The real F-word  

Four letters that say as much in context as out of.

Tone will tell you a lot, too.

But we use it everyday, in everyday conversation. Sometimes we mean it, and other times it’s a defense to stop the questions.

We see the tears and we know they should stop but the only way out is that little four letter word.

FINE.

I say I’m fine so many times a day, whether or not I mean it. I’ve gone days without telling anyone the truth that I was in pain, that I was worried, that I was watching Life’s latest curveball smash into my face.

It probably doesn’t help that I live in the South, where your first words after ‘Hello,’ are ‘how are you?’ Sometimes you actually want to know (let’s be honest, you’re nosey like me) and other times you haven’t even registered the words came out of your mouth on autopilot.

Unfortunately, that behavior doesn’t exactly encourage people to reach out when they really do have a problem. When all they are asking for is help, an anchor, a stick (my favorite therapist explanation ever BTW). Because all someone in that state is looking for is something to hold onto. To bring them back.

It’s been interesting to watch my parents over the last six months as they realize that each of their children has depression and we all deal with it differently. I can’t speak for my siblings, but I can say mine.

Writing.

Writing is my stick. It’s putting poems on the internet to let other people see and judge and like or not. Even my dad does sometimes — he doesn’t like the ones with all the swearing. But then again, he doesn’t like how I eat my ice cream so I take his jests at will.

I write my whole day down, all the little things that bugged me, that I thought were funny, that was the phrasing I needed. Every day needed to feel like its own.

Even the use of microblogging (multiple updates a day kind of stuff, short and sweet) can actually help with depression if it’s used a certain way.

This is the bite-size article here. There are other ones actually in scientific journals but you have to have access to their database and as I am no longer affiliated with any colleges I do not have such cheat codes…

And the little things add up. I’m looking at the end of the month and trying to pick my most memorable moment. Sure there were any ’10’ moments this month, but I have a couple ‘7’s that need to be recognized. Being a grown up and going to the dentist, dealing with my car insurance (all the swear words), or finishing my move halfway across the country. But you want to know why this month was better?

I stopped saying fine. I started telling the truth even if people started tuning me out because they were just bystanders and didn’t really care. I got pity about my tooth sometimes, and congrats on finishing the move, and sympathy for dealing with my car insurance being special (you know the kind I’m talking about).

Insta peeps said nothing about my couch but that is neither here nor there.

I acknowledged the things that were bad instead of shoving them to the back of my closet like flip-flops I never wear.

And I did something about it. Sure, some of those things were little or a bunch of little steps that got me somewhere.

Just like keeping up putting out posts that it came out to 10 this month. WHICH was my goal.

So one more thing down, another to go.

Practice makes progress.

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party starts

hearing thunder for the first time.
They say it happens all summer long.

But they aren’t used to a city where
thunder doesn’t always mean rain,
But it does mean damage.

it’s the first day of spring.
I’m still getting used to the time
change of daylight savings

Where the sun goes down after seven.
And the party doesn’t start till nine

Snooze

Every productivity hack works for someone.

it may not be you.

But when you catch that spark-run. Run with it.

You may not get it

anytime soon. You’ll figure out what makes it come

when you call.

it might be snowballing–getting all the little things

checked off.

Taking that momentum to keep going.

Or deadlines,

get your goat in full gear. You do stress like

rich kids did drugs in high school.

Or maybe something just works one day and

not the next.

Whatever you do … guilt is the worst idea

and feeling.

Take away alarms, if you can. See when you

wake up and do.

Don’t feel guilty about what your parents do

before seven a.m.

As long as you make it through the day,

you have made it.

Tomorrow will be a better day, not because

today was bad,

but tomorrow still smells like potential; all hope

and desire together.

Just don’t hit snooze when your body says go–

your mind will catch up.

Sunscreen

you want to say somewhere is the right place.
look at where nothing looks like it will go well.
and somehow it does, like black magic.

because you know it’s the universe on course
no matter how much you do, it will still go
sailing away. you can get on the ship
or you can cry in the parking lot.

So get on the damn boat.

Trust me, it gets better,
the world looks better,
the sun comes out to shine
and your skin doesn’t burn.

