Category Archives: Depression
I finally solved the mystery of what’s using up all of the RAM in my brain, rendering it completely useless for ordinary tasks like processing words and creating pointless bulleted lists of what I desperately need from the grocery store.
Someone has apparently messed with my system preferences and over-upgraded my anti-virus program resulting in my brain spending more time on defending me from highly contagious infections than reminding me to perform simple tasks – such as putting a memory stick into my camera before I take 200 pictures and realize that none have been saved.
I was thinking that getting older was the culprit, but a rare moment of self-awareness the other day revealed the true reason I can’t remember a darn thing anymore.
I was supervising recess, and a student came up, rubbed his palm on my arm, and asked me if he could go to the bathroom.
“Sure,” I said automatically.
What I was thinking was, “I need to douse my left arm in hand-sanitizer as soon as I get back to my classroom.”
About 2 minutes later, a parent walked up to me, introduced himself, and shook my hand.
“Hello,” I said automatically.
Thinking, of course, “And I will use my right hand that man just shook to spread the hand-sanitizer all over my left arm.”
And then someone asked me a question.
And a small bit of panic began to rise because I now had two things to remember and one thing to respond to all at the same time and apparently two is my max amount for multi-tasking and my brain completely freezes if required to perform three functions at the same exact time.
I don’t even remember the question. It was about that moment that a random window opened in my brain, informing me that this is exactly why I am a basket case while simultaneously debating whether the person who asked me the question got close enough that I would now need to sanitize my entire body just to be on the safe side.
Later that day, I informed my husband of my great revelation.
“I can’t remember anything because I’m too busy trying to remember which parts of my body need to be disinfected every time someone comes near me. I’m seriously creating little mental maps in my brain with place-markers on every spot that has been touched since the last time I expunged all of the germs.”
Despite the fact that I make astounding statements like this every single day, my husband seemed a bit concerned by the gravity of the situation.
“That’s weird,” he said. ”You seriously need to stop watching those reruns of Monk.”
“Oh God,” I thought. ”I never thought of that. CAN YOU IMAGINE ALL OF THE BACTERIA LIVING ON OUR REMOTE CONTROL?!!!”
It all comes from deciding not to go to the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair.
I don’t know what got into me. I read the blurb for this amazing event in the Sunday newspaper, and thought, “That has got to be the coolest name for anything. Ever.” And I mean, anything. Like the name of the new band I’m going to start with Jon Stewart. Or the bookstore I’m going to open in my garage. If David Sedaris can explore diabetes with owls, I don’t see why I can’t spend an afternoon embroidering a lamp shade with a goat while eating some juicy ribs.
I have to admit, though, that I was a bit confused about the goat’s part in all of this. Is the goat doing the barbecuing and the crafting? Or are the goats being barbecued? If so, is that before or after they make a craft? And, most importantly, how do you train a goat to make the Alamo out of Popsicle sticks without the goat actually consuming it?
I could have discovered the answers to all of these riveting questions if I had chosen to make an actual appearance at the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair. But, as tempting as it sounded, I couldn’t convince myself that anything was better than hanging around the house morbidly depressed. Even the “cow patty plop” didn’t persuade me. Though it did bring up more questions…
So, instead, I stayed home. My daughter, who was bored, got herself invited to a friend’s neighborhood pool. The friend’s mom decided not to make an appearance at the pool, so I waited for her with our bulldog, Wonderbutt, in tow. Not surprisingly, Wonderbutt fell in the pool and almost drowned because, stupidly, I had not brought his life jacket along on what I assumed to be a Drop-Off-And-Drive-Away situation.
Now, if you would have asked me who would be more resentful about this whole experience, I would have laid odds on the daughter, who got yanked back home when her friend’s mother took too long to return to three unchaperoned girls at an unlifeguarded pool. Instead, it’s Wonderbutt who isn’t speaking to me.
Being spurned by an obese bulldog is even more depressing than the thought of eating barbecued goat.
