-~- Welcome Fellow Derp

If you’ve ever had one of those moments where you realized you’d done something so stupid that you just had to laugh at yourself, you’re in the right place.

You know…

One of those moments where you had to facepalm yourself just hard enough to verify that there was actually a brain rattling around in that skull of yours.

Or maybe just one of those moments where you felt like you had something interesting to add to this conversation we call life, but were too afraid to share for fear it wouldn’t come out the way you wanted.

If you’ve at all found yourself feeling like any of the above, I think this is just the little corner of cyberspace for you.

Why did I name this blog derp2derp?

Well, in order for me to answer that question I should probably clarify the meaning of the word derp, JUST in case some of you reading this don’t already know it.

  Sooo…

What does the word derp mean? 

Here’s a couple definitions:

Courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

derpy-awkward or embarrassing, especially pertaining to a person:

“Man, that guy is so awkward!”
“Yeah, he’s really derpy.”

Courtesy of Myself:

herp derp (or simply derp)-a person who is doing or has done something unusually dopey and/or laughable:

“Ouch! I just walked into the sliding door because I thought it was open.”

“Hahaha.  You’re such a herp derp.”

(the terms “herp derp” and “herpaderp” have also been known to be used in rage comics in order to substitute dialogue)

SO, WHY THE SILLY NAME derp2derp?

If we’re honest with ourselves, we all know that we have moments that bring out our inner derp and this blog is a way for me to share some of those moments with you.  I find that my inner derp surfaces quite a lot (probably more than I’d like) and I figured if I’m going to be plagued with the disease of herpaderpitis, I might as well do something productive with it.  From failing at holding simple conversations to everyday ruminations about the value of life, I’d like to give you a chance to both laugh at my silly everyday mistakes and hopefully, share some of your own derpy stories in return.  I’d also like to share my thoughts on various matters and hear what you guys think yourselves.  It doesn’t matter if you think my thoughts are off the wall bogus or genuinely interesting.  I’d like to turn this into a space where everyone is free to share their thoughts.  I’d like to hear from you.

Life’s too short to waste time being embarrassed by failure.

Why wince at failure when you can laugh?

Let’s derp it up.

~LDA

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Secret Destruction

Dreams can reveal a lot about you to yourself. I dreamt a while ago that some guy who used to be interested in me years ago came back “seeking my hand.” Like legitimate, “I asked your father for permission” style courting. That freaked me out a little. I hid for a while, deciding whether or not I wanted to entertain him. Like, actually hid in some corner of the house. I know, I’m so mature. Eventually I decided I did. Want to entertain him, that is.

Interestingly enough, it was only when he began to pull away, giving signals he was about to leave that I overcame my hesitiation. When we came face to face with each other we completely skipped any long time no see formalities. I basically pulled him into some alcove and dared him to make a move.

As I did it though, I realized what little intention I had in pursuing the relationship seriously, but I continued anyway. When I woke up, half of me was laughing at how kinky I had been, but half of me was appalled I would play with someone like that. He was clearly pursuing me as something serious, but I did it anyway. In that way I was intentionally hurting him.

Even though I’ve never actually done something like this in real life, when I woke up, the guilt was real. I mean, dang. What a savage, heartless move. If I’m being honest, such cruel things have flashed across my imagination during dark, lonely stretches, but I always drew the line at actually doing them. And reprimanded myself, warning to keep myself in check, because I think I see through people well enough to conduct such malicious endeavors of manipulation with ease if I really wanted to. I’ve always believed that you never truly know yourself and the lengths you’ll go to for comfort and relief of pain. For this reason, it’s when you get too comfortable in your inner good and ability to read yourself that you can find yourself doing crazy, destructive things.

I’ve always been extremely careful not to do anything like that in my waking life. I have kept people at bay for long periods of time simply because I was not sure of my true motives, or whether or not I would be able to fulfill them, even if they were good ones. As much of a virtue as that may sound, it has proven to be as destructive as it has been protective.

For the most part, I can assume I’ve hurt less people, but I’ve also deeply hurt people who are extremely important to me. Because they don’t know what on Earth my walls are for or why they haven’t been able to break through them yet, it can become pretty wearying and even insulting for them to see me still at a distance.

So I’ve learned it’s very important to strike a balance between monitoring your intentions and giving yourself room to connect with people. Which sounds so much easier than it actually is.

As you may know by now,

I overthink everything.

So zen equilibrium is hard to come by for me.

 

I’ll just have to keep trying.

