Piglet on Depression

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Fact: I hate Pooh Bear.

Fact: Piglet is annoying, but correct.

Fact: Getting help is worth it. If you don’t know who to ask or what to do, Google it or contact me up there on the right and I’ll do my best to help.

Material for my book is happening

Because I say so, listen to this while you read: 

Y’all, I moved to Texas two months ago and have felt exactly like this every day:

Say "everything's bigger in Texas" one more time.

Say “everything’s bigger in Texas” one more time.

Our closing was postponed by 5 days while our possessions were on a truck along with my suitcase, because I AM A GENIUS. During that time we had the Mother-in-Law staycation, while we were homeless because all of our possessions were on a truck and we couldn’t close on the new house yet because we hadn’t closed on the old house. During MILStaycation, I had exactly two McDonald’s apple pies, two TCBY mint chocolate chip shakes, a bunch of sunflower seeds, 42 cups of coffee (half were iced), and bites of ham and cheese. That was my diet for a week. Super health nut, I know.

And so, we moved to Texas. Three children, one husband, and one basset hound, The Honorable Former Judge Lucille Brown of the Great State of Mississippi. This is the house.

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It kind of looks like a painting, but it’s real. I have real landscaping with real roses and oleander in the backyard. I have a courtyard that I can lock, so no one can actually come to my front door if I so desire. Suck it, trick or treaters.

Here are half of the light switches for my open concept living/kitchen. Yes, I’ve been watching way too much HGTV and I have open concept everything in my home. And granite and wood and tile floors. Just once I want the people on House Hunters to say “UGH! Granite countertops?! I want butcher block counters and wall-to-wall linoleum, textured wallpaper and all vertical blinds.”

I have no idea what turns on what.

I have no idea what turns on what.

Like I said, we have a dog. She’s a hound dog. We got this note stuck in the gate of our courtyard after being in our new neighborhood for one week.

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First, I do not respect someone who writes in Arial and prints a note to a neighbor in landscape mode. Yes, let me adjust my seven-year-old hound dog’s morning routine for you. Is there anything else I can do? Do the tiny yippy dogs not bother you? Just my hound dog? And, she did not howl for 30 minutes; I am home every weekday until 7:40 and I would never let her howl for more than a couple of minutes. Also, I do tutoring for English/Grammar if you’d like to drop by. No, I don’t – I hate people, but seriously – it’s called proofreading.

Because we are such wonderful pet owners, we decided to adopt a kitten. Actually two kittens, but one died due to Fading Kitten Syndrome. I promise I am not making this up. This is the kind of shit that happens to me because of course it does. This is F. Catz Fitzgerald.

We have the same color hair.

We have the same color hair.

We adopted Fitz the day before Easter. Guess what? There was a note waiting on my car when we happily carried the kitten to come home with us. Texas hates my guts. Texas couldn’t hate my guts more if I punched the ghost of Ladybird Johnson. The Ghost of Ladybird Johnson is my new band’s name, by the way. Here is the note from the person who hates my parking.

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Yes, they wished me a happy Easter and drew a picture of what may be a happy sun. You should know that I was parked far away from any other cars in the parking lot and there were no other cars around me when I returned to my car. I do not understand the Texas Notewriters, but I suppose I need to carry stationery in my car just in case. Hell, I’m putting one of my typewriters on the dashboard, baby. Y’all are going to get real notes – and I’ll sign them with my name, not anonymously as if I’m writing for the greater good of society. Bitches. Of course, I’m not going to do this because I’m in Texas and everyone has a handgun, shotgun, and grenades in their trucks and I’m afraid of them. I mean, THIS is an ambulance.

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Really, this is around the corner from my subdivision. Everything in Texas is on steroids. It’s not that things are bigger, it’s that they’re on steroids and have major anger issues. As well as other issues. Even the art is angry. What do you expect when this is a painting in my new favorite restaurant?

10286931_10203803588345242_8307309927972585748_oTexas came in like a wrecking ball. No joke.

More later. Working on some random thoughts. There are many.

Edit: in my foolishness, I forgot to mention that the name of my town is HUMBLE. AND THAT IS IRONY, ALANIS.

Not the same

Once again, it’s Ben Folds. So much of these — “Not the Same” and “Learn to Live With What You Are.” What if it’s all about finding yourself and then figuring out that’s not who you are at all, then learning to live with that? Deep thoughts with Kerry Faler (courtesy of her pretend boyfriend/musical and lyrical genius, Ben Folds). Don’t call me for years and when you do – yeah, and I’ll still be here.

