Depression is…

Depression is the feeling you get when nothing works, everything sucks, and there’s no point in going on.

Depression is not a mood swing, nor a bad day.

Depression is the rock that sits in your brain deciding how you should respond to things.

Depression is the feeling that you’re never good enough, smart enough, sexy enough, enough enough.

Depression is the voice that says you’ll never have enough money.

Depression sticks to you like so many leeches, absorbing all of the fun and joy in life.

Depression is what tells you people are better off without you.

Depression is writing with tears in your eyes and lumps in your throat.
(Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash)

Depression is something I never understood. I never saw myself as depressed. I was a grumpy curmudgeon, a snarky smart ass, and an all-around jerk.

Depression is right here, right now.

Depression is what tells you that you’ll never be happy.

Depression is what saps the spirit and makes it hard to be creative.

Depression is what makes you fantasize about hanging yourself from a lamp post like Gerard de Nerval.

Depression is Nerval’s pet lobster, forcing you to justify to everyone why it’s your pet of choice and it’s totally sensible to lead it around on the streets at the end of a blue ribbon.

Depression is writing out what depression is and feeling it all build up inside of you.

Depression is knowing when to divert your thoughts to more positive, proactive, or functional thinking.

Depression is when that doesn’t always work.

Depression lies.

Depression lies convincingly.

Depressions lies so well you think it’s all true & accurate.

Depression makes anything and everything seems shitty. Sure, you’ll have days where everything’s great, children smile at you, dogs flock to you, your breath is minty fresh, and there’s a lightness in your step. But depression is there waiting for that one stray thought, the one that’s slower or different from the rest of the herd, so it can bore its teeth into you.

Depression is being lonely in a crowd of friends.

Depression is not wanting to make a huge fuss because you feel like an attention whore.

Depression is just playing the role that you think other people expect of you.

Depression is about not burdening your friends and loved ones with your problems.

Depression is wanting to talk to someone but knowing that you’ll cry.

Depression is just wishing someone would hug you right now.

Depression is feeling like you’re being ignored, even by those who say they love you.

Depression is saying “those who say they love you”.

Depression is realizing that it will probably kill you one day. Perhaps not by suicide but by the effects that it has on your body, your brain, your decisions, your relationships.

Depression is writing with tears in your eyes and lumps in your throat.

Depression is telling you to quit because shit has gone on long enough.

Depression is always there waiting for you.

Depression is the worst thing you can imagine.

Depression is all of this and more.

That’s what depression is.

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Stolen Time Sunday

It’s 20:00 EDT as I sit down to write this. The D means “Damnit!” as we all tried to figure out whether we Spring Forward or Fall Back asleep. I know I could use that lost hour. I could spend it reading Proust’s À La Recherche du Temps Perdu. I’ve never read it before and I should like to before any further time passes. Regardless, whomever thought Daylight Savings Time was a good idea should be rounded up and shot. Okay, maybe not shot but someone should be outside of their bedroom every night playing “Flight of the Bumblebee” on a tuba. Which reminds me of a bad pun that I just made up…

Q: Can we do this?
A: Of Korsakov

I should stick to limericks.

If Proust is not to your liking, a much easier and quicker read can be found with this Harlan Ellison classic: Paladin of the Lost Hour.

– Doing It –

It’s been noted — by the Author hisself as well as others — that I have fallen off the Happy Wagon, that I am spending too much time in my head and being “too much the artiste, Herr Case”. This is true. I’ve been in a slightly worried state, finances being what they are and external stresses dribbling into existence. I’ve let them run off with my Fun and Creativity. As a result, I’ve slacked off the path and got my wheel stuck in a muddy gulch. No, I’ve not been a happy camper.

To remedy this, I’ve hard started my creativity up again, writing up to 2,000 word per day and working on a few other things like making disturbing doodles like this.

A doodle of some odd things I've created, including a spiderwoman, a zombie face, and a guy on a cross complaining that his foot itches.

Some days, this is where my eyes go. Then I take it into MS Paint and give it a good Paint Bucketing.

Additionally, I’m writing “1,000 shitty stories” (aka finessing my craft) so that I can submit and be published. We’ll see where that road takes me.

