“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. ✌🏽💜

“Stanley Gets Your Lunch.”

posable figure with antiquated black rotary phone

I’ve been catching up on HBO’s Silicon Valley.  It’s so funny it hurts (in a fab way.)  It takes me a while to watch an episode because I have to pause to get my breathing back under control.  (I don’t want to miss any dialogue because I fell over giggling.)  Also, I’m reading Always Look on the Bright Side of Life:  A Sortabiography, by Eric Idle.  (It feels like stating it’s hilarious is a Captain Obvious joke waiting to happen.)  Yep.  The Depression Monster is curled up in the fetal position in the corner.  (Lay by your bowl, bitch.) 🙃

I had to break up with (Amazon’s) Alexa, recently.  She woke me up by flashing an orange ring on my Echo device, indicating I had a message (even though I didn’t set up messaging on purpose.)  It was to inquire whether or not I’d like to reorder an item I just ordered.  And then she had a horrible accident involving a fall.  I’m delighted to report she didn’t survive.  Are you kidding me?  So anyway, I got this new speaker that looks a little bit like an Echo, except it can never wake me up and make me kill it.

Between that and several unfortunate quantity-over-quality decisions regarding their electronics, I’m done buying Amazon’s devices unless they create something at least as fresh as the Wii, and built as solidly as the original XBOX.  And doesn’t shit on my boundaries.  Good luck.  (I was set to purchase the new Echo, but they pushed back the release date just long enough for me to not want it anymore hate it.  Thanks, universe.)  It looks like Siri wins by default.  Heh.  (Just kidding, I built my own and was only using Alexa to play sleep sounds.)

microphone

I got my Vitamin D supplements from Ora Organic (via The Friend Zone.)  I’ve been taking it for a few days now.  I had no idea a deficiency can contribute to depression in those with higher melanin.  It can also lead to bone density problems in those with low melanin.  I like that it’s plant-based rather than sheep’s wool.  I haven’t had any digestive issues with it, so yay.  They’re having a sale right now.  (Captian Obvious strikes again.) I also got the pre/probiotic.  I already like Ora Organic enough to pay a little more (for knowing it’s not a fly-by-night third-party seller on Amazon pushing who knows what in unregulated capsules.)

I’m stunned by how disabling it is to be unable to speak on the telephone.  Probably because I used to be able to do it.  I thought since it’s practically 2020, I could use existing tech to compensate.  (I forgot it required someone else to use it, too.)  So I’m going to practice recording myself talking.  I’ll store some common phrases so I can play them over the phone if necessary.  I don’t mind having excessively long conversations (in the uncanny inflection valley) to set appointments since it doesn’t cause involuntary projectile hurling.  (Because evidently email is too new or hard or something.) 🙄

Kid Fury put me on to Mott’s fruit-flavored snacks.  He just mentioned them on The Read, and I heard, try them.  They’re amazing.  It’s my new favorite candy, as I’m not silly enough to believe the fruit and vegetable claims on the box (but am enough to chuckle at the audacity.)  I skipped the holiday gathering this year due to the weather.  I suck at driving, so I didn’t attempt to do it after it snowed the day before.  You’re welcome, people traveling nearby.  I’m off to create a beat for the car alarm going off so long I decided to sample it for a song.  😆💜✌🏽

“It’s like my life is buffering.”

arial photo of road fading into fog

I’m in the middle of an epic struggle with The Depression Monster.  Despite this, I’m still able to hold my head up without too much effort.  I have an arsenal of tools to compensate for this interruption arrayed around me.  I sprayed some aromatherapy essential oil as soon as I awoke.  It smells like citrus with a hint of vanilla in my apartment.  I’m surprised how much it’s helping lift my mood.

I purchased a singing bowl, mallet, and silk cushion set.  It was an impulse buy, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it.  I’m stunned by how good it makes me feel.  I didn’t even read the instructions.  I just started dragging the mallet around the outside (in a circle) while holding it on the pillow because it produces a sound that resonates through my whole body.  It’s like tickling my spirit, and it’s always just right.

I also recently got an acupressure mat.  I lay on it when I start to feel like I’m wading through molasses.  At first, using it was a bit startling, but now I could fall asleep on it.  I take off my shirt and place it over the pillow part before laying on it.  Then I take a deep breath and summon my ancestors to surround me and fill me with hope.  The more I use it, the longer I want to remain on it.  I’m up to half an hour each time.  I feel energized afterward.

person surfing a wave

Drumming is another powerful tool when I’m depressed.  It has the same effect as working jigsaw puzzles, writing code, and organizing closets.  It puts my brain back in order (or distracts me until it occurs naturally.)  Only I’m using all of me to do it, to a beat.  🙃 It’s the best midlife skill I’ve picked so far.  I’m also learning synthesizers, which is like building a secret friendship with a unicorn who always has candy.  Both skills are great to save for when you’re 50ish.  You’re welcome.  💜

I’m in a band, but I’m under no pressure to produce anything but my smiling face to practice.  The low-key Loki in me thinks it’s funnier if I train as if I’m going to be great before I die.  So that’s what I’m doing.  If I blow up out of nowhere, you’re in on the joke.  🤭  (Because drummers and synth players who started after their second do-over are notable throughout history, don’t you know.)

Drumming with an acoustic kit is incredibly healing.  The act of deliberately making a lot of noise, alone, is significant.  I was conditioned to be as quiet as possible.  Gross.  Fixing it.  I’ve compared notes and nearly everyone I’ve asked shares this intense need to be silent.  Based on my non-scientific data, you have to be the firstborn son in a religious family with one or more siblings and both parents to feel safe making noise.  Heh.  Drumming defies.

