Saturday, January 23, 2021

You're The Expert

Recently, I asked myself a question that I have asked myself several times over the years - Am I really depressed? 

Throughout my life I have read articles, watched videos and even talked to someone about my Dysthymia. There is a part of me that questions what is happening to me and at the same time seeks to understand the situation for which I'm in. There is a massive amount of conflicting information out there. It's easy to understand the confusion about what it means to have Dysthymia.

I think most people never want to look at themselves, understand the way they are. I do. I want to understand why my brain makes me think random things, I want to understand what is happening to me and as painful as it is, admit and face my own feelings, my life. A lot of people just don't want to know. I don't blame them as it's a scary place.  Admitting something is wrong is not a great feeling but it can be liberating.

During my recent adventure of asking a question that I have asked many times, I came to the conclusion that a lot of people online who "claim" to be specialists/doctors don't know a thing. Too many others think they are experts and it's clear that none of them know what it's like to live with something like Dysthymia. They just regurgitate stuff over and over, not once thinking maybe some damn list they're reciting from the 1980's may no longer apply.

I had a discussion with someone, a professional, who talks to plenty of people like me. Even he said himself that there are too many people who claim they know but actually known nothing. This person has known me for sometime. They commended me for continuing to understand Dysthymia. Some people don't want to know about the darkness they are forced to co-habitat with but I want to know. I want to understand myself and how I manage to continue to go to work, do craft projects, read books, etc. all the while living with a cloud over my head.  I am resilient as I find ways to keep going. If a previous coping mechanism that used to work no longer does, I am able to find a new one and put it in my survival tool kit.

I read that calling someone like me "high functioning' was incorrect. I have depression and go to work. I'm functioning. I'm able to walk out into the world and do things. My mind is creative and imaginative. I knit and bake, do other creative endeavors and my mind does chew on solving problems especially at work when I'm doing a round of software testing. How is that not high functioning? 

On the spectrum of depression you could say I'm on the low end but I have experienced the other end as well. It's well in my past but I know what depression is like when you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. Been there, done that, don't want to go through it again.  Seven attempts in four years is nothing to be proud of but it goes to show that even though I wanted to give up, on a deeper level I was fighting to stay. That was four year battle that I'm thankful to be 29 years away from and yet my last attempt remains forever fresh in my mind. 

I know that I'm rambling with this post and that's due to my mind rambling.  I'm scattered today and I'm okay with that. I'm not working so my brain is enjoying the weekend in it's own weird way. It's on vacation. 

There are experts who know their fields no doubt, but when it comes to you, you are an expert. Remember that!

Rock on!
~Maynard










Sunday, January 3, 2021

Thankful!

I love to journal write but admittedly, my journal writing has been nearly non-existent in recent months. Dealing with dysthymia sucks but in order to combat the struggle I thought I’d share the things from 2020 that I’m thankful to have experienced or rediscovered. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means but I thought doing a review would put me in a better mindset and maybe it will inspire you to do the same. 

1)      Rediscovering skateboarding and my appreciation for Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Tony Hawk, Andy Macdonald and so many other skaters I wasn’t familiar with like Elliot Sloan, Kelly Hart, Chris Roberts and many others.

2)      Designing a sacred cabinet, having a friend help me design it with the purpose to have a quiet place to decompress and connect with myself. Some people would call it a home altar, meditation cabinet or a blessing cabinet.

3)      Having spent time with my friend Cathy when possible and being an outlet for her. Listening to her talk about her achievements and struggles with her new business, knowing she is happy and doing something she loves.

4)      That I had the ability to write a 50,000-word novel for NaNoWriMo even when I didn’t have a story outline, no character names and only a potential idea three days before the event started.

5)      That I am resourceful in finding a new way to change my mood and mental state when things went incredibly dark and I was hurting bad.

6)      For The Nine Club, Bucky Lasek’s YouTube channel, and Tony Hawk’s Twitter account to provide me a chuckle when I need it and educational too!

7)      For being a music junkie and rediscovering my music collection and having the ability to listen to all of my 1000+ CDs.

8)      Ability to bake and try new recipes in my slow cooker and discover new favorites. Pork Loin in the slow cooker – YUM!

9)      Having the time to knit 18 scarves and donating them in time for Christmas for kids.

10)   Having great conversations with the sales clerk at the grocery store, exchanging meal ideas and talking about how to deal with seasonal allergies.

11)   Although I’m not a gamer, the ability to play Skyrim when I need to in order to get my frustrations out and kick some ass.

There are many other things but it would take me a while to list them all. It’s a start and like I said I’m thankful for a lot of things. The items above bring a smile to my face and maybe that’s the key to it all in making it through the rough days.  While compiling this list my brain did it’s usual thing and pulled something deeply buried to the forefront.

Enjoy the music selection today folks – the theme song from The Partridge Family TV show. I loved this show growing up and let’s be honest, the song is pretty darn catchy.

 


 

Rock On!

~Maynard

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year, New Day

 I'm glad 2020 is over and 2021 has arrived. One can only hope this year is better than the last. I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays as best as possible. Mine holidays were quiet. Extremely quiet as I was by myself.  Not one single person in my extended family - aunts, uncles, etc. called me on Christmas. I'm typically the one who calls people but this year I wanted to see if anyone would call me.

I have spent time my week and half off from work trying some new recipes, making food in my slow cooker and then freezing so I have meals ready to go. I'm still working on perfecting making homemade croutons but haven't quite found the right bread to do it with. I thought a baguette would do the trick but not quite.  I did make a nice pork loin in the slow cooker with potatoes. 

For 2021, I'm hoping to find more happy moments. That has always been a struggle for me. Find joy in simple things. I'm not making it a New Year's resolution because those always fail. It is something to do for myself and most definitely find ways to laugh more.

Although this was posted yesterday, I think it's a good way to start the year with a chuckle from Professional Skateboarder, Tony Hawk:



Rock on!
~Maynard