 

~LDA

High-Functioning Hopeless

I have often considered what the cause of this all encompassing sense of hopelessness that sometimes overtakes me is.  It doesn’t feel like a chemical imbalance.  Especially in the way that I am able to continue through my days.  At worst, it only threatens to cripple my motivation enough to interrupt my daily life, but it almost never does.  I am quite functional.  In fact, I would even go as far at to state that I am happy.  Or at least I should be.  The state of my life in all arenas (work, family, play, etc.) is very satisfactory. There is nothing I can point to as saying is wrong.  There are things that I am working on, relationships, but that’s normal.  Although I use it because it is the closest I can come to explaining my current condition, I have difficulty describing myself as “mildly depressed,” because even the term itself is a contradiction.

How can one be,

oh,

just slightly despondent?

It doesn’t really make sense.  But at the same time I know I should at least describe things as being wrong.  There is a very notable sense of melancholy that presents itself often enough to be a red flag. Call it high functioning depression, I suppose. 

A low volume siren that warns “Wee-oo, wee-oo.  Normal people don’t fantasize about their life ending.  Even if it’s mostly in a “whoops, that’s just the way it worked out, whoopee, kind of way.”

I’ve gotten better in the last few months.  There has been a notable lessening in the frequency of these thoughts, partially due to therapy sans meds.  But I can’t say I’ve fully shaken this pall over my existence.

I’ve been thinking.

I know, I know.  What’s knew?  But hear me out.

Part of my therapy sessions used to constitute accepting the causeless nature of such a dip in life motivation.  And I understand why she chose to sharpen that ability of mine.  It brings a certain measure of peace without closure, but at the same time, I haven’t fully accepted this approach.

Lately, it’s really been smacking me in the face how unequal our society is.  And when I say our society, I mean our global community in general.  Our approach to things is crazy stupid.  It’s stupid that millions of people are still in danger of starving and dying from unclean water.  It’s stupid that wars are still happening, because seriously for what?  Nothing is worth the atrocities that happen during wartime.  Why haven’t we woken up enough to not be so confounded selfish?  Even the few just wars that are being fought, I wish there wasn’t a need for them.  That whatever skirmish that happened between nations over land, money or religion would dissolve.  Can’t we all just shake hands and let bygones be bygones?  Compromise is not so hard if we would just learn to forgive and let go of desires that can’t (or shouldn’t) be met.  It’s also stupid that people don’t have enough access to or freedom from discrimination to get the mental health services they need in order to not feel like they have to go shoot up a school or bully someone else into committing suicide themselves.

There’s so many more things that are unbelievably stupid that we should’ve already gotten over.  The list goes on.  But what’s most frustrating is that it’s not like the solutions to them are rocket science. They could hypothetically be very successfully executed.  It’s simply the unwillingness of man to come together and compromise that keeps it from happening.  One person over there who wants to keep their power, a few over there who want to keep their money.  All it takes is a small group of people with enough power who want to keep others less than for the whole panacea to disintegrate. The hope of world peace falls apart every time,

because the sad reality is,

there will always be people who are too afraid of losing their positions of security to give selflessness a try,

so we will always be broken.

The world will always be broken.  We’re too busy tearing each other apart or pretending the carnage isn’t happening to reach any compromise.

It makes me feel sick, because it feels like no matter how hard I try to spread a little love and light through my life’s actions, it will never be enough.  I’m fighting a losing battle, at least in this life, and that is just a tad discouraging to face on the daily basis.

I’m thinking maybe that’s part of why I’ve been feeling the way I have. This sense of hopelessness has gripped me, that I’ll never get it right enough to really fix anything.  Sure, I can make a difference in the lives of my students, my family, and my friends.  But there will always be someone gasping for air across the planet, the country, or even my neighborhood that I will not be able to reach.  The constant cycle of losing people is depressing, in the most non-overused sense of the word.  Everyone is worth love and attention and being saved, but I have to face this reality that countless souls are being lost anyway. It’s enough to take a person out, to convince them to stop trying since they matter so little in the grand scheme of the universe anyway. Even though mentally I know that’s a stupid choice.

It’s better to do something than nothing at all.

It’s just hard to motivate yourself when you’re hardly a blip on the cosmic radar.  Maybe one day I’ll make peace with the fact that every breath I take is very-almost an exercise in futility.

The key word is “almost,” I guess.

 

~LDA

Bedside Manner

I have the most terrible bedside manner, if you can call it that. One of my students sidled beside me on our way back into the classroom from recess and announced somberly, “My fish died.” It was almost as if the thought had caught her off guard, the way her eyes registered disbelief and her eyebrows furrowed consolingly inward.

I paused a moment, having been as taken by surprise as her, and offered the usual condolence, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” Except I actually was. It wasn’t just something that came tumbling from my mouth out of habit. I really was sorry to know that she was experiencing loss. Even if only the loss of a fish. But then who’s to say a pet fish death is inconsequential?

