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I’m just reposting something I wrote on Facebook a month ago, in case it might help someone:

depression_graphic

I’m currently doing pretty well, but depression, for me, has included all the stuff on the right side of the graphic above, plus: lack of motivation, inability to sleep (or to stop sleeping), difficulty caring about anything including myself, and loss of control over my emotions, when I did feel them. Clinical depression is not about being sad, though that is often one of the symptoms. The percentages are probably different for each person; hopelessness was high on my list, while some people feel much more anxiety. I’ve felt everything on the right for sure, and ‘nothing’ was the most prevalent.

If you’re lucky enough to never have experienced real depression, I’m happy for you and I hope you never do. Please look up some literature on how to deal with your friends or relatives who are depressed; sometimes the things people say while trying to be helpful can make things worse. “Cheer up” and “it’ll get better” and especially “you just have to (do whatever)” seem like impossibilities to someone in the midst of it, and nothing anyone says will snap someone out of it, unless they are ready and able, depending on their own will and body chemistry, often along with antidepressants and the like.

When it was bad for me, I couldn’t will myself to cheer up any more than I could climb Everest without oxygen. Getting out of bed felt like it would kill me. The idea of leaving my house, or being with people, was horrifying and scary sometimes. I’ve been dealing with it for 18 years now, and like I said, I’m currently doing well, but that hasn’t always been the case and it might not be the case in the future. My own head has often been the scariest place for me to be, but there’s no escape from myself, so you can imagine how hard it has been at times.

I’m not writing this for sympathy, but rather to let people know what it’s like from the point of view of someone who’s been there, so that if you have someone close to you dealing with depression or anxiety or any other mental illness, that you know it’s often not ‘curable’ just by wanting to make it so, on our part or theirs. Sometimes drugs help; sometimes therapy helps. Sometimes people aren’t ready or willing to use either of those options. Antidepressants are a sticky business and often they can help, but finding the right drug for any particular person can be very trying and can take months or years if they work at all. Sometimes they make things much worse, and it’s just a matter of it being the wrong drug for that person’s body. (The first drug I was put on made me feel exponentially worse, when I felt terrible in the first place.) Some people don’t like the way certain drugs make them feel, or not feel, so they resist using them. The brain is a wondrous thing, but when it comes to emotions and motivation and mood, it’s a damn mystery much of the time.

I’ve been very lucky. At my lowest points, I sought medical help, and I’ve never really felt ostracized, but I know that’s not the case for everyone. Drugs and therapy can be prohibitively expensive, and many people aren’t in any sort of position mentally, physically, or financially to ask for or receive the help they need, especially when they need it most. I know my friends worried about me, a LOT, but I wasn’t able to deal with them or allay their fears when I couldn’t even deal with myself.

I salute mental health professionals who deal with this stuff every day. It has to be exhausting. I was lucky to have many helpful people on my side when I needed it.

Anyway, this graphic jumped out at me and made me think ‘YES. That’s what it’s like!” I have felt like people thought I was just sad, when it was so much more than that, so much more complicated, so much worse.

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(Note: I’m unsure who made the graphic. If you know, please tell me so I can credit the author/artist. Thanks.)

I don’t come here much, do I?

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Every few years I seem to remember I have a WordPress blog. Since the last time I wrote here, in 2013, my dad got scary sick, and now he lives in assisted living and is doing very well. The caregivers at his place think he’s quite a character, which is good because otherwise they’d think he was a horrible person, considering some of the stuff he says to them. He has a rating system for his favorites; Gigi was his #1 or #2 but she dropped down to #9 for giving him coffee instead of tea. He’s such a jerk. It’s good they think he’s fairly adorable, and I am well aware how lucky I am to have him around.

 

I’ve recently lost a lot of weight – diet and exercise, who’da thunk it? — and have a lot more to lose, but it’s going well. My face looks like my face to me again, which is really nice. I’m more of a pain in the ass at restaurants now, and if you knew how much of a pain I was before, that’s really saying something. I’m already looking to the future when I’m at my goal weight, and worrying about maintenance. (Mostly I’m looking forward to eating pasta once in a while.)

 

I’m still vaguely an insomniac but I do get enough sleep, and now it’s usually in a large chunk every night (or day) rather than several small naps through the
day, so that’s progress.

 

Someday I might get back to doing whackadoodle “Hunter” recaps and screencaps, but for now you can visit the old ones at hunter-and-mccall.tumblr.com if you like . I left off near the end of Season 3, and there are still some fun episodes to come before things get a bit … boring around S5 or S6.

 

Currently, I’m trying to do a few little craft projects, and it turns out I’ve forgotten how to craft. I’m sorry, friends-o-mine who will be receiving these gifts. They’re probably going to look crappy, but were made with love. (I have about 10 days so maybe I can do better. Fingers crossed and all that.)

 

Oh! I did do NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2015 and I got to 59,210 words before November was over, so go me! Now comes the hard part, which is finishing and revising my novel. I think it could be good, if I could just figure out what my female main character wants. GoalMotivationConflict, why are you hiding from me? My male lead knows what he wants, the dialogue and romance are not bad … but my girl needs more oomph. Oh, and I’m missing an antagonist, so if you see one around, please send them my way. Kthx.

 

If anyone is actually reading this, speak up! Wish me luck on all this stuff and tell me what I should be wishing for you. Are you writing something? (I’m good at naming books or fixing weird sentences.) Are you dieting along with me? (I can recommend my fave protein bars and fast food hacks.) Do you have a pet who’s a pain in the ass? (No real help but I can say “awww, bad kitty.”) Problems with your significant other, or lack of one if you want one? (Why are people so difficult?) Health? Job? Whatever. I’m here for you.

 

Yeah. I blather. Nice to see you, and maybe I’ll come around more often.

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Link: 2013 Met Gala Fashion Roundup

Click that link above,  the one that says “2013 Met Gala Fashion Roundup.” I DARE YOU. I tell it like it is, and this year it is a sad state of affairs at the Met. The Met Gala this year was themed “Punk: From Chaos to Couture,” and it was just a crazy fashion mess of epic proportions. Some misunderstood punk; some took it too far; very few actually looked sane in any way.

Watch out, world. Here I come.

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It’s been ten and a half years since I have left the USA and now that I’m finally in possession of a valid passport once more, I’m itching to travel. Heck, let’s be honest, I’m going to Scotland like I always do, because that’s where my family is. The nephew whose birth I attended is now over a decade old and he doesn’t know me at all, and my niece has a 2-year-old daughter I’ve never met.

But I also have a sister in Canada, and now I can fly up there at a moment’s notice to do sisterly things if I like! I live about 3 hours from the Mexican border, so there’s that as well. Though really, I already eat at Melody’s Mexican Kitchen about three days a week and I’m not exactly a beach bunny, so Mexico’s not a big draw for me. But there are pyramids in Mexico, and Mayan ruins. OH THE POSSIBILITIES!

Photos….

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Since getting my camera back from its extended stay at the Nikon Hilton (aka the friggin’ camera repair shop that took 43 days to fix it) I’ve been itching to take photos. Anything special you’d like to see? Any mysteries of the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas you’d like explained in pictures?