and how are you?

“And how are you?” said Winnie-the-Pooh.
Eeyore shook his head from side to side.
“Not very how,” he said. “I don’t seem to have felt at all how for a long time.”
~A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

It’s been a long time since I’ve written again. I realized some weeks ago that I had taken a trip to the magical swamp of depression again. Not surprising, really, when I sit back and look at it. I’ve had a lot of stress and changes and losses in my life the last couple years and things are quieting down into a new normal now. Cue depression. This too shall pass.

Around the same time I realized this, a new-ish blog acquaintance posted about being depressed. I wanted so much to comment, but I couldn’t. I’m too new, I’m not really a part of his circle and of the comments I’ve made lately, some few have seemed to offend or anger where no offence was intended. It’s not a good time to take that risk. I still read.

Also around the same time, this article from Mental Floss appeared in my newsfeed. I really liked the way it described some of the symptoms of depression, especially the first three listed, even if the article itself is basically fluff.

1. EVERYTHING IS HARD.
“Executive function” is the technical term for the tiny emperor that lives in your brain, kicking in when you can’t go on automatic and have to concentrate or make a decision. Depression can cause executive dysfunction, making it very hard to convince yourself to sort the laundry, return a phone call, finish a project, or wash the dishes. If these small tasks are piling up, don’t blame yourself—but pay attention.

2. EVERYTHING IS BORING.
Depression is like emotional bleach. It can suck the color and life out of everything, from conversations with friends to your favorite TV show. Anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure, is a very common symptom that makes it hard to focus or care about the things that used to bring you alive.

3. EVERYONE IS ANNOYING.
Does everybody and everything push your buttons these days? Has your fuse gotten shorter? Irritability is a classic but less well-known symptom that, like anhedonia, can cause people to push their now-aggravating loved ones away and become isolated. Some studies have found that depression with irritability may be a separate, more intense subtype of the illness.

At any rate, I promised to update a couple people.

The house is nearly done. Well, once I can get to the photos and other things that go on the walls. I have some boxes left to sort and I’m loosely planning a garage sale at some point. Perhaps not this summer as I expect this summer to be taken up with medical/pain crap.

I have an MRI under anesthesia in a few weeks. The CT with contrast was not clear enough. I continue to root for a non-surgical solution so please feel free to root in your own way for something besides surgery that alleviates some pain.

I am not sure whether I am on a long blogging hiatus or whether I am a retired blogger. I’m not sure it makes much difference but I do know that this is not the time to decide. Besides, I do plan to post some pictures of the house. It’s kind of funny… At times I have felt that the house is not “adult” enough. What with my moose collection and my duckies in the bathroom. But then I decided that it is a pretty good reflection of who I am. Screw being an “adult.”

So.

I’m not sure what else to say.

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16 thoughts on “and how are you?”

  1. There you are, Zazzy! I lost you for a bit. Must be karma that I found your new online home the very day you made a post. Congrats on the new abodes (both online and in RL). New beginnings hold so much promise of things to come. Embrace the changes and go with the flow! I wish you all the best.

    poc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi POC! I wondered whether old friends who missed the blog-move would be able to find me. Glad to see you.

      New beginnings are hard! I’ve always fought against change, even change I wanted. But I’m making progress and slowly going forward. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  2. I hope you’re not a retired blogger because I would miss you a lot, as a writer and as a friend! I am at #2 lately. I’m also my own worst enemy in relationships, I’ve discovered. Who knew? Hoping for a good plan of treatment from the MRI and better health in all ways for you. xoxo

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    1. I don’t plan to disappear if I “retire’ from blogging but I know what you mean. I have had many old bloggers disappear once they quit their own blog. In the meantime, I’m still reading, just not commenting much.

      You are making progress with that relationship stuff Margaret. Be gentle with yourself.

