My hiatus and why I needed a break

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I should have taken a “before” pic but this little area was filled with trash.

I haven’t been posting lately with exception to my faulty but honest opinion on the Trayvon Martin trial, but in a way that is also what prompted a much longer break from writing than I had originally anticipated. I hope you guys haven’t given up on me though.

You see, I have been in a serious funk. I will even go so far as to call it a full blown depression attack sprinkled with negativity and hopelessness. Even when I rant on here and get really upset about something, I try to at least offer some sort of solution or a positive spin on even my worst rages and feelings, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by negativity that I can’t bring myself to find the good even when it is sitting next to me on the couch.

Depression sucks. It really does. The feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness can be overwhelming even to a logical mind that recognizes that those feelings make no sense. When you can look at a clear blue sky and feel the warm sun on your face and your first thought is skin cancer and sadness – well, lets just say that for a couple of weeks I let those irrational feelings dictate my worldview.

Everything in the news is horrifying. Our government and my feelings of futility dominated my thoughts. My inability to find a job, and my sincere lack of desire to even keep looking makes me feel powerless. Not only powerless – but useless. Every job I have ever had, even if I hated it gave me at least some satisfaction in that I knew I may not change the world, but I was at least able to sustain my own life. I am so very lucky to have the people in my life right now that I do. If not for my love Stephanie, and our roommate Paul I would be sitting on the street with a cardboard sign, and for a minute (a couple weeks) I lost sight of that and just wallowed in self pity and anger.

The three of us are ALL going through major life changes – and we really don’t have too much control over things. We just help each other get through each day knowing that if we tell the truth, persevere, and support each other – we will come through these trials stronger and better than who we used to be. Sometimes though, it is hard to look at that light at the end of the tunnel when it seems so very far away.

I feel bad when I get in these funks because it puts a strain on my family that they don’t need. I want to help them, and myself, but I can’t seem to find my joy or even find the positive things that surround me everyday regardless of money or jobs. Yesterday I was so upset, my dog even got upset with me and wagged her little nub (her tail is clipped) and showered me with kisses until I couldn’t help but smile. What a good dog. 🙂

While I was being a total negative Nancy and crying yesterday – I think Steph lost patience with me and basically told me to shut up and do something. So I did. I went to the park around the corner from my home and sat by the water and looked at the amazing things that surround me everyday. Then I noticed all the trash around the park and I just started cleaning. There is now about a 1/4 mile stretch of a nice walking path and the banks of the creek that are  now trash free. This particular path and park goes for miles and miles. I have a lot of work to do! The thing is, as soon as I got out there and started to do something positive, I felt better. I felt energized. While I can’t fix our government, I can take a nice walk in the park and clean it up a little. That made me feel useful in some way.

I am not telling you guys this to get praise for picking up trash. I am sharing this because when you suffer from depression it has always helped me to get out of it by doing something. Anything. Sometimes I need a little push and Steph helped with that (because she is awesome). More than any medication I am on (which I am), just going outside and doing something made me feel better than any medication or therapy could. I needed to feel useful. I also needed to be around trees and water which always makes me feel better. Sometimes – I refuse to do those things that I know will make me feel better, because somehow wallowing in self pity feels right. Those who suffer from depression may understand that feeling. The key is I think – is to force yourself to do something. Whatever it is that you know will bring you some joy. It really is the best medicine.

The other issue I have been dealing with is my sheer love of being drunk. Alcohol is my excuse to be all emotional without logic – a sober mind can’t do that. As well as I have done in curbing my drinking habits – the reasons why I drink sometimes when I am sad I crave being drunk so bad I actually told Stephanie that I might need rehab. Being drunk allows me to be a total asshole and claim no real responsibility for it. When I’m sober I know that this is wrong and hurts more than it helps – but sometimes it gives me the courage to say what I am really thinking, and the courage to say what I am feeling. I hold back a lot right now simply because I don’t want to add to what Stephanie is going through (which is WAY worse than me being unable to find a job). 98% of the time I don’t want to burden her with my self pity, but I want to talk to her about it. While she is willing and able to talk to me in any state – I am unwilling to allow her that sometimes when I am sober. It’s pretty shitty really and it is REALLY unfair to her.

