How many times a week do you feel like life is a boxer who is whooping your ass?
Vermillion Heights of Minneapolis recently released a new single, “Losing Sleep,” this week. The band got into the ring with a real boxer for the video. Apparently, he landed a lot of punches during the shooting of this video. I mean, that’s his job – just like it’s life’s job to throw challenges at us. It’s up to us to stay in the ring and fight. Honestly, that is what the song is about: facing the challenges of life.
“The song is about writing to help with depression, but I think any form of coping mechanism could take the place of writing for other people. It’s about the confusion felt in creating something appealing out of sadness or pain. Taking depression and turning it into something constructive, then using that outlet as a way to assure yourself that you will be okay eventually.” explains songwriter Sam Fassler of the band’s single.
I recommend watching the video just to see the underdog kicking ass in his Taylor Swift shirt. Personally, I love the song and the video – Taylor Swift reference and all.
What happens when your abuser dies unexpectedly? I don’t have answers for what should happen next. What’s right or wrong? No idea.
If you’re like me, you will feel relieved. It’s a strange feeling which leads to other feelings – mostly guilt and sadness. I can’t say that I’m sad about his passing. I’m not doing cartwheels of joy either. He is mourned by his family.
People offer their condolences. My friend said that it’s ok to be sad because at one time we were close. It had been several years since I had seen him. The last time I saw him was at Wal-Mart. I hid in the kitchen accessories department because he would never find me there.
Then all of the memories come back and the depression sets in for a long visit. It’s like when your shitty in-laws stay for an extended vacation and upsets the balance of your household.
I had to make a list.
Things I should not feel guilty about:
for being sort of happy about not having to look over my shoulder.
for not having to worry anymore about my ex getting custody of my daughter.
for not letting him see her. I had my reasons. Very valid reasons.
For several years, I have held onto all sorts of feelings that are associated with this relationship. Now what?
Now there’s emptiness where there used to be anger and resentment. Not feeling anything has been a weird experience.
I should probably replace them with something more positive.
For the last month, maybe two months, I have been rather uninspired. I have been in the valley (aka the pits of despair) with this guy . . .
Not really. I haven’t even been to a literal valley. For Pete’s sake, I haven’t even been to Cleveland for several months. I’ve mostly been going to the library and watching movies.
In the last two months, I’ve probably watched at least 50 movies. 50 is the low estimate. There were good movies, bad movies, movies that made me fall asleep – I’m talking to you “Inception.” It would be great to stay awake and watch Tom Hardy but all of those people sleeping makes me sleepy.
However, there have been two movies that I’ve watched this week that have been fairly inspiring.
When I rented “Chasing Mavericks,” I didn’t know that it was based on the true story of Jay Moriarity. I won’t tell you what happens. I will tell you that it makes me want to get off of the couch and go surfing. I’m from Ohio. I’ve never even touched a surfboard. It’s possible that I’ve not even seen a surfboard in person. That’s not the point. The point is that I need to get out there and do stuff again. It’s not that I want to surf the Mavericks but I want to learn the basics. Small waves are better than no waves.
Would I rather waste time being a couch potato or learn to surf and maybe meet some sharks. If I came face to face with a shark, I would at least have a story to tell. Probably. I mean, after I kick the shark in the face. Then it can be storytime.
The second movie was “Julie & Julia.” I totally relate to Julie. She’s in a rut and then she starts to blog. I’m a blogger and currently in a rut. (My grandma blamed being in a rut on drinking too much soda. It turns out that she was right.)
Anyway, as many of you know, I’m a terrible cook. It’s more than just being terrible, I’m afraid of cooking or rather afraid of the rejection and disgust from listening to people complain about my cooking. I’ve gotten back into the kitchen for short periods of time – only out of necessity.
My mom says that I’m an avoider of difficult subjects. When I was a kid, I used to take naps to avoid life. Now, I just outright avoid the kitchen, except for doing dishes and making coffee. Sometimes, I pour cereal for the kids. I have offered to make them food but they almost laugh me out of the room, like “Yeah, no thanks mom. We’d like to live another day.”
I don’t want to be this person that avoids scary things, like cooking and sharks. I want to get out of this rut. Getting back into the kitchen might be part of the ticket. Today, I found a Chinese cookbook in the kitchen. It must be my boyfriend’s – my cookbooks are usually called, “Quick & Easy” and “Oops.” The cookbook is very zen. I need some zen cooking and surfing lessons. It has got to be better than hanging out in the pits of despair.
As a writer, I lump myself into the category with confessional poets, like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Plath and Sexton both committed suicide.
As a regular person, I lump myself into the category with other friends that have mental health issues. Mentally and emotionally, we have all lost our way at some point. Some of us have gotten back on track. Other friends are still walking that fine line of stable and trainwreck. A few of my friends have committed suicide.
Although, my emotional state is fine at the moment, I worry that all of my triggers will come over for an extended visit and will break me into pieces again.
Six years ago, I stopped going to therapy and taking anti-depressants. I don’t want to go back but I will if it’s necessary.
All of those feelings have to be kept in check. I do a mental health inventory on a regular basis. Am I depressed? Is it time to go back to therapy? Do I need anti-depressants again?
Depression is a slippery slope. Before you know it, all of the feelings are too overwhelming and we’re back to the breaking point. Then we’re begging our therapist to come out of retirement because she was “The One.”
I love the Project Semicolon slogan, “Your story isn’t over yet.”
Tell us about a time when you were deeply misunderstood. How did you fix the situation?
After I had my first kid, I had some major issues with Postpartum Depression. I didn’t understand all of those feelings myself. Boom! One day, I had a kid and every feeling was exposed for the whole world to see.
Along with the depression, came a shorter temper. I had always been able to keep my temper under control until then.
I had a major meltdown at a family reunion. A series of events led up to it but it happened. I didn’t deal with any of those feelings or events in a reasonable way. I remember being angry and lots of crying. I also remember my family looking at me like
Shortly after the meltdown or maybe it was the meltdown that followed, I went to see a therapist. She was one of the few therapists that I actually liked. I would have invited her to a party but since she knew about my history of tantrums, I would have understood if she declined.
Who really thinks depression is fake? Whoever you are, you are mistaken.
Depression is as real as any sickness. There are just fewer outward signs. There’s hardly any vomiting.
It’s a struggle every day to keep the depression at bay. Every day. Lately, I don’t feel much like getting out of bed. I’m not sure if it’s depression yet but it could be. I recognize this sign so I try to do something constructive when I get out of bed. Whatever keeps me out of bed works. Housework, blogging, craft projects, photography, yoga . . . as long as it keeps me active. The further away from depression that I can get, the better.
On most days, I absolutely do not want to leave the house. Yet, I have a schedule that requires me to leave the house every day. It’s a cruel joke, isn’t it? However, getting out of the house is good for me. It means that I have to drink coffee, shower and put on something besides my night owl pajamas.
When I have a set back in life, I give myself very little time to pout. One evening and then it’s time to move on and get it together.
This quote from Elizabeth Taylor is my motto on quite a few days. My drink is usually coffee but lipstick is sometimes the cure for what ails me.
What is the hardest stage for you in Kübler-Ross’s model of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance?
Depression. Definitely depression. It has been so difficult to dig myself out of the pits of despair. The other stages I can move on from in a timely fashion. Denial lasts for about five minutes, while depression lasts for five months.
Since the last time that I was depressed a few years ago, I try to keep the depression at bay. If I sense that it is going to last longer than the blues then I have to do something about it. If margaritas don’t work then it’s time to decide if I need to get medicated or go to therapy or a combination of both.