Psyche Stew

I realized yesterday I am stewing in anger…..not drowning in it like before…..but stewing in a thick savory broth of anxiety with juicy pieces of frustration at myself and the world. Quartering my accomplishments like new potatoes into my “inabilities”; not being able to or have a way to take care of myself, to think clearly, to get a job, to pay my bills. With some self-assessed failure and corresponding flagellation like peas and carrots in one big InstaPot life.

What this means is I am going back to the basics, the meat and potatoes if you will, of my recovery and try to gain the ground I’ve lost. I haven’t really lost it, I know where it is, I just need to deconstruct the stew, portion it out into easy-to-deal-with sizes, and trust in myself and God that this isn’t my last supper.

The Birthday Blues ~ Early

Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard

My birthday is close to the middle of July and traditionally a few days before and a few days after I’m moody. I’m a Cancer, I’m moody. Honestly, moody is my default setting in July. But it’s June. It’s the end of June but it doesn’t make it any less June. The evil Pixie has been telling me I’m almost 60, I’m unemployed, I have four years before I retire and then what am I going to do? My writing career is a blog no one reads and a few unfinished manuscripts with plenty of good intentions to wrap it up in a bow but it’s not a solid retirement plan. I’m going to have to work upto a week or two before I die, or so is the current plan.

To distract myself from the tears I got a notification a friend of mine had posted something on her facebook page and I was curious. I read the post, and it was a happy little thing about meeting up with people who put you on a path which positively changes your life for eternity, and I smiled. I scrolled down and the quote above by Carl Bard was tucked away few posts down and it was an ah-ha kind of moment. I can make a new ending. I don’t know how fabulously it will live up to my expectations, but I have to try…..I mean honestly, it’s not like I have much of a choice. It’s that or become destitute, live off my family and endure their barbed supportive comments or I can keep moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward…..

I did go on an interview today. I’m not sure I want the job, and I’m thinking I don’t have to take the job if it’s offered. I know that kind of contradicts the statement about living off my family, etc, but it’s sitting in front of monitors for 12 hrs a day. The only thing I liked about it was the 3 12hr. shifts per week so I would have four days off. It’s not sticking people with needles, but it’s just for a short time. I have another interview on the 5th. I’m not so worn down by the evil Pixie that I can’t put on a happy face and convince people I am more normal than I am (Being more normal than I was) and isn’t as draining as it was in the past. I was affable, confident and charming in the interview and I’ll hear Friday if I was convincing enough to get the job.

If the Blue Mood keeps up though I’m going to add more Ashwagandha to my medication protocol until the birthday is over. I’m not planning anything with the family, and they rarely plan anything for me so I think I’m going to go to the beach somewhere and work in my journal. It’s been so long since I sat with my journal it should be a nice treat. I generally go through my goals for the year and adjust what needs to be change, prune what is overreaching and give myself a gold star (or a really nice dinner) for what I’ve accomplished so far in the year. That is the one thing that is absolutely spectacular about having a birthday in the middle of the year; it gives me a chance for a year-in-review and still have time to get it all done before the end….of the year…..not the final end….that hopefully is still evolving to something less blue.

One Woman’s Story (not mine)

I was cruising through different channels on my Roku the other night and I came across “My Depression: The up and down and up of it. It was a musical cartoon voiced by Sigourney Weaver as Elizabeth Swados and Steve Buscemi as Suicidal Thoughts. This is based on Elizabeth Swados’ memoir My Depression: A Picture Book. Its less than 30 minutes long and it’s cute, humorous and at times a mirror to my own experience. The main difference is she sees her depression as a dark overhanging cloud whereas I see myself as the cloud. I looked Elizabeth Swados up in Wikipedia and was shocked to see she had passed away. I quickly looked for the cause and was relieved (I know that’s a bad choice of words) to see she died from complications of surgery, not suicide. The movie is bitterly truthful about the hold negativity exerts on the tired soul of a depressed person and the absolute hopelessness which keeps you mired in your own emotional detritus. Suicidal Thoughts took her on a wild ride ostensibly over a cliff but she got out before the ride came to a sudden stop. Sortta hit home.

But she WON!! Perhaps viewing depression as a competition to “win” is a little too simplistic for those of us who are on a constant teeter-totter between medication and life reorientation. Keeping the bats out of the belfry and working to see life without the discoloration of depression isn’t black/white as win/lose but every shade of gray, red, yellow and blue in the rainbow. “Winning”, also, has its own negative connotations thanks to other celebrities and their mental musings in media. I realize It’s easy for me to be flippant on this side of the void. My story is here for the reading and I’m posting the link to Youtube below so if you want to watch the 29:58 minute video you can.

The movie premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was received very well.

The New York Times described the film “as charming and whimsical a discussion of depression as you’re likely to find… it’s honest and forthright as it talks about a condition often misunderstood and misrepresented.”[3] BroadwayWorld commented, “Simultaneously heartfelt and entertaining, My Depression illuminates the symptoms, emotions and side effects of the disorder through witty animation, comedy and unique musical numbers.

Wikipedia

Depression was accepted as an illness at the time of the movie but it was still said in hushed tones and only really spoken aloud among the afflicted. TV commercials were prevalent and horrifying with their sotto voce side effects droned over people miraculously returning to their old perfect lives after a single dose. I’ve found the best amelioration is knowing although each experience is unique to the person, we are not alone. And we need to tell our stories to each other by voice, by blog, by email or in film. It’s a reverse communicable disease, we get better by sharing.

My Depression: The Up And Down And Up Of It