– What I’m Listening To –

I recently downloaded the BBC Radio app to my Android. I did it in anticipation of listening to the Hexagonal Phase of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but I’ve wandered off the plains and have been enjoying BBC Radio 3, as well as Radio 4 and 4 Extra. I used to listen to this crap all of the time on my laptop or computer, so it’s nice that I can now carry these stations around with me where ever I roam. Outside of a few very valued and valuable public radio stations here in the Queen City, our radio choices are either weak shit, runny shit, coiled shit, or shit sandwiches. I quite enjoy having intelligent radio.

– Neil Gaiman Is My Funk Daddy –

One of the things that significantly jump started this new bend was going to see the glorious Neil Gaiman speak this past Thursday. I know he’s very popular and tickets run out fast whenever he speaks at a venue but if you do get the opportunity, go see this man. Aside from being an amazing writer, he has a very subtle energy that inspires one to go and do incredible things. Take, for instance, his commencement speech at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts in 2012.

As he says, making good art is difficult but when the work is done, the results can be mesmerizing. One piece of art I recently created was a writeup of the evening’s events on the Cincinnati Bloggers page, which you can read here.

So there you go, my advice to you is to make good art.

– Cincinnati Eats –

Unwilling to spend all day today stuck inside making good art, I venture into town for a very late breakfast/late lunch/pretty much on time dinner at Skyline. Forget all of the bad things you’ve heard about Cincinnati chili. The naysayers and detractors simply have no poetry in their heart or love in their soul for a regional dish that warms your body as much as it nourishes your hunger. Yes, Cincinnati chili isn’t traditional chili, which is why it is so misunderstood. It’s a Greek-inspired meat sauce drizzled over spaghetti and topped with cheese. Some get it with beans and/or onions. To me, it is ambrosia. If you’re ever in Cincinnati, allow yourself this delicacy.

Afterwards, I stopped at the nearby Aglamesis Brothers. Say what you will about Cincinnati’s German history, its culinary roots appear to be in Greece. And while Oprah Winfrey has done all she can to promote that other Cincinnati ice cream establishment, many locals rave about this humble little ice cream parlor and candy shop.

With that, I’ll leave you with a photo of my scoop of Chocolate Almond and Pistachio ice cream.

Two scoops of ice cream, chocolate almond and pistachio, from Aglamesis Brothers.

Chocolate Almond and Pistachio. The nuts make it healthy

Yes, it was delicious.

Wringing the Last Drops of 2017

It is New Year’s Eve, the last Sunday of 2017. If you’re like me and like to dick around with how we measure and view time, on the Discordian calendar, the day is Setting Orange on this The Aftermath 73rd, in the Year of Our Lady Discord 3183. Here, in Cincinnati, it is freezing cold (14F/-10C). Though I’m inside, the house is a chilly 50F/10C. The space heaters can’t keep up!

At some point, I’m trudging out into this frozen landscape for a NYE party. It’ll be the first time I’ve been to one of these in many, many years, so that should be fun.

This year has seen me have pretty stable employment. Ideally, it isn’t what I want to be doing for the rest of my life but… it works for now. The trouble is figuring out what to do for the rest of my life. I’m not certain what that is at all. What I do know is that I don’t want to do anything. Let me rephrase that… the stuff that I want to do doesn’t fall within the parameters of Capitalism. I know what I want to do: write, draw, make good art, dig deeper into my own self, find love, get laid, sin intensely, travel, and learn new things.

Naturally, this rails against the Protestant Work Ethic we are all imbued with thanks to Calvinism. These are not things that I should be doing as a man nearing the half century mark. As my old therapist said, when you should, you should all over yourself. I’ll figure out something.

I can say that I felt 2017 was a good year for me. Politics aside (and the lesser said about the shit show circus, the better), I laughed a lot, made new friends, entertained old ones, spent great time with my daughter, discovered some things about myself, and took to learning new things, recipes, and concepts. I started a new podcast with my friend, Adam, which allows me to talk about something I’m passionate about (Doctor Who, obviously), I threw myself into the study AND practice of Chaos Magic, as well as additional texts on the occult, brain change, Buddhism, and other such fuckery.

I experienced exceptional kindness from friends and stranger alike. When needed, I passed on that same kindness as best I could.

