“Jessica, did you just fart?”

person eating cheetos

Some Apologies

I want to kick it off by apologizing to my favorite bloggers. I ghosted for like a month. I was inconsistent, which makes me anxious (so naturally, I assume it makes everyone uneasy.) I’m sorry I did that, and I’m working on not doing it again in the future. Starting today. (Also, I missed you. 🤫)

Next up, podcasters. I made the laziest list of podcasts immediately after telling everyone how much I love you. My bad. I’m working on creating a separate page to reflect my gratitude better. It will include studios, siblings, and a chart to indicate how I discovered you. (Thanks, Fran.) I’ll also design a system to show how friendly they are for neurodivergent people, and why. For example, The Friend Zone is the highest possible score for neurodivergent-friendly podcasting. It’s also an excellent starting podcast. The conversation is entirely spontaneous, yet they give precise instructions on how to do surprisingly useful things (mental wellness skills.)

You can see why elaborating on why I recommend them is helpful. (/over-explanation) I’m also sorry for the probability my writing about depression might invisibility-pinch people with severe depression. My depression is presently manageable (without non-medicinal intervention.) I already had therapy, and this is significant (because I probably whined about it without elaborating); even the *wrong therapist can be helpful.

Focus on the skills they teach and try not to let your ego ruin everything, like raisins. Quit them when you have enough skills to work on things at home. Repeat (with someone else) if/when necessary. (It’s one of the lessons to which I’m referring.) When I’m in crisis, such as during the nightmare preceding my ex-husbands’ (virtually) permanent incarceration, my depression dips low enough to include psychotic episodes.

muscular doll

It makes me seem intellectually challenged based on the feedback I’ve observed. I don’t smear feces on walls, as media portrays. I check out and run on autopilot scripted by dreams, TV shows I watched recently, conversations I overheard, and such with rules loosely similar to Dominoes. It’s like I’m locked in random access memory, and very little of it records onto my hard drive. So it’s possible I smeared feces and don’t remember it, but I have no evidence. Besides, media lies sometimes.

It sucked so much, but I can barely remember it from a non-robotic perspective. When I’m not in crisis, my depression is moderate, with challenging winters. Exercise is my best tool. I do know from experience how low depression can get: where you can’t muster the energy or skills necessary to off yourself, but can’t think of anything else, very slowly, between barely audible, involuntary moans. It’s where I got the saying, stapled to the floor. It’s a tribute to the people enduring severe depression so heroically, they somehow still managed to read my freakin’ blog. I see you. (I was there for a minute, and I’ll never forget.)

Dear comedians,

I’m sorry I tried to glom on to your privilege earned from getting paid to be funny. You are the comedian; I’m part of the audience. I can’t joke about things I know may hurt others because nobody is paying me to be funny. There is no meet-you-halfway bracing in anticipation of my dancing near or crossing the line with wild, professional abandon going on here. I didn’t think it through. I’m in awe of your abilities and much appreciate your healing talent. I’m sorry I overstepped the boundary.

(you know) 🥰

Person facing away

New Rule

Shame is banned. (Possibly canceled, but I’m not sure I understand the culture.) It’s a con against the human condition. I’m not privy to a single example where it was effective in any positive change. All it ever did was hurt people. What a piece of shit, right? Lay by your bowl forever, Shame. If that’s even your real name, (she added, further proving she’s not a comedian by chasing it with a self-inflicted snort.)

Interesting Stuff

Jesus wept is my favorite line in the Holy Bible. It’s my mantra as I exorcise all traces of hypermasculinity out of me. (I hope it’s not cultural appropriation. I’m still playing catch-up.) In some ways, I copy all the teachers who attract my attention. Jesus didn’t let anyone talk him out of being human to feed imaginary pride. Those two words say it so succinctly. 💜✌🏽

*-Wrong such as; the therapist is going through a crisis without heal-thyself abilities, you brought in oversized luggage, inexperience, personality barriers, are ist/ōbic, suck at it, or stuff I haven’t imagined yet.

