“Did you say, ridicurous?”

ambiguous stairs

Just when I start believing I know myself, I realize my presumption is quaint, at best.  (At best!)  In reality, I’m better at noticing the distinction between self and not self.  It’s making me think about baseball metaphors, (and it’s a game for which I have only a vague, disinterested grasp of the rules.)  What is going on? One epiphany at a time, please, dear Universe.  I only just figured out how to live in realtime, don’t you know.  There’s no need for haste.  (whispered)  No need.

It hit me this morning I’ve been masking my depression from myself.  The illogical nature alone has me all fired up to give myself a Proper internal ass-whooping.  Fear not;  I’m no amateur — hard pass on kicking myself about the head and neck.  I’m hip to that trick, yo.  Energy redirect, activate.  (Freeze all motor functions.)  Figure out why.  Hm.  Perhaps I’ve allowed myself to become too good at hiding my depression.  (It feels safer when people don’t know I’m performing near super-human feats merely to manage the simple daily tasks many take for granted.)

I recognize where I fall on the Depression Severity Privilege Scale.  It corresponds to the Acceptable Reaction Scale, which suggests I steer clear of pity parties and focus on learning how to work around my glitches features.  In Armybonics:  Suck it up and drive on!  Huah!  (Hm.  I might have a naming problem.  Later.  I have other shit to work through.)  I haven’t touched my violin in weeks, which is my original red flag for depression.  It feels like voluntarily breathing only through my left nostril for weeks.  It’s just wrong.  (If you just tried it, I love you.  Heh.)

winding road

It’s as if there’s an invisible forcefield surrounding my violin.  I can see it, and it’s as much a part of me as an arm, but something won’t allow me to play it.  It’s one of the Depression Monsters favorite games.  The worst part is I’m the one controlling the damn forcefield.  I can’t remember the right controller combination to deactivate it, so I keep randomly mashing buttons, to no avail.  All the while, becoming more irritable by the minute.  Because irritability makes everything better. (/sarcasm and +10 for nailing it for once.)

Perhaps it’s because I’m in no mood to knowingly increase my vulnerability by playing.  No.  My spirit instantly rejected that possibility.  I think it means I need to stop and address the issue rather than continue pretending everything is fabulous.  There’s likely a correlation between instant spirit-level rejection and a need to pause and re-examine old habits and assumptions.  (Bookmarked for further investigation.)  It’s a theme for 2019 in my world, seemingly.  Yay, she said while rocking.

I’ve been rocking back and forth quite a bit, lately.  It’s a stim I was forced to stifle in the Army but picked up again after.  (I didn’t stop;  I used imagination and math to make slight rocking equally soothing.)  I picked up several imperceptible motion stims while serving.  In hindsight, I can see why I didn’t fit in larger social groups ever.  I was too busy thinking up ways to control my anxiety without drawing too much attention to myself, to worry about things like why so many people wanted to fight me after chit-chat attempts.

person standing in shopping cart

In the past, I got a lot of mileage out of the Just Do It, motto.  When I recognized I was depressed, I forced myself to partake in activities until it stopped feeling like moving a mountain using The Force.  A moment of silence to grieve the unnecessary loss of all that energy, please.  No regrets.  It’s now filed under Shit That Happened on my journey before leveling up.  (I plan on adding a sticker that says, Funny, to the label eventually.)  Goals.

I need to tweak my lifestyle, so I experience less debilitation from depression.  I don’t want personal hygiene to cost half my daily energy resources any longer.  I want to play my violin and other instruments more often.  I know once I break through the forcefield, joy awaits — a much-needed release of expression without words that continuously hide from me.  I see every moment spent creating heals me.  So, I will take the time and energy necessary to learn the skills I need to lower the forcefield at will, not by force, but through contemplation of experience.  (Thanks, music.)

Welp.  Things aren’t as frantic and horrible as they seemed before I thought it out.  Whew.  The Depression Monster has me in a headlock, and it’s okay.  Got that, Alison?  Don’t panic.  Take a deep breath, and work it out at your own pace.  You got this.  Look around at the scenery while you adapt.  Be still and listen at times.  There is no race or competition, so keep searching for Easter Eggs on the road of life.  (That’s how I roll.)  I’m off to prepare for the premiere of the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.  😆💜✌🏽

p.s.  (Seinfeld fans)  Donna Chang was the Rachel Dolezal of the ’90s. 🤣

“A coffee table book about coffee tables!”

good dog

I discovered a new (to me) author, recently.  Michael Chabon.  I just began reading, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.  I’m on part three in the novel, and already I’ve decided to devour everything Michael Chabon publishes.  He’s a descriptive genius.  I can’t go more than a few pages without marveling over how precisely he managed to describe something.  I’m also a bit floored by how quickly I got to part three.

