Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Depression Confession

You know what totally stinks? Figuring out you're not perfect. See, I had this whole idea that if I started this journey of digging myself out from underneath a landslide of grief, sadness, over-whelm-ed-ness (yes, I make up words) and lost-ed-ness, I would immdiately get a job, lose 30 pounds, never eat another bad thing for me, run 18 miles a day and meet a great guy. "When you name it, you claim it." So there I was in my apartment, day five into doing anything and everything I can to get out of this damn funk and... I was still chunky. No guy knocked at my door. I ate garlic bread... a lot of it. There might of been chocolate too, but that memory is unclear - DUE TO ALL THE WINE I DRANK. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? Oh, yeah... I'm not perfect.

Everytime I set myself up for perfection, I fail, beat myself up and where does that lead... THAT LEADS TO BED. And not in a sexy way.

I had the best example for perfection growing up. My Mom. She held down a full time job, went to Church twice a week, did everything in the house that needed to be done, volunteered endlessly (she used to take a blind woman for ice skating lessons - can you spell SAINT?) She could be freaking out at us for something we didn't do two seconds before we walked into a party but the second we walked through the door, the pagent smile came on, then the wave. It was like she flipped a switch, "EVERY THING IN MY LIFE IS PERFECT." But it wasn't perfect. She lost her own Mom to cancer at 19, my Dad had spent at least 20 years of my life sick - he had a heart transplant and years later a kidney transplant, my cousin Michael died when I was fourteen and David died just two years ago. But she was perfect. I can't remember her crying through any of it.

But that didn't last for long. My mother... and I'm really not trying to be flip here... literally, blew a gasket in December. All that perfect, all that stored up, pent up emotion exploded just days after Christmas. We took her to the hospital. We debated committing her. She was babbling all her family secrets because in her nervous breakdown state, there was no edit button. I said to my sister after: "She has spent our whole lives keeping all that in. And now, in ten minutes... it's out." Amazing. It made me sad to know she has been holding down the pain all along, all alone.

So here I am. I'm not perfect. And I AM TRYING SO HARD TO GET TO A PLACE WHERE I'M OKAY ABOUT THAT. If I harness all the time I try to be perfect and x (times it) by the time I beat myself up for not being perfect, that equals A LOT OF TIME where I could be doing something sooooo much better. Like blogging. Like reading the sweet replies people send me to let me know they are digging my journey. Ooo, and for cup cakes. Okay, maybe not cup cakes... a bath. A bath with no negative, beat-me-up dialogue going through my head. Because hey, I'm not perfect so why would I waste my time on that?

Monday, October 29, 2007

What Would Wonder Woman Do?

Today as I was hurrying off to nowhere, I pondered my breakfast choices and I couldn't help but wonder - WHAT DOES WONDER WOMAN EAT FOR BREAKFAST? Why Wonder Woman? 'Cause she rocks, she wears thigh high boots and a cinched belt. And if that weren't enough, she wears a crown which only like Madonna in the 80's and women with really high self-esteem ever wear. I bet Wonder Woman isn't racing into Starbucks to get a muffin or a deli to get a scooped out bagel and some cream cheese or wolfing down a handful of cheese nips and a Diet Coke at her desk. C'MON, SHE'S WONDER WOMAN! She fights crime, she can't be all weighed down by a big fat scone and then not be able to get that golden lasso up over her head. She can't be flying her invisible plane and fall alseep at the instruments because she had french toast. Lately, I've been eating what I would call "slow down food" - definition: food that slows me down. I was shocked when I started researching and saw what we put in our mouths plays a huge role in how we feel. Which at first bummed me out. DID I CONTRIBUTE TO MY OWN DEPRESSION? Um... yeah. THE GOOD NEWS... I can play a big part of getting out of it. I took a serious inventory of what I've been eating lately. All I had to do was pick up the discarded wrappers off the floor of my Jeep. (Hey, who said honesty was pretty?) I bet Wonder Woman doesn't eat Snack Wells, or Doritos or McDonalds fries. SO IF I WANT TO KICK ASS LIKE WONDER WOMAN and fight off "bummed-outted-ness" I have to eat like I think she would.

