Monday, December 29, 2008

What the Winter ends with.

I think that the answers that I've been looking for are actually quite easy to find. The answers are easy. Living them, that's hard. To act is the tricky part. As this year draws to a close and a new year approaches I am filled with apprehension and hope. It always seems to be this way with me. New years resolutions are so attractive yet deceptive. I can't help but fall for them. So many people make them, and break them. It seems so trite to even contemplate, but I just can't help myself. There is such an inherent beauty in a second chance. It's irresistible. Maybe this trip round the sun will be better than the last. Because it's not here yet, and that means that I can hope. The Winter ends with Hope.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Me sick

I'm sick with a cold right now. So that's why there's nothing up here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today was supposed to be a good day.

I could almost feel it as I woke up. Despite the queasy stomach ache that I have never had before I could feel that today was going to be good. Not because it was going to be good to me but because I was going to plow through it all and make it good. I was wrong.

It was not so much what happened as a combination of things that didn't happen. Yesterday was a good day and that was surprising. I went to the gym, hung out with a friend and had a good time. Coming off of that high and into today I thought things were looking up. Work was ok, and I was having a good text conversation with another friend. Things seemed promising. Without going into specifics it just felt like everything... just kinda left me hanging. It wasn't even big stuff. I feel like a stupid house of cards sometimes. Just the slightest of things can ruin me. Which is odd because serious challenges brings out my resolve. I got a speeding ticket one day and I felt great because it gave me a opportunity to handle a concrete issue. It is the doldrums, not the storm, that destroys me. Someone can say or do the wrong thing and I'm crushed. I know it's not fair to hold other people accountable for my happiness. Yet I don't know how realistic to is to absolve everyone of responsibility regarding my emotional well being. People can be rude, mean, and cruel. To think that this shouldn't have an effect on a person is naive.

People have told me that no one can make me feel anything that I don't want. People have said to me that no one can force me to do anything. They claim that I always have a choice in deciding how I react. I disagree. People can force their wills on others, to a degree, no matter how a person may resist. I've been told that I have to be the bigger man. That really doesn't make sense to me. Growing up was a rather tortuous experience for me. Some have said that even though I suffered great pains back then I can overcome them now and lead a rich, full, and happy life. They even go so far to say that it is my obligation to those around me to do this. I'm going to use a metaphor here to hopefully explain why this feels so absurd to me. Imagine running in a marathon. At the start of the race some one purposely trips you and then slams their foot down on your leg and ankle. That person is never caught, they run on with the rest of the race. Now your told that even though your the victim here you need to get up and run. Even though your leg, the part of you that allows you to run, had been injured. This injury makes the act of just standing painful, walking becomes a nightmare, and trying run is unimaginable. And your not just being told to run, no! Your being told you have to catch up to the rest of the runners. You have to finish. You have to win!

That's what it feels like to me.

How can I be happy when the part of me that feels is broken. It's not even my fault yet I'm the one that has to deal with it. Someone said in reference to this, "So what if your childhood was bad. There's nothing you can do about it now. All you can do is make the rest of your life good." Well that sounds, nice in a pick yourself up by the bootstraps kind of way. They said "Well what do you want? What could make it better?" Their assuming that nothing could fix things. Well there wrong. I want a free pass on the next twenty years of my life. That's right. The first twenty or so where unnecessarily hard. So it's only fair I get a free ride for the next twenty. Even then it may not fix anything. But at least then there would be balance, there would be justice. I know that this isn't a realistic possibility. But I'm a little sick of hearing "The victim must pay for what the victimizer did." Which goes hand in hand with statements like "We're tired of listening to you, tired of you being gloomy. Cheer up or go away. You must like being sad otherwise you'd shake yourself out of this depression."

Now I don't mean to sound to terribly sad. Even here on this blog. My blog, and I'm still afraid to show all of what I feel. I'm afraid because of who might see. Afraid of who might mock. Afraid that those kind souls that do listen and console might get tired listening and consoling.

To those of you out there, you know who you are, I thank you. I just wanted to take some time to say it. I am so grateful for your words. For those who may just be reading I thank you as well. I hope that some good comes of it. Now I want to say that in writing this I am not asking to be cheered up. Please don't try. Just knowing you listen is far more comforting. This was just a bad day that was supposed to be a good day. It will pass. I write this because it helps to get it off my chest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Please die ana.

There is a song by silverchair called Ana's Song (Open Fire). It's about the lead singer, Daniel Johns' struggle with anorexia nervosa. I remember watching the music video years ago. Something in it has been preying on my mind and I thought I'd share.

You can watch it here.

At about the 1:53 mark the person pushing Daniel in the wheelchair stops and walks away. We see that it's Daniel leaving himself in the wheelchair to go join the band. I love the subtle look the two exchange. I think the imagery is very apt. It's hard for me to pin down exactly what I want to highlight with this video, but here it goes.

