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The State of the Union: Part One

This turnip is experiencing anticipation and hopeful love. Or it is a stalker.

I am about as self actualized as your average turnip.

That may not be fair to turnips.

Perhaps your AVERAGE turnip sits around thinking, “I am crunchy! I am wholesome! My nature is serene root-vegetable-y-ness. I understand my potential as food, and lovingly recognize that I taste completely terrible unless I have been so thoroughly soaked in cream and butter and cheese as to render me nutritionally toxic to the arteries! I AM OKAY WITH THAT! I AM REPLETE IN MY TURNIP-NESS.”

In which case, I am about as self actualized as a subpar turnip.

I am not even really sure, beyond a facile wikipedic glance what the term “self actualization” means. I hear you can get it via therapy or yoga or wisdom a naturally high EQ. Not knowing doesn’t stop me from feeling strongly that I do not HAVE much in the way of it at all. I base this on the fact that I basically gallop along through life with almost no understanding of my physical or emotional state in any given moment.

I say my physical state because I am one of those cerebral people who lives so BEHIND THE EYES instead of in the body that I always have bruises all over me and no idea where I got them. I knock into things without noticing. I also will oftentimes not notice I am hungry until I am so ravenous that I feel like a black pit of EAT NEED, and then I will not notice I am full until I have stuffed myself positively ill.

I love endorphins, but am very likely to push through pain and REALLY hurt myself. One of the best things, for me, about Yoga is the INTENTIONAL and CONSTANT shoving of oneself down into one’s body, so one is FORCED to notice when one is about to rupture one’s whatnot.

I also have no idea of my overall emotional state, most times. Oh, I don’t mean MOODINESS. I am MOOOOODY as all get out. I have flashes of temper and hope and venom and love and murky sentimentalism and joy. I can flash all six of THOSE in the same ten second span, and still have time to throw in a soupcon of ornery.

But I don’t know how I am feeling on the greater scale of things until I see what I do. For example, sometimes I find myself crying, and then I so a quick physical assessment to see if I have just banged my shin into something. If not, I assume I am sad, and I begin sifting through the circumstances of my life, until I can get a finger on the cause. I have a better time if I can get Scott or one of my posse to process with me, because sometimes I don’t connect facts to feelings.

For example, I recently took Schubert to the vet. He is my mighty one-eyed pirate cat who has been my good friend for almost a decade now. He is fifteen and creaky, and he started peeing everywhere because he became diabetic. His numbers are VERY bad, his internal organs are close to being finished. We are treating him, and he feels pretty good for right now, but the vet told me kindly that his expiration date is fast approaching. I stoic-ly nodded and stoic-ly petted his angry head. Meanwhile, he Schubertly tried to flay the vet alive for the indignities the vet had foisted in his august person.

I feel that Schubert is almost perfectly self-actualized.

A couple of days later I noticed I was very very WEEPY all the time, and said. WOW I AM SURE AM WEEPY to Scott. Scott told me, YOU ARE SAD IS WHY. YOU ARE SAD ABOUT SCHUBERT.

RIGHT! OF COURSE I AM! But until he said it, it had not occurred to me that the information the vet had imparted was getting all up in my daily business and making me have some sort of emotional state.
I realize this makes me sound like a complete loon, but I think variations of this way of living are not all that uncommon. Right? Right? RIGHT? (This is where you either say RIGHT! Because you are a loon, too, or you nod encouragingly while making air patting motions and backing slowly away)

My EQ is subterranean; it helps that I have a decent IQ. I have learned I can use THINKING to trace other oft repeated behaviors to their associated FEELING. When I am ANXIOUS, for example, I tend to constantly ask Scott if he is angry with me, even though he is not ACTING angry with me, and even when the anxiety has NOTHING to do with Scott.

SO NOW when I begin asking Scott if he is angry, and he isn’t, I think, OH! I AM HAVING AN ANXIOUS! And I will sift through my life to see what is freaking me out and address it. When I was getting ready to go meet my new editor, for example, I thought Scott was FURIOUS with me every living second. Once I had IDENTIFIED the source and recognized that I was anxious, I stopped questioning him and puked up everything I ate for three days, which I am sure we can all agree is not actually any healthier, but at least I knew WHY I couldn’t keep down soup instead of blaming a stomach virus.

