Work Hard For Your Money

So it turns out that wordpress is not blocked by my office and so it may turn out that I become quite the blogger this year. And it will also probably come to pass that shit gets real boring around here. Stay tuned.

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More Words

(just for you, you special people you)

I spent a lot of time being told and believing that I wanted to be sad. That for some reason my dramatic nature meant that I had a desire to be sad and forlorn and angry and apathetic. I was told by boyfriends (who, in their defense, put up with most by far of my outbursts) that I was creating drama for drama’s sake.

I think that is something we tell a lot of people, a lot of women especially. When you are sad or angry all the time but you don’t seem “depressed” then you are just “dramatic.” You just “enjoy” being sad. But here is the thing, that’s is completely ridiculous. No one enjoys being sad. It hurts. It takes so much energy. It makes it impossible to feel loved. I realize now, after years and years of broken hearts and emotional drainage, that I never wanted it I just couldn’t help it.

Chronic depression is a weird beast. It’s so easy to brush it off as just a sort of Eeyore syndrome. But here’s the thing, I am not just a down and out person. I am, when I can be, an insanely positive and enthusiastic person. I have been described by the words charismatic, enthusiastic, and happy more often than any other words. I get strangers telling me I light up a room on the regular. So, in some ways, I can understand why, once the doors were closed and the people were gone, my various partners would feel very cheated by the gloomy, angry, tear beast they were left with. I get it. It sucks to be with someone who seems like they are giving their all to everyone else but then has none left for you.

That’s the bitch of it. There was never much there to begin with. It’s there, oh yes that happy charismatic jokester is, I believe, who I really am. But it’s just soaked to the bone in this endless apathy and sadness. I don’t have enough energy to get myself above water for a whole day. So I give it to my coworkers, the people at the party, the strangers at Starbucks. I give it to the people that help me maintain the idea that I am a happy person at heart. And I get home and collapse. It’s awful. For everyone.

But I know that, deep down in there but not so deep she’s gone, is the endless fountain of joy and enthusiasm and ambition that I grew up believing in. I know that once I get a hold of my depression and embrace my introverted side and build a world that works for what I need I can be her again.

I promise, I don’t want to be sad. Most of the time it’s just easier than being happy.

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Words

(cross posted from my tumblr)

I decided that I want to write about depression. My depression, to be specific. And it got me thinking a lot about the words we use to talk about depression. The three I hear most frequently are battlingsuffering, and struggling.

These words have such different connotations. Battling always feels weird to me. I mean, people battle against wars, not against their own minds. In a way depression is a battle, but it’s so internal. I don’t like to say I am battling my depression because I rarely feel like I am that proactive, and feeling like I should be makes me feel useless. I’m just a person, not a magical hero warrior full of bravery and a thirst for justice against the malfunctioning serotonin receptors in my head.

People say that you are suffering from depression. While this is often true, it also feels false. I have chronic depression, meaning that most people I know have no idea that I have spent the last three to five years under a cloak of sometimes unbearable hopelessness and sadness. It is not as severe as major depression, which is what I think of when I think of suffering. To suffer from something means you can hardly do anything else. Some days I really feel like that. Sometimes I physically suffer. But not always.

Struggling with, now that feels more like something I can wear. Today my depression felt like a shadow that was covering me all day. I did not feel oppressed by it, but I struggled not to let it make me too cold. It took a few more breaths of effort to convince myself to eat lunch.

I struggle with many aspects of my depression. I struggle with who to tell, who it is important to tell. My fiance and best friends know, my mother, grandmother, and coworkers do not. I feel guilt a lot of time by using the word depression because I don’t look like those forlorn women in ads for antidepressants. I am not currently on antidepressants, I am on anti anxiety medication and am seeking therapy. Depression itself is a word that is filled with images of laying in bed all day, substance abuse, black eye makeup, and endless crying. When Allie Brosh wrote her incredible pieces on depression they changed a lot of peoples lives. I was so happy to see someone describe depression in such approachable terms. But it was horrible. I felt like all the work I had done, all the time I had spent finally coming to terms with the idea that maybe I was depressed was all bullshit because I had only felt that bad in brief little blips starting in 2007 or so. I have since described myself as “emotional” and “anxious” and “HAHAH WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT LOOK HOW OUTGOING AND HAPPY I AM WITTY REPARTEE!!!!!” It wasn’t until I finally sat down with my psychiatrist and listed out all the things I was feeling that I got what I had sort of always wanted.

A diagnosis. I exhibited 7 of the 9 factors doctors look for when diagnosing depression. Because it had been in full swing for one month, she described my situation as a “depressive episode” but I know the truth. I know that these feelings never go away. I know that every completely perfect day is followed by four or five days where convincing myself I am not a complete waste of atoms can take a lot of doing. Being diagnosed, being validated, that I wasn’t just hysterical, I am not just emotional, I have something that can be cured. I have something that lots of people have. I have an end to this tunnel.

