It’s not always who you think it is.

It’s not always who you think it is.

DIkVL_hXkAEUPBc.jpg

If you broke a bone, people would want to sign your cast. If you had a cold, people would offer all kinds of tried and true home remedies for that. If you had cancer, the sympathy and help would pour in. We are 100% OK with helping people with visible illnesses, and that is amazing.

Collectively, we suck when it comes to acknowledging mental illnesses and struggles though. We think that telling someone “you just need to snap out of it,” or “it could be worse,” or “it’s all in your head,” or “there’s more to life than….” is all it takes to magically “fix” people when they just aren’t OK. MAYBE hearing something like that is enough for a few people, but honestly, it’s more likely to just make someone feel even worse, and isolated, and alone.

Monday (9/10) this week was World Suicide Prevention Day. Worldwide, the suicide statistics are pretty damn alarming. Every 40 seconds someone in the world commits suicide, and for every one of those people, it’s estimated another 20 people attempt suicide, or have serious suicidal thoughts. Every 40 seconds. Every. Single. Day.  It goes without saying that we should ALL check on our people, and often. Touch base with your freaking friends and family once in a while, and not just the ones that you think might be depressed, because the truth is, depression looks a whole hell of a lot different than you think it does.

Hollywood depression is easy to recognize: sad, withdrawn, never socializes, cries a lot, sleeps a lot, wears a lot of black, maybe drinks or uses drugs excessively. You’ve seen it in the movies and on TV; you know what I’m talking about. Hollywood depressed is easy to be concerned about, but it’s not all Hollywood depression.

Depression also looks like this:

  • Working 70 hours in 5 days every week to try to stay on top of your finances and having absolutely nothing left to give at the end of the day.
  • Not sleeping at night even though you’re exhausted because it simply takes too much effort to shut your brain down enough to sleep.
  • Spending an ungodly amount of money (that you should probably put towards your own debt) to help someone else survive because at least this way it feels like you’re doing something good for someone.
  • Always feeling like you need to be the “fixer” for other people, because you know what broken feels like, and you don’t want other people to experience that.
  • Being the funny one
  • Buying new clothes even though they absolutely are not in the budget, because the thought of doing laundry is just far too overwhelming.
  • Throwing your dishes away and buying new ones because the kid “cleaned” his room and brought 6 million dirty dishes to the kitchen and left them for you to do.
  • 2 naps on a Saturday because you don’t have anything better to do, and that mess in the house will still be there tomorrow anyway. Besides, you worked 70 hours in the 5 previous days, so it’s not like you don’t deserve to relax.
  • Avoiding church activities so you don’t have to answer questions about your personal life, or complete lack thereof.
  • Spending all the time with the kids because they adore you and you just need someone to think you’re worth it, even if they are 3 years old.
  • Being the one who is constantly there for everyone, no matter when, and no matter what they need, all while wishing someone would just want to do for you even 1/10 of what you do for other people.

Obviously that’s not an all-inclusive list. The point remains though, that depression looks different for EVERYBODY. Some people handle it differently than others, and obviously some people have a much more difficult time with it than others. Just because someone seems like they have everything going their way, doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling.

There’s a reason you often hear “I had no idea they were struggling until it was too late.” Life is unbelievably difficult, and the strong ones need support from their people every bit as much as the people they are always working so hard to make sure things are OK for. Check on your people. Yes, even the strong ones. Especially the strong ones.

 

 

Advertisements
Eight years ago today

Eight years ago today

It was 8 years ago today, I know because Facebook memories told me so, that I took my kid, and the girl who I had spent the previous 7 years as her “other mother” (a name given to me by her own amazing mother) to a music festival 3 hours away. It was Friday during the first week of school, and I picked them both up as soon as it was over and we took off to a town 3 hours away so my kid could see the band he wanted to see the most, Finger Eleven. I was the meanest mom in the world for not letting him skip the 3rd day of school so he could make sure he saw all of his favorite band, but that was quickly forgotten as soon as we arrived at the festival, and again when we went back for the second day.

Not that it had anything to do with the music festival, but that was also probably the last year that my kid didn’t actually hate me. I don’t mean the “You won’t let me play with my friend, you’re making me do homework, I can’t have McDonald’s for dinner for the 4th time this week,” I hate you either. The kind of I hate you that I was getting thrown at me was the “It’s your fault I don’t have a dad at home, or someone who wants to be my dad, because nobody can stand to be around you, you never do anything for me, I’m practically raising myself because you’re always at work, it’s your fault I am not doing well in school, we never do anything fun,” kind of hate. You know, the mean, spiteful kind of hate. The punching holes in my walls, breaking everything in the house, underage smoking and drinking, kind of hate. It’s the kind of hate that has left me crying in the shower on more occasions that I will ever admit, wondering where I went so horribly wrong as a parent.

