The blog post, read poorly by the author.
I just watched an exploratory criticism of “Vincent and the Doctor” that I really love. It talks about depression, because there’s who The Doctor thinks is an aggressive alien chasing after Vincent, because only he can see it. The Doctor has to use a gadget with a mirror so he can see the alien in reverse, and it’s not aggressive. It needs help.
Which the creator of the video calls the alien representative of depression itself. It’s a monster only you can see. Depression is also not feeling sad, necessarily, because there is no rhyme or reason to it. I could be panicky, I could be absolutely devastated regarding something, so that pain also mixes in…. But mostly, depression is the absence of emotions at all. People, places, and things don’t matter. You have to drag yourself everywhere, even into the shower or actually completing any task that would make you feel better…. Because of course, it’s what depression thinks you deserve. It knows the very best lies to use against you…. That you are worth nothing, that you are not deserving of being able to take care of yourself, because you don’t matter to anyone… and if you do matter, you think it’s just because other people are being nice to you.
Because who could ever love dumbasses like us?
If people do show that they care, genuinely, you still can’t accept that fact… because depression knows the very best lies to use against you. It is an alien who needs help, a foreign brain infection. Depression thinks that it’s saving you from pain, because you think you’re a burden on everyone, especially when they tell you that.
I’m Bipolar II, which is like regular manic depression but without caffeine or calories. Nothing to get you going at all. You’re just hanging in until you get just enough hypomania to function out in the world without being stuffed full of bravado and confidence that is unparalleled and leads to extremely poor impulse control. One of the worst thoughts I’ve had after an appointment with a psychiatrist. He said that he thought I was bipolar, not unipolar, and switched out my medication. I was over the moon that I’d found a really great doctor, and eventually learned once my protocol changed that a mood stabilizer was the right answer.
I called Dana in tears, the kind that threaten to swallow you up. I said, “I don’t want to be Sally Field in ER!” If you know, you know.
Bipolar I is so different from Bipolar II that there’s not really a direct comparison. You don’t go up in to true mania, where you’re buying ten cars in one day or putting yourself in more danger than is necessary because you like the thrill.
Bipolar II is a lot of depression without coming back up. My hypomania presents as insomnia. I don’t get it very much, but I wish I did. Depression is a complete shitshow, because it will rob you of thinking you deserve anything at all. You’ll pick the most toxic person in the room because you actually think that being treated poorly is almost necessary. You’re still getting some contact comfort, and still focused intensely on how bad you should feel for inconveniencing other people. If they’re crazy, too, you figure that taking on their pain so they can function is the one thing you can do to prevent them walking away. It generally doesn’t work for either party, because two people care about them to the point of losing ourselves. For unipolar and bipolar depression, this pattern occurs a lot… because again, you think your job is to take care of everyone else so that they see you actually have something valuable to contribute to the conversation, because if you’re dealing with your own pain, adding on someone else’s is a no-brainer. If they’re not a narcissist, you’ll get support and love because they may not be able to sympathize, but empathy goes a long way.
But that’s a healthy relationship, and we don’t find those, because it would show self worth and esteem, and we don’t do that either. Why would we? We don’t even like ourselves…. And from the Gospel of RuPaul Charles, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the HELL are you going to love someone else?”
I feel it’s time for a snarky reminder that RuPal is a drag queen. Get out of here with your bullshit. You’ve loved RuPaul since high school. “But I’m a Cheerleader,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the list goes on.
I didn’t think of it before, but I’m thinking of it now. Minorities are more adept at thinking they’re trash than the cis, straight, fits in everywhere sort of person…. And white people are awful. Full stop. It’s embarrassing. Even though I’m white, I use the queer card everywhere because I want to take people’s slurs and stupid comments because it makes me feel less like a traditional white person and more like the minority I really am.
Being queer is great if you keep to yourself, because no one can tell if you’re queer just by looking at you…. Even though I joke about it all the time. For instance, “are you pregnant?” “You can see me, right?” But the hard truth is that I am not having the same experience of the US as people of color. I could absolutely hide from it. I want to marry a man. To me that says bi pride flags everywhere and Daniel becoming a part of my community because Cora will also be there. Kidhausen and Lesliehausen are a team for life.
The suffix -hausen is used to represent the best of the best of the best. So of course my favorite movie is now “Argohausen.” Seriously, I love the dialogue.
“I should have brought some books for prison.” “Oh, they’ll kill you long before prison.” “If you get caught, The Agency cannot claim you.” “They barely claim me as is.” “What’s your demographic?” “People with eyes.”
And the list goes on. My favorite that runs through my head when cooking in a professional kitchen is “I’ve seen suicide missions that had better odds than this.”
In case you were wondering, I did type all of it without looking up. I have seen it so much that I’ve memorized most of it. The only part I cannot do is speak Farsi…. But don’t think I haven’t tried to learn it by transliteration.
Tony Mendez is literally in the Top 50 spies to ever work for CIA.
There is an Argo line or conversation for every occasion. This is “He (meaning President Carter) says you’re a great American.” “A great American what?” “He didn’t say.”
But my favorite has to be when they go to present their very best bad idea… by far. “Careful. It’s like talking to those two old fucks from The Muppets.”
