The splotch near my chin

This is a response to the word prompt posted by WordPress. It popped on my feed and even though I had something to write already, I thought this would be fun.

During that wonderful (awful) period a few weeks ago when I spiraled into an anxious depression, I had a zit. I was very fortunate in high school to not be one of those kids whose face is covered in them. I always got a big one on my nose around my period and that was it. My mom had this Lancôme product sitting around so whenever this zit appeared I’d put some of the gel on it and that was it. I never picked at these things. I picked at just about everything else – my ears, my head, my nails – but I never messed with the pimples or zits because I always heard I shouldn’t. In my panicked state, I forgot this awesome life-decision and picked at one. And then picked at it more. I was basically digging into my chin, trying to get out a “sac” because I figured a zit is just a very tiny cyst and if you don’t get a cyst-sac out when trying to get rid of one, they’re very likely to come back. I have no idea if zits have sacs or if they’re even remotely similar to cysts but I want to make sure you understand just how deep I went. I used my nails, I got out some sewing pins in an attempt to “open” the zit and expel puss. I use quotations because it was very open already.

After a week of neosporin, lotion, and other things that didn’t work, I still look like I tripped and skinned my face. I had managed to not only dig deep but scratch off the skin around the zit. So forever on now I have this reminder of what my anxiety can do to me. I’m hoping to see a dermatologist and have the scar radiated off with a laser. They can do that, right?

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She went by Lyn, with ONE “n”

That was very important

She was quite a character. I was looking forward to watching my future kids meet and interact with her. She burped all the time. I don’t mean little burps. I mean ones twelve-year-old boys would be jealous of and then she’d say “ExCUse me!” so shocked she was by the umpteenth gargantuan burp of the day. This was probably, at least partly, due to her love of 7up. And perhaps her inability to eat anything because she became allergic to something new every year. She swore all the time. They all went over my head because she said them so casually unless she caught herself and apologized. She took off her ring and through it out the window because her new husband took her to a romantic cabin surrounded by beautiful nature instead of New York City. She talked for hours, sent cards with every holiday and non-holiday they make cards for, just like all the other grandmothers. But this lady loved like no other. It would consume her when she felt it, just as much as anger and sadness.

I’ll let that sink in a second and then inform you yes, yes her children were traumatized by this extreme woman. So traumatized were they that they made a pact if one of them started to act like her the other two would call that one out. She played dead once and my mom and uncle danced around her singing “Ding! Dong! The witch is dead!” … I don’t know who that says more about… She would insult and harass while trying to come off as just a concerned parent. To her credit, I do believe she was a concerned parent she was just so impossibly insensitive. The woman had no filter.

We are all pretty sure she had bipolar disorder. She saw a therapist once and left telling everyone she didn’t know what she was talking about and that was it. She was so sorry for me when she found out I had to take medication. I of course defended it and she agreed it was to help but she was just so very sorry. You could hear in her voice how serious she was, probably because of the societal notions that existed about such things as she was growing up.

She was the one I called when I wanted an extreme reaction to anything. She was fabulous at it and no one has been able to hold a candle to her expressive sincerity. I pretended to call her when I got my promotion.

My eyes look so dark in those pictures, but today I have her eyes.

Oil Pulling = Disgusting

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this but it’s the latest craze. You put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swirl it around for 20 min (you read that right) and this is supposed to fight against plaque and gingivitis. Well, one of the most common side-effects of my depression is not taking care of myself. Like, not showering, not brushing my teeth, not eating properly, etc. It’s the one I struggle with the most because, of course, it’s every day.

I lost my dental insurance when I lost my job and cancelled my 6 month checkup. Now I’m pretty certain I have a cavity. Probably two. Ok, maybe more- my teeth have always been horrible. I checked out this dentistry college to see if I could get checked out there but they’ve taken down the appointment request form because they’re so swamped.

I bought a jar of “cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil” yesterday for my hands since winter is starting. I’d seen and read enough articles that I finally decided to try it out. Well, it definitely worked. I used it like Vaseline petroleum jelly: only taking a little,then I rubbing it all over my hands and I was fine for the next 24 hours. Sure, I could have put on more earlier and maybe they would have felt even better but it was definitely better than the Vaseline lotion we have in the kitchen.