You took a trip and climbed a tree
At Robert Sledge’s party
And there you stayed ’till morning came
And you were not the same after that

You gave your life to Jesus Christ
And after all your friends went home
You came down, you looked around
And you were not the same after that

(Ahhh ahhh)
You were not the same after that
(Ahhh ahhh)
You were not the same after that

You see ’em drop like flies from the bright sunny skies
They come knocking at your door with this look in their eyes
You’ve got one good trick and you’re hanging on you’re hanging on…
To it

You took the word and made it heard
And eased the people’s pain and for that
You were idolised, immortalised
And you were not the same after that

Walking tall, you’d bought it all
And you were not the same after that
Till someone died on the waterslide
And you were not the same after that

You see ’em drop like flies from the bright sunny skies
They come knocking at your door with this look in their eyes
You’ve got one good trick and you’re hanging on you’re hanging on to it

(ooh ooh ooh ooh)
(YOU WERE NOT THE SAME!)

You see ’em drop like flies from the bright sunny skies
They come knocking at your door with this look in their eyes
You’ve got one good trick and you’re hanging on you’re hanging on:

You’re hanging on:
You’re hanging on:

 

AND “Learn to Live With What You Are.” These two songs go hand in hand in my opinion.

I know that you’re in there
I can see you
You’re saying you’re ok
I don’t believe you

And now that the gig is off
The spell is broken
The fat lady sung
The president has spoken

These days that you were waiting for
Will come and go
Like any day
Just another day

There’s never gonna be a moment of truth for you
While the world is watching
All you need is the thing you forgotten
And that’s to learn to live with what you are

So freak out if you wanna
And I’ll still be here
Don’t call me for years and when you do
Yeah, I’ll still be here

I’m not saying the effort is a waste of time – but I
Just love you for the things you couldn’t change
Though you’ve tried
These hours of confusion they will soon expire
Like everything
Does

There’s never gonna be a moment of truth for you
While the world is watching
All you need is the thing you’ve forgotten
And that’s to learn to live with what you are

Sometimes
Everything you’ve ever wanted
Floats above
He’s sticking out his tongue and laughing
While everything
Anyone can ever need
Is down below
Waiting for you
To know this
There’s never gonna be a moment of truth for you
While the world is watching
All you need is the thing you’ve forgotten
And that’s to learn to live with what you are

You got to learn to live with what you
You got to learn to live with what you
Are

 

 

my depression hiatus

I haven't been able to blog lately. It's not that I didn't want to. I want to talk about something no one talks about, because there is still a stigma about it, and that's depression. 

This isn't going to be a "woe is me" post, don't worry. And if you feel like skipping this one, go ahead, it's okay. 

I've struggled with depression for most of my life. It's not something you'd notice if you were to meet me or if you know me. Unless you're a very close friend, chances are you don't know this about me. Most depressed people, save for the ones in hospitals or acting in commercials, don't look or seem depressed. We don't lie in bed all day and think about ways to kill ourselves. We have lives and families and jobs and blogs. We put smiles on in public and hold it together for the most part. I'm fun and vibrant and fabulous. Sometimes I feel like it's a mask that I wear, but that's the thing about depression — I have to face the world at some point and I can't look like the before woman in those ads. 

"Oh, Cheer Up!" Well, thank you, well-meaning friend, but I can't. It's not as simple as snapping out of it or I would. I know that you care, but it's not that I'm just in a bad mood or bummed about something. It's nothing and at the same time it's everything. Some days are better than others. Lately, I've had more of the latter. It's okay. I'm used to it, but it's still hard. And it's difficult to explain to people who haven't dealt with depression before. Most people have had periods of being down or upset for a while, but it usually passes. People generally don't understand that it never completely goes away for me. Most people don't want to hear about it either. And I understand that. For crying out loud, there are uprisings going on in Libya right now and we're in a financial crisis and I'm depressed about WHAT EXACTLY? Exactly.

As much as I hate to say it, depression is a very real mental illness. It's just as real as my hypothyroidism or high blood pressure. I take medication for it, as I do for my other chronic illnesses. I also have anxiety. Depression and anxiety are like the mental illness one-two punch of my life. They're like a good cop/bad cop, only they're both bad cops. Like if Gary Busey and Nick Nolte were both bad cops in a buddy cop movie. Steven Segal and Jean Claude Van Damme. Jackie Chan and AHNOLD. You get the picture. Ha! Movie = picture. The depressed girl can still write a bad pun!

So, that's that. I'm glad we had this talk. I think we all learned something. And by "something," I think we both know that the something is that I've given Hollywood bad buddy cop movie ideas. I'll be back with something completely different soon.