Side note:  I just got an email from Uplift Desk showing a photo of an under desk hammock.  I don’t get it.  My stress level increased from just looking at the picture (warning Will Robinson.)  Is this for at home?  Why don’t you lay on your bed?  Are you sleeping at work?  Am I misunderstanding?  Is this how it starts?

Writing while depressed is messing up my works in progress, but it’s as if the Muse is sending me pity inspiration.  Whatever.  I can chop it out later and save it in the vault.  Someday I’ll use it to write a novel that will make Alaskans and northern Europeans say, damn that’s depressing.  Heh.  I’m off to practice like I’m Beyoncé. ✌🏽💜

“This is emotionally magnificent.”

denver airport mural

I’m in a weird headspace.  I just spent 20 minutes in a massage chair in a very public space.  It was an incredible experience I plan to repeat often.  The massage itself was mediocre, and I didn’t allow my head to rest against the pillow (because I have ridic rules about my hair.) Nevertheless, strangers sitting on either side of me and hundreds of others from all over the planet passing by made it fascinating.

I didn’t feel sensory overload, which is astonishing.  It’s possibly due to being so overwhelmed, it went full circle, and I landed back in my comfort zone.  (Selects save for later.)  I was present while in a crowded space, and it didn’t result in a new distance record for projectile hurling.  Being present in an international airport made it not only simple to navigate, but kind of fun.  I helped someone new to flying to get to their ride after our flight.  We even did chit chat on the train!

I was able to respond out loud when she asked me where I’m from on the first attempt.  (No awkward pause to compile.)  I had a fun conversation with my Lyft driver en route to my hotel.  Here’s a tip:  If you struggle with making small talk, place personal interest identifying stickers on your suitcases.  (My carryon has Steven Universe and Star Wars stickers.)  I had three great chats about the upcoming Star Wars installment with fellow geeks, all of which left me smiling.  Much better than grinding my teeth to suppress anxiety while failing to respond to direct questions out loud, resulting in retroactive mortification.

denver-airport-horse

I traveled to reset my depression and anxiety levels back to manageable.  I intended to do this by using recreational weed in a legal setting.  I just realized I don’t even need the pot to achieve this; the journey was the synergist.  (I see what you did there, dear universe.)  🤭 I’m going to redirect that energy and visit a museum.  (Not something I could do while stoned because I require a buddy-sitter.  Shup.)  🙃

Guitar Hero is out of town for something related to fame.  (He’s not famous to me as I had never heard of him when we met.) It’s more relative than ever these days.  It amuses me how excited I feel about certain people I’ve never met, but others who are well-known are just people to me.  I’m a(n) carbon interest-based life form.  Heh.  (And grammar is still not an interest.)

I’m on a roll with social interaction.  I’m going to think up a challenge and go for it.  Maybe visit a comedy club or something.  If I find a comedy club with a pinball machine, I’ll squee.  I’d also like to talk to some strangers about religion and spirituality, so I’ll probably head back to the airport early.  Funny how a place that used to resemble a hostile environment has morphed into a fun place to pass through.  I’m off to the museum.  ✌🏽💜

p.s. I love Denver; scary, weird art included.

“Did you know your ID says you’re a security threat?”

mural of two human heads

I need to get this out of my head (before I forget.)  Forgive me if what I’m about to share upsets.  I spent years of my life overcoming an irrational fear of men.  (It resulted from being raped by a male soldier while serving in the Army.) It also (weirdly) led to me becoming a super-soldier for a year.  Then reality caught up to me.  I’m still in awe of what I accomplished during that year.  (Even though being a human-robot is often synonymous with being an excellent soldier.) 🤭

Suddenly, all men became predators who would hurt me if I ever let my guard down.  I was too ready to burst into a tornado of violence or flee like the wind at the first hint of danger.  People who typically would have been like brothers made me tremble if they merely noticed me.  I could reason that my feelings were ridic intellectually, but it did not affect my fear.  Worse, I didn’t realize I was physically reacting to the men I encountered as if I was steeling myself for an inevitable attack.  Eventually, I figured out why men kept giving me the stink eye.  They were offended (and rightly so.)

I had to train myself to stop, and it took time.  It was horrible to be terrified of nearly half the world while knowing it was due to the actions of one.  I hate being irrational against my will.  Thank you, dear universe, for gay men (who were immune.)  It helped tremendously to spend time with them and allow myself space to reclaim my sense of safety.  Eventually, I stopped behaving like I was anticipating ambush all the time.  (It was exhausting.)

eerie person running from the light in the woods

Also, thinking that way made me incredibly paranoid.  At one point, I had to pause life and figure out how to stop negotiating the world like a win-or-die game of chess (that only I was playing.)  I even created a crappy video game to encourage myself, instead, to anticipate joy whenever I entered a room or went around a corner.  The graphics were so poor they were funny.  (Parody is a fabulous copyright loophole when creating while depressed.  Especially for people ((like me)) who love comedy but lack the gift.) 🤫

I was seriously worried I was losing my grip on reality, though.  Then I realized I was imagining the worst-case scenario and behaving as if it were the reality (like there was a prize), followed by wondering why I was sofa king anxious.  🤪  Eminem had a positive influence on my reclaiming safety among men.  So did Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter.  From there, I was able to pinpoint what about them was helping me heal.  It turned out to be their willingness to be vulnerable publicly as a man.

The more instances of witnessing men sharing their feelings and perspective, the more I healed.  (Hello, Will Smith obsession.) 🥰  But the man who had the most significant healing effect by far is Chaz Bono.  The documentary, Becoming Chaz, helped me to understand important distinctions between men and women from both perspectives. It helped that it was from a source I valued since childhood (when allowed to watch Sonny and Cher only when their kids were on.)  The information presented in the doc is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Hopefully, what I learned can help provide a healing shortcut for others who struggle with something similar.  💜✌🏽