Hope You Got Your Shots.

A rumble started in our neighborhood last week. A three-way rumble, amongst the people who still have their Halloween decorations up, those who already put their Christmas decorations up, and those people who take their holidays one at a time.

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In New Jersey, nothing says gratitude like a giant inflatable turkey. Sadly, no one house had all three sets of decorations up, and the giant inflatable yard menorah was noticeably absent this year.

If you’re traveling for any of the upcoming holidays, my post over at Family Circle may make you feel better. Just make sure everyone’s had their shots.

Drew Gehling, who plays Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys Broadway is doing a weekly vlog about what really happens backstage in New York. My favorite part of this one is Miles Aubrey’s opening magic trick. You think you know someone… I had no idea he could do that to a quarter. You can see me in this episode too, passionately talking with my hands and out of the side of my mouth about comb filtering. Also, some handsome actors take their shirts off.

Actors are fun at parties. Ballet dancers are interesting in everyday situations.

For more wildlife-based eye candy, here’s a short collection of some of the best shots you’ll ever see, on Rense.com

The last link today is a great story about how the best moments in life are rarely planned out. Poor Timing, Beautiful Surprises by Ariana Gruver.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Red

Oh, hey. I’m glad you came by. Been a while, huh?

Well, you know how it goes. I get quiet when life is busy, when CC is out of town or I’m picking up extra work or cleaning the house. Heh. Heheheheh. Cleaning the house. I can’t even keep a straight face when I type that.

I’m also quiet when things blow up: We have a hurricane. We have a blizzard. A kid goes in the hospital. The Puggles get hives.

But this time I’ve been quiet because my depression took a joy ride.

Depression: Hey. Nice ride. Is this a 289? V-8? Sweet! I’m gonna drive for a while, mkay?

Me: Ummm, that wasn’t really what I….

Depression: WOO-HOO!

Hope you fueled up!
Hope you fueled up!

This round wasn’t terrible. I got up every day at a reasonable hour, I still went to work. I saw the kids, talked to my husband, walked the dogs, and ate my meals. If you deal with depression at all, you know that particular flavor of it is like winning the Depression Lottery. The jackpot this week is up to Functional Depression? Ten thousand tickets, please!

It’s been more of a constant emptiness. A lot of not being at capacity, and not being able to change that.

Two things I’ve not been able to do are talk to my family of origin (because they always see through that shit and I couldn’t talk about it), and write. Well, scratch that. I did write. I just didn’t write well.

Every time I put a pen to paper, I felt like I was recovering from a stroke- or at least from one of those nights with a case of Little Kings and that guy from high school you never really liked but hung out with because he always had the good drugs.

I assure you neither of those things happened.

Forming complete sentences was a real challenge. I’d get overwhelmed or angry or deeply sad or else totally ambivalent before I finished a thought. Sitting at the keyboard was even worse because typing is faster, so there was more time to hate myself in between words.

I can fix this, I told myself. This, too, shall pass.

Except I couldn’t, and it didn’t. And it hasn’t. And I’m getting through this post because I’ve sat down to do it nine times in the past two weeks and I have a playlist full of Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, and Perfect Circle and I’m drinking too much caffeine too late at night and have given myself permission to suck. Out loud.

The lapse, the silence, the withdrawal from society is unfortunately timed because there are a lot of great things happening in my writing world and I sure would like to support them with a strong blog presence. My friends, too, have amazing things happening in their writing worlds and I want to support them as well. I overflow with blessings. But I’m all tap tap hate. tap tap hate. tap tap sigh. tap.

I always think I have a stronger measure of control over the big D than I actually do, and every time it ebbs away I convince myself it’s gone for good. I’m always surprised when it hijacks me again.

Depression: {knock knock}

Me: You again? I kicked you out, you sonofabitch. Go away.

Depression: C’mon, baby, you know you missed me! Let’s ride!

Me: Asshole.

Allie Brosch’s interview on NPR (which my husband, my source for all useful and interesting links, turned me on to) is fantastic, and if you haven’t heard it, here’s the link. She’s one of my favorites. She had a year and a half gap in her blog because of her depression (of the nasty, big-ass variety) and she said this:

“I think there’s a common misconception that depression is about something or depression is sadness or some form of negativity. It can represent a sadness or a self-loathing, as the first half of my depression did. It sort of circled back on itself and made me dislike myself more because I was so sad, and I didn’t know why, and I felt like I needed a reason. … It took me a long time to figure out that something was broken on a fundamental level. There was no reason behind it; it was just the way things were.”

I’ve had the I don’t think I’m pulling out of this kind of depression twice in my life. This isn’t that. I do live in fear of it getting that bad again, though I no longer believe that I am broken. I have promised that I will consider medication if it gets that bad again.

Meanwhile, I fight it. Have you ever heard the phrase: What you resist, persists?

How about, Surrender to win?

So after weeks and weeks of losing battles, trying to find the reason for it and fix it, I gave up. I accepted that it’s just the way things are right now, and there’s no real reason for it. I quit fighting it.

Me: Okay, big D. Let’s ride. Don’t wreck my goddamn car.

My inbox is in the hundreds; I’ll answer a few of them and eat a cookie if I can’t. There are seven unheard voice mails, some of which are two months old, and it’s highly probable I will delete them without ever listening to them. I’ve missed deadlines and I’m about to miss more, but I’m still writing. I’m plugging away, but in quicksand, with molasses, in a straightjacket.

Little things in my arsenal make me feel better. I always considered them weapons against the bad feelings coming, but it turns out they work just fine if you’re already down: Doing something decent for someone even if it’s in a teeny-tiny way; A good story and a strong-ass cup of coffee with cream (not milk, not half & half); Laughing, which this madhouse that I live in gives me ample opportunity to do; Chocolate and heavy metal; A brisk walk under the fall canopy amongst the dead (in our cemetery, to clarify) with the Puggles.

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Oh, and red. Red lipstick in particular. Red lips always make me happy.

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I took this ridiculous selfie when I got to work a couple weeks ago after my writers group told me I looked glamorous, which I thought was hilarious and sweet.

Because I look crazy.

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Does anybody hear Patsy Cline?

I don’t mind; looking like a whack job comes with a tremendous amount of freedom. Especially in New York.

Does the big D hijack you, too?

Where do you find freedom?