I’ve tried many weird things to beat depression, some of them work longer than others, but it’s the nature of the beast that I have to find some new craziness each year to beat off the less pleasant craziness.
1. Geico pig workout.
Before I started on zoloft and buspar I used to scream all the way to work in my car. It’s only a 12 minute commute but that’s still quite a bit of screaming to start the day with. I have updated my commute routine so that when I begin to feel the hopelessness of the day ahead crash over me I start squealing like the Geico pig. It’s hard to take yourself too seriously while squealing. It probably also helps that I have to smile a bit to say “Weee! WEEE! WEEEEEEE!
Instead of focusing on how rotten my luck is I start thinking – hey I’m a pig, (or an infant), driving a car. Look at me! Hey, there’s a dog! Oooh McDonalds Shake. Look at that pretty car. Zoom! I’m going fast. I bet pigs in India don’t have this much fun. Weee!
I have substituted one form of craziness for another, and for right now, it’s working.
2. Taking on a hobby I’m much too old for.
One may laugh at people who take up rollerblading or snowboarding as their hair turns grey but I can see why they do it. There’s something thrilling about feeling like you’re going to die and not dying. I’m far too anxious to do any sport which requires racing downhill so I took up rowing this summer. Rowing is like joining a softball team, you meet a few times a week to practice and then there are competitions. Only in rowing do you feel like you are going to throw 8 other people in the water if you make a mistake and maybe break an expensive piece of equipment as well.
Also rowing is like doing ballet but sitting down and backwards. There are many people my age who do it but I think they have been doing it for a long time. I’m a bit like a seagull looking for snacks with a bunch of geese who keep trying to get me into formation. Anyway I can’t wait for my next ego bruising incident. That’s what it’s really about. Learning a new sport means learning to accept that failure and disappointment are just tools for learning how far I have to go and that if I keep coming back I might even get there. Hope is a powerful antidote to depression but it helps to renew it daily and sometimes the library isn’t open.
3. Embracing sloth
I’m sure the mammals are quite cute but I mean the sinful kind. I have been humiliated and crushed by my own inability to organize my life, to work hard enough to meet my own expectations, and to excel through over-achievement. So now I’m practicing for the underachieving Olympics. I am still rowing but not trying so hard. I buy junk food and frozen food. I might even slack off at work a bit. My room is dismal and I haven’t gotten my hair cut in about 6 months. I’m still blogging occasionally but not everyday because I’m trying to do it for me, not for you! Not sure that my new slothfulness is any worse than my old slothfulness but I’m embracing it instead of berating myself. Hell, it looks as if I have better things to do in life than clean my room, pay my bills or cook. I better think a little more about those bills.
I bet everyone has weird things they’ve tried in order to conquer their angst. I would like to tell everyone who has referred me to yoga and Buddhism during my troubled periods that I get a great relief knowing that I can secretly laugh at you for hanging upside down wearing spandex and knowing you have chosen a philosophy to guide your lifestyle that make me want to giggle at its ridiculousness. We are kindred spirits who shop in different stores. Keep it up and I may see you at the chiropractors.