Right now, I have to be gentle, I'm not all about being perfect and going on some crazy diet. But I am going to start eating more veggies and fruits and way more water. Later on I'll get to eliminating some stuff (processed sugar and refined carbs). In the meantime, here are the vitamins I need that are going to help me with my MOOD: B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and calcium. I'm going to take a good woman's mult-vitamin until I can reserach the best foods to find them in. This morning I made a shake of spinach, blueberries, rasberries, yogurt, ice, flaxseed and a scoop of whey protein (you can get it at a health food store). It was loaded with all my vitamins and minerals and I felt pretty damn proud of myself! Not ready for thigh high boots or a cinched belt just yet, but I'm on my way :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sweat Pants & the City

Here's the deal. Ever since I got kinda sorta (really) down-in-the-dumpers, I've made an odd fashion choice. I wear Sweat pants. Like 24/7. I have fancy sweat pants (dark gray and flarred at the bottom so they look like real pants), brown, pink (capris), light blue and white (special occasion). Sweat pants have become an extension of my bed - roomy, comfy and cotton-y. Sweat pants are denial, just like taking to your bed is denial. Sweat pants deny that you've gained five pounds, then ten, then fifteen. Though the fact that I got holes in the butt and thighs of my sweats - GAP sweats so less - should have tipped me off that there WAS A MAJOR PROBLEM.

A few years ago there was this cool trend of ladies wearing matching Juciy Couture velvet sweat suits. THEY WERE "SUITS" 'cause they were glamourous and and if you call 'em SUITS then nobody will think twice about paying $200 bucks for them (All though they should! They really really should! Have these women not seen the inside of a Target?) Anyway, those cute girls with the tight butts and tiny dogs in their matching SWEAT SUITS and giant sun glasses looked like they were on the RUN, they were GOING PLACES. They were so busy... THEY ONLY HAD TIME FOR SWEAT SUITS. Maybe that's what I hoped to imitate. Maybe that's the life I thought I could portray. But really, today, looking at myself in "hole-y" pink sweats and a big green t-shirt that looks like it needed to be washed two meals ago, no make-up and a snarly pony tail, I had to wonder... am I fooling anyone? I GOT OUT OF BED AND THAT'S A BIG "YAY!" but did the wearing of the sweat pants mean I had just taken my bed outside, so to speak? Maybe.

So what am I doing with my first offcial day out of my depression bed? Well, I guess it's rounding up the hole-y sweats for a ceremonial burning! Sweat pants be gone! If I'm striving to not be depressed, I have to dress like it, right? Are you walking around in big-baggy-don't-notice-me-clothes? Maybe there's some things you want to get rid of, too. It can serve so many purposes. 1) Let's say good-bye to the old us! 2) Let's donate these clothes to someone that might need them more than us 3) Let's "fake it 'til we make it" - by dressing in fitted, well maintained clothes maybe we'll feel more connected to ourselves. And more connected to the world! Don't you feel more like smiling at a stranger when you're dressed in a confident way? Weird, I always looked down when I was wearing sweats, hoping no one would notice me. I don't want that anymore.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Super, Wonderfully, Fantastically, Incredibly Intoxicated

Okay. Fine. Drunk. No, not drunk. Intoxicated. Intoxicated is two beers (fine, three) + Bliss. So it's intoxicated and not drunk. Here's the deal: I'm starting my new life. A new life that requires me to not be in bed but to be out, about and really live. Here's one of the first tips I'm going to pass on so you can start to make your life more groovy. ASK FOR HELP. That's what I did tonight and it totally paid off. I "rang the alarm" as Beyonce would say (though I'm not totally sure of the definition, I think it means to let everybody know something). So I let my girls know: I NEED SOME COMPANY. I pondered as I called and emailed, "How do you say, I'm depressed, I need my girls?" The thing about sometimes being depressed is you can't creatively think on your feet (i.e. lie). So I went with a more different approach: THE TRUTH. "Hey, what's up, it's me. Listen... I'm depressed and I need my girls." Wow. It felt freeing, weird, exciting. And you know what? No one really asked questions, no one freaked out. They just showed up, one by one at this cool little bar (with couches, which is very important, because I am going from my bed life, and I'm not quite ready for "sitting" life, so a couch is a very non-threatening way to start. And we drank and laughed and looked at boys and gossiped and I THOUGHT: I'M SO LUCKY... BECAUSE I'M NOT ALONE. And I don't know if I knew that yesterday. So go ahead... try it. You don't even need to have beer. You can go out for... pudding. Pudding is good. You don't even have to talk about why you feel down. I didn't. I just needed to know I had friends. That = Bliss.

