I think it's no surprise that I haven't written because I haven't been doing well since the election. I didn't particularly enjoy waking up to the news that 50% of the country hates me and everything I stand for. I was completely astonished and that feeling morphed quickly into outrage and from there into sadness.
I don't know about you, but I feel like my mind keeps going from one extreme to another. Actual (insane) thoughts I've had since the fascists won include:
- Good thing I plan to marry Sean because then no one will know how queer I am and my children will be safe.
- Maybe we should build a wall around the greater Portland Metro just to keep out the rest of America.
- I bet drug dealers are sitting pretty right now.
- Nothing is going to change in this country until our parents are all dead. The baby boomers are the problem. See, they passed all that civil rights reform back in their day, so they know there's no more racism in this country. They are SO SURE, you guys. We had a black president, so IT IS ALL FIXED NOW. (Just ask my dad.) (Or yours.)
- I wish we could just TAKE AWAY THEIR FOOTBALL as punishment.
- Which martial arts classes will best teach my daughter how to block the Cheetos from grabbing her pussy?
- What supplies will I need for the revolution?
- Will I ever stop being angry with people in my life who voted for Trump?
It hasn't helped at all that while my Beetle is at the shop (she's not totaled, they're fixing her!), I finally got my old Benz up and running only to get into a fender-bender on my way to work on Thursday. There was an accident on the freeway and everyone was slowing down to watch this dude get arrested. I looked away for half a second and wasn't able to stop fast enough to avoid rear-ending the Honda in front of me. I'm fine. The lady I hit is fine. But now my poor Lola is totaled. It doesn't take much to total a 30-year old car, unfortunately, and I didn't have collision on her so there's no insurance money to fix her up. I was able to drive her from the accident to work afterward, but her radiator is dead and after sending pictures to my beloved mechanic, he agreed that means she is too. I officially don't have any cars left and have had to pay out of pocket for a rental.
Tomorrow I'm having Lola towed back home to my garage, where I plan to officially hand the title over to my son. He has two years to fix her up before he gets his driving permit and as skeptical as I am about it, he's already surprising me with his enthusiasm for the project. I just need to find him a good shop class and a mentor who likes working on old diesels and BOOM: baby's first car. He's stoked.
I, on the other hand, am NOT stoked. I was planning to sell that car and use the money myself. I've been working SO HARD this year to save for a huge surprise that I REALLY REALLY want, and it feels like The Universe is conspiring against me at every possible turn. I don't actually believe in The Universe or even in karma, but if I did, I'd be overdue for a big bucket of cash to fall in my lap right about now. Instead, I asked for a raise (an incredibly well-deserved one, I might add) and when I got denied, I was so rude about it I almost got myself fired.
That was Friday afternoon and within hours, my mental health tanked so abruptly that I landed right into one of my Acute Depression episodes. I usually call these "bathtub" episodes because the first time I had one, I was so afraid I was going to hurt myself that I called Sam and Terry to rescue me and hid in the bathtub until they arrived. That first time was the worst because I had no way of knowing how long it would last or if it would ever go away. It was terrifying.
As one of my friends pointed out on Facebook, is it really depression when bad shit keeps happening to me and I get sad? Yeah, it is, because being sad is DELIGHTFUL compared to how I feel when I'm in the bathtub. For me, general depression manifests itself as irritability. I'm angry all the time, with every one and every thing. I can't make it through a room without something upsetting me. When I'm depressed, the focus is outward - the world is horrible, I hate everything about it and it's unfair that I have to tolerate it. Everything feels heavy. Like most people, this is how I've felt since the election. Wellbutrin helps me get through most of these feelings without causing too much damage.
But Acute Depression takes those feelings one step further and turns them against ME. The world is still just as fucked up as ever, only now *I* am the problem. The first episode I had like this was triggered by Joel telling me I was "bitchy all the time" and for about 24 solid hours, that was all I could hear inside my own head. BITCHY ALL THE TIME. BITCHY ALL THE TIME. BITCHY ALL THE TIME. Trying to function in the real world while your own brain is screaming nonstop profanities at you is almost impossible. It has happened at least one other time since then and my only coping strategy has been to call friends to keep me safe while I drink myself into oblivion until it passes, which has never taken longer than 72 hours. I might have suicidal thoughts, but at least I don't have to remember them!
This time is pretty much the same, except I'm not abusing alcohol to help me get through it. My brain was so loud on Friday night that even after apologizing as best as I could, and analyzing myself to death so I don't repeat the destructive behavior, and even having Sean there to comfort and hold me, I could barely sleep through the screaming in my head. My body is a wreck. Shame like this affects me physically. It makes me hate myself so much that my own skin feels like it's assaulting me. I can only describe it as that tremor you might feel when something disgusts you. It starts in your groin and makes your whole body roil and shiver in horror like a spider is crawling on you and you can't get it off. For like 48 straight hours.
This obviously makes eating pretty difficult. I keep crying because this time I'm not getting any of the calories I usually get from vodka and I can feel myself wasting away. Two weeks ago I bought myself a dress to wear to Anna's birthday party.When I tried it on, the size large was too big and the medium was too snug, but I bought it anyway. By the time I wore it last night, it was already loose. I know most people like the way that feels, but I don't anymore. I only lose weight when I'm miserable.
I went to the hockey game last night followed by the party and the noise and the friends I saw really helped. As did marijuana, which scatters my thoughts just enough to bring the screaming down to a stage whisper. I actually managed to sleep through the night and I can already feel my brain beginning to recover. I'm writing. Then I'm on my way to hang out with Sam and Terry, which is always my first order of self-care. More hockey tonight followed by more sleep. I get to see Korin (my chiro) for my whiplash tomorrow and then I'm having my first massage in years thanks to my car insurance. I'll have the evening alone with Sean and by then, goddess willing, I'll be okay.
I hope you will be too. I'm sharing this because of how tremendously it helps me to know I'm not rowing this god-awful boat alone. If you're also suffering from an Asshole Brain Chemistry Disorder (ABCD) and you're up for it, please share your coping strategies here in comments or on facebook. I know I'm not the only one you'll be helping.