Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quote: Bad vibes.

Saw this, attributed to unknown via smile through the pain:
Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. Just trust what you feel.
Huzzah to this. Many of us, especially women and girls are quick to over-ride our instincts to "be nice" in situations where we might be scared for our safety. Let alone something more "minor" like being in a negative environment or having to tolerate someone's shitty comments. Let's all give ourselves more credit - and respect our instincts.

We have every right to say "no." We have every right to say "nah, I'm not into this."

I was born in 1984.

This may or may not have been meant to be funny, but I read this and laughed out loud. I believe the correct term is guffaw. I did one of those loud, boisterous Ha's!
You know you’re a 90's kid when you have no good source of income and want to die.
Original post.  I was technically born in 1984, but I was a child during the 90's, so I think this applies to me...

It's dark as shit but man did it make me laugh. Timing for me seeing this is perfect, as I'm going nuts racking my brain with what I should do with my "career" and what my next job-move (if any move at all) is best for me.

Who the fuck knows! Not me! I have no idea what to do!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Re-post: Raging Peacock on Tumblr.

From Gay for the Void / Raging Peacock on Tumblr.

[gets depressed because feels like a failure] [cant get stuff done because depressed]
this is some Good Shit right here

Blogger doesn't re-blog Tumblr posts. It's a nightmare.


Friday, June 26, 2015

On dominant thoughts and being "thought out."

Here we go:

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts. 
– Søren Kierkegaard

I came across this quote on some random quote-regurgitating Twitter feed. This is where gems are hidden these days…

Re-reading this quote now, weeks after I pasted it in what I affectionately call my “blog topics dump” text document on my google drive, I can’t help but think of that whole “the secret” fad. Remember that fad? Where you used a vision board to project into your own future?

Look, I can understand, logically, that the lens with which we perceive, sort, and react to the world directly affects that same lens (re-creating and enforcing itself).

Getting up, and being positive, and feeling that the world is nothing but possibilities, no doubt leads you to trying more things, and taking risks, and thus gaining more out of life. Alternatively, feeling downtrodden and crippled by life and its obstacles will lead you to remain on a more limited path.

So where does this leave me? If I'm struggling with my depression, and constantly (these days) thinking about my reality as a “depressed person” does that equate “dominant thought”? Right now, I would say it feels like it does.

I've felt, possessed by a hyper-tenderness to my depression. These last few weeks have been rough. I've been tired and just, so depleted. I equate it to feeling “talked out” only of my thoughts. I'm “thought out” of it. I've just been too aware, to sensitive, to worried, to engaged in access resources, too disappointed, too self-reflexive.

I'm thought out.

So if my dominant thoughts are now no longer if what ails me, but of how weary I am of it all, how thought out I am, what life is expressed? Is my life right now, the embodiment of a sigh?

Is that what I am today? A walking sigh?


*I shouldn't have to point-out that I don't own the rights to Peanuts... But I don't.

*sigh*

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beautiful, sad, strong tattoos by Lydia Marier.

I met Lydia Marier on Tuesday night. I've been following her on Instagram for a while now, and I just love her style. I was especially touched by a few pieces.



So, I've given her a deposit and a brief, and hopefully I'll have new work by her in September. She has some really great stuff, check her out!


She works only in black, and her black-work is really strong. A friend mentioned wanting to support female and queer identified tattoo artists only from now on, and I'm following her lead. I think it's a great idea. I met Lydia and thought she was really sweet and open to my ideas, so I'm excited to see what comes of it. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

David Letterman.

I just got around to reading the Rolling Stone interview with David Letterman. I watched a lot of his final shows before he retired. The entire thing was pretty emotional (which is difficult considering how much emotion seems to make Dave uncomfortable) Norm MacDonald's segment absolutely killed me. I cried like a baby.

Letterman has a special place in my heart. I grew up watching him and Conan. Conan was the absurd side of me, and Letterman was the cranky side of me. He was like the grandpa I never had and always wanted. Cranky like me. We could sit on a porch, talk, and cackle.

His interview in Rolling Stone discusses his struggles with both depression and anxiety:
For years and years and years — 30, 40 years — I was anxious, and hypochondriacal, and an alcoholic, and many, many other things that made me different from other people. The hypochondriacal behavior . . . it sounds stupid, but it was killing me! Doctors kept telling me not to come back. 'Really, Dave. There's nothing.' Finally, I found out it's all a manifestation of anxiety. Once you realize that, you can self-monitor. Which I've found very useful.