THEN she turned out to be lovely, so, the whloe thing was wasted, BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT.

The point is, I am experiencing a set of behaviors that is distantly familiar, and have determined that I am in a recognizable state known as, “depressed as all hell.”

So. There’s that.

How do you know when you are depressed? Does someone have to tell you? Or are you a self-actualized super-turnip?

44 comments to The State of the Union: Part One

  • My family had an intervention after my first child was born. I was, apparently, so depressed that I couldn’t get out of bed and I cried all the time and either ate everything in sight or had no appetite at all. My mother insisted that this wasn’t normal. My father insisted that I was a great mommy, but would be ever so much better if I was functional. I guess I just thought I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I was about to start my period for about a year, and/or I was the laziest toad on the planet. Nope, post-partum depression, I guess. My baby was fifteen months old, which I guess still qualifies as post-partum when you’ve been living in that state since giving birth. Dunno.

    Anyway, NOW, I can tell I’m depressed, although I never see it coming. What to do? That depends on the cause, I guess. I tried the medication. It gave me vertigo. Which I still struggle with almost ten years later. Nice. 🙂

    And, OF COURSE, you’re a loon. Aren’t all geniuses?

  • Jody

    I am blaming mine on the barometric pressure! Not that I know a thing about barometric pressure or what it presses on or why it presses on it.

  • JulieB

    I understand. I did not know what the heck was going on, and I’ve had similar reactions myself. I think it’s partly because overall, I’ve been pretty happy. I also always considered myself fairly able to identify things going on. I’ve been sad about certain things different times in my life, but when the big guns of anxiety and depression hit me as an adult, I didn’t seen them for what they were.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re depressed. I’m glad Scott is there for you, and I hope you get through this soon.

  • Leandra

    Usually I have to have somebody tell me (usually my husband) (probably b/c he’s the only one brave enough?) that I’m being a jerk and then I have to suss out WHY I’m being a jerk. And it’s usually because I’m sad/anxious about something. Sometimes tracking down what that SOMETHING is is harder than others.

    I’m sorry about Schubert. It sucks. A lot. Because a cat like that, like a good man, is hard to find.

  • When I am sad I stop dancing around the apartment. Seriously I am a super-dork, white-girl, bad (very bad) dancer. However, I often dance around from room to room reveling in my dorkdom. So, I usually only notice that I was sad when I pull myself up to not-as-sad and start dancing again. It feels kind of weird, and I think “huh, I have not danced in a while – I must have been sad…”

  • Scottsdale Girl

    First: Awwww I am so sorry about Schubert the Pirate. Truly sorry. Hugs him pointy side down as much as you can!

    Second: I get angryface all the time when I am depressed. It usually take a few tantrums or screaming at oblivious drivers moments for me to circle back in and ask myself why I am so ANGRY ALL THE TIME. That is when I can link it to something that is making me sad.

  • I’m very in-tune with OTHER people’s feelings, but am much less in-tune with my own. Usually I will notice that I’ve been especially weepier than usual (or snappier than usual, or both) and have to sit down and try to figure out why. But when it comes to other people, I can spot a mood and the reasons for it pretty quickly. The better I know someone, the more likely I am to know immediately when their mood shifts and what caused it. It pisses me off that I can’t do that for myself!

  • Myra

    My prescription bottles tell me I’m depressed.

  • Here’s the thing: In addition to dealing with bouts of depression, I also have monthly Bitch Queen of the Universe moodiness. I once told my mother to go… um, wait, this is a clean site… “frisk” herself. Meanwhile the real me was stuffed back in a corner of my head gasping in horror. That is different from depression, though.

    When I’m feeling anxiety, my neck/shoulder muscles get very very tight, and I start to feel like I’m being choked. All the time. Like someone has their hand around my throat and is just squeezing lightly, enough that it feels constricted. I found that if I press on the back side of the trapezius muscle, the choking feeling intensifies. If I work the muscle really well and do relaxation exercises, it goes away.