Anyhow, the child was clearly sad. She had been running around and giggling just a moment ago, but now she was grief stricken. It was an interesting type of melancholy to witness. One that sneaks up on you and sinks in its teeth, right when you think you’re alright. It looked familiar.  She seemed almost more perplexed by the experience than hurt. Like it was the first time she was digesting such a feeling. I think we can learn a great deal about humanity from watching and engaging with children. The way their fresh souls experience things and churn out certain reactions is pretty fascinating.

She turned my expression of empathy over in her mouth a little and assumed an appreciative but resigned little pout. My condolence had done nothing to solve the problem of the fish’s now lack of existence, but she recognized, even as someone so young, that there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t help her anymore than she had helped her dear little fish herself.

“Yeah,” she replied to both our unspoken confessions.

“That’s just the way things happen in life,” I explained, though she clearly had already experienced this truth for herself. “Things are born and eventually they die,” I continued. “Even you and me.”

I know.

Maybe not the best time to remind a 7 year old that she’s a finite creature. That’s a pretty scary realization for a child.

Heck, it’s scary even for most adults. But I thought it was a valuable learning moment to put things into perspective. Everything dies. Plants, animals, humans, you name it.  It’s just an irrefutable thing that happens. It’s what those that are left behind do with the memory that makes it a happy or sad event. It doesn’t have to be Earth shattering. In fact, the Earth has proven to keep spinning time and time again. Whether that’s cruel or not is our interpretation.

Our class is learning about what soil’s composed of in science and part of the state standard requires the students be taught that it’s made up of small rocks and once-living things. At first I was surprised they went into such detail, went as far as to mention the role of death in soil’s composition. We so often shelter our children from the realities of life. But in the end, I thought it a very healthy thing to reveal, even to such young people. I honestly believe that it’s when people start becoming blindsided as unguided preteens and teenagers, and even adults, by obvious tidbits of life like this, that we develop adverse reactions and consequently unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with them. We ignore things, suppress them, refuse to digest them.  Until it creeps up on us in a traumatic way that’s close to us and then we implode and wonder why.  I think it’s only natural little ones be taught to get used to this cycle, with some easing in of course.

I mean, just think about it. All organisms that are now alive are literally living off of the remains of animals and people that have passed away. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, you’re benefiting off of the expired life force of another. It’s morbid, yes, but also sort of amazing how well in tune that works.

I didn’t get to expound on this Simba-esque circle of life sort of idea, and probably for the best. I don’t know. But at that point, one of my other students had butt in with his own wisdom.

I was born,” he declared. “I think I was two years old at that time.”

Which I then had to chuckle at and call time to start walking in line for writing period. It diffused some of the tension in the air as I corrected him and told him he would have been zero. He looked dumbfounded that such an age was possible and my fish-less student soon relaxed as her mind probably wandered to some other topic.

In any case, despite my bedside manner being perhaps a little too frank, she took it in stride. As children often do.  

 

~LDA

Dewy Letters: A Poem on Optimism

He chuckled

Dewy letters trickling

Out of his mouth 

All hopeful proposals

And bouncy grins

 

Unfortunately

 

They froze before they hit the ground

Solidified by the critical stares

Of his eye cocking recipients

 

They shattered  

Launching splinters of

T’s

                                       H’s

                                                                          and W’s

                                                                                                     Into his innocent eyes

 

“I think

I hope

I wish“

 

His soul convulsed as they made

Impact with the unforgiving concrete

 

One shard of expression

Found its way

Directly into the darkness

Of the pupil

 

And maneuvered a path

Into his veins

Sending fatalism and apathy

Seeping into his bloodstream

 

The virus of death had been triggered

Awakened was the dormant code

Seemingly

Powerless until acknowledged

 

All at once

His chest became cold

And his mouth downturned

 

One eyebrow twitched upward

And his feet made a pivot

 

The assembly line shifted forward

And he thought to himself

“Who is this grinning fool standing in front of me?”

 

 

~LDA

Leisurely Persona

The other day someone asked me what I do for fun and all I could respond was “Netflix.”  

How embarrassing, am I right?

I made myself sound like a total couch potato shut in.  Which, to be honest, I am 70% shut in.  I like to be alone.  Most of the things I really enjoy are solitary activities like writing, reading, knitting, drawing, being overly critical of myself, and whoops, it’s partially true, watching television.  They’re pretty individualistic endeavors.

However, I do go out and do things on the fairly regular basis nowadays.  With humans, even.  I may slightly resemble a grandma in my proclivities, however I’m not that boring of a person.  There were things I could have said other than “Netflix,” as if my entire leisurely persona consisted of consuming television, limbs spread out in a root vegetable position.