Though he avoided medication for years, he eventually started taking antidepressants 25 years ago.

I was suspicious, and sceptical, and nervous about it. But it changed my life. I used to have kind of a hair trigger; I used to put my fist through Sheetrock. 

He says he's much happier now, and has let a lot go. He goes to talk therapy, he practices meditation. If you're a Letterman fan, it's a nice read. I just think it's nice to read something about a 68 year-old person with mental health struggles, doing more than what he referred to as years of just "enduring" life.

My life strategy.

fall

You can see fantastic work of Oamul Lu over on their website.

Monday, June 22, 2015

so sad today.

I started following so sad today on Twitter:


From what I can tell so far, so sad writes a column for Vice, but I can't find very much written by her. I find it interesting how many of the @ replies sent to her are just shaming or shitty. A lot of people don't get it.

Anyway, I'm going to message her this blog post just to say to her, I fucking get it. 

I've often had entire worlds of inner-dialogue about how logical depression is. How feelings of hopelessness and cynicism are totally warranted and can be easily argued for. I guess the distinction is how much depression is internalized and becomes an inner narration of self-loathing or an absolute rejection of life.

Some folks can be cynical and angry and live their lives. But with me, it becomes such an overwhelming view of the world it incapacitates me.

What's the point?

I often have so much fucking trouble answering that question.

On a good day I'll be all: "Whatever, you're here while you're here take a walk, pet a dog, giggle while drinking coffee." Life is still absurd, I'm just able to laugh at it.

Being depressed is being so god damn sensitive to everything. Everything. Are those who aren't depressed or anxious just those who are better at being a little more self-serving and ambitious?

Is that the difference?

Even when I read the science behind depression as a mental illness - there's just so much that's a god-damn question mark.

Ugh. Who fucking knows. . .

As time goes by more and more people seem to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It's the new normal. Maybe the insane are those who still look at the world and think it's all for them, and everything is possible if you work hard and believe, as if the privilege of opportunity doesn't exist.

So yeah, so sad today, maybe you have to be insane to be depressed. Maybe being depressed is a perfectly reasonable reaction to being in this life... We still don't want it though. It still fucking hurts. We can still feel the difference between a good day and a bad day. If those bad days are a fog of depression, what are the good days? Are those the days on which we're insane? Is it proof of our insanity that we prefer that delusion?

What does any of it mean, if anything.

One day at a time, until the day ends.

This was my Sunday.


...except I did sleep most of the day. I just had the heaviest eye lids and could not muster up any energy.  On days like yesterday, I find it extremely difficult living with my mother. For me it's about harm-reduction and just doing what I need to do. But she sees laziness and just gets frustrated and passive aggressive.

I ended up getting up in the afternoon but I didn't do much. I have to be careful not to sleep all day since I have to get up for work On Monday and I don't want to mess up my sleep cycle.  Although, I guess these days my sleep cycles is "sleep whenever you can."

Friday, June 19, 2015

"It’s Not About Mental Illness" by Arthur Chu.

Powerful piece by Arthur Chu over at AlterNet in which he discusses the bias of white-Media and the way in which they're quick to point to mental illness as the trigger behind acts of violence when the perpetrators are white men.

I've seen a lot of tweets about this in my feed, and I'm in agreement.




There is very little information out about the suspect behind the Charleston, South Caroline shooting of yesterday, yet "mental illness" is already linked to his media coverage. Chu (and most of the Twitter-sphere I follow) are all quick to point out how mental-illness is a cop-out to avoid the real conversation of context, as Chu lists "race, guns, hatred and terrorism."