The story has the potential to trigger me regarding the Holocaust.  (Visiting the Dachau concentration camp memorial remains my deepest soul scar.)  I’m not willing to test whether I can travel there in my mind without weeping yet.  (I’m not big on voluntary snot fests or picking at intangible scars.)  I’m not letting this fear prevent me from continuing, though.  If I need a break, I’ll take it.  So far, I’m super engrossed in the story.

The fickle weather of late is messing with me.  Yesterday it was warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt.  Today, it’s equally pleasant but windy.  Tomorrow and Wednesday, thunderstorms are likely.  Thursday and Friday, perhaps snow. I just cleaned my winter coats for storage.  Heh.  I think I’ll put them away, and run on those days instead of dressing for the weather.  And then hopefully fail to mention it if I catch a Pokèmon cold as a result.  (Equally likely scenarios.) 😁

masked person

I found Amelia Bedelia doing something disgusting, earlier.  My gorge hasn’t settled enough to elaborate.  Suffice to say; I will not be kissing her on the mouth again.  I was going to say ever, but it’s more like until I forget what I witnessed.  (I just wished my attention span longer.)  I can feel an epic belly laugh building, so I’ll probably spend a good while laughing about it soon.  Someone funny should do a short on YouTube about the things pet lovers don’t talk about in polite company.  Just saying.

I had an interesting conversation with the Dr. who diagnosed my Asperger’s Syndrome.  It was about how I consider Seinfeld a goldmine of information on social behavior.  When at one point, I read how Jerry Seinfeld believes he’s also on the autism spectrum, it clicked.  It’s no surprise to me he’s fascinated by social interaction and relationships to the degree of making his show about nothing center on this theme.

The intense focus on what neurotypical minds usually consider irrelevant detail is a component of Seinfeld’s humor.  Part of why so many love his comedy is the inclusion of that internal flash of joy when you first notice something you’ve seen a thousand times.  He relates to people in ways they didn’t know they had in common.  Humor is his ticket into the social world.  I’m proud of him.  I’m also grateful for all the laughs and social skills I’ve gleaned from watching his show.  I’m off to band practice.  💜✌🏽

“Now, what are you going to do about my Twix?”

water droplet

Congratulations go out to Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson; both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Stevie Nicks is now the first woman to be inducted twice.  Legendary, yo.  Watching her perform live was a bucket list moment for me.  I immediately put it back on the list, too.  (Please, sir.  I want some more.)  Fran recently put me on to Solange Knowles during The Friend Zone podcast, and I’m hooked whooked. 😆

I watched all the existing episodes of One Strange Rock on Netflix, recently.  It’s Will Smith hosting a show where eight astronauts talk about their experiences in space.  In doing so, they teach a lot about the earth and our universe.  It’s fabulous.  I watch documentaries often, but I learned some life-changing information that never once crossed my mind while watching and pondering.

I’m not ready to talk about it yet.  I need more time to process and translate into words.  I think everyone should see it.  It broadened my perspective in a manner that accepts the universe in all her glory.  It reminds me of Game of Thrones when Maester Aemon says, “Kill the boy and let the man be born.”  I feel a bit long in the tooth compared to Jon Snow, but it’s all relative, eh?  🤣

person in cave looking out

I’ve almost finished with my second viewing of HBO’s Westworld (seasons 1-2.)  I’m so impressed by it.  The attention to detail is astonishing.  The performances are excellent cast-wide.  The delivery of historically-accurate, and thus, often campy dialogue in a completely believable manner by so many actors is fabulous.  The costumes!  The production; as meticulously crafted as the world it portrays.  I’m so proud of the people who work on it.  It’s a shiny gem.  And that doesn’t even include the soundtrack, which is a significant part of the storytelling process.  Chills!

I had a scary low cognitive abilities day, recently.  I think I triggered it accidentally by blundering into a Chasm of Fascination.  I only meant to peek in, but I fell head first.  (I’m safely distant from the edge now.  Whew.)  Dimensional space speculation is dangerous ground for me.  I got deep in thought, and after several hours, I felt a bit stuck.  Then I panicked and tried to shift to practicing guitar.  Sadly, I merely held my guitar for a few hours while I thought more about dimensional space.

To function while in this state, I have to talk myself through everything.  To get a drink of water, I have to chant aloud, drink water, or I’ll lose a few more hours halfway through the process of fetching it.  It’s like being stuck between two worlds while trying to pay attention to both at the same time.  It takes all available resources to perform the simplest tasks.  These are the times when Amelia Bedelia is more service animal than companion pet.  She’ll persistently demand my presence until I claw my way back, (and she knows when I’m faking it with autopilot.)  I give her a treat each time.

I’m back to typical, today, but I’m still a bit disoriented time-wise.  It seems like this should be Friday, not Sunday.  (I believe the consensus regarding treatment for time disorientation is to tell someone about it. 👍🏽)  Shrill on Hulu is a super fun binge.  I can’t wait till they add more.  I’m off to read.  💜✌🏽

“Stop it, Kramer, you’re freaking me out.”

person in cosplay costume

I just got back from a mini vacation in Denver.  M thought it would be an excellent way to shake loose from the downward spiral into a pit of depression.  It worked.  I’m feeling so much better.  I’m nearly giddy — a pleasant side-effect of getting baked while in Rome.  I feel energized from reaching a state of zero anxiety.  Half the effect is from the sense of awe over the achievement.  I always forget how incredible it feels.  It makes for a delightful surprise each visit.

