SOME PEOPLE can have a good time despite the suffering of others. I am not one of those people. So I am labeled “depressed” or “anxious” and prescribed medication to stop feeling things so intensely. “Don’t take it so hard,” they say. “Don’t read the news,” they suggest.
There is no shortage of distractions. The Food Channel. Bowling. Movies. The Superbowl. Golf. Boating. Las Vegas. Broadway. Amusement parks. The beach. Rock concerts. Disneyland. Reality TV. Yoga. Rock climbing. The list is endless. But what if, for some people, distraction is simply not enough? What if nothing cancels out the stories like, “5-month Infant Found Buried Alive” or “4-Month-Old Dies in Hot Car While Mom Socializes” or “Woman Jumps from 25-Story Building Holding Her 7-Year-Old”? Then what should we do? Give ourselves to God, join a convent and turn away from society? That seems boring.
The following time-tested methods used by others to combat depression are open to me:
Overeating: This one is very popular, which explains why so many people are obese. I could stuff my face with ice cream and pizza and chips and dips and tacos and burgers and fries and grilled cheese sandwiches and cupcakes and muffins and cookies and pancakes with syrup and bagels and corned beef on rye until I have lost all feeling.
Over Drinking: This approach would work very quickly for me and at far less expense because just one glass of wine puts me under the table. Must consider.
Over-Drugging: Lots of people go this route, but it’s not for me. I hate that out-of-control feeling, unless of course I’m having a colonoscopy, and then I love it. Besides, I could never put a needle in my arm or smoke a lot of anything without coughing.
Over-Exercising: I went that route years ago when I was younger and became addicted to daily running. It worked, but then it stopped working (after 20 years) when my hip gave out and I had to get a new one installed. I’m reluctant to use it up too fast and have to need another one.
Over-Shopping: I can’t even begin to imagine how having a whole of useless stuff around could do anything but make me more anxious.
So far the only thing I had found that works even a little is writing this blog most days, and painting pictures that nobody buys (except my wonderful friend Jay who I love to pieces for actually paying for one of my paintings), so now our house is overrun with my paintings and there’s hardly any room to hang anymore. Which I find depressing —and now we’re back to square one.
It’s a pickle, that’s certain. But hey—while I’ve been writing this I’ve been drinking a large glass of V-8 and it seems to have helped. (Or was it the Lorazepam?) Anyway, this too shall pass, I always tell myself, and it always does.