Category Archives: Depression

On Loss

On Loss

“How do you feel about your sister getting another dog so soon?”  He asked over an hour after I explained the terrible situation to him.

“I think it is a great idea,” I said.  “She has all the energy to be a dog owner and there are other dogs out there who need a home.”

He looked puzzled but didn’t press the issue more.  As if mourning could only be done without a role replacement.

I walked up the stairs still explaining, “Nothing changes the fact that she died, not a new dog, not waiting to get another one, not getting out of bed early, not lying in bed depressed for two weeks.  Nothing changes the fact that she had cancer and despite the fact that we did everything to give her a happy healthy life, she still died at the age of three like all four vets who checked her out told us she would.”

“I guess that makes sense,” he said closing his bed room door, “well, sleep well.”

“Good night,” I shrugged, not in the mood to cry about it.  Crying only happens in certain mood and around certain people.  Otherwise I’m fine, it all seems so black and white like her pretty soft fur.

That conversation has been rattling around in my head all day.  That one as well as one I had a long time ago with another friend who didn’t understand why I got my current dog so soon after I lost the previous one to cancer.

“It’s just a rebound dog,” he said as if he thought I was stupid to get another dog.

“After that first one, they are all rebound dogs,” I explained.  “What am I supposed to do all day, cry at every meal I would normally feed her, or give another living dog some food?”

He didn’t really understand.  He hadn’t had a dog since childhood when his parents didn’t want to get another one.  Jealousy maybe, deep down at how easily I was able to just get what I wanted while he was left with years of life-style anguish.  Or so I think.

It was too late anyway, I already had adopted the new one.  I’m glad I did, everyday.  She’s wonderful.  She’s probably about 11 years old now.  I freak out whenever a tumor might be cancerous or she has a cough, but everything has always turned out to be benign or fixable with medicine.  The vet even says we don’t need to worry so much.  She is at that sweet age dogs get to with age and experience when they know exactly what you are talking about and can ask for whatever they want easily.  They get better with age.

Losing them is hard because you have to tell them to trust the doctor who kills them.  It’s got that element of deception even though you know what you are doing is lessening the pain and suffering they would otherwise go through dying a natural death.

It’s a different lesson on loss than losing a family member whose role cannot be filled, like a mother or father.  Siblings and cousins are half way role fillable, but they’re unique.  Friends, it depends on how friendly you are.  I’ve found that friends are very replaceable and easy to let go of.  There are plenty I want to keep forever, but I’ve learned to make new friends through losing others so I find the pain of losing them goes away fastest compared to pets and family members.

In answering his question about getting a new dog so soon, I realized that some people don’t separate how they think they should feel from how they feel and the reality of what is actually going on in the real world.  Does the previous dog care that we got another dog?  We don’t know.  All we know is that we planned to take care of a dog for the next ten years and we don’t have a dog to take care of.  In a perfect afterlife, I hope she’s happy that she joined the rest of our pack on the other side.  I know those girls up there will take good care of her.  In my dreams my grandmother already told me that she likes her so all I can do is believe that she is in good dog heaven hands.  Meanwhile, we down here must live for the living and keep on keeping on.

Post vacation stress disorder

Post vacation stress disorder

Oh it’s real.  I do pretty good the first few days as I get back into my routine.  Then somewhere around Wednesday evening it hits me.  I overspent on all that fun, now I have to live a bit more frugal to stay within budget for the enxt few weeks.  “It was worth it,” says one of the minds in my head.  “Yeah, but maybe we could have had a bit more self control.”  Silence ensues as I internalize my internal thoughts.  “Girls, girls!” I butt in.  “It just is what it is and it was worth it.”

Anyway, it exists, but at least it is less intense with each iteration because with life experience i’ve learned to smooth out my happy highs enough so that I don’t fall so hard on the way down.

It doesn’t help that I have a permanent job.  Well it does, because at least now I have a job to return to right away when I return from an adventure.  But two weeks vacation = slavery.  Seriously, who sets these salary prices anyway.  Supply and demand.  I know, I took a few econ classes.  But in the real world I don’t see it as a reason for how all prices clear.  Belief systems seem more of a culprit.  I’m off topic.  Back to PVSD.

