Coping

It is so hard sometimes.  Now and then, it seems that life is determined to grind you into the dirt, spit on you, set you on fire, toss you off a cliff and then kick you in the shins.

I’ve been having a difficult time of late.  It culminated when I found that I’d managed to really, thoroughly  fuck up.

So, my brother, the only family I have left invited me to his wedding (he’s been married for 6 years and they are finally throwing themselves a little ceremony).  This is a huge bright point that I eagerly, enthusiastically tried to grasp.

I poked around for inexpensive flights (there are none between here and the three airports that are sort of nearish to him).   I bought a pretty dress, and underpinnings and things.

Did I mention that it was short notice and the wedding very soon?

Anyway.  Back to me fucking up my finances.

I managed to catch the flu of hacking snotfullness and spent a week out of work (sleeping, taking meds, sleeping some more, hacking my lungs out, putting them back into my body).  Somewhere in there, I lost track of what the hell I was doing and managed to make myself broke-ass.

Now I am trying to get a refund on the airfare.  I’ve returned some things I bought.  I have no idea is any of the things I’ve done will get me out of the deep hell hole I managed to dig.  But I am trying.  I will keep trying.

Meanwhile.  I have not see my brother in over a decade. I have not met my 5 y.o. niece or my 3 y.o nephew.  I have not been back in my home state in…well, I don’t know for sure exactly.   I desperately want to go to this wedding and see them.

Plus, I have been not sleeping at night.  My dreams are full of dead people and strangeness.  Like Supernatural levels of strangeness.   Actually, I think Dean & Sam showed up in one or two.

Then.

On Saturday, my partner took me to the beach.  I don’t know if I can express what that means to me.  No, I really can’t.  There are simply no words.

I needed to stick my toes in the sand and the surf. And just sit and be.  There in the sun and wind, hearing the crash of the ocean, watching the tide come in.

It was glorious.

I don’t know exactly what I will do but I feel much better to handle whatever.

Tools from my Coping Box

Those of us with major depression (and I imagine, other mental health issues) build a Coping Box for those times when our brain weasels run rampant.  One of the tools in mine is reading.  I love to read.  It brings me joy and escape and sometimes deep ponderings.  I mostly read speculative fiction aka SF&F.

Sadly, one of the side effects of my depression is the lack of focus so sometimes, I am unable to actually sit and read an entire novel.  I do enjoy short stories and those are wonderful and useful for when I need a few moments of enjoyment and/or a brief flight of fantasy.  I find it easier these days to handle a tablet and read an ebook than to pick up a hardcopy book.  This also saddens me because I love the physical feel of a book in my hand and turning each page.  Also, the smell!  Especially old, much loved and worn books.

Besides the wonders of short story anthologies and magazines, I have also turned to podcasts to get my fix.  My first was Escape Pod which is focused on science fiction short stories.  The founder of that podcast then added one for fantasy called PodCastle and one for horror called Pseudopod.  Recently added to this wonderful family for fiction is the podcast Cast of Wonders  which is for YA sf/f.    Others I have in regular rotation are: The Drabblecast which is Strange Stories, By Strange Authors, for Strange Listeners, Clarkesworld Podcast a podcast of selections from Clarkesworld Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine Podcast a podcast of selections from Lightspeed Magazine, Kaleidocast a podcast of wonderfully diverse sff stories!  There are many, many more.

So for folks like me who enjoy reading, you may want to try short stories, audiobooks and/or podcasts to work around those stupid focus tricks depression plays on you.