Friday, January 20, 2012

Oops, My Depression is Showing

I don't think of myself as a person with depression. I often think of myself as a depressed person, but that's not the same as the clinical definition. I was just diagnosed two years ago when my therapist got tired of me crying in every session. I thought it was totally normal, it was therapy after all. But I was actually crying all the time. At my desk at work. In the car. Walking the river trail. I thought I was just Sad and it would go away, but it only got worse. So she recommended medication.

When my doctor prescribed Lexapro, she said it wouldn't change my life, that I'd just wake up one day and feel not-so-bad. And I did. It was like one day I realized that I didn't cry. It didn't make my life better, it didn't make my problems go away, it just took the edge off. It made everything more bearable and less stabby. I stopped crying. I thought it was a life-saver, which sounds kind of stupid, but when you don't have to run to the bathroom at work anymore because you don't want to be embarrassed by sobbing at your desk, it's really kind of a big deal. Which is mostly how my depression exhibits itself. That and the crushing anxiety I sometimes feel. I've never had a full-blown panic attack, but I've been fairly close. And although my depression wasn't debilitating, I could still basically function and get out of bed when I had to, it was nice to just get up without thinking about it. I thought I'd never give up my medication.

When I got laid off, I switched to the generic prescription because I could no longer afford my beloved Lexapro. I didn't like it as much. It felt like I had room for more. Like I could be a little happier, but just a little. And then I got used to it and forgot I was on something different. The major difference I did like was that if I missed a couple of days of Lexapro, I was sick. Dizzy, nauseous, icky. The generic doesn't do that so quickly which is probably not really a good thing.

I've been feeling better lately. And like I said, I don't think of myself as a person with depression. I think I'm normal. Well, maybe not exactly normal, but chemically balanced. I started thinking that my depression was just a situational experience. I started thinking I could stop my meds. You're never supposed to stop cold turkey, so I started skipping a day or two. When I missed three days with no apparent side effects, I did stop altogether. Big mistake.

At first I didn't notice anything. I started not sleeping very well. But big deal, I just napped during the day. Then this week I started questioning things that I was really sure about just a week or so ago. The thing that had made me really happy started to seem not so worth it. I started to wonder if I just wasn't that into it, if I'd somehow fooled myself into thinking I was totally in love. Which isn't like me. It actually takes kind of a lot for me to even like someone, I'm pretty dismissive. And that scared me. And then I realized that what I was feeling was numbness. Apathy. Very unlike me. I get excited over the dumbest things, and I started to feel like I didn't care about anything at all.

Next came the anxiety. Sitting in the doctor's office with Mr. A. yesterday totally freaked me out. I was convinced that they were making us wait so long just to drive me crazy. And Mr. A? He wasn't looking so A at the time either.

Today was the last straw. Yeah, I went to a sad movie, but then I couldn't stop crying after that. The remodel in Target made me sad. It was all I could do not to cry when buying eye cream at Clinique. I cried in the car all the way home. Over nothing. Or the rain. Or that fact that I almost cried in front of the Clnique lady. Or because I don't like my clothes. What I'm saying is, there was no concrete reason for it. And that's apparently how my depression defines itself.

My depression. It's funny how I take ownership of it. I don't want it. It's like a roommate that I live with and simply tolerate. It's not invited. I'd be happy not to have it. I almost convinced myself that I don't. Almost.

Depression is stupid because nobody takes it seriously. It's only physical to me because it's not visible to everyone else. If I'm grumpy or ragey or teary, then I'm just being a bitch or a weirdo. If you say you're depressed, people say so what? Everybody has bad days. But I can have a perfectly good day and still fall apart. Which further complicates the problem by sabotaging what little self-esteem I'm trying to hold onto. Even trying to explain it sounds like a cop-out. So I don't. If it's a particularly bad episode, I just wait for it to stop. I hide out and try to avoid people because that's what is best.

This week made me realize that I have this stupid disease. I am imbalanced. At least chemically. When something that made me blissfully happy just a couple of weeks ago ceases to matter for no reason at all, that's not okay. Or normal. Or acceptable. I owe it to myself and the people around me to do something about it. I'd saved a few pills on the off-chance that I'd actually need them. It turns out I do, no matter how much I wish I didn't. So I'll be better in a few days. More like the self I want to be. The self I can be. With the help I don't want but so obviously need.

Those sharp edges will be blurred again soon. Honestly, it can't happen soon enough.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOPA is Evil and Must Be Destroyed

First, I have to admit that I don't know a whole lot about SOPA. When I try to learn about it and figure it out, I get bogged down in a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo that completely turns my brain off. Seriously, it goes like this:

My Brain: I hear that SOPA is bad. I must be more informed. I will Google this thing called SOPA.
Google: SOPA is bad. What it means is blah, blah, blah, privacy, blah, government, blah, rights, blah, blah, blah...
My Brain: Yawn.... yeah... that sounds bad.....

