Tag Archives: another serious post

Under the Weather

If you’re tired of me complaining about the weather, I can promise this post isn’t just about that. Instead I’m going to use it as a fancy metaphor for depression in an artsy attempt to complain about the weather.

The fact is this winter has been brutal already. We have about 18 inches of snow right now, are already around 80 inches this year and they’re predicting another storm this weekend. We had four days in January with no snow and haven’t been above freezing in weeks. And it’s only February.

Needless to say, FTW.

Aside from the actual cold, I struggle with a commute that gets complicated and dangerous, keeping my driveway and car clean when there’s nowhere else to throw the snow, worrying about the impact of the weather on my house, the increased bills, etc.

And more than ever before, the weather has upped my depression. Well, I’m blaming it on the weather, but in reality that could be a coincidence seeing as it’s been just as relentless for years.

But much like the weight of this winter, lately it’s crushing me down.

The OCD, the exercise, the hopelessness—it’s come to a point where I wonder when I’ll break, either physically or mentally, and yet I keep  testing those limits. I keep waiting for some event so significant in my mind that I’ll feel compelled to change, that the cloak of depression and obsession will fade and voila! The metaphorical sun will melt the snow and everything will become sun-shiny great!

But of course, that’s just magical thinking.

So instead I fight myself from both sides—the terrifyingly powerful disorder that wants me to cling to it and the part that wants to live a life without it. Finding a balance between the two might seem like having the best of both worlds —Yay! I’m a semi-functioning person balancing disorders and depression, well done!— but we know that’s not the case.

Because while everyone has heard how things have to get worse before getting better, what it doesn’t say is that you should make things worse before they magically, somehow get “better.”

So for the first time in years I actually went to a therapist.

It’s early, but so far she “gets” me. She’s a vegan holistic yoga teacher and I want to move into her office, but I think that violates some kind of ethical code. Anyway, much like dealing with winter, therapy is a lot of work. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. It’s not fun.

But eventually you just reach that point—breakdown again or breakthrough?—and that’s where I am right now. I don’t feel like I’m really “me,” and even more scary, I’m not sure who that “me” is anymore but I owe it to myself to find out.

Now you’re probably wondering a) why I’m sharing this with you and b) when I’ll shut up. Frankly, I wonder that, too. I mean, how do you respond to this as a reader? What good does it do to ramble on about this when I would rather put up something funny?

Part of it is healing for me, getting it out there and telling someone. Part of it is that social stigma (and pride) often prevents many people from discussing these things. However, I do it anyway because maybe reading that I feel this way will help someone to feel less alone — or at least ridiculously sane in comparison.

So to wrap this all up and come back to that meteorological metaphor, I’ll say I have no control over weather, but I have faith that spring will eventually come. The sun will shine, the gray and desolate cold will recede and we’ll start to dig out of this hole.

healing

I’m ready to dig out of this hole.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

Advertisements

An Ego Trip

A lot of what I’ve been reading deals with letting go—letting go of attachment to results, to routine, to the ego.

At first I kind of rolled my eyes at the ego thing, as I never really figured myself to have much of a stereotypical ego. I don’t spend a lot of time or money on my looks, I can admit when I’m wrong and I’m pretty much self-deprecating to a fault.

But then I realized that was bullshit. Of course I have an ego. It might not be the, “Hey, look at me! I’ve been meditating for a month and suddenly all of the answers are clear! Praise avocados! Namaste!” type of ego, but I still find myself attached to my story.

storypic

You know what I’m talking about.

We all have a story, and at times I still let past chapters of mine continue to define me today. There are labels I had never removed because it seemed impossible to let those things go. After all, it’s easy to define yourself by the past—the things you’ve had to deal with that were out of your control, the way someone treated you—or by your struggles—OCD, weight, depression, etc.

But I’m learning that there can and will always be another story as long as I permit myself to “be” without worrying about figuring it out.

