Thursday, February 28, 2013

It’s Time to Talk About Depression

You all know that I like to keep things light on my little blog; it even says so right on my About Me page. So most of the time I share life’s little absurdities as well as life’s little irritations, but I don’t delve into the more serious areas of life. Today, however, I feel that I need to explain my sudden absence from my blog. (I hope someone somewhere has noticed that there’s been a sudden absence!)

For several months now I've been fighting off a bout of depression, an illness that has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Depression is a treatable illness, and most people’s symptoms can be alleviated with medication and/or talk therapy.  Some of us who suffer from long-term depression (dysthymia) keep our symptoms under control most of the time, but even with medication, it rears its ugly head from time to time.

What brings it on? Everything. Or nothing. One of those. 
By Constance Marie Charpentier Creator:Constance Marie Charpentier (Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The problem with depression is that it’s a liar. The depressed person (I) begins to feel down, just kind of “blue” or not right. Her (my) energy begins to wane and the negative feelings deepen. She (I) begins to engage in “negative self-talk” which causes further feelings of sadness and despair, which causes more negative self-talk. Medication doesn’t cure the illness, but it makes it possible to think clearly enough to see through the lies of depression.

Lately I’ve been believing the lies: I’m not a good enough teacher, a good enough wife, a good enough blogger, a good enough mom. I’m just not enough.
depressed woman
By Eliseo Sala (1813 – 1879) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Like other depressed people, when I begin to believe the lies, I see supporting evidence all around me. I won’t go into all of the areas of self-loathing, but I had evidence that I’m not a good blogger. People quit commenting. If they aren’t commenting, then they aren’t reading, and if they aren’t reading, it’s because I suck. There’s no other possible explanation.

Well, I’m just to the point where I’m entertaining the possibility that there could be other explanations. Maybe.

Depressed people tend to treat their feelings as evidence of what’s real. I feel worthless; therefore I am worthless. As I said, medication doesn’t make the symptoms go away, but it makes it possible to see through the lies. I’m trying really hard right now to “feel” like the negative thoughts are lies, and not reality.
Heinrich Hoerle [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The first step to feeling okay is to act okay. So I’m back.

I’m getting some help, and I’m feeling my way back to normalcy a little at a  time. Even writing this out has helped.

It’s funny. When I sat down to write this post, I thought I would do some research and share facts and information about depression. I really hadn’t intended to write so much about my personal situation. Once I started writing, it just all came out.

Tomorrow, I’ll share that research. Today I just want to let you know I’m back, and I’m better, and I’m enough.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Real Question for The Hillbilly

Hey, look! One of these questions for The Hillbilly is from a real person! I'll give you a hint. It's not one of the first two.

Dear Hillbilly
Obviously, from your last Dear Hillbilly posting, I take it that you are not a big fan of people wearing flip flips.  So what do you think about high heels.
Aerosoles Grape Leaves Black Fabric, a Boot Shoe for Women
Who cares what he thinks? How cute are these? On sale at Designer Shoes!
Dear Sherry
Well Sherry, I always found them to be uncomfortable!  Just joking!  In New York City, I did see a guy about 6’ tall and 250 lbs. wearing a short skirt, fishnet hose and high heels.  In a city where everyone has seen about everything and is fairly accepting of fruit cakes, fruit pies, etc. everyone was still staring and laughing.  Fortunately, he didn’t go crazy, (crazier), and start trying to kill everyone with the heels!  I mean, I almost died laughing anyway!

I am losing focus here.  I am sure you are talking about high heels being worn by women---hopefully!  Anyway, high heels are designed to make women’s legs look longer and by the way they elevate a woman’s heel, to make the calf muscles be more defined.  This of course makes the legs look more shapely.  This works pretty well.  Most women look pretty good in them at least while standing still.

Cynthia, who just likes shoes period, has a hard time passing up any kind of cute or pretty pairs of shoes.  I think she once showed a pair of her red high heels on one of her posts!

Don't be silly. That was on Facebook. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL RED SHOES IN THE WORLD!
At any rate, there can be problems with them.  The heel  length should probably be limited to how well you can walk in high heels.  If you walk wobbly, like a small child learning to walk or like me on stilts, then I don’t care how pretty the shoes are or how good they make your legs look, they just make you look like a hayseed or a klutz.  On the other hand, some people act as if they were born in them!  When my daughter was two, we spent a lot of time with couples from church.  Many of the women would kick off their heels.  My daughter would put them on, and somehow hold them on with her toes.  She not only walked well with them , but could run and jump over peoples legs with them.  It was probably a sign, because much to my dismay, she went on to travel around the world while modeling.

 Anyway, I guess you have to make the decision: am I wobbly walker, a stiff robotic walker, or smooth and graceful walker in high heels.  If you wind up on your nose, or need to oil your knees, the answer will probably come to you!  You might want to go to more of a wedge type of heel.  They seem to be much easier to walk in and give the same basic effect on the legs.

Dear Hillbilly
I know that you are from Southern Missouri, so kind of from the South.  So what do you think of grits?
I'd just like to say, "EEEWWW!" Thank you.

Dear Shirley
Grits are not my favorite.  However, they are better that the pits and way better than the sh-----, (diarrhea), if you know what I mean.

Where do people come up with questions like this?

Dear Hillbilly
You are married to a writer and lifetime student of English Word(s).  I am like your wife, a writer and former English Teacher.  Writers are known to be a high-maintenance, crazy lot.  What is your general advice for spouses, like my long suffering wife, of writers?
Sincerely Lance

Dear Lance
I clicked on your avatar and saw that you are much younger and better looking than I.  Hmm!  I may be jealous.
Follow Lance on Twitter and on his blog.

Since you are big into English, you are obviously bright and crazier than, I mean crazy like a fox!  As far as advice for Mrs. Lance, I suggest that when Lance is railing about imperfection in both the written and spoken word, only roll your eyes, (and you will roll your eyes), when turned away from him.  When you laugh, (and you will laugh), seem to be coughing.

I admit, sometimes I roll my eyes and laugh out loud.  When Cynthia starts bulling up, I hug her and laugh louder!  Then I add a few kisses to the neck, etc.  This then lends itself to other possibilities.  So, Mrs. Lance, if this doesn’t work, and Lance just isn’t seeing the possibilities in this, he may not be as bright as I first thought!

From the Hillbilly’s Corner!

He is so embarrassing. Yes, he's good at distracting me, but embarrassing nonetheless. 
And why does he only make up women's names? What does this mean? Should I be worried?
Also, does ANYONE actually like grits? Questions that need answers!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Things I Have Been Asked Lately

I truly love my students. In fact, when I'm not wanting to rip out their voice boxes, they are a source of never-ending entertainment. Junior high is that interesting age between Cute Little Kid-dom and Too Cool for School.

One of the more interesting parts of teaching is coming up with answers for some of the questions I'm asked. There are a lot of times when I just give the kid a blank stare because I have no idea what to say.

Let me share some of the things they've asked me lately. For some reason the best questions always start with, "Mrs. Meents..."

"Mrs. Meents, Chris wants to know if you're a boxer because you're wearing an Everlast shirt." 
Yep. That's how you can tell.

"Mrs. Meents, do you want a garbanzo? How about a kidney?" 
I  have to quit letting them eat lunch in my classroom.

"Mrs. Meents, what's your favorite dinosaur?"

"Mrs. Meents, how come if you say south (sowth) you don't say sowthern?"
. . . 

"Is it possible to have 'soft' handwriting?"

If you've got a good answer for those last two, would you let me know? I'm blank!

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