There is (often) help.

The more depressed I become, the more I blog. The more I blog, the more readers I get. And though I am basically a selfish sad-sack, I feel I should have some Public Service Announcement, so here we go:

Most depression is treatable! And not with hardcore treatment like ECT, either – I mean physical movement (I hate the word exercise as much as I hate doing exercise), counselling/therapy, and/or medication.

My case is an unfortunate exception, where I’ve got a strong family history, a seasonal component, and a history of abuse and trauma, among other things, followed by years of trying to find ways of trying to get on top of depression once and for all. I would really plead with you, if you feel you are depressed, to give yourself an honest and necessary chance to have it properly treated. Resources will depend on where you live, but some Googling or a chat with your family doc might be a good place to start.

To Write Love On Her Arms ( is my favourite website about depression and some of the blog posts are truly beautiful. So please, if depression is new to you, don’t let it end your story without reaching out for help.

thanks for reading this.

Time would be a present.

It’s only Monday and I already feel like I’m losing it. I worked Saturday to make up time, had a horrific migraine yesterday and went to Costco anyway because I had no food in the house, so I was a sweaty mess by the time I got the stuff back home, was a stress case today at work – one guy I’m with a project on wrote to ask when I would get such and such done, and I said I hadn’t looked at it yet, I was working on X because I was told X was top priority.

So he asks are there many changes for Project Y? I don’t know, I am working on project X. Well, how long will it take me? A LOT LESS TIME if you stop emailing me and let me work, how about that?

So I watched one episode of my current TV series while I ate, did a load of dishes and a load of laundry and now I have to fall asleep right now… if I want 8 hours of sleep. I hate feeling all raggedy-edged about shit, like I’m fragile and bitchy at the same time. I’ve been taking some pot truffle every night – I seem to be building up a tolerance so I can enjoy a tiny bit without getting antsy and anxious, but I suspect that Ativan is going to be this week’s primary sponsor!

Giving up poor support.

I talked to Beth, briefly, for the  first time in a couple of weeks.  I told her how I had broken down in front of my boss before my week off, and he had asked me to establish a safety contract. She said Oh! A ha ha ha ha!

What the fuck is funny about that? I feel like she doesn’t take depression seriously, she doesn’t take me seriously, and much as I get lonely or appreciate having long-standing relationships, it’s just not worth talking to her anymore.

I need the patience of a saint.

My parents just called and suggested I could meet them in a nearby city this weekend because they’re going to a dance or something and are going to drive their motorhome up.

So I said if they wanted a campsite for this Saturday night, they had better get on that yesterday, because it’s prime camping season. My dad was like “On yeah, I’ll look into it tomorrow” and I didn’t get why you wouldn’t make a reservation right away if you know that’s what your plans are.  Either he doesn’t want to pay for a campsite, or he doesn’t grasp the idea of reserving online and wants to try to call a person, which is fine, but I said I didn’t really want to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot with no power or water, I’d rather drive back home. Seeing as it’s prime camping season and all. So that’s frustrating because I’m trying to help them out and they’re being obtuse! When my mom got on the phone I said I was just trying to explain the reservations and what not and she got this TONE of voice and was like “Is something wrooooong?” Like I would tell you if there was something wrong. You would be literally the last person on the planet, bitch!

I feel like it would be a jerk move to turn them down because they obviously want to see me, even though to be honest I don’t want to see them! I felt annoyed and thought “What for?? You were just here!” Don’t they remember how much fun we didn’t have? Can’t I just see them at Christmas and leave it at that? I mean, I would never pick them as friends if they weren’t my parents and they have opposite values of me so we just don’t have a lot in common and it sucks to feel pressured. Fuck!!

“Life’s just hard” is not the problem

I’m feeling kind of stressed.  I tried to do some work today and I couldn’t really concentrate. I just really couldn’t focus, there’s no other way to put it. Tomorrow is the memorial service for my friend who died, and I’m meeting a mutual friend  before for coffee, so we can go together.  So that’s pretty much going to take up the day, then Tuesday is ketamine and the psychiatrist appointment.  So now we’re into Wednesday before I really get a chance to take a crack at some work, and I’m feeling worried about it. Knowing that I don’t have any time off, that there’s only EI, it’s making me really really stressed about my ability to keep working just because I know that safety net isn’t there.

