Today, as I was going anxiously about my business, as per usual, I was struck by a momentary epiphany. I found I wasn’t going about my business anxiously but peacefully, actually. Puzzled, I examined what the fuck. The fuck I felt good, I found.
I instantly knew that something was wrong. I don’t feel good. That’s just not what I do. I’m not even sure any more what it is like to feel good. Provisionally, I imagine feeling good is what it is when one lacks any pain, discomfort and anguish, physical and mental. Damn. That’s one hell of a definition.
So, yeah, I noticed straight away that I wasn’t in any pain at all, which manifested as a significant lack of something. I wasn’t even feeling anxious, which is my default setting, and for a while, I was meditating on whether or not I’m still alive. How the fuck am I supposed to tell when I don’t feel anything?
My feeling good freaked me out something fierce. Fortunately, this suspended condition didn’t last. As I proceeded to go about my business peacefully, I soon noticed I was in fact going about my business anxiously. Whew. That was close. I have no clue what people who feel good on the regular do about it but if it’s you, my sympathies to you, because this shit is scary as fuck.
Mia is my dumb smartphone. But not even she is a Mia really. (Why, yes, of course I personalise and gender my phone.) My phone is a Xiaomi. That’s an actual brand. And since she’s called Xiaomi by the factory, I didn’t want to confuse her and so I called her Mia.
Mia is also my cat. No, not really. My cat is a tabby by default and an Ella by name, but since she goes miaow, I call her Mia sometimes.
But I’m not a Mia in any way. Except for one. I’m MIA. As in Missing in Action. As in not blogging. Why would I do it? I wouldn’t know. Until today when I was struck by a striking epiphany. (Which is a dumb thing to say because an epiphany is always striking by definition.) But before I expose myself (I mean, before I reveal my revelation to you as well), more disclaimers.
The shocking revelation is not shocking.
Neither shocking, nor revealing, if you must know. It is arguable whether it is anything at all. That will largely depend on which school of philosophical thought you subscribe to. I subscribe to nothing, so my revelation is not a thing to me. Neither is it a thought, since it’s obviously thoughtless. It’s also mindless because I have nothing on my mind.
I don’t have fucking time!
You didn’t see that coming, right? Seriously though. Consider it, since I’m so inconsiderate that you have to do so on my behalf. My blogging started its downward spiral when I started my own downward spiral when I started freelancing when I finished my half-life-long studies when I divorced (shock) and moved (twice) and when etcetera. That’s all obviously quite time-consuming, no? (I’m not asking, I’m saying.)
About the same time, also WordPress started its downward spiral. Since WordPress abolished all community features and challenges, I have not only zero will to live (unrelated to WordPress, I assume, although… hmm) but also zero will to blog. Because there’s zero stimulus. No more getting a catchword in a photo challenge, whipping up a crappy phone pic in response and call it a post.
But mostly, I don’t have time. Fucking time. It never occurred to me until today. Like I really don’t have time. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Possibly everything. There’s also likely something wrong with me, which is somewhat corroborated by my psychiatric diagnoses.
The Idea, the Point and the Moral
You didn’t fall for it, right?
I mean, you didn’t actually expect there to be an idea, a point and a moral in a threesome? I’m clearly idea-less, possibly point-less (even moral-less, since you mention it). So the idea is that I’m out of ideas. I sort of depressed myself by this ridiculous excuse of a blog post. I guess the moral should then be that I should be working. Or something.
Okay, I admit, this post’s title is a plain clickbait. It worked though, right?
In fact, I didn’t get that high. Neither did I talk to people that much. But baby steps, you know.
So how it occurred, and what the heck even occurred?
It started pretty much when I treated myself to half a Lexaurin today for my shoulder pain. Why, sure, I take tranquillisers in lieu of pain pills. Trust me, I’ve lived with my broken brain for long enough to know what’s what. By trial and error, I discovered that pain killers fail to kill psychosomatic pain, which where the Lexaurin comes in. It works.
Painfree and high on the fact, I put myself out there and went grocery shopping. In high spirits. When I’m on Lexaurin, I talk to people. Any people. On random. That’s the opposite of what I do when I’m unmedicated, which is when I hide from people. All people. Also, the voices of people. Meaning I don’t pick up phone calls. I just can’t even.
Mightily enjoying myself, I was sweeping round the supermarket cheerfully, smiling at people, bumping into them and apologising and having them bump into me and apologising some more. It’s a bank holiday tomorrow, hence the shop will be closed for one day, hence the whole village gathered in the shop to collect supplies. Logic.
