The Funny Thing is…

Everyone liked Duke’s Christmas List post yesterday. And people loved my Thoughts in the Carline schtick from the other day and the Florida stuff. In fact, people still, to this day stop me and tell me how funny they think my Random Thoughts are, and we both laugh about how dumb I am. But what some of them don’t get is that when I’m at my funniest, when I’m full of that light-hearted banter, when I’m witty, or quick with a comeback, I’m at my darkest inside. And that’s why I’m writing funny right now, light and fluffy right now, because I’m in a serious case of the blues. And when shit gets serious, I hide behind humor. A lot of people do. Have you ever met a genuinely funny person who isn’t battling something? I haven’t. The absolute funniest people I have ever met, are all desperately trying to hide from something, and humor is their coping mechanism, and often times their shield.

The funny thing is, it didn’t occur to me that the blues was even here until I spent two mornings in a row writing silly stuff. Some of it I published on my blog, some I saved for a rainy day. Never mind that I’d been crying on the phone with my husband the night before. Never mind that my anxiety had me frozen with fear and I couldn’t sleep. Never mind the mood swings, the needing to be left alone, the Netflix binge of sad documentaries. Never mind, never mind, never mind. It was when I could only write stupid, light-hearted stuff, that I knew I was knee deep in a shit storm.

I texted a friend who happens to be in her own storm right now, and whom I desperately wish I could reach out and grab for just a minute, hold her close to me while our storms rage around us. I told her that I was writing funny stuff, and she asked what was wrong, and I vomitted all the things. Then I felt shitty for doing that to her when she’s going through what she’s going through. Jesus, why does this all have to be so hard all the time? Why can’t we go forward, forward, forward, instead of forward, forward, backward?

I can’t write serious stuff right now, unless it’s seriously about how I’m trying to combat this shit storm. I guess I’m writing my way through this because I honestly can’t write about other things I want to, need to be writing about. I can’t write about my childhood, because there’s something there, waiting to be discovered. I can’t write about the grief that kicks up ever time this year from the loss of a loved one. I can’t even write about the world right now, or finish that story about that place I lived, and how my mom had been there years before as a teenage girl. I can’t tell you about my sister sneaking me into a Bon Jovi concert. I can’t submit anything new for publication, because I can’t sit down long enough to write anything worth publishing, because if I do then I fall. Down, down, down, into a rabbit hole of darkness. Because it’s there, just sitting there. Waiting for me to write something, to say something, to trigger it in some way, and I’m trying desperately to hide from it. My shield is up. Way up. And I’m down.

I wish I was making you smile right now with some anecdote. I have them, I do. They’re laying dormant right now. I have so much to tell you really. But I think maybe today I’ve used up all my smiling potion, all my story-telling magic. I think I’m back to the sitting on the couch watching television until I forget what day it is. But tomorrow is a new day. And maybe it will be better. Surely it will be better. But if it’s not, that’s okay too. I’ll wake up from the fog one day soon. And you will too.

Take care of yourself, however that looks today.

M.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

Seasonal depression! Sing it with me! Everywhere you go! You know what it is, it’s the lack of the GD sunshine. It’s the lack of the GD sunshine, and the lack of other people’s common sense. It’s a lack of boundaries from family members. It’s a lack of confidence. That feeling of not being able to keep up with the people around you. That feeling that no, I won’t spend $500 on my child for Christmas because spending $500 on a child for Christmas is nuts, but if I don’t spend $500 on my child for Christmas will other mommies judge me? Maybe. Probably. But you know what I like to wish I could say, “Fuck them!”

This is a stressful time of year, regardless of how you slice it. Slice it six ways, slice it eight, it all slices down to stress, anxiety, lack of boundaries and control, crappy weather, and usually feeling some sort of weight pressing down on you. Maybe it’s mounting credit card debt. Maybe it’s disappointing your family because you’re not coming home for the holidays, maybe it’s disappointing your children because they want more than you can give. But it’s always there, pressing down, down, down, until you feel like you can’t breathe.

Normally I’m already crazy by December 1st, but I gotta be honest, I’m not this year. I think there are two things at work here: 1. My new medication is AMAZING! I highly recommend it if you can swing it. It’s called Trintellix and it’s done a number on my reactionary nature. And 2. I’m easing into this mindset of gratitude. I’ve realized I have sort of always lived this way, the way of the grateful, mainly because I’m a big, empathic, nerd. And usually speaking, not always, but usually, being an empath brings with it gratitude. Because we see and feel the pain of others, and sometimes we clearly see that we are not in those shoes, even though sometimes we feel like we are. Here’s an example.

Last weekend Jackson and I ran to Kroger to pick up a couple of things. When we walked inside there was a man asking for money near the entrance. He had a sad story, sure, they usually do. And Jackson usually falls for it, hook, line, and sinker. He’s eleven. This man needed money to get home for the holidays. That was his story, and maybe it was true, but most likely it was not. Jackson was very upset when I told the man sorry, but I didn’t have cash. That part was true, but Jackson asked why I couldn’t get cash when I checked out. Oh this child of mine!

So I said maybe I’d get an extra $5 out for the guy. But Jackson said $5 wasn’t enough to get the man where he needed to go. I said I knew that, but I wasn’t going to pay for a airline ticket for this guy. Jackson thought on this as we strolled through the store. Later at checkout I got the $5 out and we walked outside to find him, but he was gone. Jackson suggested we keep the $5 in the glove box in case we run into him again, or someone else who might need the $5. Later that night Jackson ran down stairs upset about that man, but also very grateful. He recognized that we were also far away from what we consider to be “home” and that if we want to go “home” for the holidays we can. Sometimes we just choose not to. Because honestly #MyOwnBed, #StabilizingMyMentalHealth, and what not. See that empathetic nature giving way into gratitude.

So yeah, it’s a thing around here. The other thing that is helping me stave off seasonal depression is regular therapy. Which by the way Patsy says I need to give myself some credit. That’s it’s not just therapy and medication, but I’m working hard too. But I’m not ready to credit myself for anything. It’s a slow process.

So what am I saying here, y’all? Christ Missy, what are you ever saying besides a bunch of nonsensical nonsense like you live in damn Whoville! I mean, isn’t the Grinch just plagued by SAD? I know. I know. I think what I’m saying is maybe this holiday season you should say, “Fuck it!” I dunno, it sometimes works. If that’s not your thing then maybe try gratitude? Nah, can’t do it? I get it, how about this. How about you ship your family members to Alberta, and you take your happy-ass down to Aruba? That’s always been a dream of mine, a tropical christmas. I mean, the sunshine might just do you good!

Whatever you do, wherever you are, just remember that you’re not alone. There are people out there struggling like you are. Most people in fact. We all might struggle in different ways, but this season brings struggles. So don’t feel all alone. And be kind to everyone you meet.

M.