Lately I’ve been doing this odd thing where I show up for events 1-2 weeks early.
My friend/coworker had an art show out in Valenica or something that I dragged my poor friend Dave to and when we got there I called her, asking, “Hey where are you?” and she called back, worried with, “My show is next Thursday, oh my gosh, I’m sorry, are you OK?”
Then a few weeks later Dave had a screening for his indie film (stupid talented fuck) and I frantically told him I wasn’t able to make it because I was sick (with strep for like the 6th time this year) and he told me, “It’s next week :)” and I said, “Oh I have to work that day anyway” which I did. Also, I should point out this all occurred via text messaging. Dave doesn’t just say things and then smile. He’s not Benjamin Linus.
Tonight I canceled plans because I thought my friend Katie was in town from San Francisco. I was psyched to see her but I hadn’t heard from her so I texted,”Hey dude are we still meeting up tonight?” because, apparently, I am a Beastie Boy, to which she responded, “Shoot, sorry if there was any miscommunication…I’m in LA next weekend.” I just laughed. I don’t know what is wrong with me.
If I were still seeing my therapist, who has a vaguely New York accent and an Elaine Bennes wardrobe and hairstyle, she would probably tell me that I’m doing this on purpose. That I am purposefully, subconsciously choosing not to go to these events. She said a lot of things. Eventually I stopped going to therapy because I found it so, so very boring. I felt like I never had anything to say. It got to the point where I was going to therapy solely to gossip. I’d say hello to her, sit down on the couch, and launch in with something like, “So Jonna dumped Jack and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I thought you guys just moved in together?’ and she said, ‘We did, but we got into this huge argument, he kept saying, ‘We have to go back, Kate’ and I’m like, ‘Who’s Kate?’ and so I moved out.’ I mean I couldn’t believe it, she and Jack were the perfect couple!”
My therapist would just stare at me and ask me how that made me feel. I would make something up. I didn’t want to tell her, “Don’t you understand the value of this gossip?” She decided it would be a good idea to put me in group therapy. Once I got into group therapy I found myself surrounded by 40-50 year olds with serious problems, like alcoholism and abusive ex-spouses and children who were assholes. And they would talk about their problems and then say, “So Apocalypstick…
(I mean they wouldn’t actually say that, but I kind of love referring to myself as that, and this is America so please, please, please let me get what I want, happy bday Morrissey!)
“…what’s going on in your life?” I would say something like, “Oh, uh, I didn’t get a callback for that Chili’s commercial and I tore the hem off of my favorite vintage dress.” And then feel like an overprivileged twit. So I guess in a strange way group therapy worked for me, because it made me realize that I had no real problems.
Look, we all have problems. There are times when we stare at our mountains of problems and you want to freak out. That’s totally fine to feel that way. Just because you’re not homeless doesn’t mean you don’t have real problems. Depression is a very real thing. But sometimes what you have is a minor inconvenience that you’re turning into a dramatic situation. I have this inside joke with myself (because, contrary to what Facebook tells me, I have maybe 5 real friends) where whenever something even vaguely annoying happens I say out loud, “Why does everything bad happen to me??!!” Right away, I feel better. Or what I’ll do is vent my problems on this blog, like in the post “Let’s All Just Feel Badly For Ourselves” which you can find in the link to your left, under “Tales As Old As Time.”
But if you’re finding that even the smallest annoyances get you down, really down, then don’t feel badly about getting help! I don’t care if it sounds cliche for a young 20-something writer girl to be on antidepressants, but I am, and I’m grateful that they exist. Depression is real. If you don’t take care of it, it will take over your life. You’ll wake up in the late afternoon and not get out of bed. You’ll feel like your days just don’t end and that all you have to look forward to is ordering comfort food for dinner and then feeling terrible about eating it. But you won’t care, because you already feel terrible. You’ll want to cry, scream, and hurt the people you love, just because you don’t know what else to do. I’m sorry, I hate to get “all political” and anti-Tom “You don’t know the history of psychiatry, I do” Cruise or whatever, but listen: people will go on and on about how America and especially American youth are overmedicated but when it comes to your physical and mental health, you have to do what is going to get you out of bed. Maybe it’s medication, maybe therapy, probably both. But it’s your life and you don’t want to look back one day when you’re healthy and think, “I wish I hadn’t wasted all of that time feeling terrible.” And I want you to look back healthy!! Insert 3rd Lost reference here!
Sometimes, you just gotta dance. Here’s some iamamiwhoami. I think she/it/they is the most exciting thing to happen to music since Gaga (and excuse you I was listening to Gaga back when she was a guilty pleasure few people knew about, thanks to Laura, and I’ve kinda moved on) and I can’t get enough.