Chu goes on to site a study that shows that people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of crimes. The red-herring of mental illness is used as away to avoid

We’ve successfully created a world so topsy-turvy that seeking medical help for depression or anxiety is apparently stronger evidence of violent tendencies than going out and purchasing a weapon whose only purpose is committing acts of violence...
...Well, “mental illness” never created any idea, motivation or belief system. “Mental illness” refers to the way our minds can distort the ideas we get from the world, but the ideas still come from somewhere.
... Dylann Roof is a fanboy of the South African and Rhodesian governments. As horrific as Roof’s crime was, the crimes that occurred over decades of apartheid rule were far, far worse, and committed by thousands of statesmen, bureaucrats and law enforcement officials. Were all of them also “mentally ill”?
 ..The reason a certain kind of person loves talking about “mental illness” is to draw attention to the big bold scary exceptional crimes and treat them as exceptions. It’s to distract from the fact that the worst crimes in history were committed by people just doing their jobs–cops enforcing the law, soldiers following orders, bureaucrats signing paperwork. That if we define “sanity” as going along to get along with what’s “normal” in the society around you, then for most of history the sane thing has been to aid and abet monstrous evil.
No doubt there will be a lot of interesting conversation about what's going on in the states right now. Mental illness should not be getting the traction that it's getting. Mainstream outlets like Fox have been avoiding the issue of race altogether, which is completely insane to me (and to most logical citizens).

Just yesterday morning I was watching Canadian coverage that threw to an American affiliate who did not use the term "hate crime" or "terrorism" and was very docile in his language use. He didn't even mention it being a black church, he just referred to it as a church. The Canadian anchor, a black woman, re-phrased the question for more information on the community and her attempt was completely dodged.

My heart goes out to those suffering through this. It's a brutal crime. As an outsider to what it is to be American, there is a lot of this I don't understand. Mainly the cultural obsession with guns and the Charleron Heston "cold dead hands" mentality of gun-ownership, and the way in which the confederate flag is still proudly displayed.

There's a piece over at The Atlantic about taking down the confederate flag. I just don't get how people can still argue it isn't a symbol of racism and segregation.
You cannot remove the flag from its context...

I'm sorry this happened. I wish I could offer support to all of those suffering through this.

Be safe.


On "new atheism" and atheist representation.

There's an article over on Salon about 8 atheist leaders actually worth listening to, I thought I'd link to it here, since this is something I'm happy to read.

I wrote an undergraduate thesis while in University about atheism and the Canadian identity:

The Illegal Atheist: The Charter, Marginalization and Canadian Identity 
This thesis deals with the preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the way in which it creates an assumed god-worshipping Canadian identity. The production and reproduction of this assumption marginalizes atheists and non-believers and further prolongs a Christianity-based hegemony. I work through this by identifying the preamble of the Charter and the way it affects the reading of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I then move into how this preamble is part of a Christian hegemony that is well rooted in Canada, and how this history has created a “Canadian identity” with which we live today, and which privileges the god worshipping. Lastly I discuss the way in which this “Canadian identity” frames the atheist and non-believer as “other,” and how the “othering” of the atheist marginalizes her by excluding her from discourse and political representation.

So, atheism and atheist readings aren't new to me. At the time (2008) I completed a literary review that included a lot of work by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Sure, they had some great points here and there regarding atheism, but overall they were dicks. They were sexist, racist, and elitist. 

I'm not familiar with the term "new atheist" but according to the wikipedia entry it's a club that features four white guys. So no, I'm not a "new atheist" - I'm just an atheist.

So, this article over and Salon (by AlterNet's Greta Christina), lists students, writers and activists of different backgrounds, genders and cultures as resources for atheist representation and community. 

Anyway, if you're interested, check it out.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Meeting Ranjana.

After an ongoing attempt to access free mental-health services (specifically therapy) I've had to settle for the sliding-scale services offered by The Argyle. If you're unfamiliar with my journey attempting to access mental health services, just check out the "access" label to the right of the page.

I called the Argyle several weeks ago and was told I would be called back by an in-take professional. A week or two later they contacted me (they basically ask why you need the services) and I was asked to e-mail them my tax return for last year, which would establish my income and thus the hourly rate they'd charge me.

They're charging me 50$ a session. I can't swing that weekly, but I should be able to bi-weekly for now. Some of that 50$ will be reimbursed by my private insurance. Since our first session last week, I also saw her yesterday. She asked to see me next week and I told her I can't afford it, that our sessions would have to be bi-weekly. She seemed surprised by that, but she accepted it.

I wasn't sure at first if Ranjana and I would hit it off. The last two therapists I've seen were roughly my age. In my previous intakes, I mentioned wanting a young-woman who was atheist identified (or at least had an understanding of an atheist/non-religious mindset). That might seem like an odd stipulation, but if you're a non-believer and your therapist uses underlining themes of faith or divinity it can be patronizing and completely dismissive.