Love,

Kerry

a project

A few years ago I was visiting my grandfather in the hometown and he told me he had something he wanted  me to see. When people say things like this it usually scares me. He left the room and came back with a very old photo album, the kind where the pages were made of paper and the photos were glued on. He said he knew I was into scrapbooking and figured I could preserve my great-grandmother's photo album and handed it to me. It was held together with twill ribbon and the pages were disintegrating with each turn. 

Photoalbum

I took the album home, put it in a drawer and didn't think about it much. For some reason today I decided to organize my scrap office (my hair appointment was canceled and I had an unplanned two hours) and came across the photo album. The pages were falling out, it smelled of old paper, and was dropping black flecks all over me. The pictures are great. It's really a great treasure to have them, but now I have to do something with this album.

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You would think this project would be right up my alley, but I've never worked on any type of preservation before. This will require removing the photos (and contacting someone on the best way to remove them), scanning and editing them, and deciding what to do with them afterward. This is going to be a real project, one I can't think of until I'm finished with next month's ScrapFest. The other hard thing about this is the photos were my great-grandmother's, who passed away in 1998, so I can't exactly ask her who the people in the album are. So, I have inherited an album full of unknown relatives (except for my great-grandparents and my grandfather and his sister). My great-grandfather is easy to spot in pictures because he was 6'7" and skinny. I obviously take after my grandmother's side, that would be Mammaw Patsy.

The picture on the right sits on my desk. It's one of my favorites. The photo album belonged to my great-gandmother in the picture, her name was Katie or Sister Katie when she was at church. We named our second daughter after her. She was strong and stoic and loved Jesus. She sent me two dollars for my birthday every year until she died. Her engagement ring was a giant ruby that I coveted (no, I didn't get it when she passed).  She pronounced my name "K-ree" because she was from Texas. I may have to bring "K-ree" back because it's fun and it kind of suits me, don't you think?

And so, now I have her pictures. I'll be chronicling this project after I start it and I'll share photos as I come across them. For today, here's some of my relatives showing you how one does the beach.

Photo copy

 

 

on e-manners and general douchebaggery

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When did it become commonplace to be an punk ass jerk for no reason? I count my lucky stars that I do not have to go into a workplace everyday (because let me tell you, my temperament couldn't take it) and that I work from home. I usually don't have to make a lot of phone calls for my business and mostly communicate via email, thus making my dealings with people rather nice.

Last week I had to call someone about ordering something and things got unpleasant. I'm an amateur graphic designer and I don't profess to be a graphics genius, but Mr. Jerkface got all "I know more than you" before he even knew I was the designer of the artwork I was having screen printed. Sure, insult my graphic designer who happens to be me — go ahead. And while you're at it take the "you're a woman and can't possibly understand the computer terms I'm using" attitude with me as well. Well, he didn't know he was dealing with She Who Will Not Be Messed With and I went all I KNOW YOU DIDN'T on him. Trust me, I can go from America's Sweetheart to Bitch faster than Whitney Houston can say "oh, hell to the no." When I talked to him this week his douchebag attitude had changed. Gee, wonder why.

This morning I emailed a shop about getting a pricey item at a discount in exchange for promoting her shop. I was practically Splenda-sweet in my email and didn't ask for anything for free. Not only did she send me a full-on bitch reply, she scolded me for not reading her site policy, which she stated was on her home page (it wasn't, it was on her policy page). If I felt like it, I would send a reply to her reply, telling her where things are located on her website, but I think I'll let her go ahead and feel like an awesome person. I also have designed a few websites, so I know a little something on how to find something on the web. Anysite, she lost a customer.

I don't understand the non-hesitation to be asinine. Is it that we no longer have face-to-face dealings with actual human beings anymore? Does the anonymity of hiding behind a phone or computer give one the right to be a douchebag to anyone who has the nerve to contact you? In both of the communications I'm writing about I was attempting to purchase something from shops that are open for business. Being an ass is a good way to lose business. As a business owner, I realize that and I don't understand why others fail to grasp that concept. 

Yesterday I received an email from someone who was angry about receiving an email newsletter to which she had subscribed. I didn't understand that one. 

I wonder if manners have gone the way of the typewriter and are no longer relevant. I hope not. 

Thank you for reading and please come back tomorrow for something else. 

 

Love,

Kerry

 

P.S.  Please and Thank You are still nice to hear, aren't they?

Tuesday randomness

It's a pajama day for me.  It was storming this morning and I went back to bed after getting the kids on their respective buses.  I thought I'd bring you up to speed on the randomness that is my life.