This weekend, I had the chance to talk to another friend of mine, and was completely blown away when I heard that they were having similar problems with their oldest. I listened for 3 hours as this person told me about all of the problems and trials they were having with one of their children, even though the family background couldn’t possibly be more of a polar opposite to the family background at my house. This child was raised in a 2 parent, affluent household, with FAR more conveniences than my kid had, and with the added benefit of one parent working, and the other at home, able to be there for the children at any given time of any given day. This family shouldn’t be having the same problems with their kid as I am with mine. It just doesn’t make sense…at all, right?!

Towards the end of this 3 hour conversation, I realized that we had so much more in common than I ever thought we could. Both of us felt like we had failed at some point as a parent, and couldn’t for the life of us figure out where we went wrong. Both of us saw our value as a person tied directly to how these humans we had raised turned out as adults, and as the conversation wrapped up, we realized we had BOTH come to the conclusion (her through professional counselling and me through boozy conversations with my best friends) that we both gave our children all of the tools we possibly could to be decent humans. They were loved. They had all of their necessities taken care of. They each had plenty of opportunities for the fun extras. They were safe. They had seen first hand how they SHOULD treat other people for their entire lives. How they chose to use these tools was not a reflection on how they were raised, rather it was a reflection of who they were choosing to be, no matter how heartbreaking it was as a parent to watch them turn in to little assholes who didn’t care about anyone but themselves.

So be kind to people you meet; you never know who’s raising teenagers, and in the stolen words of one of the coolest people I’ve met this year, “Hug your people y’all.” (Seriously though, those people raising teenagers who are being assholes for no apparent reason definitely need your hugs.)

20180827_173734.jpg

Confessions

Confessions

These are my confessions, just when I thought I said all I can say…. Just kidding…I’m not Usher, and I have no chick on the side that’s got one on the way, but I do have some random confessions from the past few weeks nonetheless.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I had THE best weekend at a music festival with one of my favorite humans. Coming back to the reality where I don’t get to hang out with this guy every day, live in a hotel, eat pho, go to kick ass concerts, and other unmentionables was mother f-wording brutal. My mental health took one hell of a hit when I had to return to being an adult.
  • After a week of adulting bullshit, I hit a local bar with one of my very oldest friends. She wanted to go, I didn’t want to be around people that I know, but I shut that anxiety ridden portion up with a quick shot of tequila.
  • This weekend was the first time in my entire life that I didn’t have to pay for any of my drinks at a bar, and not just because my friends were paying this time. Total strangers paid for most of my drinks. I had to turn drinks down because I was the one driving. So, this is what it’s like for pretty girls. Not a bad feeling. I’m glad I could be an imposter for the night…although I could have lived without the “I just did a shot with the chick from X94” declaration…
  • One such stranger decided to hang out with us all night. I’m 100% unsure on the etiquette surrounding someone who drops $5 on a vodka soda for you because he’s trying to get in your friend’s pants, so we just chilled with the dude and some other random people until last call.
  • I felt ZERO shame when I wouldn’t let vodka soda dude physically drag me out on the dance floor, listened to his comments about how surprisingly strong I was, and then left him in the dust when the DJ dropped the Cupid Shuffle. C’mon….it’s like the Macarena…one doesn’t just stand around when that’s playing. You get your ass to the dance floor.
  • Met some guys from Texas….momentairly broke their hearts when I asked how they manage to live in Utah without Whataburger. Made up for it by offering to make fun of their enemies on the air.
  • Refrained from laughing when vodka soda guy tried to get me to drink more so he could take my friend and me home. Yeah….sorry friend. My liver is a champion, and 4 drinks over 4 hours isn’t leaving me stranded in a bar. Did you notice how I kept funneling your drinks to my BFF? It was my night to be the responsible one, even if those goosebumps were proof that my body betrayed me when you decided you were going to grab my ass and pull my hair.
  • Decided I felt a little too old and had an equally old friend play Jr. High with me. Good news…the boy I had her talk to for me is single. Bad news….in this stupid backwards state, “Do you want to grab a drink with me” apparently means “I love you and we should get married tonight,” and not the “hey, we should just get a drink and catch up” that it means in the rest of the civilized world, so yeah….that probably won’t go anywhere, but it was fun to be 14 years old again for a minute.
  • Met (OK….matched on Tinder, whatever) a ridiculously cool guy and had some pretty amazing conversations with him for about 4 days. The guy challenged me mentally. That’s a difficult task. He also knew the damn difference between your and you’re, which is apparently a lost art. He told me he hated me for where I live, so that’s where that went. (Don’t get pissed at him….It’s a valid concern!)
  • A freaking meme I saw on Facebook made me realize I tripped in to some feelings. That hit me like a ton of damn bricks. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I keep trying to brush them off, but they’re like glitter and they get freaking everywhere. Wanna know what it said? Here it is: “I have to be honest with you. I think about you a lot. All the time actually. In the morning, at night, in the middle of the day. It’s you. It’s just always you.” Shit…. Also, it’s not about the recent Tinder guy. Yeah, I know I live in Utah, but unlike the vast majority of the state, I am perfectly capable of having coffee with a guy without thinking that means we’re now in a committed relationship.
  • The kid is back home. I have no idea how long it will last, but I just about lost my shit when I told him to take the trash out and he told me “I worked 13 hours today, and I don’t need your attitude.” Um….excuse me, but last I checked, this was my house, and for the record, I worked 16 hours, so take the effing trash out and pick your pants up off the kitchen floor. (One of us may die, and my life insurance policy is worth more, so if I come up missing, y’all know what happened. Joke’s on him though; he’s not listed as the beneficiary!)
  • Did you notice the kid told me he worked 13 hours? Yeah….one of my friends took pity on him again. I hope he doesn’t mess this one up. I’m running out of local friends; especially ones that might take pity on the lost soul that is my kid…
  • I managed to make it 10 days without washing my hair. I didn’t need dry shampoo at all. I only washed it on Sunday morning because I smelled like the bar. I still am not certain whether it was the shitty mental health, or the 16 hour days at work that made the task so daunting. I’m also 100% unclear whether I should be impressed that I didn’t need to wash the green mess for that long, or if should be a little concerned that I was OK waiting that long to wash it…
Build your ideal partner