I look at the whole pushing your self in the wheelchair like this. The person in the chair represents all the weaknesses and fears. It's the sick part in me that keeps me from climbing those stairs I talked about in my other post. The person pushing the chair is all the strong parts. The hope, the love, the power, that I possess. That person is unable to climb said stairs because their pushing the weak and fearful around in the wheelchair. To separate means leaving one behind. No matter how feeble and miserable that guy in the wheelchair is it's still me. Losing him would be like losing an arm. Yet I want nothing more than to be rid of him. To feel the sun like other people, not just the cold. To live instead of dying everyday. Deep down the guy in the wheelchair wants that to. He wants to be free of his awful existence. He longs to be the person capable of pushing wheelchairs. Yet he hates them at the same time. When Daniel leaves himself in the wheelchair and he looks back as if to say "Where I go now you cannot, or will not follow." And Daniel in the chair seems looks back at him with unspeakable longing. Well at least that's what I see.

But I think some of the lyrics in the song are very telling also. He sings about how terrible the sickness is yet still sings "But I need you now somehow." I know I feel that way about my depression. I want to be rid of it yet... I still need it. It's all I've ever known. I fear that it's all I will ever know.

Yet Hope, like some terrible itch I just can't scratch, rears it's ugly head. It keeps me going, keeps me believing. If it manages to deliver on it's promise then I will sing it's praises until the day is worn out. But as of right now I'm still waiting, still hoping.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trying not to speak

I am sometimes afraid that I burden people with my sadness. I don't not wish to. I feel like sometimes I tend to drag every conversation towards my depression. I try to avoid it, I try to engage others in their lives as opposed to my woes. I think I sound like a broken record sometimes. But it's difficult because I wake up every day and I have to work myself up to normal. And when I say normal I mean normal for me, which in reality is barely functioning. That's my normal. The days when I just get by are my good days. This is where I live everyday. So because of this it's hard for me to talk about anything else.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pursuit of Happiness

Most free countries in the world make the promise of providing their citizens with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I think the wording is interesting. We all have Life, and hopefully we are all ensured that Life. Liberty is sometimes tricky to dispense but I think there's quite a lot of it in the world. A fact of which I am very grateful for. But that last item on the list...
It reads as the Pursuit of Happiness because happiness can't be guaranteed by anyone or any government.

Frankly it's a little frustrating that happiness has to be pursued. I'd much rather it was handed out in large quantities. I wish happiness would come looking for me than me looking for it. It's much better at hide and go seek than I am.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


As I was walking around today listening to people talking and thinking about conversations I had herd in the past. I had this thought about my own social skills. It's not that I'm socially awkward, it's just that I'm not socially adept. There's a difference. I have seen people who are completely unskilled at interacting with others. When these people are unaware of their own inability it's even worse. I like to think of myself as possessing some social skill, I'm just really, really, rusty with them. I just get nervous talking to people face to face. I'm so afraid of saying something dumb. With writing or texting I am so much better. I can think about what I want to say, and there's all the time in the world to word it right. That and I don't have to watch the person react to what I've said. They read it or they don't. I don't have to agonize as I watch their faces.

I read about a psychological study where they took pictures of peoples faces and showed them two different sets of of people. One set was depressed the other set wasn't. The pictures showed people with varying degrees of emotions. Specifically the people shown were either smiling or had their faces in a relaxed or unsmiling state. The subjects in the study were asked to identify the emotional state of the people pictured. The depressed individuals often would identify the people with relaxed faces as angry, mad, or upset. "So what," you might ask, "it's just sad people looking at the world and thinking it's sad". Well let me explain. Imagine you live your life in a constant state of misery. Now putting aside for the moment the whole "what causes depression" issue. Continue to imagine that while living in sadness you look out at the world and all you see are angry faces looking at you. Even though it's just people acting normal, for some reason your brain interprets it as cruelty. Think about everyone you know glaring at you all the time. Unless people happen to be beaming bright smiles you think their mad at you. I know I've gone up to people who are just being themselves and I've thought, "Wow they look ticked off. I'm going to have to work them up from that and into happiness just to talk to them." For a depressed guy with rusty social skills that's like taking up mountain climbing and trying to go up Everest for your first climb.

Now even though people probably aren't really that negative that's kind of how it feels. The perception of reality is that person's reality. This is not me blaming my problems on everyone else. I'm not asking for the whole world to always smile at me. That's not fair and I know it. I write this once again in the hope that it might help others come to a better understanding of people who suffer with depression. Now I go out there in the world. I try to talk to people, I try to keep myself happy and not take things personally. Some days I get through life in an amazing fashion. (Amazing for me is like normal for everyone else.) Other days I just get overwhelmed. For all those out there who know people with depression please just try and be understanding. It will make a world of difference.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Web Comics

Here's the thing about most web comics. It seems they have one of two things going for them. Either the artwork is really good or the story is. You either have a good artist who has no idea how to tell a story, or a storyteller who can't draw. Now me, I can forgive an ugly picture if the story is compelling. But it doesn't matter how beautiful the art if there is no substance behind it. With some of the web comics that I've listed on this blog you'll notice this. The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew is drawn in stick figure style. As he goes on with the strip the style gets a little more refined, but it's still stick figures. The story takes a few strips to take off but in the long run it's a great ride. Goblins by Tarol Hunt and Danielle Stephens has the same issue.

I have gone through tons of other web comics that look amazing but they fall flat. This issue spans into other forms of media. Video games is one. You'll find games with amazing technical achievements but are nevertheless unplayable. The same goes for movies. I'm not sure what my point is in all of this. I guess just chalk it up to some of my blathering.