(Or, "How I am battling my heartbreak and depression. With added Gifs!").
Depression is not a new thing for me, I have been struggling with it on and off since my teens with a pretty bleak period in my early 20s. Generally these days, it’s under control, even if it lurks just out of my consciousness like a nightmare I can’t quite remember but sure as hell don’t wanna have again.
But then recently, I was dumped. Here's pretty much how that went down:
I know some people get over stuff like that just fine. I know some people think I'm crazy because it wasn't a long relationship. But this time, in my case, this was like Mr Burns releasing his hounds, all the demons were unleashed, followed by the self-doubts, the fears, the general misdirected rage. As the Buddhists say, one heartbreak is all your heartbreaks.
The worst is: some days I feel fine, then the next I am holding back tears at my desk or bribing myself to get out of bed (see point #5). It feels like the most crappy roller coaster ride ever (probably Pirates of the Caribbean 4 or something).
I tried all the normal things: drinking with friends, pretending I feel fine, getting a haircut, even a vacation. Nothing has worked. So… here’s my John Cusack-style Top 10 plan on how I’m going to deal. Why am I writing something so embarrassing this publicly, you ask? See point 1 :)
Usually I take photos. But right now, I don’t want to be out at public events, especially not when celebrities are involved (Jake Gyllenhaal is excused) and there’s any possibility that some rogue publicist might yell at me and make me do a Claire Danes-cryface in front of, say, Ryan Gosling. So I’m going back to writing instead, actually updating this blog for once. Hopefully.
2. No Facebook. No Instagram.
Sorry, I’m really happy for you, I am - but all those pictures of Palm Springs and wedding rings and babies and barbecues: can’t deal. Also, my pictures will be painting a fake impression of my own life, and that’s just despicable.
3. Movies. Lots of movies.
One day when I’m better I want to do an acting class. But right now, I don’t think I could (unless every role called for Shakespearean tragedy). So instead, I plan to spend a lot of time watching movies, another way to live someone else’s life for a bit, both at home and at the delightful Nitehawk Cinema. Nitehawk is extra great in that it allows you to drink. Which brings me to….
4. Red Wine (preferably Pinot Noir)
I didn’t say this was all going to be healthy. I’m going to drink a lot of red wine. Especially at night so I am pleasantly hazy when drifting off to sleep (and so that I don’t pay too much attention to the dialogue on True Detective. Seriously Vince Vaughn? Seriously?).
5. Playstation - for when Aggressive Mario Kart is not enough
Some days, I bribe myself to get out of bed with something as simple as a smoothie or an episode of The Daily Show. But on one of the days I couldn’t get out of bed, I bribed myself with a Playstation if I could just make it to work two days in a row. Extravagant, I know. But I also felt like it would be a great thing to keep me relatively sane while being a summer recluse - air conditioning, post-apocaplytic games, pajama pants. Or no pants. Whatever, I’m alone remember?
6. Pure Barre (my super intense barre class)
This has been very hard to keep up, as it requires so much physical energy. But, apart from all the evidence that exercise helps you feel happy, I don’t want all that wine and PS4-playing to sap all the strength I’ve worked so hard for. I’m doing this for future me, when I’m better. (And also it’s hot and I want to wear shorts for the first time in my life without feeling like my legs are two white sausages.)
7. No drastic moving of jobs. Or cities. Or countries, dammit
My usual response in a crisis is to run. To a new city, job, country. Probably planet if I could. This time, I’m not going to do that until I feel ok. Because as someone once said (and I got second-hand from Twin Peaks) - wherever you go, there you are. I think that’s the best advice I never got. (Maybe Scary Terry up there in the prologue was onto something).
8. Meditation & Mindfulness
I’ve had a subscription to a meditation app for over a year. I have used it exactly 27 times. Now, I’m going to try to use it every day, to shut up those evil voices in my head, at least for 10 minutes. And also read some books recommended by wise friends (oh, and Amazon).
9. Emails to the other side of the world
Email is like what letter-writing used to be. A non-threatening way to know people are still there for you, and let them know you're there for them. I do appreciate my friends. Soon I will do this, guys. Soon!
10. Miscellaneous Vices
And apart from the positive stuff, I plan to give myself a break if I can’t be bothered cleaning my apartment or going out or I succumb to drinking or sleeping or snus or whatever other vice my desperate brain comes up with to distract me. In the wise words of Fox Mulder:
I would love anyone else’s suggestions for dealing with the delicious double whammy of heartbreak and depression. Or your favorite PS4 games, that’ll do fine too.