All cash desks were blocked by queues winding across to the opposite wall of the shop. I’ve never seen so many locals uniting as one for their pre-holiday shopping. I had to purchase bottled water for the wait. And I entertained myself by entertaining innocent bystanders.
When the guy in the queue after me bumped into me yet again, I groaned mockingly: O, father, why hast thou forsaken us?! The guy gave me a WTF-look. I winked at him to indicate I’m not hostile. Much to his loss, he didn’t quite get my exquisite sense of humour.
I didn’t have more luck with the cashier. When it was my turn, which was about ten years later, I greeted her with my crooked-teeth smile and yelled over the noise of the crowded shop: Good evening to ya, may it be so! It makes slightly more sense in my mother tongue, btw.
The cashier awoke from her zombie mode and appeared amused, which encouraged me to add a goodbye greeting as well. So I say, Thanks a lot, ma’m, and may sanity be with you in this maddening crowd! Okay, I’m kidding, my speech wasn’t quite as flourished but nearly so. Alas, the woman was back to her sleep mode and remained unresponsive.
And that’s the end of the story. Where’s the story, you ask? Oh well. If a story is what is told, then this was totally a story. Don’t try to fuck with me. I’ve had my half a Lexaurin today and I’m unfuckwithable.
Hilarious is probably not the first word that comes in mind in connection with mental episodes. Especially if you’re the sufferer. But when you look at it with the eyes of the observer, it is really the best word to describe it. Hilarious.
I just had an acute mental episode over nothing. What happened? Like I say, nothing. All I did was walking over to sit at the computer and get some work done. And whoosh. Out of the blue I can’t breathe and feel a pressing urge to peel my skin off in one piece like a snake because there’s a weird sensation all over it.
I totally get that some of my fellow nutcases bang their heads against the wall or cut themselves. Clear-cut physical discomfort is a breeze. Weird mental discomfort is—weird. Also, maddening; though I’m not sure how it applies when you are already mad.
So, doing my best to perform the breathing exercise designed for panic/anxiety attacks, I hop (limp shakily) on the yoga mat and go for a classic guided breathing meditation that I have bookmarked on my phone. Now I not only want to peel my skin off but also want to rip the headphones off my head and toss the shit out of the window because it feels crazy weird against the ears too.
As the meditation progresses, so does my panic because the exercise isn’t working. However, successfully overcoming the temptation to grab the phone and toss it the same way as the headphones, I complete the meditation, put the stuff out of the reach of crazy people, remove my shorts because they feel weird and move on to administer a Lexaurin pill.
Ten minutes later, I can breathe normally. Well, not really, I could breathe normally but I can’t at the moment because I’m having a fit of hysterical laughter at myself. As I’m putting my shorts back on because they are perfectly legit, totally comfortable and don’t feel weird at all, I’m wondering what the fuck that was.
Apparently, I had a panic attack over absolutely nothing.
Well, okay, so maybe there is a workload I’m freaking about, which might have triggered the reaction. But come on, tell me something that’s new or, even better, tell me one rational reason why I should be entitled to panic over work. It’s not like my life depends on it.
Well, okay, so maybe my life does depend on my ability to work my workload. But, so what, let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here. Same old, same old: I’m a means of production owned by the capitalist society blah blah; also, exploitation, inequity, overwork, underpay blah blah, so everything is as it should be.
Well, okay, so maybe everything isn’t as it should be. However, who is to say what should be? Not me. Not anyone, as far as I’m concerned. (I wonder if that makes me an anarchist? And is that a bad thing? — I’m glad I don’t subscribe to the good/bad dichotomy, looks like it’s complicated as fuck.) My point is: what is there to panic about when there is no point anyway? I wish my panicky brain finally got it. Duh.
My old psychiatrist retired (probably to devote himself full-time to his drinking hobby) and was replaced by a new psychiatrist. Unlike the old guy, the new lady is less than a hundred and doesn’t appear to have a drinking problem (good for her).
I bear no grudge against her (yet), but as per usual, I’ve been quite passive-aggressive at our first date. She surely hated me at first sight, which is only right and mutual because I hate people by default. This might explain my passive-aggressive tendencies.
My new psych person had the old psych person’s office completely cleared, so now she practises in a large and mostly empty room. I’m scared of open spaces, so here you go. Also, she brought in a new table and positioned it in the wrong place. I’m OCD, so here you go again.
I tried hard to conduct myself, so I didn’t point out that she ruined everything for me. (She even moved the nurse’s station to the wrong wall, and nothing will ever be the same.) We had the following largely disappointing conversation.
