Unfortunately, like so many of you reading out there, I struggle with depression and anxiety. I don’t talk about it much, and as I am looking back through some recent blog posts I am noticing I’m not talking about myself or much at all, really. I knew that posting each day of the year would be a hard task, but I am still committed to it – it’s just that I am starting to see that I temporarily lost track of the reason I started this blog in the first place – to say whatever I want.
I’ve been holding back I guess, because I am just like that, in real life. One of the biggest issues I have with my mental health is the fact that I hide it so well from my friends, family, and coworkers. I always do my best to put on a good appearance and not worry anyone with what is going on in my mind – I compulsively hide my true self and my feelings. Even here online, it seems.
I guess that makes me a pretty hard person to know.
I feel like at work I am an entirely different person. When I started working at The Restaurant I made a conscious decision to not share more than absolutely necessary about my private life. None of my coworkers know that I write books and blog every day, none of them know I’m a smoker, none of them know what I do on my days off, none of them know about my mental health issues. They probably just see me as nice, and quiet, and shy. I am actually none of those things.
I don’t know why I do this. It’s not even that I am trying to be someone else – I’m just trying to hide who I am. I suppose it has to do with my long history of really bad friends and having my entire sense of self skewed to the point of unrecognizability. Which isn’t a word, but I’m going with it.
I’m having a strange/hard time lately. It’s a long story that deserves parts so I guess they will come. I have to remember, I have to keep reminding myself that this is a safe place for me, this is my safe place to come and say what is on my mind and where I can be who I am.
Do you guard yourself, or feel safe in blogland? It’s such a weird place to be…
#Reverb13? I can’t even right now. I abandoned the internet for almost a week because I couldn’t face logging on to WordPress and writing posts that rip out my heart reflecting over the past year – the year that sucked more than any other year.
I have nothing positive to say today.
On my old blog I did a weekly practice called Grace in Small Things where I would list five things I was grateful for that week. Sounds nice, right? So why is it that half the time I was thinking about what to write in those posts I was coming up with things that I was UNgrateful for?
At any rate, here are six things that (in my humble opinion) suck big ol’ donkey butt:
1. Kids that don’t listen. Seriously. Every parent has had that moment when they are standing in a roomful of people repeating over and over: “Put on your coat. Put on your coat. Put on your coat now!” and your kid is just doing anything BUT put their coat on, up to and probably including laughing at your vain effort to get them to just do what you say. I had to deal with this last night when I was leaving my friend C’s house, so it’s fresh and nasty in my mind.
2. Fucking depression. It sucks. It makes me curse a lot and write blog posts in list form because I am just too messed up in my little head to write a coherent blog post about how I’ve barely left the house for a week and all I’ve done with my time is watch five season’s of Grey’s Anatomy and crochet an entire blanket, a scarf, and about 1/3 of another blanket.
3. Psychotic Grandmothers. My little Squido’s grandmother (not my mom, the baby daddy’s mom) CUT SQUID’S HAIR this weekend. Herself. Not at a salon, but in her bathroom. It’s. Totally. Butchered. And of course I didn’t have time to take her to a salon so I had to send my poor kid to school today with a shitty haircut, and the worst part of it is, Squid thinks her new cut is awesome. She’s wrong.
4. Snow. I just hate snow. I know there are a lot of people out there who get all jazzed up and Oooo it’s so beautiful, but no. Snow, for me, is hell. It is not a fucking winter wonderland. We had a few inches of wet, slushy snow dumped on us on Saturday and then last night what was left of it froze over and turned my porch and driveway into a sheet of ice. I expect a fall.
5. When you run out of yarn. This could be a metaphor for all artists, but I am running out of yarn for the project I am working on and that’s just so annoying when you think you bought enough for your project to begin with. Artists run out of paint, musicians run out of energy, writers run out of words. It’s a thing that sucks, I think.
6. The chocolate in Candy Crush. Notice that I didn’t say Candy Crush sucks. I am a total convert addict to this game, the game I vowed to never play because I have seen so many people become addicted and be ridiculous getting so mad at their phones. But then, one day I dove in and downloaded the app and I’m hooked. I’m relatively new to the game, so I’m only on level 57. Now, as soon as I took the train into the Minty Mountains, I’ve been experiencing this new phenomenon of chocolate that grows luck a fucking fungus and totally messes up my game. What is this shit?!?!
Sorry folks, I’ve had a bad week.. and what are blogs for if you can’t bitch and complain on them?
Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013? How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014? – #Reverb13
Unfortunately I didn’t cultivate a life worth loving this year, but I’m working on it, week by week with the skills I learn in therapy, I’m working on loving life. Right now I just try to get through the days without crying, and I’ve been doing really good at that lately.
I feel hopeful as this year is coming to an end, this year that started out so badly for me. I know I won’t look back at 2013 with fondness.
I do auto-pilot through the days. I don’t like to dwell on that fact, but it does help to get through them, just going through the motions and doing what has to be done with the most minimal of effort, because I just don’t have the energy for more.
Anxiety drains me. Panic grips me and panic is sometimes the highlight of my day because it means I’m at least feeling something through all the banal dullness of my life.
It’s never as pretty as it seems on the other side, you know.
But I’ve learned some things. Mindfulness. It helps.
Remind yourself that there are beautiful things in life. Smell the flowers at the grocery store. Take a hot bath. Read a book for as long as you want and don’t let anything interrupt you.
Focus on you.
That’s how I got through 2013. I paused the auto-pilot for a few minutes here and there and opened up for something better, and I let the better in.
It’s something you can do too, you know. It helps.