Thursday, November 21, 2013

Depression Doesn't Care About That

I have talked, briefly, in the past about my depression. I have mostly, in my own opinion, whined about feeling depressed and upset and sad. Trust me when I say, I hate talking about depression as much as I hate having depression.

However, I've never really talked about depression as just the disease of depression. Because it is a disease, and not just because it's in a big medical text book about mental health diseases. After all, homosexuality used to be in that big book. No, depression is a disease because we know at least some of the causes (mostly chemical imbalances in the brain).

Not that that is what I want to talk about either.

I want to talk about the fact that depression doesn't care about race, sexuality, gender, or any other factor when deciding who to affect. It doesn't care about your politics, who you went to school with, or what your favorite color is. How things are going in your life can affect whether or not you have a depressive episode (it sounds like a TV show when I say that... if only it could be fixed in 30 minutes or less with a nice warm hug at the end and never return again). My worst bout of depression happened last year when Ace was on a truck and I was stuck living with his parents and feeling helpless about most things. And it was bad enough that I stopped eating almost entirely and barely functioned as a human being.

Before you say that I was just a whiny girl, keep in mind that I wanted to care about at least some of normal, regular, everyday things. But I just couldn't because it took all I had some days just to get out from under the covers, get dressed, and grab food that was sitting three steps away. I never wanted to hurt myself, I just couldn't seem to take care of myself either.

Depression didn't care that I was only a few months away from spending almost 24-7 with Ace again. Depression didn't care that I was finally starting to be more financially stable. Depression didn't care that my life wasn't truly getting worse (except the parts where my father-in-law was trying to sexually harass me, claiming it was to show me love, but that is a totally different topic). Depression didn't care about any of that. It just wanted to suck me down into it's seedy undertow.

And there have been times that just something less than good happening on some random day that depression has tried to suck me into it's midst. And while you might feel like that's me being somewhat entitled and stuck up, it's been about stupid things that have only minorly inconvenienced us. Things that didn't matter in the long run. Because depression didn't care that it was stupid and annoying more than anything else. It had found a foothold and wanted to drag me down.

If you ever have someone you care about tell you that they are depressed, please don't tell them to get over it. Please don't act like they can just choose to become happy again. Tell them that you care and you want to do anything you can to help. Tell them that it's good that they got out of bed and got dressed, because those things can be big accomplishments when you are depressed. Tell them that you are willing to listen or help them find professional help. Be willing to listen and help them find professional help. And for God's sake, don't act like it's not important that they are hurting and needing help. Don't treat their statements as light. If they are telling you, they feel safe with you and they want to confide in you and probably get help. If they tell you they've thought about hurting themselves or committing suicide, take them seriously. Help them help themselves and be willing to help them get serious help. Because it is a cry for help.

I considered asking for help last year. I knew that what I was feeling and how I was living was not healthy, but I didn't have anyone I trusted around me to help. Despite that, I did get better. Mostly because Ace got to take some time off and that helped tremendously. I had something to do each week that helped me focus on other people and that helped. But it was not the way I wanted to get better. I deserved better and so does everyone else who is hurting. Because those commercials about depression meds are right about one thing; depression hurts. And it hurts others to see the effects of depression on someone they love (at least it seems to hurt Ace when I'm hurting).

If you are depressed, please remember that it does get better. Sometimes it needs help, but it does get better. If someone you care about is depressed, please help them through until it gets better. Sometimes, that some of the help that is needed.

And no matter what, don't tell someone to just get over it. That never works.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Post About Nothing

I feel like I should write and pour my heart out. Only, I really have nothing that needs to be said.

I spent about 48 hours terrified concerned that I might be pregnant, because as much as I want kids now is so not the time for a pregnancy. And then I started spotting and now I feel like I can breathe again (don't tell me that until I actually start my period there is no breathing room, I know this, but I feel better knowing my body is doing something it's supposed to do right now even if it could mean something else.).

Hormones had me feeling nauseous more often that I like. And peppermints were helping, but bumps were making it worse. And there are a ton of bumps on the road.

Things are going well with the new company. We're keeping ourselves as put together as we can and it's been less stressful.

I have discovered which company makes condiments for McDonald's. That's kind of cool.

Yeah... I've got nothing right now.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another Letter to an Unnamed Trucking Company

Dear Unnamed Trucking Company,
I'm sure you are wondering why Ace left you. Not that any one there except his driving manager seemed to try to really talk him into staying. And that is part of the problem. No one cared.

We even had one guy tell Ace that no one would care at any other company, so he might as well stay with you. That was a bad reasoning on why someone should stay at a company.

Someone else gave some excuse for how he wouldn't be stuck for the better part of a week starting in January. This was in September, so it wasn't a good excuse and the company he was switching to would have the same benefits under the proposed California law. This just made us confused about why that would be a reason to stay.

It doesn't help matters that Ace got stuck in California twice in a month. Nor did it help that no one apparently noticed that his info said that he doesn't drive in New York City. Or that before the second time we got stuck in California he had already declined 2 other chances to go to California that same day (really, why were you all so hot for him to go back to California?).

