Archive | April, 2018

Instead (A Post About Depression)

26 Apr

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I wanted this to be a slightly smug, self-congratulatory post.

Hello everyone. Have you gotten your physical recently?

I did, and let me tell you what. It changed my life. It solved all my problems.

I wanted it to solve all my problems.

Instead.

Well, instead.

I got a physical a few months ago. My therapist suggested it, as I’ve been struggling with fatigue and she wanted to make sure there was no physical component to it.

I doubted there was. I have depression. Depression and fatigue go hand-in-hand.

But I went to the doctor.

Several tests, several strange results later I ended up in a specialist’s office. From everything I’d read about this highly unusual condition I had, fatigue was a large component. All I needed to do was get the thing removed, a quick surgery here, a quick medication there, and bing, bang, boom.

New lease on life.

New woman.

Problems solved.

Instead.

Well, instead.

The specialist told me that I was totally fine.

Yay! My friends said.

That’s great news, my family said.

Oh no, I said.

You see, somewhere in those few months I had let myself hope. Let myself hope that maybe there was something bigger at play here. There was a reason! something tangible! for the way I was (am). There was an easy fix. Soon I would be accomplishing things with the best of them.

With the “normal” people.

Instead.

Well, instead I’m here. Writing the opposite of a smug post.

It turns out that this condition I have, this depression and fatigue I live with every day, yeah, it’s exactly what I thought it was.

That can be incredibly daunting.

Depression, for me at least, doesn’t have an end date. I can medicate it, but I can’t eradicate it. I can put things in place, set my life up to manage it, and yet, it can breeze into town and destroy everything without thought.

In my lowest moments I wonder how I’m going to do it. How I’m going to live day-in and day-out with this darkness, this pressure, this sadness.

It’s overwhelming.

There’s not a lot of light or hope in it.

I wanted the easy out.

The easy out felt so good.

Instead.

Well, instead.

Book Club

22 Apr

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My house is so squeaky clean right now that I actually took off my shoes and put them away rather than leave them on the floor.

You know that place where everything is tidy and cozy and you commit to making it this way for the rest of your life?

I’ve been there for the past few hours.

Thank you, book club.

I started a book club (again).

My last one, RIP, ended due to schedules and distance and then the pesky problem of 2/4 members eventually leaving the Los Angeles area.

Eventually, being key to that part of the story.

But I am telling this story. And this is how I’m telling it:

This year when I was looking at what I wanted to accomplish I wrote down a few things.

Read The Brothers Karamazov

Approach social media with intention

Join a book club

Join a book club.

Invest in friendships near, rather than always far.

Join a book club

And so, because I am forever a Kristy, I sent out a few texts.

I chose a book sure to be rich for discussion.

Bing. Bang. Boom.

French toast!

START a book club

(I should have known myself.)

We had French toast today. And bacon. (We ate the whole pound, hello ladies.) And eggs. And fizzy fruity drinks and Diet Cokes and we talked about the book some, yes. About what the book made us think about. About where we lack compassion. We talked about creativity. Religion. Politics.

We listened to Dolly Parton.

We admired Dolly Purrton. (From afar.)

I provided fuzzy socks for those in need.

And nearly four hours after it began I said goodbye to the last member.

I said goodbye and I turned on the sink and got out the soap.

Squeak squeak.

Hear that?

I’m committing to be in this place the rest of my life.

My Protected Writing Time

11 Apr

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I’ve been sick for four months.

I’ve been sick for four months not in a chronic, (or) real, (or) life-threaning way, but in that awful way where you’re blowing nose on everything and you’re losing your voice and people are like maybe you should be at home? And you’re like, listen if I were to be at home every time I felt like this I would be at home every day, SIR.

I’ve been sick for four months.

It’s a bum start to the year.

2018 is that very pretty vintage car that looks so nice, but every time you try to get it going it kind of begins and putters out. Begins and putters out. And you spend all your time in the shop thinking, wow this is it?

This is what’s happening?

I’ve been sick for four months.

Apparently I’m not alone. A girl I follow on Instagram keeps giving updates to her own illness.

stillsick.com she says on her beautifully lit photo of a green plant

stillsick.net I say.

I’ve been sick for four months.

At one point I thought I would do a library blog. I even own the space.

jillianlibrarian.com

It sounds so great, right? I want to do that!

I want to be that librarian! That person!

I could do a post on National Poetry Month! On my book spine poetry lesson! And my magnetic poetry boards! The blackout poetry interactive station!

I want to write about that.

And I want to do so much else. I want to do it all and there’s no time and I’m at a place in my life where I have the most time I’ll ever have and there’s no time for jillianlibrarian.

And so I sit here writing nonsense on jillianlorraine.com in my 35 minutes of protected writing time. My 35 minutes set on a timer.

And so I sit here and waste the timer time on this time. Timer.

I’m watching Home Town. Now that Chip and Joanna are gone I have to do something to fill the achy brrakey void. I have to emotionally attach to strangers.

Rob refuses to be the HGTV couple with me.

It’s not that hard, I say. We’ll just move to a small town in the South. Restore it home by home. You’ll have to pick up some carpentry, maybe construction skills. I’ll use my natural design eye I’ll soon acquire.

It will be a hit! I’ll be a maximalist who loves color, a unicorn in the white-everything world!

We’ll buy homes for $30k!

Does it depress anyone else to watch people buy homes for 30K? Like what? What is happening? That is a decent rent for a year, fools.

I am the fool for living here.

We are all fools.

I have 16 minutes left on that writing timer I told you about. I could be working on the two books that I’ve begun in the last year. Or my wedding stuff that I keep avoiding. Or maybe a deep personal essay that I could send somewhere.

But here I am talking about Missisippi real estate.

Here I am, being me.

I did begin my wedding writing. It goes like this:

It has been over seven months since that day in Cape Cod.

Seven months in Santa Monica.

Seven months of meal planning (seven months more than ever before).

(Seven months of marriage.)

In those seven months, I’ve consistently had on my to do list, “write about the wedding.”

I know it’s some of the most important writing I’ll ever do. Writing that I’ll want to look back on again and again.

That’s probably why I’m avoiding it.

(Definitely.)

Because it feels so Important.

This writing will live on. Long after the memories have faded, long after those who karaoked forget exactly what they sang, my words will exist, telling people what it was like. Informing our children, and our children’s children.

Oh gosh, I’ve spiraled.

It always comes back to that maybe.

This is what I get for having a mother who is big on family history. I see how words live on. How an obituary is what we remember of a person. How a poem about an absent father informs how I see a great grandmother.

Words are powerful and they are something I have to offer and so I sit here paralyzed.

There are 13 minutes left on my timer.

Two Ways To Talk To Yourself

9 Apr

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ONE OPTION:

  1. You’re on spring break
  2. You’re surrounded by people who love you
  3. You should not be upset about anything right now, cut it out

 

ANOTHER OPTION:

In the past month:

  1. Your grandfather unexpectedly passed away
  2. Your family dynamics shifted (and keep shifting)
  3. You don’t live by your family and feel unable to help. But you really want to help!
  4. You got strange medical news
  5. You defended your thesis
  6. You presented at a church conference
  7. You had a sad conversation you’re still thinking about
  8. Your feelings are totally valid, of course you’re stressed. This is a crazy time and it won’t always be this crazy. Give yourself a break. Seek help if you need it.