Please Read

by carolyn on March 11, 2015

So I’ve been having a kinda rough week. You know how it is…your major depression flares up possibly because you’ve been housebound by your arthritic and bone spurred and therefore booted foot, you force feed your family and friends literature on depression, you get dumped, you get 15 vials of blood extracted from your body, and, finally, you poop in a box to try to determine the root cause of that major depression. And that’s only 2 of 5 tests!

A quick update: a SPECT scan in January revealed no signs of depression in my brain, so it’s likely that the cause is hormonal, GI, and/or toxin related–hence all the bodily fluid/excrement testing. This is kind of a relief as my neuro treatments had become more extreme including Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). That’s right friends, voluntary seizures. But the ECT treatments provided no respite other than that I don’t remember much of December.  Don’t worry Taylor Swift, I still go “Back to December” all the time.

Exhausted from today’s depression tests; and, oh yeah, being depressed in general, I turned to TV for solace as my eldest and wise(st?) cousin, Martha, is quick to advise. The thing is, though, I’m not much of a TV person. I will binge watch the occasional show to the point that it interferes with my daily living–I’m only human–but television has never captured me the way a good book might. I’ve been trying to get into Dexter, again per Martha’s recommendation, but I can’t really stomach the gore aspect of it after the things I’ve done today. *Shudder*

But I gave Netflix the good old college try and came across Please Subscribe — a documentary about YouTube vloggers (that means video bloggers, Mom). First I was jealous. They make it look so easy! The first vignette was about Hannah Hart — a girl who gets drunk and cooks. Those are both things I can do and I’m really, really good at one of them! But there is enough speculation about how well I “cook” and the last thing I need is incriminating video footage on the internet-where you can never take anything back.

I’ll make an exception for the Cinnamon Challenge. That was a proud moment. I didn’t win but I tried and Mike “made it happen.” Sadly I haven’t been able to find that video on Facebook in years but I’d like to imagine it is living the good life on someone’s hard drive and one day I’ll view it again. Maybe on my wedding day at the reception. Or during the rehearsal dinner. Or during the cermony!!! Could this imaginary event get more magical?!?

The next vignette was about a guy named Mitchell Davis who seems to have less of a theme and just kinda does stuff. He films in his bedroom (no, not like that) and there is a picture above his bed that says “Get out of bed.” We are kindred spirits. This is my daily, hourly, minute-ly struggle. If I may, though, it’s above the pillows so he would have to actually at least lift his head and turn to see the message. But maybe it inspires him to stay out of bed. In which case I would recommend that he get a picture that says “Stay out of bed.” Nevertheless, I was moved. Then they drop the bombshell that he has OCD (the clinical kind) and he reveals that it was his videos and internet community that enabled him to seek treatment and live a normal life. At which point I was like, “Ugh, self, go write a blog post so you can find inspiration and healing and community.” Plus I was like 15 minutes into the movie at that point which is about where my attention span ends.

Five Reasons I Should Blog Instead of Vlog

  1. The only time I’ve edited anything I think I used iMovie and it was for a corporate function. I’m definitely sure my sister had to talk me through the whole thing. And I definitely don’t remember how to do anything.
  2. I’m usually not wearing a bra at home. People don’t notice if it’s a blog.
  3. Sometimes my writing is compelling.
  4. I’m generally better in writing.
  5. I already have a blog!

Five Things That Are Important to Me Right Now

  1. Learning which words to capitalize in titles. This may be America, but I have an English degree. I should know better.
  2. Creating a new era at My Proper Binge by way of actually creating content. Tell me what you want to read! I’ll tell you pretty much anything about me and/or anything I know. I might even research stuff I don’t know. I might sprinkle it with inaccuracies to keep you on your toes.
  3. Organizing my accessories. A few weeks ago I discovered a literal treasure trove in my closet when I unearthed a jewelry organizer I hadn’t used since my trip to India in 2010. That’s where my real pearls were!!!
  4. Getting Taylor Swift’s attention. I likened her to Mother Theresa yesterday on Facebook. Is that trending yet? Help me out here, guys.
  5. Taylor Swift. Seriously. I feel like a heart to heart would really help jump start my life. My place, not hers. Sorry, Taylor, I’m super allergic to cats. But I’ll totally let you hold Colby and my Presbyterian College English Dept. Senior Superlative certificate which I have taken the liberty of framing.

