[Blog Post] Dawn, Depression, Daylight.

Working on Saturday is sort of like "working". Much less noise on the roads, far more in the buildings. I can see the cold mist of 7am, draped over the autumn infused trees, few obstacles between my eyes and the distant suburban forest.

I'm feeling better than I was. I'm not entirely sure of how much that's worth. Then again, I'm probably still emotionally reeling from recent events. Personal as well as national. What else is new?

It sucks when people close tell you they are proud of what you've done, how far you've come, and you feel anger. Does that happen to anyone else? I don't feel I've done anything worthy of praise, which is fine with me as a rule. I am an improvement on who I was. I think better thoughts. I'm much, much better at managing anger. Sadness not so much but hey I'll take what I can get. I'm more active, both physically and politically. I'm doing what I can to build a person who is helpful to those with far less privilege.

A hornet chased me away from the bench at the bus stop. "No rest," they kept saying, circling the nearby trash can. "No rest," they repeated, lost. Far from their friends. Their home.

Every moment I allow myself to relax I feel guilt. I know I should always strive to do more. I'm hoping I'm working my way up to that amount of activism, that this isn't just some blip on my journey, where I go right back to being ruled solely by my addictive personality.

Still. Good things. I'm in a better headspace than I was this time last year, the entirety of last year, the beginning of this one.

It feels sort of like a much simpler version of depression. Usually it comes in bursts, and I am incapacitated by the illness for days at a time. I'm much more functional recently, but I feel it always there. Like that mist, over the autumn trees. I see, I hear, I feel beauty all around me and around most of my actions. I feel the new vigor in the love I pour into what I do and how I interact with people. Still, the mist. Nothing is perfectly clear, still and wonderful. The mist is light, translucent.

Why do anything about it? It's nice. I get to be helpful in small ways, I use my mind to assist in the fight for equality when I am able. That's who I want to be. I just want to help. It's not a huge deal if there's a pall of sadness and lack of self worth that doesn't affect anyone else. Except in the case that it escalates–but I mean, I'm better at recognizing when I'm worse. Managing. Taking steps to deal. Working myself through it mentally.

It seems awfully tragic and overly white knight-like. "Wow what a martyr, sacrifices his happiness for the betterment of others wow so cool" like…fine. I know it sounds that way and I don't care. All that matters is I'm being even a little helpful, I have the potential to be more helpful, and all I have to do to keep it up is live with a mist.

I've always had poor vision anyway. You see a single rabbit spring into the brush, another, smaller, following. I squint, wishing I'd seen it, pretending I had, imagining how nice it was. It's almost as good.

"All in all it's been okay–I've lived well."

Jhene Aiko is pretty corny sometimes, especially in her latest album. But Eternal Sunshine keeps me going. It says, "it's okay. Everything is okay. Not perfect, maybe not great. But it's good, it's alright, I've lived well and I should never stop appreciating that."

So that's how I'm feeling these days. Fairly happy with a constant pall of depression. Maybe it comes with the territory of activism against systems you yourself are complicit in. Maybe it was bound to happen regardless. My current strength of belief in hard determinism would agree with that last.

I'll just keep rolling with it. This path presently sucks for my self worth, like a lot. I don't feel very good about myself or very important. But it's much better for the world, and a continued trajectory has the potential to result in actual…well, results.

It is my hope that this will eventually bring me out of it. When I feel as if I have brought about real change, even in a small way, I might love myself? That'd be just the best.

The mist clears as the dawn turns into day. I'm hoping my sun continues to rise as well.

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I Mean, How Do We Know?

People who attempt suicide say they become overwhelmed with thoughts of how they don’t want to end it all. They remember their lives, and think of what they are truly worth.

 

I mean, isn’t that just our survival mechanisms kicking in? I would say it’s our biology taking advantage of our clearly-feeble emotions in order to continue the existence of our being, since like…I dunno, that’s what instincts do.