In other words, dropping the ego—or at least peeking around its rough edges—and letting go of control.

So I’ve been reading—slowly, not rushing through—and taking more time with more things. By deliberately slowing down a mind that has a tendency to run ahead without me, I’m much more aware of my space and of the fact that I don’t need to fill that space up with things and noise all the time.

That can be hard, as in this self-branding/social media world we live in we’re offered platforms to try and present flattering one-dimensional versions of ourselves and told to do, do, do and share it all the time. And then—because everyone else is doing it too—we’re given tools to calculate our popularity.

No wonder we’re a mess half the time.

And truth be told, I’m still a mess in a whole lot of ways and have no clue what I’m doing with things. It has nothing to do with anyone else, but simply with my own frustration. (If I hear “find your passion” one more time I’ll flip my shit out, but that’s for another day.)

Anyway, the best way to fight unhealthy habits is to cultivate a personal mindset that simply doesn’t promote their presence in the first place.

There’s a difference between content and complacent, confident and cocky, reaching out and clinging on, stuck and simply stumbling. Sometimes I’m all of these things all at once, but I’m finding is if you’re content with yourself and need nothing else, it helps solve a lot of problems.

But of course there still are problems.

So if there’s anyone out there hiring a mostly content slightly neurotic writer to move to a remote island to practice yoga and meditation while editing vegan cookbooks and selling sea shells by the sea shore, shoot me an email there buddy.

Hey, I said “peek around the edge” of the ego, not completely squash that crap down. Snark will always be a part of my story—and my next post—so praise avocados! Namaste!”

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Verbing the Crap Out of Hope

Stay tuned for my next post in which I quit with this serious crap, but as soon as I finished rambling on the obligatory“Hope” post last week, I already knew there was more that I wanted to say.

So I started writing about my situation and realized the post was quite personal. Nothing weird or anything, in fact I’ve probably written about it before, but it just had some details about things that I’ve done in the past and sounded too “journaly.”

I read it over. I deleted it.

emerson

What’s happened in the past is done, and while I can certainly learn from mistakes that I’ve made, I often find myself stuck on what still hasn’t worked to justify where I am now. That’s not very hopeful, and needless to say, it won’t give me the strength to actually gain back my health.

But after reading a few of the other “Hope” posts, I realized a couple of things.

First, I don’t like hoping for things. With hope comes expectation, and with expectation comes the possibility of disappointment. Through the years my optimism has taken hits from reality, and I’ve let myself become jaded in more ways than one.

quotablepast

But this lead me to my second point in that hope doesn’t have to be the unicorns crapping confetti cheesiness that I roll my eyes at. The definition of hope is quite fluid, and for me I think it includes giving up the expectation that the past should’ve been different and that the future is screwed up from that.

Rather insightful, no?

Well, crap on that, as I also realized that although being insightful and aware and hopeful and all those pretty adjectives are admirable and important, “hoping” is never enough. It takes action—verbs—for the work to be done, as uncomfortable as that work is.

And despite being (relatively) rational, educated and informed, I can’t think myself out of every situation. To be honest, I really have to put the emotional stuff on hold until my brain and body are better physically healed.

quotablewalk

In other words, do the work.

So the first step is hope and the next one is action, and although I usually agree that baby steps are fine and beneficial, sometimes I have to call bullshit. With me, baby steps can often be crutches, the “at least I’m doing a little of something” to justify still staying stuck.

Sometimes I just have to “leap and the net will appear” and all those other clichés, even if that means falling on my flat ass, cursing, getting up again, falling, taking another step forward and hoping I’m doing the right thing.

Ahh…there’s that “hope” word again.

However, when backed up with action at least I have proof that I tried—I am trying. It’s 100 percent hour-to-hour with the food and exercise stuff. It sucks, it’s feels foreign and I’m still not totally leaping.

frost

But I’m trying.

And  I (and you) can still verb the crap out of hope.

Like the blog? Buy the book.