What I understand is that it is bad. That's all. Why is it bad? Because I love the internets. I have fallen in love with many things on the internets. I have even fallen in love with a person because of the internets. People should not be kept from falling in love. Whether it is with a person or something simple like a beautiful quote or a recipe or a song or a photo or whatever. There isn't enough love in the world and anyone who wants to get in the way of Love must be Evil. I don't need to understand legalese to understand that this is Wrong.

Of course, there is a lot of Yuckiness on the internet. Child pornography. Bullying. Campaigning by stupid people. But there are so many things to fall in love with, that I think that cancels out the Romney propaganda. Plus, the internets have also told me more about why Romney is such a douche bag. Overall, Love is greater than Evil.

So there. That is the extent of my knowledge. I could be more profound, more verbose, and yes, more intelligent. But I don't really need to be. It's as simple as this: Love is Good. Censorship of Love is Bad. Do what you can to preserve what is left of Love in this world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Open Letter to the Assholes on the River Trail

Most people know to use the river trail here in town for exercise. Most people understand this basic concept. It's not that hard. However, some of the people using it for the right reasons are subjected to those who don't. Some people don't know how to use it at all. This is dedicated to all of you who fall in this latter camp. Assholes, please take notice.

1. Dude With the Cigar - Are you fucking kidding me?!?!? I smelled you from 20 feet away, but I thought I was hallucinating. Because who is insensitive enough to smoke a motherfucking cigar on the river trail? And then I saw it. The huge cloud of smoke ahead of me. Next to a stroller with a baby in it. Okay, it's enough that you don't care about my lungs, but you don't even care about the lungs of the small person you are walking next to? Fuck you. Smoke in your den at home, not out in public. Asshole.

2. Same goes for the few smokers I have seen. Have you even noticed the people running past you? Or the people walking in their exercise clothes? Yeah, we're all out there for a reason and it isn't to clog our lungs up with your nasty nicotine habit. It's hard enough to breathe without breathing in your smoky shit. Fuck you.

3. Ladies. Do not wear perfume when you are working out. Trust me, it doesn't cover up the sweat smell that you think you are hiding. It just makes you look (and smell) more obnoxious and high-maintenance than someone exercising in nature should be. The rest of us can't breathe when we're coughing up your cheap perfume. Just don't.

4. Men. Don't take off your shirts. I realize it's cold and it's been a while since any of you have done this, but I'm still recovering from some of the exposure I saw last summer. Only about 2% of you can get away with this. The rest of you can't. Seriously, you don't want us ladies throwing up in our mouths when we pass by you, right? Cover that shit up. The other 2% of you who can get away with it? Don't stop. Please don't. Just know who you are. If you have any doubt at all, you can't get away with it and keep your shirt on. For the love of god, cover your shit up.

5. Men who talk. Don't do this. We women are honestly out there to exercise. Lose weight. Train for some type of race. We don't want to be approached. We are sweaty. We most likely haven't showered. We are gossiping with our girlfriends. We are not out there looking to hook up. We don't want you talk to us. If we are attracted to you, we will let you know. Trust us on this.

6. Off-leash dogs. I'm torn on this one. Some dogs are just fine, others aren't. I guess you should use some common sense here. If you have any. My dogs must always be on their leashes. They are assholes who can't be trusted. My girl dog is a bitch, literally. She hates anything that walks on four legs. So I know to keep her on a leash at all times. And then we'll meet a dog off-leash who circles her and sniffs her. Sure, it's not aggressive so its owners think it's okay. Only it's not because it gets my dog in this freak-out-aggressive tizzy. She can't handle it. And I don't need the stress. If your dog doesn't care about another living soul in the world and won't corner my dog trying to sniff her ass, be leash-free. If there is any doubt about your dog's intentions, leash the motherfucker. Seriously. Don't stress the rest of us out. I will have to resort to kicking your dog in the nuts if you can't be responsible.

I know we can all get along. We can. Even Rodney King can. Just follow these simple rules. Please. I can't be held responsible for those of you who break these simple rules. You're assholes and get what you deserve.

You have been warned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How I Know My Kid Is Mine

D is very talented. She sings. Sure, I sang in glee club in elementary school, but it's not quite the same thing. She sings in public. And plays guitar. She dances. Trust me, she got none of her grace from me. I have no moves and I run into walls and furniture on a regular basis. In my own home. Clearly, we are different people. But once in a while, she does something that is very much like me and I'm assured that she wasn't switched at birth. Yesterday was one of those times.