Things that really make me laugh are important, because it lifts my mood overall. I have learned that I am not the sort of person that can go without listening to music for more than five minutes, because it silences “The Committee.” You didn’t show up knowing what that meant, but if you have depression or alcoholism, you know. It’s the tapes in your head that tell you you’re no value add.
It’s why most people die of depression, and I will say it exactly that way. It’s a disease in the sense that the brain is an organ, focused on survival. It will do anything to protect you, because to it, protecting you means isolating. It’s “obvious” no one likes you. They can’t get away from feeling that we don’t deserve to be alive at all.
Because it’s the monster in your head, and the ghost out to get you. For a lot of people, it does. The one that hurt the most was Tommy Raskin, son of Jamie, because Jamie is brilliant and I had to watch him on TV while bleeding out emotionally because I know what it’s like when someone close to you dies. Every neuron in your body is re-wired to accept the loss and move on. Losing a parent or a child fundamentally changes you in a way that people who haven’t lost parents or children will never understand.
They don’t realize you are literally a different person than you used to be, and you can’t go back… especially when they look at your method of grieving and decide it’s unacceptable, because they also don’t realize that grieving is as individual as a fingerprint. Everyone reacts differently. For Nora Ephron, it was keeping her husband’s shoes because she thought he might need them. She’s right. It’s at least a year of magical thinking. The brain fog is interminable, like putting whatever you’re holding in the freezer whether you meant to or not. I thought my notebook was missing for days. It was in the pantry.
For me, grief was being “show mode” in public and unable to function when I was alone. I’m not sure I got out of bed more than a few times in the first month my mother died suddenly. She broke her foot and developed an embolism. In one way and one way only, it helped a lot to know that there wasn’t a doctor on earth that could have done any better. They would have had to catch it early on. When it blows, it blows. Periodt.
The part that was terrible was that I had just come home from church, where I talked to Sam, my choir director. She asked me if I would do a solo, and I asked her if it was okay to invite my mom to play for me.
I was writing a blog entry about it when my sister called and told me that mom was in the hospital. I wasn’t even finished with it when Lindsay called to tell me that she died. She died and I was so far away, when I still had a car and was “threatening” to take a road trip home. She said she thought it was a bad idea, and I have been kicking myself ever since.
I went into complete shock mode, putting away my emotions because I knew that a crowd of people I didn’t know would be filing past me to give condolences, or coming up to me at the potluck afterwards, etc. The worst comment I got was that a woman said she knew how I felt, because her cat died. It’s not the same playing field, Karen.
No one saw me cry because I was incapable of doing so. Falling apart in front of strangers is not something I do, ever. I could cry in front of this audience because I was alone in my room, and it felt natural. I just left it that way, even though the moment I started telling the story of how I met Jonna Mendez, Tony’s widow, made my stomach clench and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop from showing grief.
Showing grief is uncomfortable, almost as uncomfortable as being depressed. People don’t know what to say about your loss, and you are mindful that people have no frame of reference for what you’re going through, because again, grief is as individual as a fingerprint. Sometimes people who are grieving are surprised that you’re not doing it the same way they did.
It felt like “you’re not doing it right, Leslie.”
I wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t turned on my inner sociopath (in terms of cutting off your emotions, not nefarious activity). It was the only way I would survive the onslaught of being thrown into public, akin to being dropped in the middle of Tehran without language skills, a map, or anything else that would have been helpful.
I felt like Marcus Brody in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
“Marcus? Marcus would get lost in his own museum.”
Oh my God it’s just the truest thing ever. You only think you’re prepared, but you’re not, because you have no idea what your brain is going to do to protect you. It might be close to how you think you’d react, but it’s a sure bet it’s going to be absolutely nothing like what you thought you would feel. It’s also a different scenario when a parent dies suddenly at a young age rather than you getting to enjoy them until you’re both relatively ancient. I feel like I got robbed of at least a decade.
If someone is dying slowly, you have the opportunity to ask questions, get educated on what’s going to happen, make major life decisions for them, etc…. Most people think of it as a burden to become a carer. My response in my head is generally “fuck off,” and not because I’ve suddenly started to hate this person. It’s because they seem ungrateful that they get to watch their parents finish their lives instead of it being stolen.
My mother would have hated every minute of it, and would probably be grateful that she died suddenly. This is because she would literally rather die than let us take care of us. Depression is genetic, and she was never diagnosed or treated. You could just tell, because you think you’re good at hiding it until someone finally tells you they can see you and it’s astonishing how much you think you’re hiding it. If I had to take a guess, my mother was dysthymic, which is a low level of depression that presents all the time. You don’t feel bad enough to go to the doctor because you think it’s just a case of “the blues.” You’ll get over it soon. And then you don’t realize that ten years have gone by.
But it’s a bullshit diagnosis because I’m not an actual doctor. I just call ‘em like I see ‘em, and I’ve had enough experience with crazy people to see them. Acknowledge that they’re hurting and try to help. I have actually been to what poet Mary Karr calls “the mental Marriott.” It was great meeting my cohort because all of a sudden, I had seven people who understood me completely.
Because they too have a monster in their heads and a ghost out to get them.