Last night I realized I'd worn my bra inside out all day.  If you're a woman (or a cross-dresser, there is no judging on the Kerry Blog) and you've ever put your bra on inside out, you know that you have to be Houdini to get it off.

My dog just scared herself and I laughed hysterically.

I think my dog is gaining weight.  She ate a Christmas ornament this morning.  I think she has an eating disorder.

Yesterday I changed my ringtone to "Christmas in Hollis" as I do every Christmastime.  

One has to find fun where one can.

My 9 year-old calls Wheat Thins "Thin Wheats."  Kids are weird.

Yesterday the little old man who always speaks to me at Target said he was disappointed to not see me on Black Friday because he knows I am a mystery shopper.  I replied, "I'm a mystery alright."  

I am not a mystery shopper.  Everyone knows I shop.  I'm practically a professional.  For realz.

Professor Dr. Hillary (I like referring to her by her titles or Dr. Hilly or Hilljary) and I went to one of our favorite places, Casa Garcia (or Casa G if you're gangsta) and I'm not sure if we can go back.  I'd told Hilljary that I'd seen an ad that said Casa G now had a lunch buffet, but we didn't see one.  We went back and forth over asking our server if there was one because you never know, they could have it hidden somewhere.  Hillary asked and our server said we must have seen the ad about catering.  So, I asked if they could cater our lunch and set up a buffet because we'd like one of everything on the menu.  I'm pretty sure she will never wait on us again.  

I wouldn't blame her.  

At Barnes and Noble, Dr. Hilly found one of those daily tear-off calendars of inspirational quotes and bought it for me because she knows I hate inspirational quotes.  

FYI:  if I read your inspirational quote status update on Facebook, I mentally gag.

I'm going to make an anti-inspirational quote calendar with things like "we're all going to die one day" and "Spanx wouldn't hurt, I'm just saying."

Now that I think about it, I may also write a self-help book or become a motivational speaker.

 

seriously?

So, now the Great Insurance Debate of 2010 has started over the accident I was in earlier this month.  

I was on the phone with my insurance adjuster for 28 minutes yesterday afternoon.  As a friend said, those are 28 minutes I'll never get back.  The adjuster interviewed me and told me it was being recorded, I told the story of what happened.  I don't think the adjuster was supposed to laugh during the interview.  He said he's never heard of an accident like the one I was in.  For those of you who missed that post, here's the basic story – I hit a trailer that had come unattached from an RV. It had been towing a golf cart. An 18-wheeler hit it first, then an SUV hit the golf cart, then I sideswiped the trailer which was standing vertically in my lane.  You know, that old story.

This morning I received a call from the insurance company of the RV.  They wanted my account of the accident and that adjuster laughed as well.  I'm apparently a comedian.

This all has me doing my impression of R. Kelly in this scene from the hiphopera Trapped in the Closet.

Rkelly

I mean seriously.  

 

dear diary

A story, but first…

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Back in the day (which spans the mid 80s to the mid 90s), I kept a journal.  When I was about 11, it was a real deal diary complete with lock and key, where I wrote about goings on in 6th grade and my infatuation with a boy named Allen.  By 8th grade it was John and writing about making friends and losing friends and music. There was always music.  In high school I amassed a collection of journals — sometimes marbled composition notebooks, hard-backed book journals, random notebooks — almost any bound paper would do.  

And in those journals I tucked away every thought, emotion, and experience.  First date, first kiss, first heartbreak.  First love, first dark place, first lies.  There were names named and there were things written in a way that only I knew what I meant.  There were pages of poetry, stream of consciousness, well-thought out plans, drawings, song lyrics, letters never sent, and lots of wishes.   I wrote for the school paper, for the city newspaper, and for myself.  Writing for myself, in my journals was always where I felt most at home, using my voice, where there were no rules.  

It was probably 1994 when I gave up journal writing.  By then I was writing papers on dead authors in college. Nothing quite kills an expressive writer like writing about dead writers.

In 2003, I was a mom of a two-year old and needed to send pictures of the munchkin to family, so instead of doing what a normal woman would do, I started a website.  In 2003 there was no such thing as "mommy bloggers."  I posted pictures of the kid and wrote about my life in Canada, my book club, play dates, and snow.

At some point I made the switch from the website to Blogspot, then to Wordpess, then to Typepad.  And at some point I started posting fewer things about mom life and more about my life.  I suppose that's when the blog turned into my journal, where once again there were no rules.  I cared more about writing and entertaining myself than entertaining my family members, which is when other people started reading. Writing is a great form of communication, an outlet, and a way of life for me.  A lot of you get that.  Maybe you kept journals back in the day too.  