I got a call from a cell number I didn't recognize. I thought it might be about a job so I answered it, when normally I would just ignore it. It was D. She sounded like she was in a vacuum. Turned out she was in the bathroom with a friend on the friend's phone because she had left her phone in the classroom that she left when she got gum in her hair. That she couldn't get out and she wanted me to pick her up because she just "couldn't" go back to class with gum in her hair. I laughed. I giggled. I laughed some more. She asked me not to laugh. I couldn't help it. Finally she said, "Just come get me and you can laugh all you want."

I didn't get there until five minutes before school was over. Seriously, she could have stayed but she said she wouldn't leave the bathroom until I got there. She informed me that there was a fire drill while she was sequestering herself. "And you didn't leave in case there was a real fire?" I asked. "No, I texted my friend to make sure it was just a drill. And I would have stayed in there anyway." I now know that they don't do sweeps of bathrooms during fire drills so I'm slightly concerned about the deaths that will occur from girls getting gum in their hair.

I used peanut butter to get it out. Which worked, but it was disgusting. She was already detesting the smell of mint and now neither one of us may ever eat peanut butter again. I may fill her stocking with mint gum this Christmas, because now it's funnier than coal. Plus I'm evil like that.

D swears she will never chew gum at school again. I swear I will laugh every time I tell this story. And be reminded that she really is my kid.

Ode to Wonton Pizazz

Oh Wonton, you brought us such joy with your little froggy antics. We loved the way you and Potato sat on each other. The way you looked at us through the plastic of your little tank. The way you scuffled with Potato over food. The way you made us laugh when stretching your little webbed feet.

Wonton, you had more personality in your little half-ounced size body than most people I know. We won't soon forget you.

Rest in peace, my froggy friend.
Wonton Pizazz 2011-2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Night I Became A Bendite

Central Oregon residents enjoy many outdoor activities throughout the year. During the summer, I love it here. I float the river, I hike, I did my first 5K last year. Hell, I've even been known to camp a time or two. But come winter, I am singing a completely different tune. A tune that goes like this - "It's cold, I hate winter, snow is stupid, when is it going to be warm again?" I don't ski. I don't snowboard. People ask me why I live here. That is too long of a story to tell.

At any rate, I participate in no winter activities. None. I stay inside and drink. A lot. Until this year. Or at least last week. K (AKA Mr. Adorable) asked me to go snowshoeing with him, his friend, and his friend's FWB. Oh, the things we do when in new relationships. But he did buy me my first pair of snow pants (yes, first ever. I have never worn a single pair.) so how could I say no?

And you know what? I actually liked it. I kind of liked it a lot. We went at night and at first I was freezing. And coughing on the snowflakes I was breathing in. Through my mouth. And then I warmed up and only my face was cold. And then I really warmed up and the sweat from my body kind of steamed my face and warmed all of me up. The best part of all was the little shelter where we (by we, I mean the army dude that was with us) built a fire and I got to drink flasks of booze. And water. But mostly booze.

The way back was even sort of romantic. The moon was out, the snow had stopped and, mostly, I knew that I would live and not get lost in the woods or get eaten by a mountain lion or killed by some crazy snowshoeing serial killer (actually I'm not convinced that couldn't still happen).

So there it is. I now have a winter activity. I'm cool. Time for a celebratory drink!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy New Years to Everyone Except the Stupid Bitch Who Called the Cops on My Kid

D went to a New Year's party this year with about 20 of her friends. I thought the parents allowing this party were crazy. Like a good parent (or something like that), I met them when I dropped her off and made sure they were going to be there all night. They assured me they would be and, when I told them how crazy they were for spending their night with a house of screaming teenagers, they let me know that it would be someone else's turn next year. Ha ha. Yeah, I'll take the rotation five years from now.

Anyhoo, I got a call from D close to midnight saying she'd had the cops called on her. It's every parent's dream to get this call, right? It took a couple of days for me to get the full story after the initial adrenaline rush of that night. Apparently, the girls were a few houses down from the party house cheering "Happy New Year" at passing cars. Until the Drunk Trashy Bitch pulled over and started yelling at them. I think that what she relayed in her really intelligent adult language was that they were a "bunch of punk-ass bitches" and accused them of throwing a bottle at her car. One of the girls actually tried to have a mature, adult conversation with her, but DTB was stumbling and inhaling too hard on her cigarette to accomplish this task. She proceeded to go home and call the cops.

When the cops showed up, they got the girls' story but said they would have to go talk to DTB to get her side of the story and that if she wanted to press charges, they'd be back to do so. They never came back. Probably because they realized that DTB should have been arrested for a DUI and verbally assaulting innocent children.

That bitch is just lucky I wasn't around. Yell at my kid because you're a drunk, trashy asshole and I will tear your throat out. Only I get to yell at my kid like that.
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