Psych: So, how have you been feeling? Me:(What I thought: That’s a question beneath your profession. If I were feeling anything else than poorly, I wouldn’t be here, right? Elementary, doctor.) What I said: Poorly. (What I didn’t add: But I accept that it is what it is and I let it go, as my positive affirmations have me believe.)
Psych (staring at me): You look anxious. Me (staring in a wall behind her): (What I thought: Right, that’s because I have anxiety, just check my bloody chart, duh.) What I said: Yes.
Psych: What about we try increasing the antidepressant dose? Me:(What I thought: Whatever. It’s not like I’m a doctor. Oh, wait. I am a doctor. Whew.) What I said: Okay.
Psych: And what do you do? Me:(What I thought: Ow fuck, now we’re going to chit-chat? As a doctor, you should know that it’s not what I do but how I deal with it. Also, don’t try to outsmart me. You’re no match for my intellectual arrogance.) What I said: Work from home.
Psych: You don’t talk much, right? Me:(Nothing. Why state the obvious.) Psych: OK, so see you in a month. Me:(If I live to see the next month.) OK.
I guess I’m not a very amiable person. Actually, I’m sure of that because I spend a lot of time with myself and I hate every second. I’m such an annoying little smartass. Currently on more antidepressants than before, so we’ll see.
My reblogs of my own Instagram snaps seem to be among the posts which you hate the least, so I’m continuing with this non-challenge and presenting another week’s worth of crappy snappy shit (I know that this dubious phrase makes no sense, but that’s suitable for a non-challenge).
Currently in depths of depression slash anxiety, earlier today I was considering slashing my wrists but as per usual, I reconsidered because I don’t have my hair and nails freshly done and we must consider the feelings of those who find my body. Sorry for this killer intro, but it’s important to establish that I’m even more unbalanced than my normal unbalanced in order to gain insight into my following actions, which, I promise, are quite amusing (unless you’re the one taking the actions, of course, but that only makes it the funnier for you).
Working wasn’t working out for me today, so I resorted to the consolation of my disconsolate blog and checked out my notifications. (On a side note, if you’re anything like me [I hope for your own sake you’re not] and love tinkering around with new nifty features, go ahead and take the new post notification option in the Reader for a test ride.) So here I am, reading the comments on my blog and finding a note from Ellen, who expressed a mild interest in my curious capability of pulling a poem out of three random words. On this note I noted that the next thing I know, I’ll be pulling a poem out of my ass.
I thought to act on this dubious promise (threat?) and to gather inspiration, I went to check out my ass in the mirror. Kidding. I went to empty my ashtray, which is what I call a jar with a lid sitting at my balcony, which I religiously fill up with butts (not butts as in asses but butts as in, you know, butts). I usually throw the whole thing out when it’s full, but I’ve run out of jars, hence I had to keep the jar and relieve it of its contents only. I did this, on which I realised I’m such an asshole.
My anxiety agrees with this evaluation. I’m not only an asshole, I’m also a fire hazard. I emptied a jar full of fag ends into the dust bin, which obviously contains flammable materials. What if one of the dead fag ends wasn’t entirely dead and ended? What if I burn the building down? (And in case I don’t, for future reference, what’s even the correct and safe way of disposing of fag ends?) Now I’m terrified, courtesy of my assholeness and anxiety, and I’m periodically going down to check whether the bin has flamed up yet. So far, it hasn’t. Doesn’t make me any less anxious. Would you believe my stupidity? Please do nominate me for the post-mortem Darwin Award.
My holiday programme could be summed up in one word: nothing. But then I’d have nothing to blog about, so let’s elaborate.
I spent the holiday with my family: Ella, Lena, Apple, Broken Bastard and, most important, WiFi. In other words, I was home alone (plus one, that is, cat). So as not to be lonely, I was spending quality time with the cat (the above-mentioned Ella) and my favourite devices, which I named (like Robinson’s Wilson the Ball). Lena is my laptop and my bestie. Apple is the iPad with whom I have a love-and-hate relationship and only use it for reading Kindle books. The Broken Bastard is my electric heater, which is broken, hence bastard. As to WiFi, duh, self-explanatory.
My festive mood was oscillating between severely depressed and fiercely grumpy. On the Christmas Day, I was flooded with seasonal wishes on Facebook, which were mostly the identical Facebook-generated card. I soon developed a strong allergic reaction against it.