    Another thing I notice is that when I’m edging into depression, I stop wanting to do things. I stop blogging, stop quilting, stop cooking (except for terribly unhealthy conglomerations of butter and sugar and white flour). All of those things make me feel better, but I lose all desire to do them. Here’s an odd thing – sometimes I’ll be laughing really hard and long (it’s happened twice on your blog, which is a compliment, really) and then suddenly feel overwhelmingly sad and burst into sobs. Not laugh-till-you-cry tears, but actual oh-hell-I-need-an-antidepressant weeping.

  • I am pretty self-actualized, but I didn’t know I was TRULY, Clinically, In Need of a Change in Medication depressed until two friends of mine who had never met each other began having e-mail and phone conversations about me WITH EACH OTHER without my knowing. Then they told me. Then I thought, hmmm. . .maybe this whole sucking-it-up-I-will-get-over-it-everything-is-fine mantra is working for me so much right now. I do not want you to be depressed–either with or without need of medication, but I am glad that you are not thinking Scott is mad at you, and I hope you go heavy on the chocolate and light on the vomiting.

  • Jessica

    You are giving me flashbacks of my beloved cat who was diabetic. I miss her all the time, still, and it’s been almost five years. :'( No offense to the pirate cat, but she was the best cat ever. Even my friends and family who were afraid of and/or hated cats absolutely loved her. I hated that she spent first years of her life traumatized and abused, but I tried to make it up to her every day of her life that she lived with me. Once she was diagnosed as diabetic, I tried to make sure her comfort was never compromised. Heck, she fit right into my family full of diabetics (all grandparents and their siblings and my mom), so I knew she belonged to us anyway. 😉

    Almost any mood other than elation turns to anger for me. My husband has to remind me that I am not angry; I am instead sad or worried or anxious or depressed. For some reason, feeling any of these things makes me think I am mad at everyone or everything, and I’m not quite sure why. I can fly into a rage and end up crying when my husband helps me realize that, no, I’m not angry, but I am very sad. (I also have the stomach-pukeys when I am nervous about something. I always have since I was a kid. The doctors told my parents that it was all in my head, which is kind of true. It’s anxiety, which is in my head. And, apparently, my stomach.)

    I’m lucky my husband asks, “Why are you angry with me? Are you angry at all? I think you’re [fill in the blank with the appropriate feeling that I am actually feeling but that turns into rage anyway].”

  • Mit

    *pet-pet-pet* (but not backing away)

    I KNOW when I’m depressed (because EVERYTHING becomes “too-much”, “too-hard”, “too-much effort”). But like Roxanne … I am clinging to “I-don’t-Need-Medication-at-All” and I should “suck-it-up-I-will-get-over-it-everything-is-fine” mantra. Why?

    Because what does it mean if you can’t CONTROL YOURSELF?!?!

    I mean, clearly I cannot control the world (pity the world) – or people/things around me … but what sort of loser CANNOT CONTROL themselves?

    My conclusion (mind you, not a valid one) is “I am weak – and must work harder at …. “something” … which takes “too much effort” and is “too hard”. (welcome to the spinning in circles phase which leads to sobbing and inertia.

    SO DON’T BE LIKE ME … (says the kettle).

    Also – please administer non-flaying affection to Shubert (and yourself). I am sorry you are facing this ultimately sad time soon-ish.

  • Summer

    *hug*. RIGHT! Variations of that way of living are NOT uncommon :). I’m also the person very aware of the moods and conditions of others, but I’ve often gotten to physically ill before I’ve realized something was eating at me!

    I haven’t ever commented before. I’m new to blog-following, but I’ve so enjoyed yours! I’ve also just finished all of your books. I chose to listen to them all on audio and I think your writing + your voice = magic!! They gave me many hours of pleasure, so I thank you!!

  • If Schubert’s expiration date is fast approaching, why wouldn’t you be depressed? You live in your head, and your head is filled with visions of things that don’t exist, and a Schubertless life does not, at this actual point in time, exist, but your heart knows how very much you’re going to miss him, and you’re depressed in advance. Makes perfect sense to me.

