This will come as a shock to no one, but sometimes I can be a little fucked in the head. Nothing too nut-tastic – I’m not sitting naked on my couch in a tin foil hat or screaming about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, or anything – but the typical depression stuff can grab me with its big, beefy bear paws every so often (usually thanks to shitty circumstances or some selfish dickwad hurting my feelings) and bat me around like a tiny baby bunny that’s been stunned into helpless immobility.
Being the bunny sucks. I HATE being the bunny.
Because being the bunny means I’m weak. It means I don’t have control over my own destiny. Some asshole bear’s got it instead, and while it knocks me around I’m nothing but a worthless mess of self-doubt and bad decisions. I can’t seem to do anything but dwell on my (numerous) failures and compare myself (unfavorably) to every other person on the planet – even the ones I’d normally mock, like that perky bitch who’s always Room Mom (I felt so much better about my Scooby Doo valentines until I saw her crafty Pinterest bullshit) and that blogger whose awful writing annoys the hell out of me but who still manages to be featured on every “favorites” list and speaks at all the events and gets a zillion comments on every post.
Now, when the Depression Bear strikes I’m usually pretty good at putting on my Happy Bunny face, using sarcasm and totally contrived bravado to distract people from all the insecure, anxious bullshit that’s underneath. I make jokes and pretend that I’m the coolest thing ever and never-never-never talk to anyone about the real dirt (making my problem someone else’s problem just isn’t my style).
This strategy usually serves me well… but when the bear’s at its most fierce I just don’t have the energy to pull it off. My acting chops have never been that good, and sometimes there’s no hiding the fact that, really, I’m not awesome at all – I’m just fucking sad, and this asshole bear is eating me alive.
Which brings me to the past 6 months of my ridiculous life. I like to call this time “The Era of Extraordinary Suckage” – notable for its unusual length (that’s what she said), massive scope and relentless, dogged determination to grind me into a gooey mess of uncertainty, disappointment and raw emotion. It’s been one hideous mishap/misstep/mistake after another, and with each one I’ve become a little more frozen in place. I don’t trust my own judgment about people or situations anymore, and that’s left me paralyzed. I’m too scared to do anything. So instead, I do nothing. And then feel like a loser. Which makes me want to cry. Which makes me want to sleep. Which makes me want to do… nothing.
Obviously, for the last few months I’ve been a real treat to live with. No! I’m kidding! I’ve been HORRIBLE to live with! I’ve been sullen and withdrawn and useless. I hide in my room. I rarely return phone calls or emails, and when I do I’m distant and detached. I’m like a phantom to my friends and family, and they’re all crazy worried. The only person I’ve managed to keep up appearances for – the ONLY person – is the Bean. He’s the ONE thing I’ve managed to do right. He’s the ONLY thing that’s kept the bear at bay. He’s the ONLY thing that can still make me really smile because… well hell, y’all. Just look at him.
Anyway. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this has all been leading me to a big do-or-die moment. I knew it was coming, but didn’t actually get there until a couple of weeks ago, after a day that was particularly hard for no good reason. I spent the entire morning wallowing and dwelling and feeling sorry for myself and in the middle of it all this thought just hit me, like a punch upside the head: SNAP OUT OF IT, DUMBASS. This stupid bear is going to gnaw you to bits unless you stand up on your little bunny legs and FIGHT the bitch.
So I did.
My first therapy session was yesterday and it was super fun. No! Kidding again! It wasn’t fun at all! It was just me on a couch, talking ad nauseam about the Era of Extraordinary Suckage — with some tears and bad jokes sprinkled in for kicks. My therapist Dr. D (who is awesome, really) listened, asked a few questions, charged me a boatload of money and said he’d see me again next week.
Which, okay, doesn’t sound so great on the surface… but you know, something about just being there made me feel a million times better. When I stood up from that couch, I felt 20 pounds lighter – all of that emotional baggage I’d been carrying around, shed just like that. All it took was 50 minutes and a willingness to purge.
I’m not 100 percent yet, and I won’t be for a while. But what I’m finding is that sometimes being okay is just a matter of taking action. No one else can fight that bear for me; I have to do it myself. But if I can just get up off my ass and do something, I can beat it. I can. I might be just a scared, sad little bunny… but I’m also smart. And scrappy. And make no mistake about it – my little bunny claws are WICKED SHARP.
So that bear had better look the fuck out.Stumble it!