10.09.2018

WON'T YOU BE MY ALLY?

Not to be extravagant about it (EXTRAVANAUGH ABOUT IT), but these last two weeks have been the pits and I am SO super over it.

How are you guys hanging in there? Are you doing okay?? It is supremely okay if the answer is No. Has someone brought you a potted plant yet, or made you some cocoa and told you everything was going to work itself out yet?

I've been seeing social media posts from allies and friends, basically saying, Go Easy On Yourself Right Now. Take Care And Be Forgiving Of Yourself Right Now. Don't Push Yourself Right Now. Take It Easy On Your Heart Right Now. 

I just want you to know that, ugh. Can Confirm 100%. It's been rough over here lately.

Nothing lately feels very okay, does it? And the frustration I feel with myself for how low I still feel, or for how little motivation I can seem to muster up for anything, or for how frequently I just feel like I need another napgosh. You know? You too??? I'm so sorry if it's you, too. 

I keep reminding myself it's okay that I feel this way right now. I'm not sure I believe myself terribly reliably, but, I tell myself, given the circumstances, this is normal and acceptable and I am not at all alone in this right now. 

But I'm still frustrated with myself. Oh to snap out of it and get on with life already and start making positive changes! . . . 

So here is my effort at piping in and saying, Hey. Here, too. Let's be Not Totally Okay Yet together. Today's post is a commiserative pout and a sloppy group hug and a Please Pass The Chocolate and a Which Meg Movie Should We Put On Next? . . . among other self-care notes. 

Here are a list of things to do (and not to do) right now:

// First of all, watch this right now (at 4:12 if you're short on time):


And then ASAP go rent or buy the Fred Rogers documentary. (You can stream it on Amazon Prime HERE)

// DON'T skip out on your vitamins, your anti-depressants, your veggies, or your mascaras right now. Okay? YOUR ROUTINE. Guys. STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE! Whatever makes you healthy normally needs to stay & keep making you healthy. Do NOT skip ballet. Give up the showers, fine! But not the vitamins! I've been seeing a naturopath lately who put me on a serious two-handfuls-a-day vitamin regimen, and over a two-day-long period last week I felt too irritated with life to be able gag them all down, and I skipped them. And friends. I NOTICED THE DIFFERENCE. It made everything unnecessarily tougher. So please. Gag down those vitamins. Brush your teeth, I guess, if that's your thing. But take your vitamins, is my thing. 

// Listen to the My Favorite Murder Podcast and really wallow in how shitty the human race can be sometimes. Actually, I'm not sure if that will help or make things worse? But sometimes you just really need to wallow in it. I did that for an afternoon while stitching uplifting quotes on tote bags, it was weirdly delightful. 

// Weighted blankets feel like a nice hug and have been recommended for treating anxiety, depression, Asperger's, and other spectrum disorders. These blankets can cost their weight in dollars, but after a lot of hunting around I found THIS ONE. Probably the best price I've seen. Yes I have one and I love it. Huck and I frequently argue over who's turn it is to snuggle under it during movie night. 

// Look, when worse comes to worst you can always rant and rave about it on social media, but I can't recommend this one all the way, personally. Like, I did it, I felt SO much better, for approximately three minutes, and then I regretted all of it . . . but like, look. If ya gotta do it, even for 3 minutes, do it. Doth get it outeth thine system. And if you're on the viewing end of someone's ranty IG story, give them grace you're gonna want someday when it's you doing the ranting. It happens to the best of us. (This is what I tell myself.) 

// On Twitter last year I saw a post about the best Netflix shows to binge on while being in the depths of the worst kind of depression. I couldn't find the post, but I do remember that it included Queer Eye, The Great British Baking Show, and Parks & Rec. I'd add in The Good Place, the new Anne With An E, The Last Kingdom, and may I also humbly posit The Vampire Diaries? Because that one got me through a real tough one in 2013. (Please contribute yours in the comments! I feel like we ALL could appreciate.) 

// If ever there was a good time for a paint-by-number kit, that time is now. I've been narrowing down my options on Amazon. I feel like a good P-B-N might really save me. Here's a few of what I've been choosing between, cause guys, I like it classy like this: 

guys not only am i still supes rusty at this, but my blog is also 35 updates behind, so this graphic here is the best I could do
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

If you extra love yourself, you get yourself one of these fancy easels bc babe u worth it.

Now here is where I say out loud the things I am doing right because I deserve it! 

1. I have stayed on top of the laundry and the dishes!! Even if I haven't necessarily brushed my hair. And even though I DO have a fruit fly infestation still. Uh. But I finally got the pet door for my sliding glass door that I ordered, so now no more can get in, AND I have already killed a ton of those suckers, SO WE ARE GETTING THERE! Plus, after I fed the parakeets this morning they gave me all these twirly chirpy happy noises. And that was really sweet. Though right now they seem to be arguing with each other about something. Screeching and occasionally quacking like ducks kind of, so, guys, don't ever get parakeets. Parakeets are not one-for-one substitutes for chickens. Just don't do it.

2. Last night while watching our nightly Great British Baking Show episode before bed, I made Huck this incredible offer: "Huck," I said, "Huck, I'll scratch your back during the Signature Bake if you'll scratch my arm during the Technical Challenge," to which Huck said, "Mom, you don't have to do that, I'll just scratch your arm for you now." And then, he did! Granted, it only lasted 20 seconds before he announced he'd changed his mind and yes he would take that back scratch after all. But still!

3. I had a lot of pizza this weekend, plus I got to watch both Clue and The Witches with my sister on Sunday. 

4. I still don't have a day job and I haven't been able to remember how on earth I used to make a living off this here Internet thing, but when I sit and search my brain for proof that I'm making progress on this one, it turns out I HAVE been making progress!  

5. Not to brag but I cleaned my car out the other day and IT IS STILL CLEAN. (Although there is still a 15-pound box of kitty litter in the trunk and I have still not brought it upstairs.) (Update since I wrote this first draft: It is now upstairs! This does not feel like an accomplishment. :/)

6. The last two weeks have been a nice (not very nice at all, but good) opportunity for me to provide a necessary filter for Huck on the news of the day and all the world's happenings. We've discussed consent, living through things that scare you, and mistakes. We've discussed what it means to be a good friend, a good ally, and a trustworthy person. We've discussed how scary honesty can feel, but how GOOD it can feel when you are. We've discussed how ugly and damaging deceitfulness can be, even when you feel certain you've been wronged. We've talked about the responsibility we have to each other when one of our friends has been hurt, even if we don't understand it. And we've explained to each other all the good things we can do for ourselves to lift ourselves up whenever we feel not-so-good in the moment. I am just hoping and praying that I did it right.  

***

The good news is, I think I'm nearing the end of the worst of it. You know how circumstantial depression seems to follow a certain arc? Oh! Wait! Is that this magical 'Stages of Grief' thing that professionals like to talk about?! Woah, Fun! Anger was my favorite phase. Can Confirm 100%. Depression is . . . alright. So long as you can convince yourself it's temporary. (Guys, in one way or another, the worst of the sadness is ALWAYS temporary. It HAS always gotten better.)

Anyway. Won't you please tell me, in the comments, what you've done Right this week, Despite The Shit. The middling and piddlier the better. And then also tell me what you do when it sucks. KTHX.

It's a work in progress, I think. And now, having reached the Acceptance stage of my grief, I will now sally forth into the Forgiveness stage of my Boot Straps And The Pulling-Up Thereof. Whew! Wish me luck.

I love you all and I have so many hugs.