    But then I have, in the past, had to try out various chemical stabilizers just to keep my X-wing figher in flight, so I may not be the best judge. Especially since I’m contemplating seeing my own doc right now about some interesting (but not necessarily fun, especially for poor Lillian) hot-ish feelings at night, and some variable moods, bouncing around kinda like one of those wooden paddles with the ball on the piece of elastic.

    But you are not alone in your turnipy self-awareness, my dear. Not even hardly.

  • edj

    🙁 Sorry about Schubert.
    And I do that too. I will notice I am all anxious and worried and I will mentally sift through my life to see what could be causing it. I tend to assume I am over things that happened, oh yesterday or some other time in the distant past, so I discard them and assume I’m grumpy cuz of some other reason (poss having to eat turnips or something) and then later realize of COURSE I wasn’t over whatever-trauma-it-was. I also feel I am making no sense. So I am going to stop.

  • Brigitte

    I like Myra’s response.

    Oof! My little beast is also 15 and nearing his expiration date, I try not to think about it.

    I don’t think I’m very self-actualized, I remember back in my skinny days (Lo, these many years ago) when I would get all weepy for no apparent reason, even I didn’t know why.
    Hubby eventually thought of asking when was the last time I ate, and it was far too long. Food was the magic cure.
    Now I just skip to the food, just in case. Oops, maybe the first way was better . .

  • Brigitte

    And just what is wrong with being a loon anyway? Huh? HUH!?
    😉

  • Elizabeth

    My style is to get all snappy with my husband, who impossible to maintain snappy with, and then realize that I’m feeling snappy because I don’t want to feel sad. And then there is my true deep dark depression, when I don’t want to get out of bed. Ever.

    We lost our beloved standard poodle almost a year ago, and I’m finally to the point where I can cry about it. So yeah, not so loony.

  • Shelley

    I am sorry about Schubert. Having to make the decision is one of the hardest to make. I am pretty self actualized after several psychology classes and years of transitioning to sanity. But I can’t say that knowing what one is feeling actually makes one feel better. It can then just make it seem more hopeless. Control what you can control, try to mitigate the rest. Feed the cat salmon pate and yourself Baileys Chocolate Mousse and enjoy the time you have together.

  • Aimee

    Schubert’s not even my cat, and *I’m* depressed after hearing the vet’s news. So it’s not at all surprising that you’re sad about it.

    I tend to push down my feelings a lot when I’m upset, and then react to other unconnected things. So RIGHT, yes, of course other people do that.

  • jeanette

    I have found a way to monitor my mental health and pay attention to it way before I get to the “snappy, weepy, angry, paranoid” state. I realized a long time ago that I can look around at the state of my housekeeping and get a pretty good reading on my current outlook. The messier the house, the more something must be bothering me or the more depressed I am feeling. Normally I fall into a happy medium category on housework……I like a neat clean house, but I don’t lay awake at night worrying about it even when it is at it’s messiest. When I look at the island in my kitchen and it is covered with piles lilting in several directions and I find pizza coupons that expired 3 months ago lying there, I KNOW I am depressed.

    Housework and the kitchen counters serve as my turnip of self awareness.

    P.S. I LOVE loons…….both animal and human!

  • ailouron

    I’m so so sorry about Schubert. Expiration dates suck, terribly.

    I always realize I’m depressed when I stop enjoying listening to music. Once I figure that out, I look around and realize that I’ve stopped enjoying/doing the things that I normally love – cooking, photography, corresponding with friends… I think the first step to being a self actualized turnip is having that one sign that makes you sit back and examine your loony turnipness.

  • Sarah

    I am another person who starts feeling that things are “too much” whenever I get sad about anything. I’ll find myself having anxiety about something as simple as doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen. The task in question will loom over me, seeming enormously complicated and time-consuming. I also start eating everything in sight and quit wearing makeup. It usually takes me a few weeks to notice, then I have to stop and investigate why I am feeling so crappy. It often happens in the fall/early winter, which is when my son died.

    I’m sorry Schubert is sick.

