To all the kids safe enough to have their parents just take them around the neighborhood in cool costumes, as happened when I was small.
To all the adults who seemed to have rediscovered the idea of a cool set of costumes, a theme and a group of friends…and scare responsibly.
To the “scary movies” made before 1961… I love them. Don’t know why, I just do.
To “Dark Shadows,” the silly, “scary” vampire soap.
To the 1979: “Dracula.” Underemembered and undervalued by the critics…I liked it.
To the cool scary cards my sister in law sends me every year…This year it was Kermit the Frog as Frankenstein, and Miss Piggy as a sidekick.
To my brother in law, her husband…who loves Hallowe’een way too much for a grown up, scary music and sound effects…on speakers out the windows, cobwebs on the porch…
This post is a genuine attempt to map the various impacts that I experience as part of an ongoing ebb and flow of what a layperson might label depression. My firm belief is that it is chemical, and produces mental and emotional states, and from them perceptions and decisions that are too often flawed…independently of whether my life actually sucks or not. (Objectively in my clearer moments, it does not suck. I have a roof over my head, I eat twice or three times daily…and I am still in contact with most friends and family)
Always: Focus…concentration seems to be forced to the side by medication, when medicated and thrown aside by emotion/anxiety when not medicated (last time I was “not medicated” was December 2003.) Volatile emotion shows up often in my private discourse, even while on meds.
The “knot of dread” has reappeared in my stomach for any and all public activity. Even while on medication, I am anxious when targets, goals, requirements, social events, public performance (singing) are set for me…and I don’t meet them…beyond what’s usual. Physical symptoms then, when affected by the mental stuff, ratchet up suddenly and I have as little perceived control over them as I do at this time over the mental emotional business…
Staying inside lowers both the mental and physical by products of this extreme anxiety, but all it does is swap itself out for a continuous mental loop of self-blame,failure etc etc, boring endless…And, since I don’t mark it much, I always have to remind myself that if the dark months of the year are tougher, there are genuine pieces and reasons for this, what the EvilExBoyfriend simply labeled “The Dark Time.”
I am also failing to come to terms with other totally physical symptoms that continue to impose random, frequent hiding inside the house, difficulty with offline scheduling that puts a dent both in the quest for what they call Substantial Gainful Employment, and some semblance of a social life. dehydration, constant mild discomfort that jumps up to extreme discomfort with about 15 seconds notice. They happen. They can be lessened. But they won’t completely stop.
Writing, correct eating, and social interaction with the small group of persons who have known me a *long* time, and thence, that I trust along with the correct medication…eases these things. And, I try always to sit myself down and read some rationality over these impairments: I didn’t ask for them, I didn’t ask for the results of their interaction, and any outside observer who uses a “whining” label, is quite free to do so. They are also quite free to remain profoundly ill informed…no big deal, because, let’s face it, no one likes to talk about this stuff.
My impairments are in many different places besides “my head.” But I do wish that said head would cease it’s near constant ability to make them “worse.”
I’m going to go back to what’s called in this state the department of vocational rehabilitation…
And, hope that I get a better answer than I got in 2003 which was in essence: “You’re smart, *you* figure it out!”
To be fair, carpal tunnel had not yet been found and the physiatrist had not yet re diagnosed my “spastic paraplegia” (aka at different times in my life as cerebral palsy etc etc etc…
And, I’ll need to make clear to both the medical and vocational sides the fluid nature of my capabilities…They are no longer static, stable, …any one piece of the puzzle can go suddenly south.
It’s as if my various impairments force me into a game of Jenga, or Tetrus. At the last employer, things were difficult until winter, but bearable, then quickly changed when my symptoms of three separate impairments flared up in tandem with dramatic changes of the requirements of the job…for those who *love* cures, or who relied on them too much
I don’t have anything *bad* to say about the medicine. It worked quite well. From October to May, and then suddenly *bam.* No help…and the pieces started falling off, and well eventually the whole Jenga tower went to hell. (for those who’ve never played Jenga: Google is your friend.)
But I’ve already been through Masters level work. Automatically vocational counselors in 2003 seemed to see that based on that education and the fact that I had to wear clean officewear for the job I had then, I obviously had too much money and brains to be looking for help from them.
Jeebus. Let’s imagine for a moment that impairment is The Worlds Worst Drama Queen. Impairment doesn’t show up at your door, or interact with other impairments already present in an unfavorable way, and then suddenly discover the nice pink blouse in your closet or your IQ score and *then run shrieking away!!!*
“I can’t hold on! I can’t take it anymore! I cannot inflict impairment on this individual? Their IQ is just *too high!* Oh, and the kicker! I cannot possibly operate effectively if she dresses in a manner appropriate for the office! I’ll be in my *trailer!* [door slam]
You know you’ve strayed into “yes, my life *does* get that weird” territory when
After being horribly and sadly ill for one hour and twenty minutes straight…
You decide against the local “commentary” show, and instead opt for the “Older Scary Movies” happening on TCM…and then actually like the painfully thin plotting of a Boris Karloff flick (c. 1936), because he does just look like a charming bumbler without makeup. Poor guy, he was sent to the chair for a crime he didn’t commit…and has the misfortune to survive the electrocution….and all of his enemies die *after* putting on their Good Samaritan faces and procuring half a million dollars to the revived inmate..without any action on his part at all…no witches, monsters, magic, poisons, guns or knives…just circumstance…He shows up…they shoot themselves in fumblefingered terror…He goes to the train station to run away and start anew, and another enemy has the misfortune to see him post death….”Why did you kill me?” he asks mournfully, and the man shrieks and runs straight into the path of an oncoming train.
Enemies all, hand me half a mil and then run away and expire…
Then, when a 50’s B picture about zombies with atom brains is too much even for me…I hit PBS and get a jolt of joy–Monty Python, heavy with cartoons, and a sudden nervous respectability when the group hears the Queen is Watching, and stares out, all nervous and respectable at the Royal Watcher…
Hey…didn’t Olbermann say he was a Monty Python fan on his broadcast tonight?
Roomate has diabetes, which she is presently controlling via oral meds and diet. However, her A1C spiked after some months of being less than perfect at controlling carb/sugar intake, and she has now gotten back on that bandwagon.
Today, she was offered two different cartons of doughnughts and msg heavy Chinese food. They all know she is diabetic and struggling with it.
I have created some signage which I hope she will use at work:
“I am diabetic.
My A1C was last checked @ 14, and my blood sugar was 300. (both of those # are dropping)
Unless you want me to DIE, please don’t dump the high sugar stuff on my desk, or be offended that I’ve brought food of my own, that I need to eat since I don’t want to DIE!
And, of course, she won’t be able to post it because someone will be offended. But I honestly think that this type of signage is going to be what it takes for *any* cubicle dweller to send any food offerings they believe are not healthy for them in another direction…after sixty or one hundred polite “No thank you’s,” it just gets old!