We all know the person; well intentioned, but a sad sack. Everyone is having a good time and this person just can’t relate to it, so they bring up something morose or negative and kill the vibe.
I used to be one. A Jacuzzi-Shitter.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. I never did it consciously. I thought I was a person of depth because I could shamelessly change the conversation from the weather to my dad’s attempted suicide.
In hindsight, I didn’t know any better, and that’s the part that’s so hard about depression. You don’t have anything to compare it to, so you assume everyone feels the way you do; filled with dread and a gnawing, lonely, soul-engulfing sadness that makes getting out of bed a chore. Guess what? They don’t. A lot do, but most don’t.
I’m proud that I’m not that guy today, and I feel no guilt in avoiding Jacuzzi-Shitters even though I used to be one. I’d be happy to talk to them about their sadness or depression if they ask for help and it’s at an appropriate time and place, and they’re not looking for me to be
I was sitting in a coffee shop, wondering what to write a blog about and I heard a man screaming at the top of his lungs. RAGING. I thought, “Oh, another actor talking to his agent.” Then a couple rode by on bikes, and the man was yelling at the woman.
I’ll bet you thought what I did. Oh, they must be a couple.
How fucked up is that? If he’s spewing that much hate, they must be in love.
I don’t know if he suffers from depression, but my guess is he does, because while I didn’t yell like that out loud, I felt that way inside. Lots of screaming while driving alone. Imagined conversations. Imagined slights. Lots of thinking about me, and never about anybody else.
I always thought my wife was the problem. Turns out it was me. I was driven by fear and felt if she didn’t act the way I wanted, my fears would be realized. Sad but true.
Everybody has that handful of songs that takes them back to that awful feeling of being twelve and in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way. Is there anything more powerful than the emotions those bring up?
I was in seventh grade and in love with Loretta Wiltgen – or what I thought was love. We had been going together for about six months and she broke up with me.
About three months into our going out, spring break arrived and my dad thought it would be good to still not show an interest in the family but do it in a station wagon in Wyoming. I didn’t get to see her or talk to her for ten days. If we had had texting, I would have come home with bloody thumbs. I remember being so “in love” with her I would scan the highway for the same GMC truck that her family had. When I would see one, my heart would pound. At dinner I would take her picture out of my wallet and sigh.
Am I alone in feeling the digital age is cracking the whip and I can’t keep up? Every couple of months I realize there is some new gadget, site or app everybody but me knows about.
The number of ways we can connect to each other is getting bigger but the quality with which we communicate seems to be dropping. I always preferred a small party of close friends than a huge party of acquaintances. Sometimes the digital age seems like a kegger with endless free beer, but a lot of douchebags.
I’m feeling the urge to rebel. Part of me wants to cancel Facebook and Twitter and close up my websites, but I know that’s not the right solution. I have a famous friend who no longer uses email. I think she got tired of trying to reply to everyone who wanted something from her. I think her solution is a little harsh, but I get it.
Generally, when I’m not doing the things to keep my depression in check (exercise, meditation, meds) I slip into a funk where I lose interest in things that normally bring me pleasure, and I find it really hard to get motivated to do anything. Decisions become really hard to make. I feel like the clock is ticking and there is only one perfect decision and I don’t know what it is. I become worried about the future, and get down on myself for procrastinating, which makes me worry even more about the future. I feel that the world is passing me by, yet I feel like I can’t take any steps to remedy it and before I know it I’ve worked myself up into a nap.
When my depression is being kept in check but my addictive personality isn’t, I find myself enjoying things but obsessing about myself and the need for more (money, things, accolades), and ignoring the needs of others. I become so engrossed in feeling good I lose a
I just got off the phone with a friend who was compulsively engaging in an unhealthy behavior, and feeling terrible about himself. As we talked he kept harping on his failures and shortcomings – beating himself up for his lack of control.
I offered him the perspective that while its good to take a look at the negative effects his behaviors are having in his life, it’s also important that he be nice to himself. Not by engaging in the unhealthy behavior, but in healthy ways.
Addictive behavior is usually triggered by anxiety, and being hard on yourself all the time does anything but relieve anxiety. I know because I fight the urge to beat myself up all day long. Some days I win, some days I lose.
A couple times a week, try doing something small that you think you really don’t have time for, or that is a little frivolous and do it alone. Go out for a nice meal by yourself. Going to a movie in the middle of the day, just for the hell of it. Get an ice cream cone. It doesn’t even have to cost money. I