“The other day I spit my gum out on the carpet.”

light through the forest

Confession: I recently returned from a recreational, medical mini-vacation in Denver. I partook of a new-to-me product that consists of 1:1 CBD and THC (hybrid) via a disposable vape. It was perfect for my body chemistry. I felt terrific without feeling mentally hazy. Two hits every two hours for two days, and now I can hold my head up without crying from the effort required. Yay so hard. I’m free of a challenging round of depression, and I feel like myself again. This round was the creepy kind, where I don’t feel emotional despair, but my body behaves as if I’m completely devastated.

(The despair bit came first, and I got through it before the physical part hit, so it feels wicked out of sync. I can’t even multitask with depression sometimes. At least it’s funny.)

On top of that, the Depression Goggles were stuck on my face, and I couldn’t get them off. Every thought was dripping with negativity. It was so obviously skewed I didn’t fall for the lies, at first. Then they started wearing me down with constant repetition. Yo, Explosive Rage, this is your queue. (I hate that guy.) I caught myself yelling at an app for possessing a bug feature. I’m pretty sure anyone who ever created an app is no longer allowed to personify them to this degree. Sigh. (Okay, dear universe, I see it — red flag.) 🙃

So anyway, that sucked. I feel so much better; I’m giddy. Part of it is because I’m home. It’s astonishing how much I hate leaving my apartment. I recently showed up two hours early (my bad) for a dental appointment. I set a new record for length of time spent in a crowded waiting room with a loud TV and more than one lively conversation taking place. Worse, I sat between a couple who were trying to invite me to join their discussion. I made a valiant effort and hung in there for over an hour. Then I very awkwardly rescheduled and hauled ass out of there before my breathing revealed my leaking panic.

pug peeking

I have to look at it as a heroic attempt and stamina building exercise. It’s a feat of strength every single time I enter the VA building. Instead of feeling shame for wasting an appointment slot, I insist on viewing it as an unscheduled break for my dentist and assistant. (If I spent that much time hustling around between rooms, my feet would cry.) They’re both delightful people with excellent bedside manner. I’ve only had one evil dentist in my entire life. Every other one has been awesome. Yay. I have a long way to go to fix my smile.

When I’m myself, I smile a lot. I smile at everyone I encounter whose energy doesn’t repel me. It’s rare when I feel immediately frightened in someone’s presence, but when I do, I always know which way to run, or what to do if I’m trapped. Thanks, Army. Fair warning: If I encounter any human deliberately harming another human, I will intervene on their behalf with a ferociousness intended to scar. My journey so far has gathered a lot of furies I’m holding in abeyance for just such an opportunity to unleash with wild abandon. Also, I’m convinced this is the strategy of my entire massively intersectional tribe. Step accordingly. 😐

Almost caught up to the present with My Favorite Murder podcast. Do you know how every so often you encounter a person you feel you’ve identified with your entire life? It’s happened to me three times before discovering Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. They’re as different as Beyoncé and Solange, yet both feel like they’ve known me forever. WTF? Whatever, I love it. Karen is a wee bit younger than me, and Georgia a whole lot. I get all Karen’s references, which rocks because she’s so funny. Georgia thinks so quickly; it feels viscerally exciting to listen to her talk. (Like Crissle!)

She processes what Karen says, and begins responding (often hilariously) before I finish hearing. (!!!) I’m usually a moment behind, which makes the humor a surprise I only caught on the second internal pass. It results in that laughter that shoots out of you before you can apply any filters. (Like what Dustin Ross does to The Friend Zone podcast ecosystem every week. 🤭) I’m reasonably sure podcasts are a significant factor in overcoming that last round of depression. Listening as often as I could drown out the negative distortions on repeat in my head. I’m so thankful. 🙃 I’m off to bond with Amelia B and Tallulah. I missed them so much. 💜✌🏽

p.s. Freelance Lover by Syleena Johnson is my new favorite song. (Thanks, Dustin.)

“He eats his yogurt like he’s punishing it for disappointing him.”

red heart inside soap bubble

5 Things (that recently made me dance with joy despite, well, everything.)

  1. Grace and Frankie (season 6) is on Netflix.
  2. Crissle is going back to school to be a therapist.
  3. Conan O’Brien was on an episode of My Favorite Murder podcast. (He’s a Murderino, too!)
  4. Amelia B (my cat) on the daily.
  5. It occurred to me I’m a badass survivor. (Perspective adjustments rock.)

