This week I read the next 250 pages of Don Quixote. That puts me on page 750. I marked a lot of places in the book that I wanted to talk about, but I’ve been a distracted reader lately.
Instead, I’d like to discuss depression for a bit. Sorry to readers who wanted to hear more of DQ’s adventures.
I felt a lot like Sir Knight of the Sorry Face this week. I know I’m in trouble when I reach for my sweater of sadness* and the Sarah McLachlan CD. It gets even worse when country songs start making sense. It’s like somebody please stop me—this hurts so good.
Jokes aside, I realized that depression causes me to see things in the world that I would ordinarily take as a happy sign or coincidence to a dark place.
An example: I went to Birchwood Café for brunch with a friend and I saw that a woman had a tattoo on her foot that read: NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Ordinarily, this would be sweet, as it would remind me of my cousin who also has a tattoo in that same spot on her foot, but it made me unbelievably homesick. I hadn’t realized how much I missed my friends and family and how bad I wanted them near. Depression is a spiral of thinking like that. Were I in a better mood I would see the tattoo and think, Minneapolis is my home, or at least it’s trying to be. After I ate my quiche and talked to my friend, I felt much better. Who knew kale could be so good?
But the grumps just would not go away. Later Husband took me out for dinner at Greek Grill and Fry ** We got to pick a drink from the cooler to go with our meal, and I just blurted out—
This is what’s wrong with America!
Here are all these choices when technically all we need is water. Husband was like, hey now. And I know I was moving into communist territory, but I couldn’t help it. I just saw how we have all these different choices, easily over fifty different beverages to choose from and instead of being like, wow, that’s cool, America is awesome because we have choices and I’m privileged enough to get to pick any one of these drinks—my depressive thinking was that we spend way too much time on things that ultimately don’t matter. We waste time choosing, creating, and marketing different drinks, when there are other major problems with the world that could use a bit of our attention. It made me think of this song: Livin’ On The Edge .
I was such a sorry sap that I had a hard time enjoying a nice game of bowling.***
I guess I’d like to say that depression is real, and people who suffer from it have to recognize their thought pattern and try to redirect what they’re thinking. No spirals of shame. Be with the thought and let it pass. Get up and get exercising. That’s totally counterintuitive to what happens when one is depressed, the brain is telling you to stay in bed, to give in to the sadness. It’s a fight that happens one day at a time, one moment at a time.
And for those who want to hear more of DQ here’s a quote:
May God send a remedy; for everything in this world is trickery, stage machinery, every part of it working against every other part. I have done all I can.
Be with that thought and then let it go. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy the beauty of life, part of which is bowling.
*An oversized blackish sweater that would actually pair well with skinny jeans.
**Maybe the shadiest of shady places to eat, but they have the best gyros in this part of town.
***I never saw it as much of a sport until I realized I couldn’t knock down any pins. I think I scored a 40. It became more fun to see how fast I could whip my ball down the lane rather than knock down pins.