So how does one know, in that moment, if they really do want to end it all? Someone certainly does, right? It cannot be that every life taken by the one who previously lived it was one worth living. There are some shitty feelings felt by people, and some see no end in sight.

 

I’m just asking, y’know. How do we know?

 

I like how this post is the first in a while, and it’s all suicide-y and lightly seasoned with tin foil. It’s like, when people go through my shit at the end of my life, they can be like, “well here you can see the post where his mind began to truly falter. Sad, sad tale, that one. Such a great man, with his medium height and lack of ambition. He really could have been something!”

 

ART.

I’m Sorry, Home Depot Guy With the Crackers

Long ago, in a distant land, a young boy was incredibly grumpy. He was hungry, and he was bored. To top all of that off, he was in the one store every child with moderately handy parents dreads..

Home Depot.

Yes, it was in this gray and orange, smelly, musty establishment, that we find our hero. He is whining, moaning and groaning. Nothing, nothing in the world will fix his mood. He is beyond help.

His cry for sustenance is met only with impatience by his mother. She does what she can to keep him quiet enough for her to be in and out of the dreaded depot as quickly as humanly possible. She wishes should could stuff some food in his whiny little face and shut him the hell up, but she cannot. Alas, she is a mother who takes care of this little brat all on her own, and spends every penny making sure the two of them keep a roof over their heads.

An employee, probably on his way to save some cats from trees or babies from burning buildings, stops to try and reconcile the increasingly irritated child. His heart is pure, despite the dust and must present atop the vest of his chest.

“I’ve got some crackers you could have,” he practically sings. He is a golden beacon of hope for the mother, who just wants her child to, for once, shut the hell up.

“I don’t want CRACKERS,” the child screams indignantly.

“Get over here, you do not talk to people that way! Sir, I’m sorry,” the mother does her best to remedy the situation. The hurt on the man’s face is small, but present. The child, remorseless, continues on his way, convinced the world is out to starve him right to death.

 

Sir. I’m so, so sorry. You were so nice to me. I can’t believe I was so rude to you. You offered what you had, to someone you had no connection to. I tear up to this day, thinking about how incredibly kind you were to me that day, when I gave you less than a single reason to do so.

You deserved better, and I hope you got it from every other waking moment of your life. The world needs people like you. People who simply want to help, just to help. People who do not care if the person in need seems to deserve it, they try anyway, just to make the world a little brighter.

 

Thank you so much for offering your crackers. I’m sure they were very delicious. That little brat I grimly think of as past-me didn’t deserve a smile from you, let alone a nice package of salty, crunchy crackers.

More than anything, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I hope I didn’t ruin your day. I hope you forgot about me, and kept on helping, with that big, dust-free, pure heart of yours.

Fourth of July was Okay

Yay, independence! 

Look I get it. Important shit happened! I’ll never be able to understand exactly how significant gaining our independence as a nation is/was. I’ve come to terms with that. Thank you, Americans, past and present, for making this land I live in pretty sweet, despite the obvious flaws. 

We went to a municipal center by bus, the SO and I. It was alright. A few too many people asking us to sign things. A few too few stands with swag and samples. Didn’t bring enough blankets, or any chairs. Didn’t bring anything to do, either, which was apparently a big mistake. 

I haven’t done anything for this holiday in so long that I just didn’t know you needed certain things. At least I packed plenty of food and water, and brought a towel for us to lay on. It was cute, in a we-are-obviously-poor-or-stupid-or-both kind of way. 

The fireworks were cool. Hadn’t seen em in a decade, which brings me to the next point I have. Why the hell are they still the same? I mean I’m a fan of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and all, but geez. I saw those things before I was tall enough to get a plate for myself, and they’re the exact same?? The hell, America? Or at least Aurora. 

Some parents behind us brought their kids into the know on the classic “oooo, ahhh” reaction. Like, non-ironically. It went on for too long. 