“So much for keeping our secrets up high.”

pug lyfe

I haven’t posted in a while. The Depression Monster is standing on my neck (and I refuse to give that bitch a voice.) I discovered a podcast called My Favorite Murder. Yep. I’m a Murderino. (Pauses for judgment.) I didn’t know it, but the only thing holding me back from indulging my morbid curiosity was my former unawareness of Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s hilarious, embraceable approach to storytelling. It still scares the shit out of me sometimes, but they figured out how to soothe the terror with humor. It’s an incredible skill.

So that’s where I’ve been. Not done yet; I’ll post more when I feel like myself again. ✌🏽💜

“I feel God in this Chili’s tonight.”

Please take your time. There is much to see.

Welp, it’s time to say goodbye to 2019.  There were some fab experiences and connections made, recovered, maintained, and held onto by a thread (at least in my head.)  The Beyoncè Show was technically in 2018, but it was a bucket list item, so it counts forever.  The same goes for the Fleetwood Mac concert in February.  (Just typing that made me smile.)  It was a therapeutic event at a time when I felt isolated from my (geographical) community.  Witnessing Fleetwood Mac perform in my hometown while surrounded by locals (of Sioux Falls) felt healing on levels I didn’t know existed.

It was a fantastic celebration (after taking the risk and actively doing something to help repair the breach.)  Podcasts became my second favorite infotainment after novels.  (Not thrilled with that word but beggars and all that.)  I can watch non-animated TV again.  I’m delighted I reclaimed this ability while Game of Thrones happened.  I love being alive while people produce excellence together and create something so shiny it moves the world.  I don’t have permission to share things related to (non-famous) people in my world.  Suffice to say; there are people in my tribe who share about themselves things that make me look at them the way I look at Beyoncé. 😆

There was a considerable increase in the number of people I adore.  Cool.  (I think it has something to do with going Full Auntie.)  I learned how to forgive myself and others more effectively.  I’ve (mostly) accepted it’s a necessary and inevitable process that’s not improved by delay.  I’m working on what to do after I’ve forgiven someone who won’t outgrow their offense.  For now, gentle indifference.  I firmly believe in post-mistake recovery.  I can’t believe in throwing people away forever.  Social rules and individuals are both (potentially) fallible and ever-changing.

leaves representing harmony

Figuratively burying outcasts landmines where we all walk is weak.  The Trauma Baton we insist on passing from generation to generation is holding us back as a species in a significant way.  From my viewpoint, it seems we’re finally beginning to address this cycle, which gives me great hope for the future.  I love imagining a world full of emotionally healthy people who aren’t merely surviving or reacting to the past but actively creating the present to support a future in which we can all thrive.  We’ll still have strife and challenges.  They’ll be new, and we’ll figure out how to overcome them, too.  We’re sofa king awesome.  Heh.

I continue to practice being present in my body.  Learning this skill involved acknowledging how much I used to dissociate.  I’m alarmed by how long I lived while not existing in my body, but don’t see any need to delve deeper.  I don’t live that way anymore.  It was something I did to survive, and I’m thankful I had the skill when I needed it.  It feels almost like getting my first 4k HDTV.  Everything looks more honest.  I didn’t know my view was blurry until it wasn’t.  I like it.  The details reveal imperfection and beauty in balance, and now I can believe what I see.  (Shivers while climbing out of my Matrix pod.)   🤭

Next year I’m going to drink more water.  I think I’m getting about half of what I need, which is an improvement over 2018.  Heh.  Pretty sure I’m going to nail it.  I watched episode 10 of The Read TV show.  I laughed so hardCHIKA had me on the floor.  Kid Fury and Crissle do a lot of subtle physical comedy that enhances the hilarious things they say.  When Kid Fury abruptly got up and walked off after Young M.A. cozied up to Crissle, I laughed for like half an hour.  Dear Fuse, (or HBO or Netflix in case Fuse doesn’t like money🙂  I love the show so much, and I need more.  (After they recover, of course.)  I hope everyone knew joy while celebrating holidays (or ignoring them.)  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks. ✌🏽💜

p.s. If the season finds you stapled to the floor by despair, please summon the courage to connect with someone who can help. 💜  International Suicide Hotlines