|Source: PM-Forever Arts, deviantart.com|
it's raining today. i'm adulting about 50% better than i have been. meaning, i am washing towels and clothes right now, my kitchen and bathroom are clean and my bed has been made. but i'm avoiding looking at my bank account because, though i'm sure i have plenty of money to pay the bills i need to pay, it will mean miss m and i will probably be eating rice-a-roni till i get paid at the end of the week because we went out for dinner too many times in august instead of me cooking (please nobody tell c...it'll be one more example of how i'm not doing It right).
but mostly: it's raining today, and rain brings out all the melancholy i can usually push far to the back of me. lately i'm like this: i can be happy happy joy joy (sunny days) everything's awesome! omg i LOVE life! *cue broadway dance number here...WITH tap dancing* and then suddenly the next day is a grey, cold, rainy day and i am plunged back into depths of melancholy and bleh, singing sad and mournful songs and dressing all in black. yes, even black lipstick. total goth.
(what i'm most worried about right now: i heard - or maybe read somewhere - that october in georgia is going to be a DOOZY in terms of number of gloomy, rainy days. you guys! if this is true...how the holy hell in halloween am i going to get through october???? jesus god, i'm going to have to invest in a TON of black mourning clothes. maybe even just a full burqa or something. ululating included.)
did i ever tell you my maternal grandmother had electric shock treatments? she had at least a couple of nervous breakdowns back in the 50s before we really knew about talk therapy and careful medication, and they stuck her in a hospital and gave her electric shock treatments. probably talk therapy and careful medication would have been better for her - she was reaching out for help, and the shock treatments had the opposite affect on her. they made her very quiet and sad and negative and then she wanted to take a lot of naps whenever stressed out. electric shock treatment seems to be for people who are already very quiet and sad and negative and want to take a lot of naps whenever stressed out; shocks them out of that. but if you're literally, you know, violently screaming for help, then maybe you need some calming medication and a thoughtful, wise ear to talk into instead...not brain trauma. but i don't know. i'm not a mental health professional. (you're welcome, society.)
and did i ever tell you that my dad also struggled with issues of melancholy? from what i've been told, his seemed far worse than mine. he struggled with alcohol dependence, which didn't help. i joke a lot, here and elsewhere, about drinking wine and margaritas and beer and etc, but i'm actually very cognizant of how much alcohol goes into me, why and when, and that's because of my dad. and i will be very forthright and tell you i'm pretty certain i do abuse alcohol on certain days, in certain situations, and under certain circumstances. and i will say that i am aware that when stressed and frustrated and/or angry and/or sad, alcohol is actually not the first thing you should reach out to. hug your kid. run on a treadmill. buy a new wardrobe. write it out. lie quietly and watch a crapload of indie films on netflix. eat an entire quart of salted caramel gelato and a whole chocolate cake by yourself while watching a crapload of indie films on netflix. (i do all of those when i don't think a glass of wine would fix my problem. any other ideas?)
so my dad's thing was beer. my dad drank an awful lot of beer, and he was not that concerned with quality (pabst blue ribbon and budweiser were his go to's). and he struggled with depression. possibly because alcohol is a depressant and alcohol always makes depression worse, so if you're sad and you start to drink then it just makes your sad even sadder...is my theory. which is why, on days like today, i absolutely avoid it and just eat an entire batch of brownies instead. (i'm more of a celebratory social occasion and a stress drinker, actually.)
and also we had guns. because my dad grew up in the pocono mountains of pennsylvania and they do two things for fun up there: (1) drink beer and (2) shoot bambi (and thumper and cute little flower and probably sweet friend owl, too). i still remember, when i was 4, my dad's 12-point buck kill (or whatever number...they assign them numbers, like penis inches). my grandfather, dad, and uncle hung it upside down in the garage, then split open its guts which spilled out from its soft, white tummy onto newspapers laid below it. and i remember standing in the door that led from my grandparents' living room into the garage, just staring at this gentle deer, blood and guts everywhere, completely fascinated and horrified all at once. later, they'd cut the head off that deer, send it to a taxidermist, and give it to my dad since it was his kill, and sometimes i'd sit on the floor with it, stroking its still-silky fur, looking into its now-glass eyes, and wondering about what its life had been like before my father and his dad and brother had stopped it.