Which brings us back to struggle. To battle. To suffering. There is a lot of that left for me. Probably more than anyone around me will know about. Chronic depression means I can keep a job, I can keep relationships, I can keep my alcohol use under control, but just barely.

One thing I can absolutely agree with in Brosh’s writing is the feeling of apathy. I end my days often with a feeling of deep sadness, knowing I could watch a favorite movie or call a friend or watch cats fall over on the internet, but I don’t care enough to do that. I could be a happy person sure but who gives a shit. THAT is what depression is to me. It’s not a thing to battle, a thing to suffer through, or something to struggle against. It’s just a constant push to give a shit.

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Year(s) in Review.

Start from the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.

katnissHere is me at my amazing attempt to be Katniss. I think I did pretty well. More importantly I found the closest thing to a sport that I like and have been looking to pursue it just as much as I have pursued being an active blogger. I also think I am the skinniest here I was all year which is both great and terrible. Being too skinny and being fit is a fine and difficult line. They are so very similar, after all.

bestiesAt one point two the very best friends I have ever knowngot married and we all decided that was a great time to a have an epic battle. This picture is amazing because it also holds a lot of people that will be in my wedding, and I don’t mind admitting I thought that at the time, JUDGE AS YOU WILL!

engage!AND THEN I GOT ENGAGED TO THIS ONE DUDE I KNOW LIKE LITERALLY OVER PIZZA AND SHITTY BEAR BUT YEAH. Sometimes you realize you are allowed to be adult enough to make these decisions and, to be real, I could not imagine a better person to avoid/embrace adulthood with. It is so much easier to point out specific things you love about your friends, but when you find your partner, your real actual love of your life kind of person, you can only express it in actions. Like getting married. And squealing. And adopting cats.

so suits

And in this year I began working with someone who had always secretly been one of my best friends but had been hiding for a time. Here we are when she bought me tickets to see Hilary Clinton and also went with me to buy my very first suit for the occasion. Such Grown Up. Much Wow. (This meme was cool then.) It is rare to find a friend with whom you feel you can both indulge in childishness but also find so much growth. I think this day, with all its foibles, captures all that this lady means to me.

neighbor friends

Simultaneous to this I moved and miraculously found a neighbor who had equal if not higher obsessions as me regarding Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Disney movies, Punk Rock, and also a great love for beer soaked sports happenings. She also is to blame for all the time I have spent watching The Vampire Diaries and I take no responsibility for that time.

Also Lauren got a pet pig named Zelda and that changed a lot of things.

that is some pig

girl and kitty

I got a cat this year. I always knew that I had it in me to be a cat lady. But like, I am really a cat lady. My cat’s name is Zosie and she has left scars on my body but I will never be the same and also she gives me a great excuse to be kind of a crazy cat lady.

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An Update

Since the last time I wrote anything on this page:

– I moved. Twice. Within the same state though.
– I got a new job, and in fact I have a Rather Important Business Type Job.
– I got a cat who is perfect and named Zosie.
– I got engaged and will be married in less than a year from right now.
– I had a lot of anxiety about not writing for so long that I could never got back.
– I read a lot of books. A lot. And I got really in to talking about them.
– I got my Dickens tattoo.
– I watched a lot of terrible TV.
– I aged.
– I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and have to take pills now which is like totally cool.

Lets be honest, nothing happened to me that doesn’t happen to a lot of 20 somethings in variously privileged westernized countries but darned if it didn’t feel a bit important to me. And in any case, breaking the long long long streak of not writing is the best way to start writing again. So here we are.

Do not judge me for listening to a lot of shitty 90’s music as I write this. For strength.

…cuz you’re a god and I am not…

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*Taps Mic*

Is this thing on?

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Here are things that bother me.

It bothers me that the first major motion picture about the tsunami that devastated southeast asia is about a white family on vacation. We can’t possibly be expected to spend money on telling the story of people outside our racial imagination.

 

It also bothers me that people are talking so much about gun control and defending their right to own guns. The constitution was written at a time before school shootings, before automatic weapons, before large scale violence outside of state sanctioned war. I believe that the constitution is a living document made to change and shift with the times, they wrote it that way. 

I think it breaks down to this. Pro-gun-ers believe that violence is inevitable and must be fought with more violence. Anti-gun-ers believe in a world where violence is unnecessary and that peace is possible.

 

 

It also bothers me that I never write, blog, draw, or anything anymore. My job has destroyed my free time and my desire to do anything much besides read David Sedaris and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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