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Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

I recently was called vapid and self involved on the Facebook page for the queer site that syndicates me once a week.  They had posted a link to my most recent post and she made her statement in the comments below. I wanted to hold my breath and move on, however I decided to respond. I apologized that I wasn’t talking about the state of the economy, the never-ending war, the housing crisis, politics or the gmo foods we consume without concern. My blog is merely a trail map of my own personal journey.

Re-coming out was, in many ways, more difficult for me psychologically than coming out as Bi as a teen or realizing, in my early 20’s, that I was only attracted to women, subsequently then coming out as a lesbian. I don’t feel like I went back in. I never had issues being a lesbian. Perhaps because I am blessed to be a slim attractive feminine woman in a society that smiles upon that, I never suffered the injustices that some other lesbians have. I didn’t choose to love heels, makeup, long hair, and dresses… it would just be incredibly disingenuous for me to be anyone other than this. One winter I was going through a hard time and opted to go off the grid a bit so I delivered and stacked firewood for the owner of a small composting company. It was all cash under the table and incredibly hard work. A cord of wood is a LOT more than you think, when you have to carry it to a pile and stack it. Some days there were 4 or 5 jobs like this. My point is, my “work boots” had huge thick 2.5″ heels. I wore my hair in pigtail braids and put on mascara and lip gloss at the beginning of my day. It is who I am. I wasn’t a girly girl as a child, nor as a teen, but somewhere in my early 20’s things shifted and I began to find myself. 

My journey into self hasn’t been smooth. I have dealt with a lifetime of anxiety issues from growing up in a family of insanity. I had anger management issues in my teens and 20’s. I suffer from a mild case of body dysmorphia from childhood obesity. Fleeting depression, chronic disorganization resulting in my often sabotaging projects, jobs or relationships, and the myriad of insecurities that just come with being an emotional human being. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It isn’t though. I’m thankful for being the glorious mess I have been, because it has allowed me to better know myself, to be stronger, to try harder, to find determination in unforseen circumstances, and to run blindly into experience, reminding myself to breathe often, to stop long enough to feel what it is I am experiencing, to remember that I am blessed for having experienced it. The good and the bad. The bad sucks, indeed, but that bad makes the good so glorious. The bad makes me appreciate the 3 hours spent on Type Geeks lap watching South Park and Mad Men, drinking port. The bad makes me appreciate the smell of my dogs paws (it really is a mix of all the grossness that they step in that makes them smell like popcorn, isn’t it?! eww). The bad makes me appreciate the sensation of a piece of smoked sea salt dissolving on my tongue, the aroma of roasted brussel sprouts with truffle oil, a long hot shower and friends that make you laugh til it pains you and then you laugh more, because you just can’t stop.

So, into all of our lives things bad things happen. Some of us are in foreclosure, some are facing homelessness, or are homeless, some are sick, and some will get better, some feel all alone even when surrounded by a room full of “friends and family”. This is life.  However, remember that life is also the wag of a dog’s tail, the glint in a 2 year old’s eye from across a bus or subway train, the way the chocolate feels as it melts in your mouth, the sound of autumn leaves under foot and .. one of my personal favorites, when the temperatures drop so drastically during a snow shower that the top layer is frozen crisp, as if the world is a giant creme brulee. I block out the world and I crunch crunch crunch down the street, through the grass, while cracking the higher crust with my fingers. I love it. I do.

Find the small things you love and be thankful for them. They make the big things, which you don’t love, diminish in size. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Type Geek is back in town from his week of flights, meetings and schmoozing for the greater good of his company. Coming down from that whirlwind week and the stress and exhilaration of the whole conference event has left him tattered and a little emotionally raw. He’s straight out depressed. The lack of sunshine in our part of the East Coast isn’t helping either. My weekend had distractions from his absence, but I was disappointed that I didn’t have him next to me on Sunday night. Autumn has hit, full tilt. The nights are colder, and longer, and his bed was where I was hoping to usher in the new week from. However, it didn’t happen that way.

We didn’t spend a lot of time speaking on the phone this weekend, a bit of texting, but that is all. We tend towards text heavy conversation, but I end up missing the sound of his voice. He said something silly at some point that made me cock my head and respond that he is an odd one and makes me scratch my head a lot. His response was that he is not only an odd one, but an iron fortress as well, a combination that surely elicits much head scratching. I told him that I was working with a voodoo locksmith but that finding the right key was difficult, until then, I have been checking ever side door and window for a possible opening. He responded that my voodoo garlic soup now makes sense. I then said, that, ” in all seriousness, I care about you and I wish you could trust a little bit in that, but I am a stubborn girl, and I’ll keep scratching (in reference to head scratching confusion that he causes), with my head tilted like a confused puppy, as long as you’ll let me. All I can hope, is that the winds change direction soon and that you open those doors for some fresh air. I think you are pretty awesome, and worth it.” To which there was many minutes of text silence… followed with a simple thank you. We then had some banter later in the afternoon that included the recognition that I often bring a little bit of magic with me. I heal him with soup, when he asks me for sun… somehow it comes out,  and he has had two raises and one HUGE promotion since meeting me. Does he realize that I am his personal lucky charm?

Sigh, iron fortresses. Sometimes those people are worth the work, the time, the patience. Other times, you invest so much, and they never really let you in past the courtyard of their self-imposed exile. This might take a long time, what is my best position here? How should I help him to open up and trust again? Can I even do it?

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Depression is a not so beautiful beast. From it great works of art , literature, music and momentous change can occur or it can quite simply devour an individual and take others in it’s path as collateral damage. Brooklyn is 80% IN IT right now. Remember that line, in Garden State, when Natalie Portman’s character says to Zach Braff’s character, while sitting by the giant fireplace after he is finished talking about his mother, “You’re in it right now, aren’t you?”  Great movie, by the way, but I digress. Brooklyn had spent a week suckling the teat of depression until the breeze changed last night. But let me rewind and start at last Tuesday AFTER my last post.