Your planners apparently decided to stop planning ahead and sending us info for the next load to pick up before we delivered, which was costing us lots of money each week. And left us sitting around more often than not.

His new company did send him to California on his first trip with them. And then gave him a trip right back out of California right afterwards. With no waiting and wondering what the next trip would be. In fact, we've had very little just sitting around between trips, and each time there was a logical reason for why we were waiting (once is because we were having work done on the truck... and we had our next load before it was done being worked on).

Working with people up at your company was stressful. Ace and I hadn't been off the truck since July 1st, but you were not willing to help with a hotel room when it became apparent that quitting the company was going to take until the next day (because the truck wasn't needing work that would keep us off the truck, apparently). The new company rented us a car and had a hotel room paid for us to stay in from Saturday until Wednesday (we paid for 2 days because we got there on Thursday). Quitting cost us way too much money, but we'll happily make more (even if I'm not driving yet) with the new company. So far, there has been no stress when talking with anyone at the new company.

Basically, your company sucks and that is why Ace quit. We miss the size and some of the storage options of your truck, but that's it.

Much less stressed,
M.A. Smith

I'm Not So Superficial (Any More)

I kind of understand why we judge people, in general, on stupid surface things like looks, what music they listen to, what clothes they wear, what kind of car they drive, what their occupation is. It's a quick way to start sorting out whether or not we'd be friends.

But it drives me crazy. The people I've found with the biggest hearts and that I care about the most are the people I know little to nothing about most of those things. I, obviously, can know what they look like and what they wear, but I may not know much else. And none of that really matters to me.

Having money to buy expensive clothes or cars does not mean you have a heart that cares for others. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt and driving a car that looks like it needs a paint job does not mean that you don't care about anyone. Sometimes it just means that you've had some hard times and this is what you have right now.

When I was in 4th-6th grades, I had some fairly close friends that weren't popular. Sadly, I lost touch with them after 6th grade, so I have no idea where they are now, but they were better friends to me than I probably deserved. I loved them with all my heart, except when I got asked why I was friends with them by the popular kids. And then I was a bad friend and dropped them like a hot potato. And they kept forgiving me and taking me back when I pulled my head out of wherever I had stuck it and went back to actually being friends with my friends (usually within a few days). I feel terrible about it now. At the time, I just wanted to maybe be popular (because I was kind of stupid about what being popular meant).

But I had gravitated toward people with big hearts and lots of love and forgiveness for someone who was kind of stupid despite being so smart. People who believed in me and were fun to be around. And that shaped me, even when I was being stupid.

So now, I don't really focus much on what people wear, or what they drive, or what their favorite things are. At least not for judging if they would be good friends. Because I had friends that looked past any of that while I was learning that people who care about you are worth far more than people that sort of like you. Because I'd rather judge my friends by the content of their hearts than their interests. Because I can find people who are amazing and who bless my life by being in it without needing to share interests in tv or movies.

Part of that lesson came when in 7th or 8th grade I had a "friend" who one day just decided that she didn't like me any more. And then a few days later, she liked me again. But I was shut out of most of my group of friends because one girl didn't like me for no apparent reason. And I think it helped me realize what a bad friend I had been in the past. I gave that friend a second chance, but the friendship wasn't as close and when she decided that she didn't like me for no apparent reason again, I just gave up on the friendship. Not quite as forgiving as my friends a few years earlier had been (the time frame on my random self-conscious idiocy was closer to once a year, not twice in as many months, which probably helped them too). But I had already started figuring out who were the type of people that would care about me vs caring about themselves.

So, now a days, I try to not judge someone by superficial means. I am by no means perfect, but I'm getting better at it.

I hope to teach my children this without them having to go through what I did. I'd prefer their stupid decisions to be about something less likely to hurt people, especially the ones who truly care about them.

And to those friends, I apologize. I'm not sure I did that adequately when we were younger. You deserved someone being your friend who didn't randomly get ashamed about superficial things. I wish I had done better at that. Thank you so much for being willing to forgive me. I got better, but I never forgot that I was that person. I hope you found better friends as you grew up. Ones that didn't do what I did. Ones who loved you because of who you were and are. Ones who wanted good things for you. Thank you for believing in me enough to forgive me.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Change Has Come

So, this year I am not doing NaBloPoMo. I have been doing badly about updating this blog, and I doubt that I'd do better by pushing myself to post every day for a month.

Instead, I am going to try to post more often than every two weeks. I make no promises.

Ace has switched companies, something that he had been considering since June. Things are changing. Today we are starting our first trip with the new company. Later, I will probably write a letter on here to the old company explaining why we left. I have feelings about it and I need to vent them. I'm still not naming companies though.

I am surprised to find that I am getting twitchy about having sat still for so long. I'm not used to us not going somewhere, and while I know that eventually we'll be out of over the road truck driving, that time has not come yet. I'll probably feel twitchy then too, until I get busy.

In the mean time, I have things to do (like bags to unpack and get things settled into semi-permanent places as they seem fit to do so. And I've got to try to leave some open space for the stuff we have yet to put on our truck, but will need.

Life is fun and exciting, except it's not anything I want to write about because it's involved and probably somewhat boring to most people.

Life is changing. And right now, that is good.