My request for female-identified, atheist-friendly therapists with an understanding of eating disorders, sexuality, gender and depression resulted in both of my therapists (over the last decade) being young jewish women.

This time, I just stipulated a woman. I think gender is a significant part of my experience, and an understanding of being a woman, a girl, sexualized, and feminism is an important fundamental starting point for shame, identity and body-awareness.

The only other request I made was that it be permanent staff. I saw Alexa for ten session last year and I thought the world of her. But, she had to go back to school and I wasn't able to keep seeing her. I don't want that to happen here. I want long-term, on-going therapy. Even if I lapse for a while, I want follow-through. I want to be able to go back and see the same person, or for there to at least be a file on me.

I'm tired of starting over. At some point you're "telling your story" in a way that seems completely impersonal because you feel as though it's lost its value in repetition.

Ranjana is an older (than me) Indian woman, her website describes her work with the local Indian and Hindi communities. Our first session went well, I think it'll be good for me to move outside of my comfort zone and to have conversations with someone who is outside of my realm of reference, and who can see things in a different way.

My goal in this round of therapy is to be more of an active participant in it. With Putterman I was a mess. With Alexa I was also in crisis. Now, I've plateaued, and I think it'll be helpful to move through certain things, with help.

We'll see how things go.

Onward.

Tumblr: Black Girl + Mental Health.

While following the Twitter reports and conversations following the Charleston shooting last night, I followed a link that lead me to a blog called Black Girl + Mental Health.

I thought I'd share the link here. I'm not a black woman. I am however, not a racist white woman. I want to share this as a resource for POC who might find their way here. I also think that though race and racism play a particular role in the struggles of people of colour, those living with depression and anxiety have a similar internal struggle, words of encouragement to those living with mental illness are always appreciated, and should be circulated.

Race has been on my mind a lot lately. This whole Rachel Dolezal fiasco is a god-damn shit show. This article's title synthesizes what I've been feeling: Black Women Can Barely Make the News, But Rachel Dolezal Gets National Media. It makes no fucking sense that this is getting so much attention, and that the most coverage the Americas have had regarding race and racism is on a fucking white woman, when black man after black man has been murdered by cops on fucking video. It's just another example of re-centring whiteness. What the media is really saying is how much they can't believe someone would want to live the black experience in America. No doubt this story won't go away, and in the meantime we'll continue to be dealing with the media's disinterest in ongoing hate crimes and police-committed murders.

I wrote something on white supremacy and depression, and I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can, while also trying to be supportive and being mindful of the space I occupy. There aren't a lot of great resources out there for people living with mental illness, and when you compound that be adding the divisiveness of intersectionality, whether through race, culture, economics or gender and sexuality it becomes an exhausting quest to just get the smallest amount of help, or even just a kind word.

I'm going to try and actively seek out resources and link to them here. There are a lot of supportive, powerful, wise voices out there, and we can all gain from hearing them.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Demi Lovato's Be Vocal campaign.

I had heard via social media that Demi Lovato was part of a mental health sensitization campaign called Be Vocal. I'm not super familiar with Lovato. I've heard a few of her songs on the radio, but I know her mainly as someone who has been open and vocal about her experiences with eating disorders and depression. Over time, she's become increasingly candid about living with bipolar disorder.













I just googled Lovato. She's 22. That's bananas to me. In my early 20's I was barely human. No doubt she's had to grow up really fast though, I think she was a Disney/Nickelodeon starlet (à-la-Miley and Hilary Duff). I can't imagine going through everything she did publicly. She's extremely well spoken on the issue, so she must be well surrounded and supported. I'm sure Disney money means top-notch mental health professionals. Good on her for being open and honest about it, she'll help a lot of her peers and younger fans.

HA-HA, I just realized the website is sponsored by big pharma. Of course it is! Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. - how quaint!

Quote: Daniell Koepke.

Came accross this quote from Daniell Koepke from the Internal Acceptance Movement:
"Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself."
Even if we feel a move away from someone is warranted, and for the best, it can still be very difficult to live with. There's always guilt since we don't want to hurt anybody, and often in ending relationships, feelings get hurt.

I guess there's always a lesson in trying to be as caring and gentle as possible, but it's something I'm still learning.

Does everything have a solution? A remedy? Is acceptance 99% of all answers?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

White suprememacy and depression.