  • I am a turnip. But the way I usually find out about my emotions is by listening myself talk to other people. I’ll say something like: I really resent so-and-so for such-and-such. Then I am surprised. “Huh,” I think to myself. “I didn’t know I was feeling resentful.” But it came out of my OWN PERSONAL mouth.

    Turnip.

  • jeanette

    How is it that 24 comments later, no one has mentioned Depressions fun cousin from the city, Manic. You know you are manic when you are dusting the tops of 10 foot tall bookcases and cleaning up the icky smudge under the laundry soap bottle.

  • Lori B.

    I am so very much a turnip that I didn’t realize until just this minute that the reason I ask my very own husband 14 times in a row if he is mad at me is that I am feeling anxious. Huh, who knew? Obviously not me, but it makes perfect sense. I will have to tell him this, so he will remind me. And I will also clue him in that when I am raging angry at him or the kids, I’m probably sad or anxious or disappointed or almost anything but mad, which sadly I am quite a lot. And that’s usually how I can tell I am depressed/anxious/feeling any emotion other than happy. I get really mad. Angry is my default emotion. I’ve even been thinking about going and talking to someone about it, but that makes me cringe. It’s so much better to wallow around in the anger than get help, right? Says the loon…

  • Em

    I only know I am depressed/sick/in pain when I am not anymore. I usually get sort of seasonally depressed in the winter. I feel like garbage but I don’t usually notice how garbagey I felt until the sun come out and I start to feel good again. I know I have a cold but always assume it is going to get worse, that this is only the beginning, until all of a sudden I can breath again (or someone doctor like says Hey! You’re sick!. I believe them for some reason).

  • I am not a turnip. This actually sounds a lot like me. In fact, if I showed this to my husband he’d probably automatically assume I wrote it (except for the Schubert part). If I’m upset he can usually tell me why, even if I haven’t figured it out. I 100% do the hungry thing. I call it “hangry.” The thing about me, though, is I would not have written this down, because my general impulse is to hide my messy bits from other people, because I hate being judged(so I hide it in my fiction); yet I am glad that you shared yours. So if you’re a loon, I’m a loon, and apparently lots of others are, too!

  • DebR

    I’m very sorry about Schubert. I’ve never met Schubert, but I feel like I know him through your writing here & I really like him, although I suspect the feeling would not be mutual if I ever did meet him. I hope his expiration date is farther away than expected and that his life in Schubertly Perfect.

    If there’s such a thing as a sub-subpar turnip, I think that would be me. Just being asked to THINK about how I know when I’m depressed or if I’m self-actualized is too introspective for me. It makes me feel like I want to eat chocolate, or throw up, or eat chocolate and THEN throw up. Ugh.

    Yesterday was one of those Day from Hell kind of days around here. I started to tell more, but it’s too long. Let’s just say it involved my husband having an accident on his way to the airport (he’s ok, just a little banged up, not sure yet about his truck) and finding out that our oldest dog (our hound dog mix) has cancer, which I kind of knew before the vet said it, but then I realized there’s knowing and then there’s KNOWING. Until they say it, you can always hope you’re wrong. I thought I was handling it all pretty well until I called my boss to tell her I couldn’t be in to work at noon after all, but instead would need to take off the whole day to deal with Real Life Stuff & I nearly dissolved into hysterical sobs while I was on the phone with her – just telling the bare bones too, not spilling my guts about the details or (God forbid) how I FEEL about it all. Then the thought flittered through my sub-subpar little turnip head, “Hhhmmm….maybe I’m not really dealing with all this quite as well as I thought I was.” Sigh…ya think? Gaaahhhhhh!!!!!