So I’m desperate, my teeth are starting to protest, and I just experienced coconut oil working very well for my skin. Why not try “oil pulling” with it? I checked WedMD as, like, a last minute thing to make sure nothing said it would hurt me and it supported it. Apparently, its an ancient form of dental care and coconut oil shows in research to work against plaque and the bad bacteria. I decided I’d just swirl the stuff the entire time I was in the shower. So I scooped out a tablespoon, threw it in my mouth, and promptly regretted my decision.

First, I wasn’t even in love with the smell of coconut in the first place. Now I’m tasting it and can’t get rid of it. Second, this is not like swirling Listerine. This is oil and the texture is like… having your mouth full of something you can’t even completely taste or feel but it’s definitely a lot. My boyfriend said he used take some of this and keep it on his tongue until it melted completely and then swallow it. He’s an alien because there’s no way in hell any adult could have gotten me to do this. I lasted a minute, maybe, before spitting it in the sink. Oh, by the way, don’t do that. The oil can clog up your sink and it certainly leaves a nasty residue. I think I may have swallowed some too, which is also not something you’re supposed to do because then the bad stuff doesn’t get out of your system. Then entire time I was in the shower I was trying to cough up this, probably imaginary, bit of oil at the back of my throat.

I’m desperate. I’ve gone to the dentist and had 5 cavities and needed a crown. The most cavities I’ve had at once is 7.

So now that I have some idea of what I’m getting myself into I get out the paper towels to spit in, set the stop-watch on my phone, and only do a teaspoon.

The shock was gone.. so I made it 3 minutes. I will never do it again (unless I feel super desperate again). I’m just going to use it for my hands and maybe hair.

Oh Depression, the adventures you give me.

We Need a new Direction

Ok, I need a new direction.

As the very few people who are following this blog have noticed, I haven’t been updating in a while. It’s not that there is nothing happening. In fact, there is a lot happening but my depression is fine. Other than giving me dry mouth they’re working very well. Things have been a bit hectic however, at least in my head. Last week was insane in my head. There were multiple important things happening every day of the week, meaning I was constantly going over them in my head. It was pretty exhausting and a few things slid. I’ve also started eating too many cookies again… hopefully I can end that before it begins starting tomorrow when I see my new therapist.

Oh yeah, so this therapist is great. Honestly, as long as the person listens, gathering all the facts before telling me what to do then I’m satisfied.

I believe the main reason I haven’t had much interest in updating this blog is because it’s sad. And I’m not interested enough in mental illness and making people understand to continue.

So! We need a change. A new direction. I fully mean to include my experiences with depression and how it affects me but also, just, talk… You know, like a human being?

And about happy things. Definitely rather talk about happy things. I prefer being happy to the point that I will forgive and forget too quickly. I’m also apparently (according to my mom) oblivious when it comes to conflict. I think perhaps I notice but quickly think of something else, so quickly in fact that I forget what I noticed.

All in favor of happiness say ‘Ay!’

A Different Type of Explaining

Nobody understands depression. Seriously, not even the people who have it. I’ve been battling depression since I was eleven, started therapy when I was seventeen, and started medication when I was twenty-two. I still don’t understand depression. That’s the first thing those who don’t have depression need to understand: It doesn’t make sense. You can have the best of intentions, giving us your best advice, thinking rationally but depression isn’t rational.

This blog was inspired by the #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs trend. After reading a number of the tweets, most of which I could relate to, I realized why people can’t understand depression. Every one of them was describing the mental destruction, the irrational sadness, and a few experiences. How is someone who hasn’t experienced depression going to understand what it feels like to have your brain trying to literally kill you? Even those who know someone battling depression and have witnessed the struggles have trouble understanding. In fact, most of the tweets were about experiences dealing with those who don’t understand and the frustration of not knowing how to change that.

I’ve experienced this many times and so I’ve decided to take a different approach. When you tell someone you cut yourself, everybody gets it. There’s sometimes blood, there’s cleaning the wound, pain, band aids, and the dread of pulling off the band aid. These are all physical traits; depression has physical traits as well. Even someone who hasn’t experienced depression understands feeling exhausted or joint pain. Everyone has at some point dreaded some future event. Thus, I’ve decided to try to explain depression without much of the mental descriptions and focus on the everyday existence with depression. I’m going to talk about the exhaustion, the pills, the therapy, the flare-ups, and all those other things I have to deal with because I have depression.

Here’s to hoping someone reading these who didn’t understand the frustration of depression before will have a better idea now.