As a white person, I can't fully comprehend what it's like to be "othered" through race and culture. The only experiences I have that are somewhat comparable are gender oppression, and the prejudices/antagonism encountered for being fat. I've felt targeted and been threatened with sexual violence. I've been cussed at for being fat. None of this, however, can be compared to the insanity that is our history of white supremacy.

AlterNet has an article up on the 6 Ways White Supremacy Takes a Toll on the Mental Health of Black People. Though I knew that women are twice as likely to suffer from a mental illness than men, I didn't know that black people (this piece is written from a black American perspective) are 20 times more likely to report serious psychological distress than white people.

AlterNet interviewed several mental health professionals regarding the issue, including Erlanger Turner, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Houston-Downtown:
“Research has shown that racism has negative psychological consequences for African Americans such as increased symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.”
This isn't difficult to understand, the systemic targeting and dismissal of black voices, and the disproportionate incarceration of black men in particular is overwhelming and seems akin to cultural genocide. 

Lisa Jones, a licensed clinical social worker based in New York City:
“While racism comes in various forms, be it through personal experience or media portrayals, black people tend to feel hopeless and give up mentally, often feeling as if they are not good enough. Living in a society where there is constant portrayal of racial injustice (forms of micro-aggressions, ongoing discrimination, unarmed black people killed by law enforcement) can lead to chronic feelings of despair. Many, at times, will feel like racial issues will never be solved. Such negative and consistent thoughts can trigger severe depressive symptoms.”
The article goes on to list the upsetting realities (author's term) faced daily by black communities. It's an important read. Depression and anxiety is often warranted. Yes, there are times when it's a medical, nearly ghost-like possession that we can hardly explain, but there are also real, lived experiences that inform the way we relate to the world.

The systemic devaluation of you, your ability, and your worthiness is a heavy, devastating reality for a lot of people, especially for people of colour and those targeted as minorities of some kind.

Here, in Canada, the systemic genocide of several aboriginal generations is something we don't hear enough about. Ideally educational policy would change, and Canadians would start discussing native culture and history in our schools. The genocide of our own land shouldn't be belittled and ignored. We see this systemic genocide today, through the over-representation of native women and men in prisons, and by the pervasive issues of violence, homelessness and substance abuse in native communities.

Aboriginal women have insanely high sexual-assault and murder rates. There have been constant calls for an inquiry into the systemic roots of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, and the government is quick to downplay their role in fostering the violence.

With Barack Obama himself being a black man, I have more hope for the dialogue around race and racism in the United States taking place than I do for the racism faced by Aboriginals in Canada. Harper, when asked about a possible inquiry, said flatly:
Um it, it isn't really high on our radar, to be honest.
Boom. At least Obama is engaged. This being his last term, he could really open up a dialogue, and possibly in-act real solutions. 

I say all of this with a lot of hope and I guess naiveté. 

It just seems like we're getting to a tipping point. White, rich, Christian, able-bodied, hetero-normative dudes are now the minority. . .

With every new law that allows gays to marry, with every non-normative couple adopting a child and starting a family, with every mixed-race couple, with every young person of colour going to university, with every trans person properly represented in the media, with every woman and person of colour (or gasp, both at once) in a position of power - all of it, the narrative is changing. 

A decade ago conversations of gender, sexuality, racism and class, of entitlement and privilege, of support and of being allies, all of this only ever took place in Women's Studies or activist spaces. The fact that this is taking place over social media, and in everyday spaces must be a good sign.

It must! 



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Depressed! Incensed! Inflamed!

My buddy J sent me an article about the link between inflammation and depression. The article is pretty revolutionary for me. The article over on Feel Guide, New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation points to, well, you can probably tell by the title of the article. They kind of let the cat out of the bag while announcing, "We're letting this cat out of this bag!"

The article also re-directs to the following articles:

Depression May Be Caused by Inflammation over on Nova. Nova's Tim De Chant
 starts by contextualizing inflammation and depression.
Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate inter-cellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines. Which has some scientists thinking that depression may be a side effect of inflammation.
Is Your Diet Making You Anxious or Depressed? over at Kripalu points to inflammation as a key ingredient to well-being, and fingers processed food as a major culprit to said inflammation and anxiety.

