My So-Called Segway

If I have a doppelgänger, it’s Claire Danes. Not the bipolar Princeton alum who studied Arabic language and became a CIA agent Homeland version, but rather the angsty teen with questionable fashion sense from My So-Called Life.

While, like Carrie Mathison, I can accurately be described as mental; there is simply no way I could pull off the pantsuits and stilettos like she does. Plus, she’s blond, whereas Angela Chase had lovely auburn locks, much like yours truly. Of course, Angela also typically had pretty perfect makeup, and, as I recall, some sort of on again off again thing with Jared Leto’s character; so I suppose our similarities end with the hair.

At any rate, comparing myself to My So-Called Life‘s Angela Chase seems as reasonable a segue into My So-Called Depressive Episode as any.

By the way, I just learned, as in I looked it up in another tab of my browser, that segue is spelled ‘segue’ and not segway, because segway is but the trademarked name of Paul Blart’s mall cop vehicle. Who knew? What I’m saying here, is that five minutes ago I thought segue was spelled segway. I’ve always prided myself on above average spelling, so this may intensify my so-called depressive episode.

Image result for paul blart segway
This is not a segue.

I digress. As usual. Pay no mind to my persistent inability to focus.

After a fall season where my affect, productivity, and ability to give a shit were even lower than usual (which is really damn low) and a recent knock-down, drag-out fight with my spouse of 20 years (praise Jesus there’s not an easy button for divorce because I was admittedly not thinking too terribly rationally), I had a long overdue appointment with a therapist last Tuesday. Is it normal to burst into tears when someone you’ve never met before says to you, “So, what’s been going on?”. Surely it is, no?? At the end of my bawl fest and after some quality conversation, she talked about how I’m in a ‘depressive episode.’ And I was like, duh, why else would I be sitting here paying $140 to cry on your couch?

My So-Called Depressive episode (I don’t know why the hell I’m calling it that, I guess it seems more sexy than simply ‘depressive episode,’ or perhaps I wanted to be able to break up all this super fun depression talk with some banter about segues and segways) is not likely news to anyone who knows me or even those I’ve never met who’ve simply read this blog over the past few months. Likewise, it wasn’t news to me. And obviously I haven’t worked real heard at hiding it, what with my ever-present scowl and piss poor attitude about everything from packing for a family vacation to Thanksgiving holiday. And those who live with me will readily tell you how difficult I’ve been to live with.

Since I’ve never been normal, I can’t say what a normal person’s response to hearing they’re in the midst of a depressive episode would be. I can tell you, though, that my reaction was mostly one of release. Despite the stigma around mental illness, I guess the former scientist in me was relieved to be able to point to a reason why I frequently found myself rendered catatonic by the conflicting demands of my family: We must keep the kitchen counters and island clean./Don’t move my {homework/camera/notecards/whatever} off the island. And overwhelmed by my inability to get my kid to turn in all his homework. And disproportionately frustrated with my children pitching fits about going to church. And utterly hopeless about the prospect of us surviving the Trumptocracy. And super exasperated with myself for not simply being able to get my shit together.

Prior to last week, my response to all these feelings had been super healthy: Screw it. I can’t make anybody happy. I’m gonna take a nap. And eat a bunch of shitty food. And drink too much wine. Because treating depression with depressants makes as much sense as anything else in my life.

Of course, all this simply made me feel even shittier. I was in what you might call a vicious cycle.

Today I sit here, a week after my initial therapy appointment. I’ve also been to see my doctor (I’ll insert a huge shout out to family practice physicians here, because a good one is worth his or her weight in gold) and tweaked my dosage of sertraline (zoloft), which I’ve been on for close to a decade, I think (remember I’m terrible with time and dates). Simply taking the long overdue step of getting some help and putting a name to what’s been going on in my psyche has been hugely helpful in putting a cog in the wheel of my vicious cycle. Helpful enough, in fact, that I’ve been exercising, and eating better, and drinking way less.

I cannot lie, though, I deal with some twisted form of denial or perhaps unworthiness of the ‘depressed’ descriptor; like I’m somehow taking away something from folks who are really depressed. I mean, I’ve never had thoughts of hurting myself or anyone else. I’ve always managed to keep my kids fed and in clean clothes. So why the hell was I not able to manage this on my own, pull myself up by my bootstraps? It’s a stupid and illogical line of thinking, BUT THIS IS WHAT I DEAL WITH, friends.

I am, for now, able to somewhat get over myself and be grateful that last week was WAY better than the one before, and this one seems to be even better yet. I know such a trend can’t carry on indefinitely, but I fully intend to enjoy the upswing for as long as I’m on it.

See how alike we are? I may be depressed, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna give up my ability to laugh at me.

Also, my beloved set up a new blog using my wordpress account, and now all my posts say they’re written by Kelly Holt. I guess in this case, that’d be me.