If You’re waiting on Blue Cross and Pfizer, you’re already Dead
You know the feeling. I do too. The morning comes, you open your eyes and almost immediately you feel that dull, foggy fear. You have almost have come to expect it, sadly. The emotions, thoughts and feelings all seem to meld together such that you cannot tell one from the other. It’s the fear, the fear of something that hasn’t even happened, no matter how remote the chances of that thing happening, you have this almost overwhelming sense of impending doom. I use the word, almost, because that leaves an upside. Having an upside is important, just the idea of an upside is enough to put off the Ernest Hemingway, if but for today.
For those of us who have known that dark, spinning thing our society calls depression know full well how that plays out. I call it the “Van Gough” and refer to the whole spinning around thing as the vortex of sadness. While that might sound silly, it offers a chance at some humor. I mean it ain’t that funny, that I get. But, you likely also know that some days are better than others. While the beginning does not necessarily define the end, coming out of the gate already getting sucked down the vortex is not your first choice.
One of the problems most folks have is the difficulty pulling out of the spin. It’s as if the thing takes a life of its’ own and just gathers energy and becomes faster. Like those people on the Weather Channel screaming, standing in the light chop on Panama City Beach, the incipient storm is sucking up anything, and everything, that it can use as fuel. The laws of Newton, Eisenstein and Hawking mean nothing. Natural laws having nothing to do with this fantastical matrix world that has taken over your brain.
More, faster, better. Oh, and more. That about right? The new, new world we find around us might not be a root cause (although it might), but it ain’t helping. I just mentioned the spinning thing, what better example could there be than the always late, too slow, due yesterday techno bullshit world we find around us, at least here in America. We have somehow collectively come to believe that this frenetic consumption of material stuff is important. Its’ only importance lies in some spreadsheet on some power point ‘deck’ used in some absurdly stupid analyst quarterly earnings call.
One of my favorite physical examples of our day to day absurdity is that landfill with doors we call Wal-Mart. There is not a whole lot left to say. Just go look. Even if I’m feeling pretty good that day, just the thought of going to Wally World will invoke a spinning, breath sucking panic attack. Although I am not completely certain, I can’t be the only one.
You can probably think of 1,000 other trigger and panic points, but you get the idea. Matter of fact, you hatch the idea in countless iterations, often more than one at a time, every waking moment you can remember. Ok, you rightly now ask, “just what in the fuck do you suggest Big Boy?”. Reasonable, timely and the only reason we’re here.
Without going into more and more words, adding space but not meaning, let’s look at what both myself and my fellow “affective” disorder adherents think;
*Not the burning bush, but more the “Duh” moment. This is you, the ultimate insider. Yeah, your mind is a bad neighborhood, so get out. Like a lot of addiction, (not suggesting related to), recovery programs, your healing from depression is an inside job.
*Stay away from most forms of media, particularly social media. Yes, there are some good online forums where you may participate in discussions with folks who are suffering too. But, Facebook ain’t going to help and mainline media sources like cable and the “Big 4” are like pouring gasoline down your throat. They headline fear based “breaking news”. Everything they say is how bad, how scary, how fragile and on and on. You have zero control over it. Do not ruminate on this crap.
*Learn how to breathe. Seriously, obviously you can breathe if you’re reading this. However, look on YouTube (allowed media if used therapeutically), it’s full of good breathing, yoga, mindfulness content.
*I said it above but pay attention to mindfulness. This is another way of saying to stay in the moment. Read a book by Eckhart Tolle, or an author of your choice. Read Ecclesiastes, anything to remind you to stay in the right now.
*You gotta’ move. I like cycling myself. That’s me. You can pick whatever you want, just do something! Walk around the block, beat a heavy bag with a baseball bat, jog. You will be amazed how this works. Now, it might be hard to get going. I recall walking in to the gym only to get 10 steps and turn around and leave, such was the worrisome and ruminating state of my mind. Maybe using the word mood is better. Your mind is fine, it’s mostly the operator chosen setting that’s creating the noise. Oh, and eventually, I was able to go to the gym, stay in the gym and even began cycling outside. As of this writing, I have a coach and last week did 11.5 hours over 163 miles. Yes!
*Since we’re at it, learn to recognize the difference between the ‘noise’ and what’s real and relevant to you. Go back to number 2. The internet and the media are 99% useless noise, the kind intentionally designed to capture your attention and focus you on, at best, bullshit. At worst, really horrible things that may, or may not, exist. None of it is within your control. Purge this memory bank from your head.
*Trying to emulate a real US medical website, here is the first big contradiction. The second thing listed here, “stay away from media” does not count for really cool stuff that makes you feel better. I am primarily thinking about stuff like YouTube here. You can watch your favorite bands, even from the day, performing live, for example. There are videos of exercises, information about natural stuff the Big Three hide and lie about (Big Pharma, Big Hospital and Big Insurance) and misrepresent. Here, you can develop your separate the noise from the signal skills. Believe me, watching Stevie Nicks perform “Edge of Seventeen” beats the shit out of talking to a licensed medical professional tell you how wrong you are, and that Pfizer knows better.
*Pray. Pick a name, pick whatever you deem a higher power than you. I know a guy who venerates his Nescafe machine. Don’t matter, get out of that head.
*The voice in your head is just that, a voice in your head. Be aware that it’s all mostly bullshit. You know, in your gut, you are simply somebody else’s projection of some idea. They don’t know you, never will.
*Finally, make a decision to be a badass. By that, I mean take charge, be aggressive and dictate what you will tolerate. Remember the big secret, you get what you tolerate.
I am pretty sure I am not 100% correct here. Nobody else is either. You are in charge of your own treatment, recovery and care. The doctors are no longer in charge. They are wonderful, have made big sacrifices but have been almost completely marginalized by Big Money. Always remember, The Big 3 will kill you for money. Even a cursory glance at recent history will confirm this ad infinitum.
Good luck. Godspeed. Cheers!