I tried talking to Beth,  about how I didn’t feel like there been anything worth living for since January, and it seems stupid to live three more months for a concert, and if Chester Bennington killed himself then what hope is there for me? Somehow Beth turned it into “life is hard! Life’s just hard for everyone!” and didn’t seem to hear what I was saying at all. Which shouldn’t surprise me, because I know that’s the kind of thing she says, but she’s also somebody who will lend a listening ear on short notice, so it’s kind of a beggars can’t be choosers thing.

Yes, I know everybody has to get up and go to work every day and pay our bills and do our chores and then a lot of life is a grind. And that everybody else has also done this since January. But not everybody else is in the headspace where they feel like nothing at all has been enjoyable, and it’s all been a waste of time, and they would’ve been better off dying in January. My depression isn’t just the result of some kind of fucked up expectation that I have that life is easy peasy.

I sent her a couple snippets from brochures about depression and ketamine, emphasizing how it’s pretty much reserved for severe depression that’s treatment resistant but I don’t think it will do any good. It’s so frustrating. How can I have failed to get anything across about being depressed for fucksakes?

To-do list

I put “put bra and shirt on” as a Thing I Have Accomplished Today. Yep, I’m reaching. I had bought some baskets of mushrooms because they were the cheapest, which turned out to be a mistake as when I sat down to clean them they had become moldy  from being in the damp plastic. Great.

Promise to the boss.

So after  deciding to go forward with some music last night I was really excited.  Then today came, and I don’t know what it was. For one thing, I thought that I had sickleave but I don’t.  So I can use my vacation time, or make up the time, or go unpaid.  Both of which obviously increase the stress of what I thought was coming up to be a good week off where I could catch up on some stuff and rest and re-gather myself to make it through the end of August.

The secretary called into the office when I was all worked up about this, and I started like crying and doing the sobbing gasps practically right away.  Awesome. It took a LOT of concealer and Visine to make me look normal again.  Then I had a meeting at the end of the day with my boss and some other project members, so I let him know I’d like to meet with him afterward briefly.

He offered to meet with me before, because he probably just read my request as my wanting a couple minutes of his time, and I said I preferred to wait till after the meeting. And then as usual, I teared up and choked up and was on the verge of crying and told him that I could either talk to him or I could stop myself from crying but I couldn’t do both.  So I started to cry and explain the problem with the sick time to him. He was really great about it, and flexible, and willing to just work it out so that I could do whatever I needed to do. He said actually that maybe I should just go home now and not even bother coming in the next day if I didn’t feel up to it. He asked me if I was going to be all right and I was like “yeah, in the immediate future, i’ll be fine.”

Then he asked me if he could establish a safety contract with me.  As in, can I promise him that I wouldn’t kill myself in whatever period of time. I exclaimed, “I have a shrink for that!” He responded, “you have a concerned boss, too.”  And seemed pretty serious about it and so I said fine how long do you want to have it for and he suggested the end of the year and I totally let out a big hee haw guffaw, like let’s not get carried away here. So he asked what I would be comfortable with and I said I could guarantee until a week from Monday, when I was scheduled to reappear at work.  And now I am super tired, so this will need a sequel.


To play or not to play.

i’ve been  neglecting my music for a long time. Mostly I’ve been feeling sad that I haven’t had the energy to give to it on top of working full-time. The last time I played with the group, I felt like I was half-assing it for the whole year because I missed rehearsals and didn’t get to practice as much as I would like because of the fucking migraines.

Now I’ve been kind of scared to pick it up again, because I know that I’ll be rusty and need to practice just to get back up to, well, my level.  I was afraid that I would start to play and then cry because my skills were so crappy from disuse.  I pretty clearly can’t just keep going with work and migraines and nothing else, because it’s killing me emotionally, so I figured I had nothing to lose.  So I picked it up tonight, and tuned it, and realize that I needed to get a nut to hold the pieces of my Kun shoulder rest together because my other Wolff shoulder rest sucks and pisses me off.

It was more like riding a bike than I expected.  So I signed up for this master class type thing happening in the fall, thinking that I have a couple of months ahead of me that I can practice, and that would be a good way to get back into music and meet some people in the music community here and so forth.

Now it’s about four hours later, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to go through with it. I can get a full refund until a couple of weeks before it starts, and I don’t even think I’m worried about being able to play  with the time I have between here and there. I’m worried that I’ll be shy to go somewhere where I don’t know who is going to be there. And that I’ll get a migraine.

The only question is, is the stress of going somewhere new and having to play through a migraine better, or less stressful, than the stress of not doing hobbies I love and having in my life only work and migraines and depression?