The thesis is simple: Everyone feels like shit when they're sick. That ennui we feel when we're unwell—listlessness, lack of enthusiasm, troubled sleep, tearfulness, and a general feeling of wading through tar—is apparently known among psychologists as "sickness behavior." Our bodies are pretty intelligent, see—they behave this way so that we stop, lie still, and let our system fight whatever infection of virus has us croaking for Gatorade on the couch. 
These kinds of emotional responses are also typical of depression, though. So, scientists are asking: If sick people feel and act a lot like depressed people, might there be a link?
The majority of the heavy lifting was done by Caroline Williams in Is depression a kind of allergic reaction? over at The Guardian UK. She quotes George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles early on:
"I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more,” he says. “It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.”
This could absolutely change the way depression is treated. The following bit was especially poignant for me:
Add this to the fact that stress, particularly the kind that follows social rejection or loneliness, also causes inflammation, and it starts to look as if depression is a kind of allergy to modern life – which might explain its spiralling prevalence all over the world as we increasingly eat, sloth and isolate ourselves into a state of chronic inflammation.
I've often thought of depression as an allergy to modern life.  Especially when paired with anxiety. It seems generations are increasingly depressed and anxious. This is no doubt correlated to something.

Though some in these articles focus on inflammation as a body-based reaction, there's still the issue of diet that can't be ignored:
A diet rich in trans fats and sugar has been shown to promote inflammation, while a healthy one full of fruit, veg and oily fish helps keep it at bay. Obesity is another risk factor, probably because body fat, particularly around the belly, stores large quantities of cytokines.
This speaks to me, my being fat, and my less than stellar diet. It doesn't paint a whole picture though. I've also gone through period of being very healthy and being terribly depressed.
The good news is that the few clinical trials done so far have found that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants not only improves symptoms, it also increases the proportion of people who respond to treatment, although more trials will be needed to confirm this. There is also some evidence that omega 3and curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric, might have similar effects. Both are available over the counter and might be worth a try, although as an add-on to any prescribed treatment – there’s definitely not enough evidence to use them as a replacement.
This will be interesting to discuss with my Dr. I'm going to mail him a copy of the article (snail mail because he's at a weird old-school office! What fun!).

I think the most promising bit of all this (other than my projecting to a future where I'm not in so much psychological pain) is that Carine Pariante, a psychiatrist from Kings College London estimates we're 5 to 10 years away from a blood test that could measure inflammation in depressed folks. This could help so many people, so easily.

There's more to it, we'll know more eventually - if there's such thing as a cure, does it make it easier to hang on? I think so.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The worries of a clear day.

Today isn't a bad day. Today is close to a good day. Work is quiet, so I'm able to doodle and write.

The last two evenings I've taken a walk after dinner. Maybe that helped. I get fresh air. I giggle at neighbourhood cats and walk-by dog friends. Maybe it helps clear my head. It’s a start.

Lately, all I can think about is money. It seems my financials aren't lining up as quickly as I would have liked them to. Though I have a small down payment now, it will take a few more months for me to get a better one. I guess moving out and getting my own place this fall is becoming less and less of a possibility.

According to my brother, years ago he signed up for some kind of special promotional credit card that put money away for later use as a down payment. He used some of it, but was limited in how much he could use, so there’s some left over money in that account. He told my mom he thought he could transfer that amount to me. My mother told me this. I said I wouldn't get my hopes up, but it’s hard not to. It would be nice to have a hand, no matter how little the sum. It seems to be a problem though, so I don’t think it’ll work out. I’d have preferred my mother not tell me about it.

It’s hard not to compare myself to the friends in my life who make more money, and who also have received financial help or gifts from their parents. Not all of them have, but most have.

I'm not making great money. I'm still living pay-check to pay-check. How can that be? Granted, I go out. I get manicures. I purchase clothing. But I work in a design office, I can’t give up entirely on my look. I have to look clean and presentable. I could be careful with my money. I could pinch a penny here and there.

I have few vices, food has always been an issue for me. First due to the eating disorder, and then transitionally, as a coping mechanism and soothing tool. Such fun. I get to think about it, daily for the rest of my life. Fun fun fun.

I'm really caught up thinking about whether I should just move out, to move out. To just start living my life. I could get something on the cheaper side / shittier end, and just fucking live my life. Alternatively, I think maybe it would be wiser to just wait, save up a bit more and then get something I really love.