In 2018, my intent is to keep growing personally and spiritually. There are other goals: to live healthier, get off my maintenance meds, lose weight, travel, and have more exciting adventures. I want to embrace compassion and empathy more, not just for others but myself.

My wish for you this New Year’s Eve is that you also continue to grow, that you allow yourself a little wiggle room for error because not everything is going to be perfect. May love arrive in unexpected ways and generosity flow through you to all of us sharing this weird existence.

And as the Doctor said at the end of this most recent Xmoss special:

Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.

Happy New Year!

Doin’ sumfin’ ’bout it!

This was originally going to be my post yesterday but I got caught up in all of the nostalgia about CUP and so such, and it was more fun to tell that story then what follows and it all didn’t really go together so…

Plus, I value your time & attention. Thanks for reading.

When last we checked in on Brian’s brain (Brain’s brian?), he was in a full-tilt oscillating free-fall known as the Wunderbare Weltanschauung. Troo nuff, in typical fashion, it left yon author lying in the gutters and trying to visit all the stars & planets in one orgasmic pudding of experience. He’s been a miserable sod, as any long time reader here can attest. Histoire Vrai: while everyone was oohing and ahhing over a co-worker’s recent birth of a baby, my muddled mind muttered maligned mots such as “crotch fruit” and “great, another gaping suckhole on a planet stretched to its finite resources”. I did say in my previous post that I do have passionate, rutting affairs with Aunite Natal Ism.

But bitching and bitching and bitching yet again are repeated patterns, noise-to-noise ratios, and fecund with bad thoughts, reinforcing the negative self-images I hold in my brain as well as the double depression.(“It’s two *clink* two *clink* two depressions-in-one!)

“What Is Dysthymia Called Loathe?” as Cole Porter never wrote.

So yeah, there’s that constantly running in my head. I’ve been near to broken by it and, because those sorts of thoughts, feelings, and emotions can give one such a dim view of life, the universe, and everything including the future, it becomes hard to focus on improving my lot.

I have some very good and friendly friends who are unshelfish with their words & advice. I appreciate those folks and their input — especially yours — gives me nice fuzzy warm feelings that I’m not an untalented and feckless pile of flesh. However, I have a lot of things which make people seek me out in some capacity. Obviously, there’s something there that is felt by others but I haven’t quite figured out what it is, because depression lies and anxiety always leaves you with the tab.

What I have figured out is the following:

  • I’m almost 48; I’m not getting any younger,
  • I lack structure in my life,
  • I am not as creative as I would like to be,
  • I’m not as healthy as I would like to be,
  • I’m not working a job that is personally enriching,
  • Inertia hasn’t netted positive results yet

Those are a lot of bugs that I need to fix, and my inclination is to see everything there as a large monolith, which means it would look a lot like this:

I'M ALMOST 48 I'M NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER I LACK STRUCTURE IN MY LIFE I AM NOT AS CREATIVE AS I WOULD LIKE TO BE I'M NOT AS HEALTHY AS I WOULD LIKE TO BE I'M NOT WORKING AT JOB THAT IS PERSONALLY ENRICHING INERTIA HASN'T NETTED POSITIVE RESULTS YET OH GOD THE FUTURE IS A BLACK HOLE I AM STUCK I CAN'T MOVE...

Because that’s how my mind works. It wants me to stay within the confines of said inertia and “hope” things get better. Subsisting solely on hope doesn’t get me out of this rut and sorry doesn’t put thumbs on the handMarge!

So I’m making small improvements towards addressing the above. I’m not being creative? Then I can write more blog posts. I’m also sliding back into podcasting. Naturally, it’ll be Doctor Who based because, c’mon, guys, it’s me. I lack structure? Thankfully, I’ve got a nifty Google calendar on my phone that allows me to set appointments, to know when bills are due, and to remind me to do things daily like meditate or go for a walk. As for that job? I’ve committed myself to relearning HTML before conquering CSS, and Javascript so that I can make beautiful webpages for fun & profit.

Diligence and patience are what it takes if I want to go forward. I didn’t hit bottom overnight and upgrading my life isn’t going to be instantaneous so it may be a while until I see tangible results.

For now, I need to do the things that need doing.

 

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