This was the chain of events I began to relate to my doctor the next day as evidence that he probably needed to change my medication – again.
He stopped me at “cow patty.”
It’s kind of scary how little convincing was needed to persuade him to write out a new prescription.
My antidepressant does not work in Houston or its suburbs. I would like to know why the commercial for it did not warn me of this unfortunate side-effect. ”Can cause weight gain and completely lose its effectiveness if you are anywhere in the vicinity of the 4th biggest city in the United States.” That’s what they should say.
Don’t ask me why it would work in the rest of Texas, but not in Houston. All I know is that it was working fine when I left San Antonio last Friday, but as soon as we hit the Houston metropolitan area I was wondering why I hadn’t drowned myself in the toilet at the Cracker Barrel where we stopped for lunch.
I’m sure this had nothing to do with the fact that my husband questioned any and all navigation suggestions that I offered for three hours straight.
And it seems highly doubtful that the stress of my daughter’s synchronized swimming tournament would make me want to stick a bobby pin through my eye.
There was nothing remotely depressing about being accused of breaking our zillion dollar camera, “but not on purpose”, by my husband, either. Because that made me want to stick a bobby pin in his eye – and that doesn’t really count as depression, does it?
I’m absolutely convinced that there is some kind of GPS embedded in my pills that launches a self-destruct sequence as soon as I get within 30 miles of NASA.
Wait a second. What exactly are those guys at NASA doing right now since we no longer have a space program?
Messing with my pills, that’s what.
And on the other side it would say, “And Hates Cutesy Bonding Activities That Require the Use of Wooden Spoons”
I think you people know me better than the people who know me better.
Yesterday, I got a wooden spoon in my box at school. It said, “Positive”.
We did this thing at the beginning of the year where we decorated wooden spoons and wrote someone who inspired us on one side, and one of the qualities we most admired about them on the other. Now we are supposed to pass the wooden spoons secretly to people we work with who exhibit these traits.
So far this year, I have gotten “Fun” and “Positive”.
Granted, I just started working at this school last August. But I cannot imagine what I have done to give anyone the impression that I am either fun or positive.
My idea of fun is sitting in my armchair with my farting bulldog watching The Daily Show.
As for being positive, when I complain about something, and someone says, “It could be worse,” I say, “Well, it could also be better.”
Maybe that sounds positive to some people.
Some people also seem to have gotten the impression that I am smart – probably because I teach gifted students.
They obviously have not seen my bathroom drawer full of abandoned hair appliances that I bought because the infomercials convinced me that each one was the solution to my frizzy hair.
Or the long scar on my hand that I got because I thought I could remove the wall-sized mirror in our bathroom by myself, but didn’t actually plan where I was going to put it once I got it off the wall.
If I was going to put a spoon in my box, I think that it would say, “Cranky Klutz Who Repeats the Same Mistakes Over and Over…”
But that probably wouldn’t fit on the spoon.
See? Not positive.
Until I can find the tangible evidence that my doctor hates my hair stylist, thus giving him the perfect motive to tank my thyroid test, I have decided to blame my depression on The Sequester. I mean, if my problems aren’t the result of thyroid dysfunction, they clearly must have some external cause. And this whole sequester thing is definitely stressing me out.
First of all, I’m totally bummed that “Sequester” has a completely different meaning than the one I’ve known all of these years. Until now, a sequester was something I could only dream about – having the government pay for me to stay in a hotel with maid service, room service, and all of the books I could ever want to read since I wouldn’t be allowed access to any media in case Nancy Grace might somehow manage to cajole me into nailing Jodi Arias to the wall.
When the news outlets started warning about an oncoming sequester in Congress, I pictured the whole muddle of them being locked inside the Capitol until they knocked each other off and one person became the victor – kind of like a mix between Twelve Angry Men, Fight Club, and the cardinals in the Vatican conclave. I was sorely disappointed to find out that this was not the case.
