the best antidote

August 31, 2018

hey!! good people!!! i need there to be an especially ginormous abundance of love being shared today.
reach out far and wide and tell as many folks as you can
that they are loved beyond measure. please.

this was the facebook status i posted the day my aunt committed suicide. contrary to what it may seem here, when depression gets the better of me, i don't share that kind of stuff on facebook. like everybody else, my facebook page is generally uplifting. i post pretty pictures i've painted or videos that warm my heart... it is a source of light for me.

that post got nineteen likes and fourteen loves and twelve comments. most of those comments were friends telling me they loved me. i wasn't fishing for that. i truly needed my friends to put love out into the universe that day. it didn't need it to come my way. not then. of the five hundred some friends i have on facebook, only one knew that something was very wrong for me that day. only one.

she messaged me:

hey friend. what's going on today? it seems like a particularly "not great" day.

god love her for her perceptiveness. god love her for giving a shit about me. 

after kate spade and anthony bourdain left us, i saw a shit ton of posts on facebook and twitter about how we should think to check on the strong ones. like they're the only ones worthy of the check. 

  1. When they all swept out of there 4 hours later, my place was a home. Not only was everything put away - but now it had a memory attached to it, a group memory, friends, laughing, dirty jokes, hard work. These are the kinds of friends I have. Be that kind of friend to others.
  2. That's the end. The "ask for help" advice is well-meaning but not really thought through. There's shame, there's enforced helplessness, there's the feeling you're not worth it, etc. My friends didn't wait for me to ask. They showed up. They took over. They didn't ask.

these are tweets from a thread i found today, and everything about this thread is SPOT ON, but these two speak volumes to me. VOLUMES.

i don't ask for help when my world is caving. it's not your job to make me feel better... or so i tell myself. i've lived with this shit for thirty-seven years. i bring a lot of this shit on myself. i don't want to burden you with my problems. i don't want your pity. i don't want your preaching -- because here's the thing... i know ALL the ways to battle depression. i know them. i have to care enough to use the tools. and if i'm depressed, i don't give a shit. about ANYTHING.

not that many people reach out to me. that's probably my fault. i know i'm not easy. i've never known easy. kind of hard to be something you don't know.

one friend has two children, a boy in california and a girl who lives at home but is about to embark on a global adventure for a few months. the boy was having health issues, and i imagine when your kid's in the emergency room half a continent away you'd feel pretty helpless. and then your girl's leaving in a few weeks... i imagine that'd make you feel pretty sad. and this friend battles depression, like me. she and her husband have partnered with another couple to operate a snow cone stand. it takes about an hour to get to it. i drove all that way to get a snow cone. to see her. that's the kind of friend i am.

i wish i had more friends like the one mentioned at the beginning of this post. i wish more of my friends thought enough of me to check in with me. i wish more of them took time for me.

because to be honest, the best antidote for depression is life. camaraderie. kindness.

the fall film challenge: my list

August 29, 2018

one. still alice.
two. how to make an american quilt.
three. the bookshop.
four. life itself.
five.  john wick.
six. before the flood.
seven. the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society.
eight. tag.
nine. deadpool two.
ten. peter rabbit.
eleven. why him?
twelve. destination wedding.
thirteen. sleeping with other people.
fourteen. easy a.
fifteen. outside providence.
sixteen. darkest hour.
seventeen. stronger.
eighteen. love, simon.
nineteen. operation finale.
twenty. the haunted mansion.
twenty-one. the miracle season.
twenty-two. every day.
twenty-three.  hired gun.
twenty-four.  before i fall.
twenty-five. unbroken: path to redemption.

i had originally intended to watch a star is born and battle of the sexes
but have decided to replace those titles with hired gun and before i fall.

and after devising the bonus round list, i have taken boy erased, bohemian rhapsody and fantastic beasts: crimes of grindelwald off and have added how to make an american quilt, john wick and john wick: chapter two. i've also taken beautiful boy, boy first man and what they had off this list and put them on the bonus one -- replaced them with the haunted mansion, easy a and peter rabbit. UGH. after watching john wick today and not being terribly impressed, i've taken the sequel off my list, which means i'm in need of another film... back to the drawing board. i don't think anyone's ever made as many changes as me.

the fifth annual fall film challenge began september first!
it's not too late to join!

for the lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights - proverbs 3:12

August 18, 2018

things can only get better

August 16, 2018

i haven't been to church in a long time. a friend talked me into going saturday. the readings spoke to me. the songs did. i bought some tamales afterward. two batches.