Because there’s sunscreen.

Interchanges

they talk about growing up on the streets,
but was it really on the streets?
Was it in playgrounds and empty lots?

Because I did my growing on
highways and interchanges

I’ve learned what I like, what I tolerate
what I don’t miss, what I do.

All at 70 miles an hour or zero.
that depends on traffic.

I’ve learned my faith at stop lights,
And my own limitations in a minivan.

The putter of concrete on rubber
or the crunch of going over a steel plate
or the pain of hitting that pothole.

But that is where I learned what I am.
Born and bred, a wanderer in every bone.

Rainbows

Rainbows

Rainbows are for everyone. I think people see me where this and think that it’s for LGBT support or something and that’s not bad, but that’s not what I’m going for.

I’m looking at my depression and reminding myself that I have to make my own happiness.

I can’t always sit there and wait for it to show up. I have to work for it. My best days are the days that I get things done and I didn’t know I could. When that to-do list goes from 13 to 4 things. Because those things are not weighing me down with their undoneness.

So I have this rainbow that I made sitting on my wrist that I can look down and see almost any part of the day. While I’m driving (I do a lot of that), when I’m knitting, when I’m writing, when I’m using my hands I remember that I create my own happiness.

Sometimes that happiness comes all on its own.Sometimes I have to go looking for it.
And other times I have to make it.

It’s hard. It’s not easy saying I’mg going to get up even though I don’t feel like it.

I’m telling myself I’m an adult and have responsibilities that won’t just let me shove off for a day or a week because bills still come every month. And I’m the only one going to pay them. So I get up and force on the pretty face and smile to get it done.

And then I go home and sleep, wallow, fight off the overstimulation that happens when you have people constantly going in and out of your life with their problems and lives and situations. It’s the things that make life interesting after you’re all done with the situation.

But like anything worth it in life, nothing is easy. The fight is what makes it something to you. I feel better when I’ve gotten something done that I didn’t think I was actually going to get done. When I was moving everything back here, I kept thinking about all the worst possible situations of what could happen.

But I made it to Texas and back without any situations. No Trucks on fire this trip.

Then I had to get everything into my room and ready to go so that I can have all my things where I want them instead of wandering around all over the place.

Last Tuesday was the first real day off I’ve had since October. Sure, I take Sundays off from driving and do church stuff, but I still have places to go, things to do, people to see.

How I woke up on Wednesday tells me what that day really did.  I’ve spent the last few weeks feeling in a funk. Not totally on the darkest sides of my own mind, but not totally happy with everything that was going on. I thought moving all my stuff here would solve it because I was essentially split between two places and not putting roots down anywhere.

Still didn’t feel normal.

Tuesday, I made enough money the day before to not work and decided to tackle the projects that had originated from unloading boxes on Friday morning when I had reached South Carolina.
As each box got unloaded the feeling started to lessen.

The weight of having things that should be done and organized is fascinating when I look at it this week as my living room is now cleared. (I finished the last put things away Sunday because I couldn’t decide what to do with them #hangingartishard) I slept better because the list of things to do now have dates attached to them– and none of them are now.

But I woke up this morning thinking about a bracelet that I made over a year ago when I wasn’t thinking about it. I just wanted to make a large friendship bracelet because it would take awhile and I wouldn’t have to do the set up for making them at work (because this was how I was keeping my hands busy during the summers when it was too warm to knit). And as the last time I made something with a half thought, I get the whole message of it later when I needed it.

Life always has a rainbow;
Sometimes you look for them,
Sometimes you have to make them

 

Today I woke up feeling better.

I’m still dreading going to the dentist tomorrow because the last time I went they had to numb my nerves so they could do the cleaning and that was 2012.

Plethma

That’s the word I’m told that explains

the smell of burnt orange juice,
like rotten eggs and wet paper,

it comes from the paper mill,
so they tell me,
you can smell it on a few bridges,
and half dozen overpasses.

You know it’s going to be a sunny,
muggy day when that’s the first thing
when you open the door.
But that’s the weather I moved here for.

The sunshine and 75 in February,
though the next week at 46 wasn’t cool.