On a whim, I texted my academic colleague a customised wish: “Though Christmas is a social construct, have a good one!” She replied with happy holidays and the wish that god may bless me. That made me grumpy. How many times do I have to publicly declare that a) I’m Buddhist and don’t celebrate Christian holidays (and, obviously, don’t believe in god’s blessings); b) I’m depressed and grumpy, hence wishing me a happy anything is really a waste of a perfectly good wish.
On the Christmas Eve, I found myself digging in the Windows registry for fun. Even I considered this a twisted way to spend the holiday. So I went to reorganise my desktop folders instead. Seeing that this was not much better, I proceeded to change my phone ringtones. I was really just waiting the season out.
On the New Year’s Eve, I started to organise my work and life for the new year, obsessively filling in my several planning diaries and journals. A good try, alas, I failed in all instances. I switched on a boring radio station so as not to miss the countdown to midnight. I didn’t miss it, but it was anti-climactic. The moderator invited a charwoman to the microphone and they both dispensed their best wishes.
I tried to toast to my cat (not toast my cat as in putting her in a toaster), but she was shitting herself with fright from the fireworks under the sofa and refused to come out. And the next thing I remember is a hangover and another shitty year beginning. The cat foretold it right.
I’m particularly proud of the new year’s wish I posted on Instagram, so I’ll repeat it here: If you’re a guy, may your new year not suck. And if it sucks, may it at least swallow. (This joke I stole.) If you’re a gal, may your new year not be a dick. Actually… (This one I didn’t steal.) Well, let’s hope my new year will be a dick.
Also, I do not offer my apologies for my somewhat inappropriate sense of humour. I’m true to myself. Which is actually the moral of The Scarlet Letterby Hawthorne:
Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!
So, this is where sex jokes and classics of American literature meet.
I’m, so far, a depression survivor. It’s a mixture of depressing and hilarious. I’ve started to collect the weirdest, dumbest and most illogical things people tell me when I mention that I have depression. I usually mention it as a disclaimer—and for comic relief because depressed people tend to love black humour. It somehow fits the dark mood.
While I’m risking that I will come across as a smartass (probably because I am that), I’ll share a selection of the most hilarious responses I’ve collected over the years. Sometimes it looks like people have no clue what they’re actually saying. It appears that some people have no sense to see what pearls of nonsense they are dispensing.
Let’s start with the usual:
Get over it.
Think: would you tell this to someone with cancer? I hope not. Let’s establish that there is a difference between manageable and curable. And guess what! Depression is the former, but not the latter. Who would have thought? (That’s not a real question, that’s the tricky rhetorical kind of a question, which is really a statement. Whew!)
My personal favourite:
OMG, how come it didn’t occur to me before? I’m cured! Kidding. This is too ludicrous to deserve further commentary.
Another of my favourite exchanges:
Look at the bright side!
“Such as?”—”Well, you’re alive…”—”You realise I’m suicidal?”—”Uhuh?”—”That means that being alive isn’t the bright side for me!” Duh.
An inspirational story:
Look at [insert a famous actor’s name]! He functioned just fine with it, he’d just get on the stage and when his act was over, they’d take him straight to the hospital!
I’m not sure how being taken straight to the hospital could mean that someone is fine. Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe you’re missing something. (Not you as the specific you, but you as the generic you, like someone.)
A piece of undeniable logic:
But you smile in photos!
Of course I smile in photos. I’m not a moron. (Okay, I am a moron, but not in this respect.) Please be aware that I didn’t have a stroke, hence my ability to lift the corners of my mouth remains unaffected. My exercising this ability doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of my mind.
A case of stating the obvious:
It’s just in your head.
I wholeheartedly agree that mental afflictions affect the mind, which resides in the brain, which resides in the head, so it is indeed all in my head. But, uh, how is this piece of information helpful? *shrug*
The list goes on, but I think you got the idea. The point is: let’s all mind what we’re saying and whether what we’re saying even makes any sense. Here’s an inspiration for a new year’s resolution!
I went out shooting for a bit today. There’s chronically nothing to shoot around. So I made do with the seasonal enhancements to the village square. I deliberately toned down the bright colours and cheeky glitter in some parts of the photos. To me, this is a more appropriate representation of the season than the false cheer that one is force-fed.
I perceive Christmas as the epitome of falsitude. Whether we view it as an originally pagan or as a Christian celebration, people who are neither ancient pagans nor Christians celebrate it nowadays. I find this extremely puzzling. What I associate most with the season, besides false cheer, is obligation and duty misrepresented as affection and love.
Also, there is seasonal anxiety, pressure, vague disappointment, gnawing aimlessness, deeply felt loneliness, fear of the new year, regrets about the old year, unfulfilment and all that is crap. Along these lines, here are my crappy photos.