i boiled them both. the first batch came out just fine. i scarfed those babies down. they were divine.

the second one? i cooked them last night. i accidentally punctured the bag. they were a soggy mess. i ate them anyway.

today i got fired. from a job i loved. from a place i had loved working. that's the first time in my life i've been able to say that. that i loved working somewhere.

i'm drinking dos equis. by myself. and there's a storm brewing. please god, let the days get better soon.

the demons... the dreams i drown

August 14, 2018

hey now, take your change.

that's one of the first lines in u2's stay.

the first memory that comes to mind when i hear this song is the drive from montrose to grand junction to visit my mother's family after my brother died. i plug in pretty much the moment we pull out of the driveway until we dump our bags wherever we're staying -- it's how i deal with being in a box, whether it's my father's explorer or the shuttle from the parking lot to the airport or cramped in the window or middle seat on a flight (though to be honest, i've been pretty fortunate with the aisle seat lottery lately). i plug in to keep from having an anxiety attack. my mom's complained about this on more than one occasion. she would prefer that i be communicative and attentive. i'd prefer to keep my sanity. i win. anyway... i remember hearing this song on that trek, and it suited my mood then. i was twenty-nine. the first chords put me back in that car, riding behind my father, looking out at a gloomy colorado.

then there's that line. take your change. and i'm not in colorado anymore. i'm in san marcos. seven years younger. stupid, crazy in love with a boy we'll call elliot. not a good man. not by any means. but he'd impressed me with his talent and confidence and wit and eyes -- he has black eyes, like my grandmother's. the first time my grandfather saw her, all he could see of her was her eyes, and he fell hard. the first time i saw elliot, i couldn't help myself. i'm a sucker for pretty eyes and mad skills. the boy could play guitar better than anyone i knew. yeah. musician. i'm an idiot. i know. everybody else did, too. it was laughable in my circle of friends-who-weren't-friends that i liked him. so san marcos. hasting's entertainment -- a video and music store. i'd gone to visit one of those friends-not-friends -- we'll call him ben -- and his girlfriend. they'd insisted on watching caddyshack because i'd never seen it. so we took my car. i left my cigarettes at his apartment because he didn't like me smoking. we were standing in line to pay for the rental. val kilmer was on the cover of premier magazine for batman forever. i'd said something about that. something about him being hot.

ben laughed and said i thought elliot was the love of your life. 

i could've shrugged it off, except ben and i had gone to school together from fifth to eighth grade, and in junior high, when i'd asked him to sign my yearbook, he'd written to the love doctor...  he and the rest of my peers were relentless then, always making fun of how ugly i was. the moment he said that, i was reminded of decades before. i started laughing to keep from crying.

the cashier was holding out the change she'd made. i couldn't move. ben said get your change, jenn.

i said i realize you've never seen me upset so you don't know how i get when i'm that way, so i'll tell you: i start laughing hysterically, and i get incredibly sarcastic, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, i'm pissed. and i stormed out. i would've left them there. i would've gotten back in my car and made the three hour trek back to my solitary apartment in houston. but i let him drive my car, and he had the keys. i couldn't smoke a cigarette. had to wait until we got back to his apartment. i sat in the rear, behind the passenger seat, as far away from him as i could, pressed into the side. i could hear his girlfriend whisper, why'd you say that? i could see him shake his head and mutter i don't know. when we got back to his apartment, i snatched my cigarettes and went walking around the complex until the tears got the best of me, and i collapsed on some sidewalk. he found me. he apologized. we watched caddyshack. i remember chomping on tums like they were candy. i remember him watching me, worried.

so i'm reminded when i hear this song of how awful i am at loving. how careless. how thoughtless. and selfish.

the other day my father and i took a drive after dinner through some of the neighborhoods. it's easier for me to ride in a car when i'm in the front. i can see out more easily. i don't feel quite so claustrophobic. we had a nice chat. i enjoyed the time with him. but this one comment he'd made stuck with me. he said that i seemed less angry lately, more able to go with the flow, that i haven't been fighting as much. he didn't know if it was because of the medicine i'm taking or what, but he liked that i seemed happier.

i'm not fighting at all now. i wake up. i go about my day, and when it's over, i crawl into bed. rinse. repeat.

stay with the demons you drown...

i have given up. people said you've to let go of things, to give up the plans you have for yourself so that the plans god has in store for you can come to be. i'm not writing. i go to work. i come home. i play on the computer. i eat. i get ready for bed. i pop my pills. i sleep. rinse. repeat.

and it's not just my demons i drown now, but my dreams, too.