Today I Am Sad and That’s OK (I Think)

I woke up sad today.

Granted, I have plenty of reasons why this would be acceptable.
1 It was my first day back after a long vacation. It was my first day away from the dogs after a terribly short time with them after said vacation. Last and foremost, it was a day where I was settling back into my normal routine after spending a week family members who I get to see once or twice a year at best.

So, I can hear you thinking
2, big, fat, hairy deal. You had a nice time off, now you have to return to the drudgery of work. Get over yourself. You’re a grown up3 and this is what grown ups do. We all have to work, it’s what pays for our fun times.

Great, you all sound like The Mrs.

Brief note: I’ve always hated that idea that you do what you do for a living so you can afford to do the things that you enjoy. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who does what he loves for a living and gets paid for it.
4 I haven’t gotten there yet, but I have gotten to the point where I am getting paid for doing what I love, just not enough to quite the day job.

However, this post isn’t about whether or not I enjoy what I do for a living or even a rant about how unfair it is that I have to get up and go to a job.
5 This is about how frightening it is to be sad for someone with clinical depression.

For a major chunk of my life now, I have been treated with one medication or another to deal with my depression.
6 I’ve come to accept this as part of my daily routine, like drinking coffee or taking any of the other medications I am on.7 It does present a problem, however, when I start to feel sad. I enter this weird, anxious mental state where I start to overanalyze every aspect of my feelings. Is this a normal sad or the beginning of one of those really dark sads that lead to that black spiral where I sit in a dark room thinking about what a horrible person I am and how everyone would be better off without me?

Let me give you an example of how this thought process works:
I went to Barnes and Noble after work
10/11. The person in front of me in line was a police officer. I noticed that he was using both hands to hold the books he was planning on purchasing (actually, he was reading one of them). After my usual question “Doesn’t the creaking of that leather belt drive him crazy?” I wondered how easy it would be to grab his sidearm. Naturally this lead to a scenario in which someone grabs a sidearm and shoots himself, probably because he was infected with an alien parasite or had recently been diagnosed with the zombie plague.13

This lead to an internal debate about whether or not this counted as suicidal ideation or if I was just coming up with a story idea. Or was the story idea line just a cover for the actual suicidal ideation? Was this some writerly form of disassociation? Was disassociation a good thing or a bad thing?

Shit, it’s just freaking exhausting.

This was how my whole day went. Was I sad for a specific reason or being depressed? What it all boiled down to was the question “Is it OK for me to be sad?”

In the end I decided that it didn’t really matter what the reason (or lack of reason) was. I was feeling sad and I was going to embrace it. I bought a couple of books, then went to the craft store to buy some parts for a few items that I am working on. I know that it is not the best idea to write when I am sad
15, so I’ll skip writing today, but I might do a little plotting for one of the longer projects.

Then I’m going to eat some Oreos and Nutter Butters (which I picked up on the way home), have a drink (contraindicated on most of the medications I mentioned earlier, but fuck that), snuggle with the dogs, and alternate reading and watching stupid YouTube videos.

Because sometimes you have to just embrace your feelings

And if I’m sad when I wake up tomorrow?

I’m not going to worry about that now.

1 We’ll come back to the last word in this sentence.

2 Yes, I can hear you thinking. Can you try and keep it down?

3 Fuck you, I am not!

4 How’s that set of expectations working out for you?

5 Because that lousy jerk won’t draw my lottery numbers. I hate her!

6 Or bi-polar disorder, depending upon which health care professional you ask.

7 Like the ones to bring down my cholesterol, or to control my blood pressure, or prevent kidney stones, or my blood sugar, or my acid reflux, or my testosterone level...

8 I actually thought I was healthy until The Mrs made me go see a doctor.

9 That’s crap, I’m an aging fatass with the associated problems (many of which would go away if I got rid of the fatass part).

10 I almost wrote B. Dalton’s. Crap, I’m old.

11 Because Retail Therapy!

12 Actually, I was trying to return a book. I ordered
Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear because it was footnoted in an article I read. They sent me Combat Ready Kitchen: How the US Military Shapes the Way You Eat. Common mistake.

13 I’m always thinking of new story ideas.

14 A question that I am sure a lot of people have asked themselves for a variety of reasons.

15 As this post probably proves. Sorry!

16 Kind of ironic, considering the number of Spockumentaries I watched last week.