The youngest was cute though. “Hello, 4th of July! I love youuu!” Over and over. I liked it. 

The kids were all awesome. They were all having the kind of fun I did when I was but a youngling. That was cool, as a thing that hasn’t changed. I expected more iPads in front of little faces, but nay!  Swordplay, pretend games, dancing! They were having a blast. 

Now we are back home. The bus ride was long, but we have donuts. Used my last three dollars to get us donuts. Bae took off her AMAZING makeup, and now we will commence to chill. 

Cameron’s ADD Meds–Pretend Game Bus Rides

My friend Cameron was the funniest mother fucker around in grade school. He always had that perfect delivery, that perfect sense of how to tell a joke. I loved that kid, and I miss him.

He was on medication for ADD at the time. He always appeared to be incredibly hyper, which doesn’t seem like what was supposed to happen. Either way, it did. He was always such a joy to be around.

We would ironically play those pretend games that kids play where it’s basically an improv exercise. It usually took place in the mornings, on the sunlit bus ride to school. They say they shot you, you say “but pretend I’m okay because of forcefield,” they respond with, “but pretend you weren’t because I had forcefield bullets,” and so on. It was an amazing way to start a sleepy, school-ridden day.

I could never beat him. He was so fast, so quick with his comebacks. Just a barrage of, “but pretend you weren’t,” “but pretend you weren’t,””but pretend you weren’t,”…on and on, he had a defense for anything I could possibly say.

 

I talked to him after high school, reminiscing about those moments. “Man, remember how funny it was when we…” you know the drill.

I thought he would laugh and respond in kind. Instead, his voice took on a sad tone, hidden beneath a half smile.

“Yeah, I was on a lot of meds back then…”

Followed by an awkward silence.

In that moment, I realized I wasn’t talking to my friend. I was talking to a different version of him, but one that I didn’t recognize. A version that felt like, who he was at the time…wasn’t really him.

It feels like I was friends with a ghost, y’know? I feel bad for taking joy in thinking back to those times, because for Cameron, those moments didn’t involve him. They didn’t exist in his memory like they did in mine.

I think…I think things like this are what scare me away from getting psychiatric help.

Pizza and Depression

As a teen, there were many days I would get off the bus and just be crazy depressed. Usually for no good reason beyond the fact that I hated home. I mean, who didn’t?

For a long time, my mom would be all like, “do you want to stop and get a pizza from Little Caesars?”

For a while, I was like, “*sniffle sniffle*…yeah…”

It worked, man. I loved that pizza for whatever reason. Didn’t feel guilty either, because that shit was cheap.

Then, a day came when my mom asked, and I said, “No.”

I remember her silence. I can imagine her thoughts at that moment. “Shit, this kid might be really depressed today. I don’t know what the fuck…hmmm…”

I feel bad for her. There was nothing she could have done. I was a moody asshole. Simple as that.

I never appreciated her enough. I mean she’s still alive, so I tell her now. But, at the time…God, dude. Thank your fucking mom for being such a trooper.

I don’t know why that moment sticks out so much in my memory. I haven’t had a Little Caesars pizza since.

It’s like…is that good, or bad?

The Teen Finally Sleeps

D.A.R.E. was weird, right? We can all agree that was strange and jarring.

I thought I would never smoke marijuana until I was 16 at my friend’s birthday party. They were right about one thing–that peer pressure tho!

I kept smoking through the rest of high school. You might think that messed me up. Made me worse, slowed me down.

Man…all I know is, I could finally…finally sleep.

It was so great. I was a bit high sometimes, which can make you feel like you aren’t yourself. But Christ on a damn crutch, I felt more like myself than ever before. I slept about 4 hours on average each night as a kid. From sophomore year on, whatever bullshit weed did to my brain…it was worth it. I was finally able to sleep.

 

Hot Pockets were a lot better, too. I legitimately got a boner eating a Four Cheese, once.