The Food Bank is awesome.

I called the food bank because the lady at the nonprofit credit counselling services agency gave me a sheet of resources after I told her my grocery budget was $100 a month. She was like “that’s totally not realistic” and I said  OK, fair enough, $150. I was thinking of the giant tub of protein powder that I just bought for $100, and then I would just need milk to go with it, right?  Well apparently a grocery budget supposed to be at least 3 times that.  She asked what about eating out? And I was like ha ha Ha! That’s funny! Well, I do have the $1.50 hotdog every time I go to Costco.

So she said even if they could just start coming up with some of the basics, I’d be in a better place, and I thought OK. So I called them on Friday. They still had a file on me from my old address, so it must be at least three years ago, but I didn’t have to answer any questions or anything. They directed me to the crisis centre which is actually near my house, so I went there this morning.

I drank all the milk last night,  so my fridge contains a bag of apples, the eggs from Costco that I still haven’t cooked, peanut butter and jam and syrup and salad dressing. The freezer has frozen peas, frozen bananas, a couple of pieces of frozen meat, and a few little bags of frozen vegetables. Then rice and lentils in the pantry, and that’s it.

When I’ve been going grocery shopping, I usually get a bag of frozen fruit from Costco for $10 or $15 to make smoothies with, some bread, milk, and maybe some frozen veggies.  So my nails are pretty much a coffee or a pop in the morning, the smoothie throughout the day, and then some toast or a bowl of frozen peas when I get home.

I wasn’t expecting much,  because when you pass the food bank donation bags to buy  at the store it’s all dry pasta, spaghetti sauce, mac-and-cheese, and cans of beans.

So there I was waiting in the waiting room, trying not to cry, thinking I would probably get a couple of regular grocery bags of stuff.  And feeling really pissed off about the rental laws. Five years ago I was living in a place that was like $550 less, but that was the place that I had to take the landlord to court because he couldn’t bolt the toilet to the floor and wouldn’t pay someone to do it. Let’s say that place was $800. So then I moved into the main floor suite, for $950. Then after living there for two years, he raised the rent to $1100.  Then the place was absolutely infested with mice, to the point where I couldn’t even leave silverware in the cupboards because the mice ran all over the house at night. So I had all of my dish cloths and silverware in Ziploc bags, and had these cartons of nitro gloves from Costco and Lysol wipes,  and the mice had shit all inside the stove so it was totally unusable, and the landlord wasn’t willing to do anything about it. So I moved again. To a place that was $1300. Because it’s only $200 more, but that was the best that I could find. Then it was $50 more. So now I’m paying $1350 a month, plus power, which is more than one of my two week paychecks.

I guess it’s like being house poor, because I don’t have a mortgage or any fucking equity, there’s no point to it. So I’m sitting here thinking about how I’ve worked harder and harder and I’m just getting further and further behind, and I’m literally tearing up sitting in the food bank waiting room. Finally they called my name, and there’s little tables where you can unload their boxes into your bags. Holy shit. I don’t know when I have bought a grocery haul like that.  I’m absolutely sure that’s the kind of stuff that my parents and my sister got when they’re grocery shopping, but this is totally news to my fridge.

Fucking fresh cauliflower, fresh broccoli, radishes, an eggplant, a brick of cheese, a brick of cream cheese, a carton of milk, a bag of some sort of frizzly fancy salad leaves, a huge tub of potato salad, two loaves of bread and a bag of buns. A bag of sugar and one of brown sugar,  A couple of bottles of Gatorade that will be handy for when I get a migraine, a bag of cereal, a couple of boxes of mac & cheese, a can of salmon,  A bunch of snacky type stuff like granola bars and fruit roll ups,  and a tray of eight plain individual chocolate cakes. I mean, holy shit.  I kind of expected gruel and bruised fruit or something.

So I’ll be cooking today, to make sure none of this goes to waste.  And when I’m in a better place, I’m going to pay it back.

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

W. B. Yeats

Chester Bennington hung himself.

God damn depression. Fucking hell.

That’s the lead singer from Linkin Park, if you didn’t recognize the name.

I just listened to “Leave out all the rest” today:

I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
Cause no one else cared
After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving
When I’m done here?
So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Don’t be afraid
I’ve taken my beating
I’ve shared what I’ve made
I’m strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I’ve never been perfect
But neither have you
So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

All the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are