I was even more alarmed by rumors that this whole sequester thing might delay my tax refund. After all, I use my tax refund to pay my psychiatrist, so if I don’t get my refund, I don’t…well, you get the picture.
Of course, I should be completely straight with you, and admit that we have received an unexpected endowment from the county recently. Although, to be honest, I don’t think it would pay for the gas to take the check to the bank, much less thirty seconds with my psychiatrist.
In fact, I find it depressing that the county actually paid for a stamp to send this check to us.
And then Hugo Chavez died. The only person more paranoid than me. The person who said, “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”
Remember? I’m the one who said terrorists are poisoning our food. And now I’m depressed. Hugo said there are mad scientists spreading cancer – and he died of cancer.
I think the connections are pretty obvious.
If my doctor had just said, “Your thyroid is wonky, and that’s why you’re depressed,” we wouldn’t be in this big mess.
I almost bought a pack of cigarettes the other day.
I don’t smoke. Never have. But, I was really tempted to purchase some while I was standing in line at Walgreens.
The woman in front of me bought a pack, and this focused my attention on the variety of choices on the wall behind the register. It also made me reflect on the irony of a place that sells you medication at the same time it sells addictive cartons of cancer. But I digress.
In front of the cigarettes, a sign said, “We I.D. under 40.”
And I thought, I should buy a pack of cigarettes just to see if he will ask for my i.d.
I am 44.
How great would that be if he asked for my i.d., implying that he thinks I look like I am under 40 years old?
Of course, it could completely go the other way, I told myself. And that would not be good. What if it just says that on the sign, and they really just i.d. if you look under 21? You DO NOT look under 21, I don’t care what your husband tells you.
The Self who talks to me is very rude.
I tried to look at the woman-with-a-death-wish in front of me. The cashier had not asked for her i.d. I needed to compare myself to her.
But, I could not see her face. I started to plot ways to get her to turn around. Hey, uh, do you mind giving me one of those cigarettes? or just Oh my God. Would you look over there?
But The Self who talks to me indicated that those were stupid ideas.
And while I was arguing with The Self, the woman left, gliding through the automatic doors with her bag of Marlboros and Pedialyte without ever revealing her face to me.
I looked the cashier in the eyes as I slid my purchase onto the counter.
“Is this all, ma’am?” he asked.
And that’s all it took. I knew from that last word what I needed to do.
“Yes,” I hissed defiantly. You agist bastard.
He rang my one item up, and handed it to me as I furiously swiped my card, completely insulted by this person who I decided did not deserve the satisfaction of me allowing him to ask for my i.d.. Because he ma’amed me, and experience has taught me that “ma’am” is a four letter word for “you are about my grandmother’s age, so I’m going to act respectful.”
And, at that point, I wasn’t sure if I would just burst into tears or fly over the counter and try to strangle him if he did not have the good sense to ask for my i.d.
And I took my bottle of Revlon Age-Defying Foundation home, assuring myself that I will slather the stuff all over my face, neck, elbows, and knees for a week. I will even wear it at night. And then, I will return to purchase my pack of cigarettes that I will never smoke, and my i.d. will be demanded. And I will roll my eyes because people always make this mistake, and smile as I take out my driver’s license and prove that I am over 40, but have managed to maintain my attractive-and-younger-than-40 looks. And that I am just as capable of caking my lungs with black soot as the next 39 1/2 year old.
So there you have it – the real reason why cigarettes should be illegal.
And possible evidence for Walgreens to issue a restraining order against me.
I pretty much have the same two main goals every day: don’t embarrass myself, and try to keep breathing.
You might think that, since I’m not suffering from a fatal illness (that I know of – but I still have thousands of internet diagnoses to comb through), that the latter one would not be that hard.
But I have three strikes against me – my depression, my forgetfulness, and my clumsiness.