for years after, the deer head would move around the country with us, and in each new house my dad would attempt to hang it proudly above the fireplace in the new living room and my mom would give him a cold stare and it would end up in a guest bedroom or an office or the garage. but i can still smell my grandparents' garage when it hung from the ceiling, and i remember how cold it was that afternoon and i could see my breath in the air as i stood watching the deer from the doorway, and i could smell the wild still on its body, and i could smell its blood. that dead deer is such a huge childhood memory for me; it's one of my most vivid, actually. in fact, right now, i'm smelling those smells as i'm typing this. i'm pretty certain mental health professionals call that Trauma.
at any rate, i have no idea why i'm not a vegetarian now. i do think about going lacto-ovo at least, and one day complete vegan. throughout college i didn't eat animal meat, but i also didn't get enough protein in general and i think i got anemia or something. so later, i went back to animal flesh but only chickens, fish, and pigs. because fish, i reasoned, don't have feelings and chickens have weird feet. and pigs because...bacon. but NO COWS. because cows have gentle eyes. and to this day i refuse to eat a baby animal. animals are our FRIENDS. stop shooting them. and NO, ted nugent, i do NOT actually care about deer being like forest rats. go read The Yearling and get over yourself.
where was i? right...alcohol, beer, depression, guns. so i grew up with guns. mostly rifles, stored in a gun cabinet with a glass door on it that stood in a hallway. and i remember my dad would sometimes take the guns out to clean them, and i don't know if it's because i've always had a really healthy sense of self-preservation and/or the memory of what can happen to a body (deer or human) from one of those guns' bullets, but the guns terrified me. and my dad terrified me as well - he'd talk to my brother and me about what he was doing as he cleaned them, and he'd describe in great detail the atrocities that can happen to children who decide to touch instruments such as these. and so i've never had a desire to shoot a gun. i have some friends who are having love affairs with them, and i think they're absolutely nuts. guns are bad news. unless you're a soldier or a cop or you live 500 miles from a grocery store and so you HAVE to shoot your own meat, why have them?
and they can put dangerous ideas in one's head.
my dad had a moment - several moments, actually - when he wasn't doing well at Life. he was drinking way too much, and he was struggling at work. alcohol changed my dad's personality a bit; mainly, it kind of eliminated his social filter, and his superiors at work were growing agitated with him because he was a bit too open with them about their jackassery. if i've learned nothing else from my father's struggles, i've learned that jackasses don't really like to be told they are jackasses, even if it will help them stop being jackasses and become more successful. you can lead a jackass to water, but you cannot make him (or her) drink.
and he'd either been already laid off or was about to be. and he was struggling. and one day, my mom caught him in their bathroom sitting on the edge of the tub holding one of his pistols. she asked what he was doing, and he said just cleaning it, got up and put it back wherever he kept it. but after he walked out, my mom found two bullets in the bathroom sink. and no gun cleaning supplies anywhere.
i think my dad was...pondering, is what i'm saying. my father had demons; we all do. it's why i don't judge others for their poor choices. life is tricky, and some days you do think about sitting on the edge of a tub, considering options. it's what you do next that counts, and my dad was far too responsible to choose the wrong option. but that story lets me know how big his struggles really were, and it makes me wish i'd given him more hugs that lasted a really long time.
things you learn as you age; when my dad was alive i was just a self-centered girl who didn't really get how big and overwhelming life can become.
i know somebody - probably my mom - is going to read this blog entry and try to commit me to a hospital for observation or something. so let me be clear: i am NOT writing this to suggest I'M going to go sit on a tub holding a pistol in my hands, pondering. i have far too much schoolwork to do still, too many hands to hold, a class from heaven this year to enjoy, and miss m is my entire world and i want to see her win her Golden Globe and/or Oscar one day because every day i'm more and more certain her dramatic nature is leading her down that very path. what i'm saying is: i am melancholy by nature, that i think it may be hereditary, and because of the big life change i made this summer, that melancholy has taken over a bit lately and i've noticed. if you read here regularly, i'm sure you have as well. but i've noticed to the point where i now think i want to go talk to somebody about it. i don't expect every day to be rainbows and unicorns and splashing dolphins in the sunlight zone, but i would like to stay out of the abyss permanently...maybe just hang in the twilight zone now and then, an occasional little dip down into the midnight zone during rainy octobers. but the abyss is bad. very, very bad.
or! i could just bake some chocolate chip cookies and down them with a few margaritas after buying a couple of new outfits and watching a few indie films. i don't know.
also, i'm sorry for not using capitals at the beginning of my sentences or consistently...the shift key was just a bit too much for me today. i'm anti-shift key right now.