can spend my days and nights doing what I did yesterday: visiting with friends, sharing news, drinking wine and dancing into the wee hours of the night.
Me gustaría que puedo rescatar tu de tu angustia. Finalmente me di cuenta de el terrible golpe que te hace tambalear esta manera. He dado cuenta de lo insensible yo había sido y se sintió herido en mi corazón. Me siento impotente. Anhelo el día en que yo no anhelan para ti nunca más.Cinco años desde que te conocí. Dos años desde que te conocí una vez más. 18 meses de este no solicitada cosa…y yo sólo quiero tan desesperadamente ser terminado con ella. Actúo como si no les importa en público. Pero sigues siendo mi agonía. Un corazón roto, una mente perturbada, un espíritu pesado hacia abajo, arruinado por tus bondad.
Mi corazón, mi mente, son a la vez llena de ti. Le ruego a Dios constantemente que me libre de estos sentimientos, para restaurar la luz que me ha perdido. Pero sin la angustia, me siento a la deriva. Me siento vacío. Trato de borrar todo recuerdo de ti de mi mente. Pero el dolor de ti sigue. Todos los que me conocen sentir que he perdido algo precioso para mí.
Ojalá se había alejado a los 18 años. Todo habría sido diferente. Yo nunca te hubiera amado. Yo nunca hubiera conocido la agonía. He decidido que voy a tener que fregar hasta el último rastro del amor que me sentía por ti lejos de mí con el fin de seguir adelante. Tengo que tomar de nuevo la vida me ha dado por Dios. No puedo soportar este nunca más.
Yesterday was one of those days where you realize why God created beer: to help you forget.
I wish I knew why I constantly feel like I am in a haze. Reality isn’t the same for me as it is for other people. I feel like I’m constantly being drowned out of reality by a tsunami of dreams. I can’t seem to focus on anything anymore, and it’s hurting me at work. Even though life has been kind to me these last couple of months, I’m feeling out of sorts.
A wounded hand, shaky legs, new friendships, awkward encounters, smelly T-shirts, muddy shoes— the wonderful world of soccer.
Last night, I decided to have a last hurrah of bad eating with a cheeseburger, hot wings, french fries and nachos at a local dive bar. I’m paying my dues by sitting on the toilet at 4:30 in the morning.
Junk food is not a treat. It is a punishment. I’m starting my vegetarian diet this morning .