I hadn’t spoken to Brooklyn since the previous Friday. He had emailed me a very short message on Monday, but I ignored it because it seemed so vague and without meaning. A weak attempt at bridging the distance without addressing anything that hung in our faces. On Wednesday, as I was checking some final email’s, the weather report and cnn.com, I get an IM on google chat from him. He’s drinking the tea I sent. He talks for a couple of minutes and then, as it seems he is going to end the conversation, I jump ahead and tell him I have to go. I have let him lead the way for too long. All his leading did, was get us lost.  

I had no plans to talk to him again until he contacted me, playing a silly game of supply/demand, however, I woke up Thursday morning to find that my foster cat had died. She was curled up under the guest bed in the spare room and dead. I have no idea what might have happened. She MIGHT have been sick and no one knew, but she was only 7 and seemed fine days ago. I live in a multi unit condo building built in the early 1900’s. My feeling is that one of the units without pets placed poison down for the mice, one of those mice made it into my condo prior to dying and due to its being poisoned, it was slow enough to be caught and potentially eaten by said foster cat. That is the only idea I can come up with that seems feasible. She hadn’t left my condo in 3 weeks, was eating Wellness cat food, had fresh water, seemed to be using the litter box without issue and, when the dog was sleeping, she would come out to get loves and pets. So, needless to say I was stunned, shocked, upset, sad and confused, which led me to text him that I had woken up to find the cat dead.He responded with shock as well. Feeling a little needy, I texted him later that evening just to tell him that I missed him. He wrote back hours later that things are insane for him at the moment, everything is too much and he just can’t see the world through the immediate chaos. I let him know that I wasn’t telling him I missed him out of need for a guilt laden response, I merely was feeling his absence and wanted to let him know. I know! I KNOW! I totally showed my hand.

We didn’t talk on Friday, but that evening I received an oddly life appropriate tarot reading that led me to email him at 4:30 am. 3 am is normal but 4:30 am isn’t too atypical of me, by the way. The email was light, just a lot of Hey, we haven’t been talking much and so we are out of touch with what the other is doing/working on, so here’s all the stuff going on with me. Hope all is well in your part of the world. I followed that up with an early Saturday afternoon text hoping that he was having fun with the kids and relaxing. Unfortunately, the returned message was grim and sounded like he was one step from jumping in front of a train. I left him a voice mail reiterating that he doesn’t have to go through this alone, that he has FRIENDS to whom he can lean on.

I spent that afternoon with my barista friend as we both had time to kill and needed distraction from our individual romantic dramas. We met at his Starbucks and wandered around for a bit before deciding on eating some Malaysian food. I then grabbed myself a Jin deui from around the corner (sesame ball filled with red bean paste) and we wandered to a local high-end home goods store for shits and giggles. AMAZING SALE on these cool Mio sculptural wall tiles, which means I can now finish THAT corner of my condo AND for only $30 total!!After an hour of sitting on the floor of a local bookstore we decided a cocktail was in order. I watched him drink gin (ugh, yuck, shoot me first) as I drank vanilla brandy and Limoncello. The rum is off my radar for a bit. We finished up, he walked me to my train and we parted ways. Me, home to my pup and the faithful internet. Him,off to booze it up with some friends and some PBR. Umm, eww.

Now, by Sunday night I hadn’t heard from Brooklyn and he had said he would talk to me over the weekend. I decided the funny approach would work. I sent an email with the subject line,”Giant Sinkhole opens up and swallows man. He is never heard from again.”  In the body I just place a smiley emoticon. Ten minutes later I receive a reply,”It’s called depression”, I then try to show that I understand and that I relate, that I have been in the pits of depression at points in my life and I understand how tasty the marrow of it can be, how sucking all the sorrow out of that bone can be oh so good, BUT, that he has friends and he can call upon us just to yell and go ARRRRGH and GRRRRRR if he needs to. For him just to see and understand this. He replies shortly after that he does in fact see and understand that, and, even though it may appear as if he is wallowing, it is no where near what he has done in the past, but that he just can’t handle the world at the moment. I end the night by reiterating, if he needs anything, just let me know.

Now, I assume that this is the end of communication for days, if not a week. However, suddenly he appears of Facebook saying hello a couple of hours later. He asks me if I have met Crab Ass Brooklyn and I introduce him to Obnoxiously Heart in the Right Place Friend and then we laugh and proceed to have the most normal chat we have had in weeks. In fact, at the end, I mention a new symphony by Lieberson based upon Neruda Poems, and that I was excited to hear it once they released the recordings because his last works were gorgeous and intense. Brooklyn then says, without missing a beat, “like you”. Come again?! All I said was a simple thank you, but holy there’s the Brooklyn I know, and adore, Batman! We both sign off right after that and I go to bed with a smile.

Funny thing, he gets all chatty Cathy with me twice on Monday, even calling me punky at one point. Hmm, Earth to Brooklyn, are you coming up for air? I am hesitant to get too excited and I am keeping a little more emotional distance this go around. I also have two dates this coming weekend. One is a former “rock star”/dj turned designer and the other is, oh man, he’s been out of the country for a month, I forget what he does. Ha Ha.

So, this is where I stand, Brooklyn’s hot water tank may have gotten fixed and I have two dates in the pipeline. As I sit here eating edamame with Franks Red Hot and snuggling with my pooch, I am a bit more content than I was a week ago today. I miss the cat though. So, perhaps this journey isn’t going to have me making out with Natalie Portman in an airport like Zach Braff, but perhaps it will have a far better outcome than was looking possible only days ago.

To Foster Kitty, 2003-2010

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