Another reason I stopped writing for a while is that I had some serious goals for this blog  – if you read the About Page for this blog you will see what the goals were when I started this. I didn’t want it to be another blog about the ills of society, I wanted to take those frustrations and talk about them. I wanted to have conversations with people and work together for solutions and ideas to make our world a better place. I’ve been so pissed off I lost sight of my own goals, which made me even more depressed. It’s a vicious snowball effect which eventually led to me not writing at all.

The thing is, I really enjoy writing and rant or not, it helps me process my feelings and makes me think about them in terms outside my own head. I think about all of you who read these things and I know that if I turn this into a bitching session ALL the time – I negate my own goals.  So while I was in my serious negative place – I refrained from sharing.

I still don’t know what I want for my life or what direction it will really go – and after my little epiphany yesterday – I no longer care. I am going to trust in the universe and fate and just try to live my life well. I can’t do too much to improve my own situation right now, but I do have the power to change little things like picking up trash in a park while I get my nature on. I have nothing but time right now, and as Stephanie pointed out to me yesterday – there are a million things I can do that won’t cost a dime. I took her advice and I felt better – she really is a wise woman and I am one lucky gal to have her in my life.

So I guess my point with all of this is simple. If you are sad – change something. If you feel powerless – do something to give yourself some control. If you are wallowing in self pity – look around because there is always someone worse off than you. If you feel useless – do something to make yourself feel useful. My answer was to pick up some trash in a beautiful place – close to home. I am no saint. It was purely selfish motivation to do what I did yesterday, but I know it made me feel better – and my world looks a little better because of it. I like win-win situations and I need to create more of those for myself. If I do that – I think the rest will fall into place.

 

7 thoughts on “My hiatus and why I needed a break

  1. Right the fuck on with this entire post! I love, love, love the initiative you took from the nudge your girlfriend gave you. Congratulations. You should be proud of your accomplishment! :0)

    I feel compelled to respond to this from another perspective, as I’m going through some of the same with a loved one.

    Keep your head up. Things will indeed get better. I know this is always easier said that done. It will though. This is truly all a part of life and learning.

    Don’t feel bad or beat yourself up when you go through these funks. You’re putting additional emotional strain on yourself. It speaks greatly of your heart and your love for your girlfriend and roommate that you feel this way. However, I’m sure they both know just how much you love and appreciate them both for who they are to you and what they’ve done. Trust me though, at the end of the day, they just want you and your happiness. They don’t want you to further burden yourself.

    It may seem like a crazy concept, but you being just you helps your loved ones more than you realize. Amazingly, most people aren’t looking for someone to do things for them. They just want you to be there – present, to hear them in all things, and to love them just as they are and push them when they need to do things to better themselves.

    Spill your guts to Stephanie. Trust me, holding back your thoughts and feelings is more detrimental to your relationship than keeping these thing pent up inside of you. She loves you. You love her. You will make it through all of this together. No one’s problems are bigger or smaller in comparison when you love that individual. Even if she can’t fix these things for you, I’m sure she has a more than willing ear to hear. It may also help for her to feel as if she’s useful in helping you vocalize to her about your problems. Those of us who love someone suffering from depression, want nothing more than to be able to help in whatever way we can. We feel utterly useless when there seems to be nothing that we can do to help.

    Things will inevitably fall into place. Have a little faith and trust in your own abilities :0)

    -b

  2. I’m so glad you posted today. Yesterday, I was thinking that we hadn’t had a blog from you in quite some time and I was hoping you were okay. I’ve been in sort of the same place, especially since the Trayvon Martin verdict. I tried a different direction and just blasted my resume out to almost every job being listed on Craigslist, and was shocked that after over three years of sending out resumes (while I was still employed I could see the writing on the wall and tried to head it off) I got two responses and an interview yesterday and next Monday. Although it has helped me to feel a bit better than useless, and the interview yesterday seems to have gone really well, I realized that these jobs are going to put me right back into a corporate atmosphere that I have really enjoyed being away from. So today, I am trying to decide if just for money’s sake, if I am offered a job, will I take it? Or will I get off the damn pot and go back to school? Doctor increased my Celexa, so maybe I will be more clear and less driven by desperation and depression. {{{HUGS}} Feel better.

  3. I was thinking about you yesterday…where the heck is she? I’m glad Stephanie gave you a boot of motivation and that you are back to writing in between the trash collecting. Keep going! 🙂

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