Monday, September 10, 2012

Two swears and some underwear.

While wandering around the interwebs today, I ran across a blog post by the pretty darn famous Bloggess. Here's the link if you're so inclined as to read it: Go ahead and read it if you'd like. I'll wait.

Before we go any further, I absolutely have to share the video she featured today. It speaks to me on so many levels. But, a word of warning: there are exactly two swears and some underwear. Oh, and two hairy armpits. I think it's absolutely worth watching, though. Unembarrassed, I will admit that I watched it no less than five times. I said it spoke to me, remember?

So, the point of all this? Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. As someone whose blog is called "Grabbing My Happy," you can probably appreciate the fact that happiness is not something that has ever come easily to me. I've lived with depression and anxiety for decades. DEC. ADES. Not exactly what I had in mind for the grand plan that was to be my life, that's for sure. While in the midst of all this mental illness crap, I've been looking for happiness like a lost contact lens. I've closely examined every square inch of myself and my life in order to locate it. Sometimes, I've had to push and shove my way into it. It's a little like having a "fake it until you make it" attitude. I take a shower, put on my favorite outfit, a little makeup, and plaster on a smile. Before I know it, that smile doesn't feel nearly so fake. And sometimes, it just sneaks up on me. A hot cup of coffee. My favorite pair of jeans. A silly joke. Sneaky happy is my favorite kind.

If you're finding yourself so lost that happiness is only a memory, please reach out. Pick up the phone. Shoot off an email. Do something so you don't have to feel so damn alone. Because you're not alone. Not at all. In fact, not by a long shot.

Depression is a big, fat liar, liar pants on fire. It tells you that the world, and everyone in it, is better off without you. But, it is so very wrong. Your life is worth something. YOU are worth something. Just hang on.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

I have something to say.

It's been a really, REALLY long time since I posted on this blog. There's been so much going on. In fact, there's so much, that I'm not entirely sure where to start. So, for now, I'm not going to catch anybody up. Instead, I'm going to blog about something that's been in my heart for a while. It's something that I've wanted to say for so long, but needed to find the words for. So, here goes nothing.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."  

- John Watson

Some days, this world disappoints me on an epic level.

I was raised to believe that I was no better than anyone else. I was raised to be compassionate and fair. I was raised to try to do the right thing... even if it wasn't easy or popular.

Unfortunately, lately, I'm finding it harder and harder to believe in human kind. Sometimes, it seems as if empathy is nowhere to be found.

Several months ago, it started with some folks who didn't believe in birth control. And because they didn't believe in it, they wanted it to become harder to get and pay for. And, of course, it should never be covered by insurance.

A little later, the abortion issues came back into public view. We don't believe in abortions under any circumstances. Not at all. Even if you're raped. But since we're unable to completely outlaw them at the moment, we're going to make you suffer if you choose one. Even if your baby has died in your belly or is horribly deformed, we're going to make you jump through hoops. There must be a waiting period. You must have an ultrasound. And during that ultrasound, a technician must tell you all about the fetus's body parts... or lack of them. And if you're getting an abortion because you already have too many mouths to feed and no way to pay for that baby? We want you to further suffer with that decision.

And then, it came around to the discussion of general healthcare. Affordability. Individual insurance mandates. Obamacare. We don't want to pay for anyone's healthcare. Period. Unhealthy? No insurance? Tough shit.

After that, it seemed that the conversation shifted to public programs to help those who are generally less fortunate. "I don't want to pay to let lazy people sit on their asses while I work hard." It doesn't matter how hard you're working to look for a job in an absolutely terrible economy. If you're not working, it's all your own fault. And we don't want to give you a red cent. And if you ARE working, let's say a minimum wage job, we don't want to help you either. Because if you just worked harder, you wouldn't need any help.