So, friends and interwebs strangers, thanks for being there through a difficult week, when I needed to write to feel a connection.  The Facebook notes have been great.  But seriously, no inspirational quotes, I can't take it.  

If I sound jaded it's only because I am.  And I say that with love.  

Love your guts,

Kerry

never leaving the house again: part 2

This is Part 2.  Part 1 is below this post.  It's already been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Blogging.  

 

My Saturday in the hometown started nicely with a great visit with Darla, her twins, and hubs.  Good times.  I had planned to meet my dad, grandmother, and his fiancé and called him after leaving Darla's.  He told me that my aunt, her boyfriend, and his fiancé's sons would be meeting us — because it was a good time for me to meet them.  Of course it was!  

I sat between my dad and my grandmother, showed pictures on my iPhone of the kids, asked about my other aunts — the usual.  It was going well.  The fiancé was late, as were her two sons.  I have a thing for punctuality, but I let it go because I was in one of my favorite restaurants and my grandmother was unintentionally cracking me up.  I should have known things would turn crazy.

When our food arrived, my dad held out his hands to me and my aunt and asked me to say a blessing.  Now, this would not surprise me if it were my grandfather, but this was my dad.  

The extent of my spiritual conversations with my dad goes something like this: once I was home from college for Thanksgiving or Christmas and was watching Oprah in my parent's living room, half-way paying attention to the show and reading a magazine.  Deepak Chopra was on talking about what he viewed the afterlife to be. At a commercial break, my father says, "you know, I do believe we go somewhere when we die."  THAT'S IT. THE END.  I grew up going to a protestant church with my grandparents, volunteered every year as a teen at VBS, was active in a college Christian organization — the whole nine yards.  My parents were not church-goers and besides the nightly blessing over dinner, God was not a big topic of conversation.  We never prayed in restaurants.  

And so, I said a blessing.  I'm accustomed to praying aloud — just not with this side of the family.  Not ten seconds after I said "amen," my aunt's boyfriend voiced his opinion that prayers should be silent as to each individual's personal preference.  I had offended him.  Great.  Later, my grandmother corners me in the restroom and tells me the fiancé is Jewish.  So, I guess it was a good thing I held back on my prayer and didn't mention the blood of Christ washing away our sins to pave the way for our eternal salvation.  You know, I wouldn't want to offend anyone else.  

After lunch I drove for a bit to process the day so far.  

That night I had a perfectly nice dinner and visit with a friend and afterward was going westbound on I-20 when what seemed like a nightmare began to unravel.  I hit something metal that was standing straight up in the left lane.  After I hit it, I looked in my rear-view mirror in time to see the car behind me hit whatever "it" was and start spinning.  I didn't know what to do, so I drove over the overpass that was before me and pulled over safely, put on my hazards and checked out the damage.  It didn't look that bad, I wasn't injured, but I was hysterical.  I called Triple A and they called the state troopers for me, told me to sit tight and wait, so I did. There were several emergency vehicles on the other side of the interstate by this time, crossing the median to get to the scene.  All I could see were their lights behind me glowing and there were no cars passing me at all. I tried calling the hubs, no answer.  I called my friend Will.  I cried.  I was okay.  I told myself to breathe.  I called the hubs again, this time he answered.  I told him I didn't know what I hit, but I wasn't the only car involved and moments later a deputy appeared at my door.

The deputy escorted me back to the wreck site and told me that it was a six car accident, but one car left the scene. I hit a trailer that had come unattached from an RV. It had been towing a golf cart. An 18-wheeler hit it first, then an SUV hit part of it, then I sideswiped the trailer. My car was the only one that was drivable.  It was terrifying and I was told that if I would have been in the right lane I'd be dead.  None of the vehicles involved had lights on.

I barely remember driving back to my hotel.  

Sunday morning I got up, cried, cried some more, and got ready to check out.  I went by my grandfather's house and told my mom what had happened, had coffee, and told her I'd call when I made it back home.  I had breakfast with Molly and her two boys, then left for my five-hour trip home.  I drove like a grandma.  

The damage to the car is not impressive.  I'm not sure about the damage to my emotional state.  I'm not eager to get behind the wheel again.  The hubs went to the grocery store today because I couldn't do it.  We were planning on making the trip up for Thanksgiving, but now I'm not so sure. I may be making the cornbread dressing and sweet potato pie myself (if someone gets me the ingredients).  

So, Universe, you win.  

I'm not leaving the house again.  It's okay, really.  It will give me time to organize my closet and maybe learn to knit or quilt or clean.  It's a good thing, right?