Thursday, December 31, 2009

FYI: Depression hasn't a "why"

Some of you may not know this, so I'm telling you: if someone in your life is depressed, there probably isn't a real reason.  They're not doing it on purpose, and they aren't focusing on the wrong things.  Well, maybe they are- it can suck you in- but that's not my point. The point is that, at least for me, the depression is in me.  It always is.  I'm pretty sure it always has been. 

Yes, circumstances in life can kick it up a notch, but I can tell when it's chemically induced more than just overwhelming sadness because the circumstances in life really aren't that bad.  My life is fine.  My life is great.  I'm very happy.  I just happen to be super depressed right now.  And I know that there's no real reason for it other than my stupid brain.  So- don't worry.  Don't try too much cheer me up, don't point out all the good things I have, don't tell me this or that will make me feel better. 

Is it good for me to have some distraction? Yes, it is.  Tonight is New Year's Eve, and what I really want to do is sit in this chair and alternate staring into space with playing Bubble Town.  Preferably drunk.  But what I will do is go out with my friends, and laugh and have fun.  I don't need to wallow any more than I already do.

At least in my case, I have dealt with this long enough that I have a pretty good handle on how to deal.  I know that, though I can't just buck up and be done with this, I also need a swift kick in the rear to keep living and not get overly despondent or melodramatic.  I know that my life is great and that I'm being lame. 

A few of you can try to kick me in the butt, but be prepared for me to fight back a little.  It'll all be okay.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009- Man, am I glad it's over

I gotta tell ya, I don't feel like writing right now. (Gee! Thanks, Robin! I'm sure this will be GREAT!)  I know that I should write, though.  I can't believe I've only written once this month, when I know I have thoughts rolling around in my head.

Nutshell? I'm pretty depressed.  It's not like I'm crying and in the depths of despair, but more a conclusion I've come to or something I finally saw.  I have zero motivation to do anything other than play Bubble Town or be on FB & Twitter all day.  And I'm tired of it.

I don't like the way I live my life.  God & my husband don't allow me to not work so that I can get fatter and fatter and also get carpal tunnel.  I'm supposed to be doing things.  I'm supposed to take better care of my husband and house, I'm supposed to be volunteering more, I'm supposed to be reading and studying and hanging out with people I care about and exercising and playing real instruments, not just plastic ones.

Usually I'm not a big fan of shoulding on myself, but this is more than a guilt trip: it's a not quite rock bottom that I would like to be a turning point.  I'm clear about these things.

The year started oddly: my sister, who I probably love more than anyone in the world besides Seth, was in the hospital.  After about a month, I just couldn't stand it anymore and, after dropping my classes, went to Michigan to be with her.  I woke up one night just crying and freaking out because I couldn't stand the thought of her being alone in the hospital when my mom couldn't be there (and her husband was deployed).

The doctors were really being pessimistic and all but assuring her that her daughter would die, but we didn't believe them.  There are plenty of stories online about women in similar situations whose babies lived.  I, for one, expected Adi to be born premature and puny, but that she'd live.  Sure, complications were to be expected, but they'd be gotten past.  But she did die.

My sister had a horrible, terrifying c-section while my brother-in-law watched their daughter get yanked out of her, and then he watched her die after an hour.  My sister never saw her or held her alive.

The same day that my niece died, my friend's brother was accidentally shot and killed.  Let's cancel January 23rd from now on, okay?

I was in MI for a month, mourning and comforting as best I could, but I also had a good time with my friends and family.  A few days after my sister got out of the hospital, we went to Costco and my brother-in-law and I cracked up watching her try to run people down in the scooter/cart.  I got to see lots of my friends multiple times, I got drunker than ever before with one of my best friends and some guys from high school, I got together with some online friends, saw a Red Wings game, and got sick of winter.

After I was home for a few weeks, I went to stay with my sister for 2 weeks in North Carolina.  We had a great time, and we also got to visit our cousin and her family in Richmond, which was fabulous.

A lot of the year was good: I went to CHIC with the youth group, Seth and I had a great 10th anniversary vacation in the NW, and I had a fabulous class this fall.

This was also an expensive year, and my car currently sits dead in the driveway.  All told, I was out of my bed & away from home for almost 4 months this year.

I've been worried a lot this year.  About my sister, brother-in-law, parents, another sister who has been depressed and confused, the messed-up sister who lost both her kids but is pregnant with a third, about everything that could be worried about for my husband, about money, the marriages of multiple friends-- you name it.  I know I don't need to worry, and I sometimes do a good job of casting stuff on God.  But not enough, apparently. 

I stopped working with two ministries and added another one, which is still finding its rhythm.

I didn't really like our Christmas.

I want a house.

I want a best friend in California.

I've stayed on medicine, which I want to double, but I don't want to do that arbitrarily.  I can't ask my doctor do up my prescription, because I still haven't seen anyone about my depression.  I didn't think I needed to before, but maybe I do.  Maybe if I talked to someone about my stupid lack of motivation and what appears to be self-sabotage, I'd get somewhere.  I know that Jesus is helping me and I don't have to do all this on my own.

I'm just tired.  And I'm excited about this year being over.  I know it has been weird, and I want it to go.  I want to start over- start fresh.  Though some may call that na├»ve, I know that I can start fresh. I can start over right now, if I wanted to.  I've been trying for about 2 weeks now to change; to think in a new way.

I just keep sitting back down.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Swell Season


Verily, I say unto you, I have never been to a better concert than The Swell Season, November 20th, Paramount Theatre, Oakland, CA.  I hadn't listened to the new CD, Strict Joy, so had worried a bit that the show may be slightly boring, based on their single, "In These Arms," which is quite mellow and quiet.  I wanted to go, though, since I love the music from Once so very, very much.  I warned Seth that it may just be a concert where we are a little snoozy, but we hear beautiful music, so it's "nice."

Oh, I was so wrong. As soon as Glen & Mar came on stage, I was ridiculously happy.  There is something magical (yes, I said, "magical") about hearing in person music that you love so much, especially when it's from a movie.  It feels extra-special or strange to see the people & hear the songs.  So I was grinning like an idiot and felt, well, buoyant when they started singing.  "In These Arms" was touching and lovely, and was already a little teary during, "If You Want Me," which was the 2nd song.

They sang the first few songs sitting on the ground together, then she went over to the piano, and he eventually brought out his band, The Frames, who I also love.  As you may know, but I had forgotten, things are always a little more loud and rowdy in person, so even the slower songs were more powerful live, and they were definitely rocking sometimes.

For a small set, the guys from The Frames and Marketa left the stage, and Glen stood there with his holey guitar you saw in the movie and sang an acoustic set for us. Oy.  That's all I can really say.  Oy.  He started singing "Say It To Me Now," behind the mic, but quickly stepped out and just belted it from the front of the stage, and I seriously wept the whole time. (It's a short song.)  The man is amazing. 

Aside from being rollicking and emotional and powerful, it was also a really fun and intimate concert.  The theater seats about 3000 people, so it wasn't too big.  Glen interacted a ton with us in the audience, telling funny stories, encouraging us to sing along ever louder, and even taking a few questions and requests.  They did "Falling Slowly" during their encore, which ended up being 4 songs, I believe, including an old blues/folk song that we all had to sing.

Their U.S. tour is almost over, but I highly encourage you to watch Once if you haven't, buy all their music, check out The Frames and buy their music, and see The Swell Season next time they're near you.