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  3. Hi Zaz. I’m always glad when you post, even when it’s a sad post. I think of you every single day, really. And I feel guilt about you every single day. A few months ago I suggested that we have a blogging challenge: I said I would post more often if you would too. You did, I didn’t. Mucho guilt! So why didn’t I do as I promised? Free-floating depression is my answer. The MentalFloss article was dead-on accurate. About executive functioning: here’s my evidence. When I’m driving these days I sometimes have to remind myself that red means stop and green means go. I’ve been driving a long, long, long time and I shouldn’t have to concentrate so hard on such a basic thing. I also sometimes have to use executive thinking to remember that in a sink or tub the hot water is on the left and the cold on the right. (Is that right???) Maybe it’s very early dementia. Either way, I get it about your depression.

    For me, the internet has become simply too powerful in my life. I check news and Twitter and email constantly. And I check a few blogs when I remember. I think about commenting but then I don’t. Your anecdote about unintentionally offending people in blog comments sounds exactly like me! It’s the reason I almost never comment on Facebook and rarely on blogs. I always regret what I’ve said (but at least on FB you can delete your comments and posts).

    BTW, I’ve wanted to tell you for weeks that I love the pictures of your house! The furnishings look so much like things I have in my house — or would have if I was more organized. I especially love that corner shelf with the knicknacks!

    And I admire you so much for what you’ve accomplished in the last year. Cleaning out a house, selling it, buying a new house, and moving are, as I’m sure you know, right at the top of major life events. Not to mention losing both parents in a relatively short number of years. Give yourself the credit you deserve for doing that. And doing it while not in the best of health.

    Keep posting! I’ll send good wishes your way during your medical nastiness. And maybe one day I’ll have the nerve to blog again.
    Pam

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    1. Hi Pam. It’s so wonderful to hear from you. I think about you all the time and think I should write you but then I don’t want to bother you – that’s part of depression too. One of the first things I notice is me isolating myself. You always leave such thoughtful comments it’s hard to believe you could offend anyone. I’m always glad to see you anyway. (By the way, you sound more depressed than as if you have early dementia, but what do I know?)

      Thank you for your encouragement. I’m going to take new pictures soon but the boxes with the pictures and such I want to put on the walls are still buried. But it is nice to be at the stage that pictures are about the only things left. My office still requires organizing but we did some stuff yesterday that should allow me to get the rest done. I have some things like getting a plumber out and getting the windows measured for blinds that just seem to take too much effort, especially with the medical tests and appointments in the way. Eventually it will be done. That will feel kind of weird I think.

      I’d love for you to blog again but I know how hard it is to find the energy and something worthwhile to say. Do you still have my phone number?

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      1. Yep, I still have your phone number and your personal email (unless that changed with the move). And thinking more about depression after reading your comment I wonder if for some of us depression is just simply paying too much attention to the wrong things. Like news. I read way too much of it and I’m stupidly drawn to depressing stories — like disasters, natural and otherwise. (For example, one of the best books I’ve read in years was about the volcanic eruption on Krakatoa in 1883. Is that sick or what?) And then there’s health. Who wouldn’t be depressed if they had serious pain as you do? Who wouldn’t be depressed if they had cancer…. But here we are, being outgoing, sorta, hanging pictures on walls (soon), getting new blinds (soon), planting seeds (me, later today). Those are all signs, to me, of non-depression. Signs of getting on with life as life has presented itself to us. So there! A bit of optimism early in the morning — 11:20 on a Saturday is my definition of “early.”

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        1. You know, it’s kind of funny… I’ve avoided the news for years (dare I say decades) on the premise that if something important happens, someone will tell me. Also, that there is generally nothing I can do about it anyway. Not, perhaps the best way to stay informed but it kind of works. I also don’t read sad books or watch sad movies for the most part. I’ve got enough sad in my life.

          But then, I was watching Grey’s Anatomy and something came up about the plane crash and I’ve got Netflix so I went back and watched the episodes around the plane crash which are very sad and depressing then I skipped forward and watched the episodes around Derek’s death which were also very sad and depressing. And I was thinking about looking for another coincidentally sad storyline when I realized what I was doing – well, by realized I mean when all the sadness kind of slammed down on top of me.