I’ve been day dreaming a lot this week about what i would do if I could do anything I wanted and be free like on holiday.  It’s therapeutic, but as a dark side that doesn’t pair well with PVSD.  Because when I think of all the stuff I would do if I could do what ever I want to do, I just feel more blue because it is so far from reality.  Why do our minds genetically tease us with the possibly of other worlds colliding with ours?  My brain must be miswired, because this habit of thinking in no way has gotten me to the top of the success pile. If anything, it holds me back because all the time spent in another world, is time not spent understanding how this one actually works.

Self doubt, lack of ambition, and a complete undesire to try to accomplish anything more, PVSD.

I would want to accomplish more if any of the things I’ve accomplished actually got me somewhere.  Oh mother of glory I am a goal achieving hamster on a wheel rolling up hill next to Sisyphus.  At least I don’t have to push up rocks, so there is a bright side.  Someone is just watching while puffing a cigar saying, “Oh good, she’s almost done with that accomplishment, what meaningless goals shall we have her achieve once she’s done?” Trophies, pieces of paper, recognition, its all junk. junk. junk. junk. Meanless junk.  Just more junk to put on the wall and sort though in my closet.

I just want to sleep in. Every. Day. That makes me happy.

Evil Place

Evil Place

It’s an evil place playing a dirty trick. Everywhere are teases of happiness and absolved despair with a price just out of reach. It allows you the knowledge that you’ll fall over a cliff if you lean just slightly more forward to grasp the carrot of a day. Nowhere is the actual capability to bring the carrot closer. Everyone is fooled. They tout ideas and strategies for bringing the carrot closer as they themselves remain carrot-less as well. The only way to ever get close to the carrot is to sell your soul to the evilness. To work for the madman to keep the distractions flowing so no one wakes up from the illusion. Those who have woken up are pitied for everything they’ve lost. In this place, no one can keep their worldly possessions without paying a price to the madman. Only two choices exist: pay with all your possessions and live in exile as an unfortunate, or pay with your heart and soul working your life behind meaninglessness barriers.

Waiting for Prosperity

Waiting for Prosperity

Raquel sat waiting by the river for something positively exciting to happen to her. She’d had enough of the boring and miserable aspects of life. Death, loss, being broke, toxic relationships, career setbacks, etc. You name it, it’s happened. All these dark sides had shaken her confidence and belief in the attainment of dreams. She found herself going out less and not wanting to get involved in social activities because of the hidden costs associated with them. As she sat she reviewed all her naïve hopes from years past. “I was going to be great! I was going to put in the hard work necessary to make a grand living, gain respect and create my own small empire of wealth.” It distressed her to reflect on the situation in which those dreams evolved. Unfortunately, far from reality was that time of life. So small was the social circle and breadth of knowledge of how the world really operated, it was no wonder that she had once thought she could accomplish all that.

She in herself had changed too. When those dreams were stamped into her mission in life she had yet to experience her own joys of life outside the buffering childhood. The joys of solitude and general dislike for seemingly pointless and repetitive social cues were pivotal examples of how her own personality blocked her attainment of those dreams. Without at least a tolerance for politics how could she expect to navigate organizations in power or even encourage people to follow her should she wish to create her own environment? Some social constructs were fairly easy to navigate, however, those we generally found easy to everyone else as well making them less lucrative and/or just plain lazy.

In a way she was over those old dreams. After all, many of them had been accomplished so it was just a lingering few that refused to be fulfilled. Dropping the dreams was an option, but the feeling of “if I try just a little bit longer” always kept her coming back to them. The idea that she simply lacked new dreams was also toyed with. But her new found knowledge of the world shrunk her dreams to fit that realistic reality and thus new dreams were actually accomplished rather easy as they we both easily attainable with her current skills or simply dreamt up from a more practical mind.

All of which brought her to today, a place where she believed that simply waiting around for a lucky break into prosperity would do her more good than targeted action.