Build your ideal partner

Memes other people post provide me with endless entertainment on social media. Yesterday’s most memorable: Ladies, you have $5 to build your ideal man. Here are the options.

  1. Good looking $3
  2. Funny $1
  3. Smart $1
  4. Great in bed $2
  5. Faithful $3
  6. Wealthy $3
  7. No kids $1
  8. Tall $1
  9. Great body $2
  10. Romantic $2

People’s responses in the comments were cracking me up. (For the record, almost all of them were liars who said 10 and 5 were all they needed.) My response: It’s a good thing I manage money better than your average girl, because 1-5 are non-negotiable. This response garnered plenty of laughing reactions as well as a message telling me once again that I’m too picky and will never find someone who fits my impossible standards.

Laugh at me all you want; it’s part of my profession after all, but don’t tell me I’m too picky. Can I “build” something I’ll settle for within the limits of the game? Sure, but the game didn’t ask what I’ll settle for; I was asked to build my ideal partner. So in life, as in internet memes, I’ll continue to not play by the rules, or settle just because “it’s time for you to settle down with a nice boy…or girl if that’s what you’re in to.” Life is too short to settle just because everyone thinks you should, and options 1-5 truly are non-negotiable.

On asking for what you want

On asking for what you want

I’ve seen no less than 20 of my friends, and friends of friends post a variation of this meme in the last 3 days alone on Facebook and Instagram. For the most part, I love you all, but really?! Do we have to go there with the passive aggressive “what all girls want” post? Here it is…

15 things every girl wants from her guy but won’t ask for

  1. Good morning and Good night texts
  2. Pictures taken together
  3. Surprises, especially little ones
  4. Visiting and bringing her favorite food
  5. A hoodie with his scent on it
  6. Really long hugs
  7. Slow dances
  8. Sincere compliments
  9. Sing her favorite song, even if it’s out of tune
  10. Make her feel special
  11. Real, deep conversations
  12. Nonsense, but funny conversations too
  13. His “gentlemanliness”
  14. Comfort and patience when she’s in tears
  15. Telling her how much you love her.

Did I miss the part where as women, we aren’t allowed to just come out and ask for what we want in a relationship? I mean, every single one of the people I have seen share this lately are in a long-term relationship. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. So….what’s with the passive aggressive posting? Why not just tell your guy whatever the hell it is you need to be happy in your relationship?

Newsflash….guys aren’t mind readers, and they aren’t going to pick up on your “subtle” Facebook post. If you want his hoodie, steal it from him, and give it back when it doesn’t smell like him anymore, but if you really want the rest of that stuff, you may just need to communicate it. And while you’re at it, maybe ask him what he wants too and reciprocate. But while we’re on that…maybe ALL girls don’t want their guy to slow dance and take pictures. Some of us don’t want you ruining our favorite song by singing it out of tune, and would be perfectly happy if you just pull our hair, touch our butt (among other things), and eat tacos with us. But then, what do I really know about relationships? I’m the eternally single one, and y’all are married or spoken for…so maybe the passive aggressive thing is really what works these days…