          I think I wanted to feel sad – but outside of myself. I mean, cancer and pain suck but mostly we get on with our lives. Because you’re right, we plant the seeds (next year, I hope) and hang up the pictures and make plans with friends. Those are the things of life and while I certainly have days that I get absolutely nothing done, most of the time I’m just living life as life has presented itself.

          Krakatoa is a very interesting story, by the way….

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  4. You wrote: “I think I wanted to feel sad – but outside of myself.”
    I wonder if that’s one of the unconscious lures of reading/watching sad news or stories. Our primitive brains take solace in knowing that these terrible things aren’t happening to us…
    New topic: seeds. Oh please do plant some seeds next year. You have that nice big deck that looks like it gets good sun. Minimal effort: buy some pots and soil, I’ll send you seeds. In the fall I always harvest loads of basil seeds that are 100% reliable and bring me huge pots of basil for the summer (pesto salad all summer long!). And I also have lots of purple hyacinth beans that grow like mad and would cover your railing with beautiful vines and cascading purple flowers in late summer. And it’s so little work — the hardest part is buying the pots and soil. And watering if you have a drought. Think about it.

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    1. That’s why I stopped watching the news. All the horrible things happening in the world are overwhelming to me and I don’t feel like there’s anything I can really do about them. I support local charities whenever and however I can. These are things I feel like I can make a difference in. Perhaps that’s why I sometimes read sad stories or watch sad movies/tv. I can deal with sad lives of fictional characters.

      I’d love some seeds! My problem with gardening this year is that I can’t get to the outside water at this time. The rain will do until July, probably. You never know. But most July and Augusts take watering every day and lugging a watering can in and out of the house? Maybe not so much this year. But I will grow some herbs and at least one tomato plant. We’ll see. I’m looking for a hose that attaches to your sink faucet without a big mess. They used to be popular, maybe they didn’t work well. I’m finding inconsistent reviews so far.

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  5. I’m finding this post many weeks late. Hoping that all is well with you by now. Or at least that you have a plan of action to make it so. Think about you often, wondering how you’re getting on.

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    1. Hiya Ms. Bean. It’s good to see you. I’ve been following your many adventures with vacations and postal workers. My postal carrier was ticked at me after I transposed my house numbers and a bunch of packages went to the wrong address. But he seems okay now. Gee… that doesn’t sound as interesting as I had planned.

      We’re working on a plan. I had an MRI under sedation last Friday – it turns out that it’s pretty common. I’ve been feeling like a wimp for not being able to tough it out in that horrible tube that I’m certain is going to eat me but many people have the same problem. Anyway, we sort of have a plan or at least a start to one but due to driver issues it isn’t starting until July. I’ve survived this long.

      I hope to post some pictures of the house soon. I’m through all the boxes and we’re doing pictures and other wall stuff. Still haven’t gotten my blinds but since I have no appointments for a while so maybe I can get the blinds (and the ice maker) done.

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      1. Zazzy, thanks for reading my stories. I’m glad that you and your postal employee are on better terms than me and mine. Anyone could mix up their new house number.

        I cannot do MRIs either. I’d have to be sedated to have one, so I get what you’re saying. Little tiny tube, scared old me. NO WAY! Even the open-sided ones give me the creeps.

        I’ll look forward to your house photos. Oddly enough, some of our blinds have broken in the last few months so I’ve started looking at blinds for this house. So many styles now, so many colors, too. Amazing.

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        1. I’m planning on going with faux wood blinds, the maple stain would match my woodwork, I think, and I like it better than white. We’ll see. I find it interesting that the higher quality faux wood is not that much less expensive than real wood, but is a whole lot easier to maintain – and it looks good, at least the samples at Lowes did. I will still need to add some curtains to my room but I don’t know what I want in there. Something to finish off the window and perhaps to close during winter to block the cold.

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