On Depression as a Matter of Belief

On Depression as a Matter of Belief

Depression is a matter of belief.  Belief that all your worst fears will come true and that you are powerless to do anything to stop the ship from sinking.  Your future is played in your mind-screen as a projection where all the negatives from your current situation are amplified.  No thought is given that things won’t get that bad.  It is a survival mechanism gone faulty.  True we need to know what seedlings will grow into something poisonous, but not everything is bad.  Depression lays with superstition in that it needs no evidence, not display of physical law to prove that the future is unpredictable.   It is evil in the sense that it relies on the great unknown as proof of one’s powerlessness.

“How could I, a single human, fight the great unknown?” I ask myself in despair.  My first response is to shine light on the unknown and then know it.  But the unknowns are infinite in number and strength.  The process of getting to know an unknown leads to the discovery of more and more unknowns.  The never ending chase leads to exhaustion and then more reliance on depression’s comfortable embrace for sustenance to one’s self feeling good enough again before plunging back down into its depths.

Only once depression subsides (or it lets me take a break) do I get to a point where I can reflect on it as if it were one single packet of time.  Seeing depression for what it is helps me to combat it every time, but each new spring leads eventually to a new winter.  Feeling better just makes me wonder what darkness I will have to combat with in the future.  So I scan my environment, on edge waiting for my next trigger.  Picking up signals and using my imagination, as I walk along the streets I project what an evil seed would look like if it were to grow into a full sized monster.  Then suddenly, I am there again, forecasting my future using my everyday routine as a mechanism to prove that my worst fears will one day come true.  Not only do I waste all my time worrying about all the things that will never happen to me, I feel my hopes and dream ly in that same category as fantasies that I can never achieve.

Depression inverts fears and dreams.  It makes me believe my fears will come true and my desires won’t, even though there is simply no way of knowing what will happen.

On Depression

On Depression

Depression, the emotional memory aggregator, seeps in slowly through every tiny crack in my life.  At first its just a bad decision, like taking a cab when the bus was 1/4 of the price.  From there it builds.   Though I’m still maintaining happiness most of the time, I begin to notice that things just don’t go right here and there.  There is still enough going well that I don’t realize I’ve been captured and well on the dissent.

I start second guessing myself out of a vague feeling that I’ve been wrong a bit too much lately.  Then Indecision creeps in under my nose followed by his best pals: Confusion and Doubt.   The Depression Gang’s whispers and mockery between my ears get louder and louder as they dig through my memory files.  One by one they pull out all the photos they’ve taken of themselves during my life time.  Like parasites, they high-jack my eyes and ears to match their horrid memories to my outer world.  I see strangers with characteristics of all the people I’ve ever disliked in any way, actors on screen resemble friends who pushed me away, song lyrics stab at my heart with remembrance of precious people I’ve lost, and any misstep a reminder of anything I’ve ever set out for and failed to achieve.

In defense, my boundaries and walls strengthen with hot showers, funny movies, and positive meditations.  To draw me out, they tease me like I’m a hungry puppy and they have beef jerky.  They allow me to walk just up to the gates of my goals, so I can see what’s on the other side then slam the gates in my face. Licking my wounds, I try another gate, only to be once again denied and made to feel a failure.  After a while, I don’t see the gate keepers as real people, instead I see the evil possessing them; like puppet masters, pulling strings to make my life as teasingly miserable by using as many people around me as they can.

The process repeats all while their memory attacks increase.  I begin to see a pattern and the problem, I begin to believe, is me.  The world doesn’t like me and as proof, the memory movie of all the negative events of my life is now playing on repeat.  It won’t stop playing.  I can press pause and get relief through positive interactions that have nothing to do with my main goal

I can buy happiness, through hobbies and nice meals with friends, but the world won’t pay me happiness.  Not with depression around my neck.  He has convinced me of my unworthiness and I begin to simply believe it.  I give in and angrily take the meager scraps he has to offer.  But he will still make me wait, make me jump through hoops and hurdles all because I need something and am working hard to obtain it.

As my walls and boundaries erode, I fall back into the indebted world.  The light at the end of the tunnel above me gets smaller and smaller as Depression makes me wait until he says its time for me to climb myself back up to the normal world.