Hello World!

It's just been a few days since I saw an ex-love staring back at me on TV. Oh, wait, he wasn't staring back at me, he was staring at his new beautiful bride as she walked down the aisle. Ouch! (This is our new techno world, ladies, and yes, we might just have to watch the exes we worked so hard to forget, on TV. And let me tell you, it ain't pretty.) What's weird is, as I sat, riveted, watching this documentary (only getting up during commercial breaks to ravage my fridge, "Why is there no liquor in this house!"), I had the oddest feeling of... not being jealous. The overwhelming thought I had was, "They are such a perfect couple. Why did I fight so hard to be with him? Why did I cry so hard when it was over? Why did I waste one hundred days in bed?" After all, they were meant to be and we were not. But now I want my hundred days back.

I pulled out all my journals and found this wasn't the first time nor the last I wasted a hundred days in bed.

In fact, I must confess, I'm in bed now. And that's where I spent yesterday and the day before. As I turn back the pages of my journal, I realize I'm here again, living the opposite of how I want to live my life: I'm living it in bed.

When I'm sad it's there, depressed it's there. When I want to escape and hide, it's there. The thing I've come to realize is NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE ME THIS TIME BACK. And also THIS IS NOT HOW I EXPECTED MY LIFE TO BE.

Two years ago, I had everything a girl could dream of: An awesome, creative, high paying job (I was a sitcom writer!), I had a great, fun, loving boyfriend, I was thin (sorry, girls, hate to be a cliche, but I was rockin' the skinny jeans), I had just bought my first house and my family was healthy-happy. Then, my world fell apart. My cousin was killed, I lost my job, my boyfriend and I broke up and the house... well, someone else rents that now so I can keep up my mortgage payment. Oh, and did I mention my mother had a nervous breakdown at Christmas? So that would be a "no" on the healthy-happy family.

Excuse me, I have to go lay down in bed.

Wait... NO I WON'T LIE DOWN! See, that's the whole point of my blog. I'm going to journal myself... well, back to my old self. I don't want to be sad and depressed anymore. I don't want my first instinct to be to run to my bed to throw the covers over my head because do you know where that gets me? Just to TOMORROW. Which means, I didn't LIVE yesterday. I just existed. Under the coveres. I don't just want to exist anymore.

I WANT TO LIVE JOYFULLY. So this is my journey to do it. To challenge myself everyday, to get out of bed and be happy. Since what I'm doing now isn't working, I WILL DO THE OPPOSITE. I WILL START LIVING NOW, INSTEAD OF JUST WAITING FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN. Maybe you want to, too. Maybe we'll help each other along the way. Because living "one hundred days in bed" doesn't have to mean literally, for you to want to change. Some people get depressed and lonely at night. Some people take to their beds on the weekends. Some people numb out and watch hours of TV. Some people look in the mirror and think, "How did I get here, with all this responsibility and no time to do what I want to do? How did I forget me?"

So, let's go find ourselves. How? Well, trust your "unemployed-adventure-for-life-trying-to-find-happiness-guru-wanna-be" to help you out. I'm going to scour the internet for how-to's, how not-to's, things that will help, things that won't help and post assignments, information and fun challenges to well, challenge us. To live life happy. Now. Not when we're sixty or when we have a health scare or when we're thin or have more money. BUT NOW. I can't think of a better time, can you?