I contacted the mortgage broker recommended by a real estate agent I spoke with. He’s with my bank, so I guess that’s handy. Who knows really. I don’t know shit about this stuff. I'm just trying my best to learn.

I'm just worried about ending up in a depressing space, feeling sorry for myself (for the rest of my god-damn life).

I'm also worried about over-committing myself financially, and having to deal with that anxiety. Especially since I have ongoing worries and stress about my having the ability to take care of myself. I like having an exit strategy. As time goes on, and responsibilities pile up, that becomes increasingly more difficult.

It’s a lot. I know it’s normal and even mundane for some regular members of society, but for me, it’s, well, it’s all on me

I guess the first step is seeing how much I can afford. The bank will let me know what they’d be comfortable lending me, and I have to think about what the means when it comes to what I can access and whether or not that’s too difficult to maintain.

The beautiful weather makes everything seem a lot sunnier than it usually is. That also worries me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hawking and the right to die.

I know it's a terrible taboo for a depressed person to talk about the right to die, but here goes. I believe everyone has a fundamental right to their own bodies, and to their own death.

Salon has a piece up today about Stephen Hawking's support for, and possible participation in, assisted suicide.

As Hawking says... keeping “someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity.”

There's another Hawking piece in The Guardian, which covers the same interview.

I know depressed people talking about assisted suicide is uncomfortable, since it's assumed we're just talking about suicide. But I'm not.

Assisted suicide involves "clear and settled intention," and is openly discussed. In its being transparent, assisted suicide is the complete opposite of suicide brought on by depression or mental illness. Suicide for the mentally ill is a shameful, hidden affair. Assisted suicide can be sought openly, and ideally, with the full support of loved ones and physicians.

I do think a person has the ultimate right to decide how much pain is too much, and whether or not they want to continue to engage with this world.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Viable sadness.

I'm making a real effort to document my mood and process today. I keep being distracted by youtube videos - and you know how infinite that black hole is. . .

I didn't go into work today.

I had an upset stomach overnight, and I woke up depressed and despondent.

I slept most of the day away.

I got up, had lunch, napped, and around diner time took a walk, which helped. I got some air and some sun and it lifted my mood a little.

I started my stronger dose of anti-depressants today. It should take a few weeks for me to see a difference - what that difference will be, I don't know yet.

Today was hard. I was just - it was all too much.

Whenever there's discussion or movement around my being medicated, there's a lot of stuff that goes on with me. I still have a fundamental issue with needing medication to function. My brain is, arguably, me. It's all that I am. If I were robocoped tomorrow, my brain is all they'd need. This brain of mine, everything that I am, has a default nature. And this part of me that is sensitive, and caring and steadfast, is also desperately sad and on a basic level, has little desire to be alive and part of this world.

I think there's more to it than that. Sometimes I describe my depression as a demon, or some type of leech on me. It's a disease. It's traumatic. But because of the way my brain works, with language, with being creative, with an flare for the dramatic, it's like a part of me sees this as an isolated, internalized plague. It's something I survive, it's a pox on me and my house. But it sometimes feels like something I also deserve. I can easily slip into some type of folkloric explanation that in a past life I was someone terrible. That this is now the remnants of pain I've caused others. If karma exists, what kind of a fucking shit was I in a past life? Seeing it as a curse on me, is almost easier to accept, and more comforting than thinking about my broken brain.

I re-read things I've written, and I clearly romanticize my depression. I don't mean to. It's not fun. It's not interesting. It doesn't add to me in any way. The only thing I can possible take from depression is a greater sense of empathy. But who gives a shit, really? I try and describe things as best I can but language is limiting.

You know when you're crying, intensely about something? You're sobbing. Your dog died. Your grandma died. You were dumped and shamed. You're sobbing, and you're in your pain, and for one brief moment you're purely in the act of sobbing without really being aware of what started your crying fit. Sometimes I feel that way. Like I should be sobbing, that I want to let go and release it all, but instead it's all caught in my throat. And instead I feel that I don't have a viable reason to be sad. To be devastated. I'm just a sad fuck. Just someone who is bad at life, and whose brain wants nothing more than for me to just quit. This is my default nature. This is my baseline.

My brain is a jumble today. I'm tired. I'm so tired. I want to sit in a field of tall grass and hear nothing but the wind.