    Good thoughts to you and to Schubert~~~~~~~~~

  • Carrie (in MN)

    No, even though I have been previously diagnosed as depressed…
    And even though I have taken an anti-depressant for years….
    And even though I distinctly know what the symptoms look like in me (no energy, no desire to do anything, touchy as all hell)

    It still took me about a month of no energy, no desire to do anything, touchy as all hell – to the point of almost blowing my job, multiple breakdowns at home and at work (lovely) before I FINALLY recognized, hey! I’m really really depressed! I wonder if my meds have stopped working? Yeah. Call me Turnip. I think that’s awesome that Scott knows you that well. My husband I think knows me well, and would definitely do anything for me, but even he didn’t acknowledge what was wrong with me (either the first time I got diagnosed or this last time I had a crisis) until I did. And friends and family just said afterwards, “yeah, you haven’t seemed quite right.” Maybe that’s because I’m so touchy and so who would want to poke the beast by suggesting the beast has a problem? So what I’m saying is…you must be a nicer depressed person than I am.

    I hope you feel better soon and I am so sorry about the one-eyed pirate cat.

  • Lulu

    Our own Seymour cat did lovely for a long, long time on those 2x daily insulin shots (not to mention the bloody expensive special food. dang.)for feline diabetes. I’m hoping the best for your pirate, and you and your family, too.

    I can tell I’m getting depressed when it looks & feels like storm clouds on the horizon, every minute of every day. (It really does feel like rising atmospheric pressure, Jody!) And I’m reasonably introspective now, after working for the last 30 years to figure out why I’m so weird. My neuroses, they are wicked, wild and plentiful. And, yeah, low blood sugar makes me crazy angry, or keeps me from keeping the anger in check, or something. Sad, when the people around me have to cautiously ask if, perhaps, I need to eat something?
    Speaking of eating & weird, I LIKE turnips. Raw, boiled & mashed, roasted, whatever.

  • You are a *funny* subpar turnip, even in depression, if that makes any difference.

    Generally speaking, I’m quite aware of what’s going on with my interior and enlargening exterior, but when I was depressed, that awareness was hampered. For instance, I felt guilty about everything, including breathing; at the time this seemed perfectly rational.

    Hugs about your kitteh, and the mood. I know you’re a well-resourced person, but please look after yourself!

  • Judy in California

    I am, by nature, upbeat. In my natural, healthy state, I whistle. A lot. (Luckily for those around me, I am an above-average whistler.) And by this, I mean that it is not premeditated whistling. It just sort of burbles up and out of me, on auto-pilot. When I am depressed, Whistle Radio stops broadcasting. For those who are “in the know” about me and my strange ways, that becomes a pretty reliable barometer. Silence on the airwaves = troubled times in the (largely unexamined) EQ zone. 😉

  • Casey

    I… I have nothing really to add, your readers are amazing. HOWEVER. I need a Turnip of Self Awareness. I picture it hanging somewhere, possibly around my neck? And helping me with its vibes. My husband would purchase said ToSA for me for many dollars.

    I’m very sorry about Schubert.

    Casey

  • Sorry about your kitteh 🙁 I’ve had my cat for only a couple of years, and I would be so, so sad. And I can be very, very turnip like. But the real trouble is, when I finally do realize what’s going on, I’m equally bad at doing anything about it.

  • gillian

    I am so sorry to hear about Schubert, but being himself maybe he can flay diabetes as well as he flayed the messenger
    There have been a lot of newly diagnosed cats who when treated with Lantus insulin have gone into remission. ( his may be too far along but ….)

    I found this site & the forums invaluable to me when dealing with my cats when they were diagnosed
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/phorum5/read.php?14,1212994,1212994

    regarding your turnip state and being down, well just the thought of turnip could send one spiralling in that direction
    Even though I deal with depressed patients in my work it took me a good6 months to realise that I actually had succumbed to that and it was more than just sadness
    so sending good vibrations for everyone in the family

  • gillian

    oh silly me – I pulled that site up from my bookmarks
    you just need the first bit
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/

  • I am easily able to tell when I am depressed, because the house has fallen apart around me. The sink, the trash, the laundry overfloweth. I look around and say, Hmm. What is going on here? I muse on that for a day or so, and then it occurs to me that the insides match the outsides.

