Friday, August 09, 2013

working, working, working out of a funk

The month of July was a very hard month for me.  It felt like I fell into a funk out of the blue, but talking things over with my psychiatrist, I was able to identify a number of uncontrollable stresses which had all struck at the same time.  My funk wasn't the random act of craziness it might have appeared to be, say, to a sane bystanding husband.

It is pathetic to be a middle-aged person who lives in a nice house in a beautiful city with a husband, cats, parrots, and vivacious children who is depressed.  Very, very pathetic.  I have been working to pull myself out of that funk, with extreme exercise when I am healthy (I seem to pick up viruses like clockwork), antidepressants, and avoiding stressful situations when I can.

During the worst of the funk, while I was trying to keep myself out of the darker abysses, I saw one of those extra annoying posts on Facebook.  A friend wrote about an amazing vacation day filled with adventures, love, and decadent desserts, capping it up with, "I love my life!"  At the time I was devoting myself to keeping my head out of the oven, metaphorically speaking (my beloved Aga is a lifegiver, not a machine of death).  Usually I'm not prey to the Facebook my-life-sucks-compared-to-yours demon, but it hit me that day, and it hit hard.  I fretted about how I don't go on vacations, I don't travel, I deny myself fattening foods, I budget, I have no life comparatively.  Not wanting to slide down into the abyss, I gave myself a shake. I told myself that I needed to stay off Facebook if I was going to let it upset me.

Over time I pulled myself out of the worst of that funk, and my psychiatrist congratulated me on my self care and improvement.  Then I read another update from that same friend, sharing that the friend had been fired for seeking accommodation at work for severe depression .... before the "I love my life!" post.  That person was vacationing and adventuring to fill up free time from having been fired.  I was stunned.  How ironic that this person's cheering-the-self-up to cope with depression had triggered and worsened my own.  I wondered:  do the depressed owe one another a duty not to post life-gloating updates?  Or do I owe the world a duty not to post "I'm in a funk" updates, which I have been guilty of in dark moments?  In any event, Facebook is not for the fragile.  


GodsKid said...

Sorry about the depression. I hear ya.
But Camp Mather and Burning Man sound like vacations to me!

the Drunken Housewife said...

True dat. I should clarify: I can't afford to fly anywhere; we've been budgeting this year. Camp Mather is a road trip to some cabins owned by our Rec & Parks. Burning Man is my own vacation, so I do take that, but it's solo, not a family trip. So Camp M is our one vacation as a family, and it's driving to rural cabins. Meanwhile people who go to Europe, Hawaii, the Caribbean, etc.. keep asking me, "So, where did you go this summer?" and it makes me feel lessened and embarrassed that all I've got to counter with is Camp M. My children didn't get taken on any exciting travel.

On the other hand, they did art camps here in the city and had foster kittens while spending time with their defective mother.

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Wendy said...

Oh, i'm so sorry you're feeling down. Hugs to you!

When you're reading other people's posts on Facebook, always remember:

I'd love to hear about your family vacation at Camp Mather. No, it's not the same as an international destination, but it can be just as experiential and life altering as any other destination. I think Camp Mather is the most magical place on earth! We've dubbed it "Family Friendly Burning Man." Since you have to be an SF resident to get a cabin, you're with mostly like-minded people. It's got community, costumes, cabin decorations, bicycles, art, nature, fun, music, dancing. The only thing you're really missing is the nudity, and well, in most cases that is okay! It's so awesome to be forced off the internet since we have no self-discipline around that. The kids run wild on their own while I actually read a book down by the lake and drink a refreshing cold beer. Honestly, there's no where else we'd rather be.

We haven't been back to Burning Man since 2002, when we got engaged. We always hoped to go back every other year, but that hasn't happened yet. Hope you're having a great time! And post photos so we can all live vicariously through you.

And girl! Don't even get me started on the concept of a solo vacation! I only get breaks from the family when I have to go to the hospital for an unplanned emergency surgery!