I usually get up every morning, and my first thought is, “On a scale of 1-10, how much do I NOT want to be alive today?” If it’s over a 5 for more than a couple of days, I call the doctor. Usually, though,it hovers around a 3, in which case I resolve to make a concentrated effort for the next 24 hours not to kill myself. On “Three” Days, it’s easy to avoid killing myself on purpose, but an accidental death is always a distinct possibility.
Last week, for example, I was walking out the back door of our school one morning, on my way to my portable classroom. For absolutely no reason at all, other than a little mist in the air, I suddenly skied down the handicap ramp, did about a 5 minute dance that included a twirl and the splits, and fell. (It was truly a John- Travolta-Stayin’ Alive-Performance.) Hard. On my knee.
All in all, the experience was somewhat of a success. As you can tell, I did not kill myself. I didn’t even break any bones or, more importantly, the iPad that was in my purse. In addition, it was so early in the morning that only one person witnessed this amazing feat – and she was a substitute. (Notice that I am not including the school security cameras as a witness because I am holding out the hope that people have better things to do than to watch them every minute.)
For the next 4 days, I wore pants so my husband would not see my gravel-encrusted knee. He already knows I’m a klutz, but I keep thinking if he goes more than a couple of months without being directly reminded of this, he might replace my “Klutz” label with that of “Stunningly Efficient Wife.”
No matter. On the 4th day following my stunning performance, my husband was holding our golden retriever while I was kneeling (on my traitorous left knee) behind her, trying not to cry out in pain. My intention was to cut off a particularly nasty mat of hair conveniently located on her rear end. As I pushed the tip of the scissors through the mat, trying to find the other side so I would not slice off her skin, I managed to plunge the blade deep into one of my fingers.
Bloody, but not exactly deadly. Yay me. I missed stabbing myself in the jugular.
Since I’d already reverted to the “O Days Without an Incident” billboard in my husband’s eyes, I went ahead and confessed to my knee injury while I was at it.
It’s going to be pretty ironic if I conquer this whole depression thing, and I end up killing myself anyway…
Don’t hate on me yet. I know the title looks bad, but bear with me.
So, I was eating lunch today, and eavesdropping on conversations, like I usually do. One of the women began to proselytize about how much better it is to eat fresh food than something from a supermarket. Her rationale was that, with supermarket food, “you don’t know where it’s been.”
And I thought, “Well, you kind of know more about where it’s been than you do with food from a farmers market. I mean, you pretty much have just the word of the farmer that he hasn’t painted arsenic on it or anything. I’m not saying you should buy all of your food from a grocery store, but if your main reason for buying your zucchini from someone on the side of the road is that you think you can count on the goodness of people’s hearts not to poison your purchase by growing it in something other than pristine conditions, then you might want to rethink that. “
But I didn’t say it. That is what this blog is for – whatimeant2say, but didn’t. This way, I don’t get fired from my job or shot at (this is Texas, after all).
A few minutes later, the same woman launched into a diatribe about anti-depressants.
“Well, I just don’t believe in them,” she said. ”I think people just use them so they don’t have to deal with whatever is making them depressed. I mean, look at me, [insert details about her life that were very traumatic] and I didn’t take anti-depressants. Get over it.”
Wow. I can’t even type whatimeant2say because so many sentences crawled into my brain at the same time I think I almost blacked out.
Here is the long and short of it:
Not everyone who is depressed needs to take anti-depressants. But some people do. Like me.
Not every farmer’s market sells food that kills people. But sometimes they do. Like this one.
And not every person who eats food from a farmers market is ignorant. But some are. Like you. *
*(Not you, the person reading this; you, the person who likes to make sweeping generalizations on topics about which she is not an expert. I know you are not that person. So, don’t hate on me.)
Of course, I’m the person who thinks terrorists are poisoning our food. But just some terrorists. And some food. Some people, namely the author of this blog, like to be judicious when they jump to conclusions.
You (sweeping generalization person) should try it some time.