  • I have my own Turnip of Self Awareness. I call it my Bridgeometer. If I can drive over a bridge and admire the view I am in a happy unstressed place. Sadly, this occurrence is extremely rare. I am much more likely to drive over a bridge looking sidelong at the crash barriers and thinking how easy it would be to drive right through them and suffer a terrifying death. If it gets to the point where I’m driving along thinking “there’s a bridge coming, there’s a bridge coming” I know I’m very stressed and have to work out what is bothering me. Once I was so stressed about things that were going on that when I was stopped in traffic halfway across a bridge I was feeling all tight and panicky in my chest and seriously contemplating driving on the wrong side of the road just to get off it. Fortunately sanity prevailed. Or maybe it was just lucky the lights changed in time.

  • I work for a veterinarian’s office. (I’m not a vet but I play one on television.) I took my elderly dog to another vet for a second opinion about why he (the dog, not the vet) was limping (the vet I work for would totally fire me if he found out that I took the dog somewhere else so don’t y’all tell him). I had decided that it was possibly/probably bone cancer and was mentally preparing myself to have him put to sleep, blahblahblah. And the lovely lady vet said, “Nope, he has a lipoma in his armpit (b/c dogs totally have arms) and some arthritis”. Big WHEW. I’m gonna be a real mess when it’s *time*. But I spent several days being the witchqueen in anticipation of the 2nd opinion.

  • Lia

    Love your face! I know what you mean about the depression and thinking people are mad at you. I go through it with G alot. *hugs for angry schubert and you*

  • I am in day five of being evacuated from my house due to wildfires in my area of Texas. I have been a TROOPER. LET ME TELL YOU. Only two little bursts of tearlets, NO hysteria. . .and then two nights ago as I was lying next to my daughter (13) she was stroking my hair and said, “OH, MOMMA!!!! Your HAIR has turned WHITE in the last three days.” And she was correct. My little grayish temples have gone pearly in a very short amount of time. I may have become a turnip with you. Evidently the only parts of me that knows I am depressed (or stressed) are my hair follicles.

  • Julie

    I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what’s wrong with me so I can fix it. Even so, I still am terrible at knowing when something is bothering me. As an example, several years ago I went back to see my therapist after a long hiatus. When he asked me how I’d been, I reeled off a list of about 6 horrible events that had transpired in my life. (Three of these were deaths in my immediate family, to give you some idea of what I mean by “horrible”.) When I finished, he said, “Do you realize you told me all that without showing any emotion?” He was right. I might have been telling him what I was going to buy at the grocery store. But I was surprised that he saw this as unusual — maybe even some sort of problem. Huh?

    I still hate to admit that anything might be truly getting to me. I feel like I have to be able to handle anything, by myself. I do take Prozac now, which is good. So of course if the doctor asks me how I’m doing, I say “fine” no matter what. I’ve also learned that Xanax can be my friend, when the anxiety gets so bad that even *I* notice it.

    In other words, I think you’re perfectly normal. And reading your blog and all these replies has helped me feel a little more normal, too. Thank you.

  • Becky

    Oh my. I do believe that I’m a vegetable, too. Recently my husband had a very serious health scare. And I was such a brave little toaster. Truly. All taking care of things, explaining medical terms to my MIL in such a way that she did not get all over emotional-nutbag-curse the nurses (she has that in her), letting people know that “thanks, I’m fine, just a little tired”. And then we went to church after being out for two weeks. And a friend, not even a close friend, just a nice lady that is on my list of “people I like and would like to really be friends with” asked me how I was and gave me kind eyes. I lost it on her. And I do not cry in front of people in general. Ever. She told me it was fine and I could cry right there in the middle of the church hall. Did I have the breakdown I needed to have? No, I made a joke, which is what I do, and informed her that if I really let loose I would lie in the floor and make a lot of noise and generally disrupt the service. It is expected of me to be fine. I have always been fine for everyone around me. I know that if I truly check out, it will scare the tee total crap out of everyone, so that is a luxury I rarely ever enjoy. At least not where people can see me and pet me and make consoling noises. I think that is why I cried on that random lady. She does not know me well enough to think that it’s the end of the world if I cry, so I could in her sight. I have cried again just typing this. God help me, I need chocolate. And a new liver for my husband. That would take a load of stress off. Thank you all for the crazy, depressed forum. I needed to see how normal I really am.