It also reminded me of the cost demanded in vulnerability.  In my case, partaking is a buddy exercise only.  Heh.  I cherish this knowledge like someone who thinks way too much.  🙃 (Jordan Peele made us cool.)  I slept like Gayle King after an R Kelly interview last night.  I woke up laughing, feeling like I could conquer my chores before noon.  (Done.)  I worked on my story in progress like Mavis Beacon was testing my typing for several hours.  The Muse must have been pleased to see me discover that headspace.

The only con is I didn’t do an ergonomic check before I jumped in.  I’m don’t stay in the same position for too long, or you’ll move like you’re 100 for an uncomfortable minute years old.  It’s still funny every time I forget;  bonus.  I had a great time in Denver.  I behave like someone who hasn’t been around enough diversity for a long time and can’t reign in the huge grin.  I strongly suspect it factors into why I find the people of Denver so kind.

cute bearded person

I beta tested a prototype while visiting, and it’s triggered all sorts of thought paths for potential usability.  Air traffic controllers, surgeons, and neurodiverse people were obvious beneficiaries immediately.  By the time I strayed onto a different thought tangent, I had decided it would probably be useful to everyone who wanted to use it.  I merely applied a bit of capitalist tinged triage on the fly.  (Those are people I know are often under tremendous pressure.)

Despite having fun, coming home was the best part.  I longed for home while enjoying myself.  It’s confirmation I’ve successfully configured my living space.  It’s where I want to be.  I had no idea this was the prize.  It’s fabulous!  The funny part is I think it’s going to weaken my tendency toward agoraphobia.  When I know, I have a place where I can genuinely exhale, awaiting my return, going out is a lot less painful.  Yay.  Thank goodness for Marie Kondo.

I think the most important thing she taught me is organization and awareness of my connection to my stuff is a beautiful coping skill for anxiety and depression.  (Usually, what’s good for us is good for most, because many don’t know they dabble in juggling these challenges, too.)  I didn’t bring my new camera because I’m not even sure which parts of it I’m not supposed to touch yet.  I only know those parts exist.  (I’m such a noob.  😂)  I’m off to continue re-reading A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  (We’re in Fae.  😆)

“Every two minutes, ‘Who ate the top of my muffin?!'”

romantic road

I depleted my recent candy acquisition.  I see a mouth full of cadaver donations in my future.  I hope lots of people who avoided sweets all their lives choose to donate their teeth when they die.  (Thanks in advance.  😁)  More candy arrives tomorrow.  Heh.  I have to admit to a fascination with having dead peoples teeth in my mouth.  It’s a Stephen King novel waiting to happen, yo.  Imagine what Jordan Peele would do with it.  I may even take a stab at it.

I believe the above paragraph qualifies as a warning against reading further.  I’m having a cognitive kaleidoscope kind of day.  I would elaborate, but it’s presently beyond me.  It involves thought loops that spontaneously capture my attention.  After the first few rounds, I start playing with it.  It’s mental jazz or something.  I’m not really into it, but I can hang.  (This paragraph counts as an example.)

I know why this is happening; it’s a fragmented focus.  The Depression Monster has been low-level messing with me for a long time, and I’ve been ignoring it.  Sometimes it feels like walking across a minefield.  At any moment, I could buckle under a mountain of despair atop me out of nowhere.  An interruption to my ability to do more than exist while questioning why.  Thinking about it seems dangerous, so I don’t.

there are no rules

Instead, I double down on known counteractants.  Exercise and laughter are most potent in my experience.  Both are difficult to attempt when depressed.  They’re the last things you feel like doing.  But they help, so I usually manage.  It’s brutal because the necessary effort is always astonishing.  I can’t even bitch about it, because I know I’m more skilled at living with chronic depression than in the past.

I have a deep sadness about the state of humanity on my back, as well.  I feel horrible over the massacre in New Zealand because the atrocity was deliberately committed by a fellow human, resulting in the loss of fifty of us. We are less now.  I hate reminders of our collective insanity.  I don’t like thinking about impending self-destruction on a species level.  I’m too literal for this game.

I sighed when I read Aunt Becky was supposedly arrogant when appearing in court recently.  It would have been weird if she wasn’t.  We all know she knows she’s merely the one who got caught doing what we all know is so common it’s a freaking tradition among the privileged.  Character stopped counting in America at a point I’m unable to pinpoint.  Perhaps it never really mattered.  I still believe Mr. Rogers knew what he was talking about, though.  (Despite all the evidence supporting Dr. Ford’s theory of the human intellect being like peacock feathers on Westworld.)  And on that cheery note, I’m off to read.  ✌🏽💜