Signing Off,

TSwiftFanWhatAmIDoingWithMyLifeFace

 

 

(My what am I doing with my life face.)

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Rock-A-Bye

by carolyn on November 10, 2014

Remember 1998? Remember Shawn Mullins? Remember Lullaby?

I sat in therapy today with my sprained ankle/fractured cuboid and sprained wrist–an outward reflection that doesn’t do my inward brokenness justice. Not a revelation. I’ve felt broken for years and have been in therapy for years. They kinda go hand in hand. We talked through work stuff then family stuff before getting to the brunt of the issue with only minutes to spare. I’m in a crisis of self and now, since getting back into the church, a crisis of faith as well. I fumbled with words trying to explain to my therapist that I don’t know where God ends and I begin and I worry. I worry about glorifying myself instead of him. She reminds me that we can glorify God in all that we do whether it’s scrubbing toilets or singing. And I get that but what do I do with my gift? Is it wrong to write about my weight loss journey instead of my spiritual one? Is it wrong to hypothetically “become” a secular writer instead of penning devotionals? By the way, no news on the weight loss front. I was dabbling in running for about a week before my nondramatic yet incredibly debilitating fall last week. She asked which I wanted to write about and I said neither and the waterworks began, again, as I gestured towards my broken body and broken soul. There’s too much pain. “Write about that,” she says.

This week I have a consultation with a doctor about pursuing Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) because after 8 years of depression and anxiety, it’s gotten that bad. Think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest but then immediately erase that image from your mind because it’s supposed to be safe, reliable, and voluntary these days. I’ve heard a few second-hand accounts of people with severe depression and ECT was lifesaving, and, more importantly in my opinion, life-changing for them. Between my parents and I, we’ve spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours investing in therapies, pills, neurofeedback, diets, and maybe more. I think that list is exhaustive but I may have left something out. I’m exhausted. From what I hear from friends and family, it’s common to go through a depressive period in one’s life. Someone may cite a semester or quarter at college or the transition from college to adulthood and say they were depressed. They then offer their sympathy for my continued struggle and an offer to be there for me if I ever need anything, because they know what it’s like. And I deeply appreciate those kind souls because there is so much stigma surrounding mental illness that it makes me physically ill. But as I graciously accept their kindness a dark, ungrateful, not raised in the South, part of me thinks “you have no idea.” My whole adult life I’ve struggled with this. It’s like comparing boot camp to ‘Nam. Is it totally inappropriate for me to say that out loud?

The depression and the Self vs. God crisis…it brings me to tears more times a day then all other activities combined…as in # of sob sessions > than # of all other daily activities. And I listen to my newly minted playlist “Inspiration — Fall 2014” and go through “Came To My Rescue,” “All the Poor and Powerless,” and “Take Heart.” I have no secular inspiration since Taylor Swift broke up with Spotify. I think I’m taking her Spotify breakup harder than my last personal one… no offense, Ex.

And all I want is for my body and mind and soul to be comforted. When my Nana died in July 2011, her sons gave her eulogy. Nana was sick with multiple systems atrophy and her body slowly and painfully shut down over the course of ten years as she stopped cooking, stopped sewing, stopped walking, planned her funeral, and then spent a few more years waiting for the end.

My dad spoke of how one of her greatest joys was giving each of her grand-babies their first baths. She would gently wash them, rub their soft skin with lotion, savoring the experience. Giving them her undivided attention and treating them like they were the most precious thing on Earth. In that moment they undoubtedly were. Then she’d swaddle them in a blanket and gently rock them. Back and forth, back and forth. In his eulogy, dad said he pictured Nana in Jesus’ arms now. And Jesus was slowly rocking her back and forth, back and forth.

How do I get that on Earth?

 

 

 

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