Most recently, the focus has changed to Chick-fil-A, gay rights, and the fact that a fairly large portion of our population still can't wrap their brains around homosexuality. Homosexuality is a danger to our society. And giving gay people the right to marry? Absolutely not. Because marrying someone of the same sex is going to devalue all marriage. Of course.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a liberal. One look at my Facebook timeline will tell you exactly where I stand on just about all of the above issues... as well as a few that I didn't mention.

Thing is, I'm tired. I'm tired of people not loving each other. I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of the judgment and the blame and the hurt. I'm tired of a nation that claims to be predominantly Christian, but rarely follows even the most basic principles of loving your neighbor or leaving the judgment to God... which are pretty darn good ideas even if you throw the subject of religion completely out the window. The whole thing, quite honestly, has me completely baffled.

I seriously doubt that my views will change those of anyone else. I can talk about it until my throat is hoarse and my heart is broken. But, nothing will really change.

But, I do have a challenge. I challenge you to go out into this world that often seems full of anger and hate and frustration and put a tiny bit more love into it. Smile at a stranger. Hold open a door. Drop a $5 bill on purpose so that someone might find it. And if you really want to shake your life to its core, consider for just a moment that everyone is fighting a hard battle. No one is perfect. Bad shit sometimes happens. And maybe finding a tiny bit more compassion, kindess and tolerance in your heart could truly change your life. Yes. It truly could.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My moment.

"There came a moment in my life when I realized that I had stepped into another part of my life. I used to walk into a room full of people and think, do they like me? And one day I walk in and I thought, do I like them?"- Victoria Principal

I had that moment this weekend at a pottery convention. Yes, I did.

Some folks may or may not know that my cousins own a pottery store. Each year, they put on a mini convention in which pottery store owners from across the country come to learn about new techniques and products, socialize, share information, etc. My cousins are always generous enough to invite me to join them because overall, it's a GREAT time. And while these conventions are fun, they tend to be NERVE WRACKING for me. Creative types can be intimidating. I would be so worried about whether I was good enough to be there. I would think about my hair and my clothes and my weight. Was I smart enough? Was I worldly enough? Was I successful enough? Was I artist enough? All my answers would normally be a quiet-as-a-mouse, "no."

But this weekend, I felt differently. This weekend, I walked into the room feeling as if I was every bit as good as those creative types who manage to make a living doing what they love. Just. As. GOOD. Different, but equal. And that was okay with me.

Each year that I attend, I offer to bring cupcakes for the meal that they serve on Saturday night. I love doing it, and was eager to get a chance to flex my baking muscles.

When I proudly presented my cupcakes to the group of people, most people were enthusiastic and offered many kind remarks about my baking abilities. It was nice to be appreciated and recognized. Who doesn't like a good pat on the back now and then?

A bit later, as a woman was standing in front of the cupcakes, trying to decide which one to take, another woman walked over to advise her. This cupcake authority blurted out, "Oh, don't take that 'breakfast for dinner' cupcake. It wasn't very good at all." She knew that I'd made those cupcakes, and still proceeded to explain that it didn't knock her socks off and that it wasn't worth the calories. I was a little taken aback at the comment, truth be told. But, I managed to grin wide and reply, "Well, that cupcake is a bit of an acquired taste." Thankfully, she walked away as quickly as she'd approached the table. 

In years past, I would have melted into a pile of depression on the floor in the face of such a criticism. I would have quickly left the room, had a good cry, and taken every single word to heart. 

But this year was different. This year, I truly let it roll right off my back. It was still rude and annoying, but I didn't care about her point of view. Perhaps it was because there were other people eating that exact same cupcake and raving about how delicious it was. Perhaps it was because she isn't exactly the most diplomatic person I've ever met. Either way, I didn't care. I DID NOT CARE.

At that very moment, I knew that I'd turned a corner. Will I always be able to brush things like that off? Probably not. But for once, I didn't give a shit what she thought about me or my cupcakes. For today, it just didn't matter. She was irrelevant to me, and that felt good. 

Way to go,me. Way. To. Go.