I guess part of my problem is that I’m an overly private person.  I often feel like people don’t have the right to any kind of info about me that is beyond surface level.  Even if the information they’re requesting is in reality pretty darn surface level, I usually hesitate in answering in any sort of way that makes me any less opaque.

I value the obscurity I project to people.  

That made sense a couple years ago when I was very obstinate toward connecting with people in any manner that resembled depth.  I viewed people as not worth investing in, even in regards to myself.

But now that I’ve shifted that worldview and am trying to get to know the mess that is humanity, I ought to start giving real answers and stop replying things like “Netflix,” huh?  

 

~LDA

Music Vibes

It’s powerful the amount of emotional attachment we can derive from or infuse into music. Usually we focus on what we take away from music, but I think it’s interesting what we pump into it as well.  It makes me sad when music that I once listened to in order to get me out of a sad funk ends up reminding me of unhappy times later on.

The music retains the memory of the dark cloud that was suffocating my consciousness when I last listened to it and now forever carries with it sad overtones.

I am trying to reverse some of that.

Rewrite it.

Partially because I’ve been in such a funk for such a long time that this symptom has oozed into too much of music library. Partially because it’s cool to experiment with how much power you wield over your mind.  

I’m not just talking about listening to sad music when you’re sad, mind you.  Most people tend gravitate toward bluer vocals when they’re in a blue mood and then that particular music might remind you a specific sad moment in your life later on.  But I’m talking about the opposite too.  Sometimes you listen to upbeat music to try to lift yourself out of your emotional muck and it works.  Or sort of works.  In reality you’re suppressing negative feelings with a temporary fog of lightheartedness and the dark is lurking not far beneath.  But it’s still nice to feel okay for a while.  

Of course, then a once happy tune later carries with it memories of the dark you tried to chase away, if the dark was grim enough.

If I listen to a song now which once used to invariably pull me out of an agonized self, will I be able to attach happier connotations to its notes if I am happier now?  Or will it only bring me down?  How many listens in a happy mode would it take to turn that trend around?

I am still finding out.  Wish me luck.  

~LDA

Super Unclassy, Bruh

I had the weirdest thing happen to me the other day.

I was hurrying to my car one morning for something that had the gall to make me wake up before 1pm on a Saturday. As usual, I had planned so masterfully that I had many minutes to spare. Then I let it get to my head, got lost in whatever task I had the luxury of doing with my extra time, and ended up fifteen minutes late instead of early. I know. I’m impressive. So I was rushing down my driveway, flustered and annoyed with myself for being so predictable, when I stopped short while pulling the car door open.

My car was a mess.

The napkins from my middle compartment were scattered everywhere, my passenger door was left slightly ajar, the contents of my glove compartment were splayed out across the floor and seats. It looked like someone had let loose a tantruming two year old in there or something.

My first thought:

Did my cheese finally slide off of its cracker? Did I go through a psychotic break in the middle of the night that I don’t remember?

My second thought:

No, wait. This might not actually involve any form of hysteria, although I can reserve the possibility of psychotic breaks and whatnot for a later date. I think I’ve been broken into…

Once I came to grips with that probability, I began examining what had been taken. After all, break-ins imply there have been some takings, right? Well…sort of. My burglar hadn’t taken my car bluetooth, which looks marginally expensive though I got it off of Amazon for pretty cheap. My burglar didn’t take the few blank checks my brother had idiotically left in some crevice of the car. Nope.

You want to know what my burglar took?

They took my guava pastries.

The crook took my guava pastries.

Yup. They must have been some prematurely reincarnated version of myself or something, because they didn’t target any of the valuables. No, no, no. Not of interest. How could one possibly assume a burglar was materialistic? No, they targeted the food. And what’s weirder? If the punk was hungry, why didn’t they take all of my food, huh? I had a couple boxes of croissants hanging out in there too, but they left that untouched.

They had the audacity to be picky.

If you’re gonna raid my car, do it right please. I’m almost offended.

Now to be fair, I did buy those guava pastries off of a random guy in a Walmart parking lot, so those pastries had sketchy written all over them to begin with. Regretful diarrhea was pretty much predicted, and accepted. But come on. I thought it at least safe to assume the guy wouldn’t follow me home and break into my car just to get them back.

Honestly, I should be worried about the implications of having possibly had a guy stalk me all the way to my house. It could quickly escalate to house break-ins and something ghastly could happen… They might graduate to stealing the Pillsbury cinnamon buns from my fridge.

Which would of course, be unforgivable.

So if you’re out there and you happen to be the one who reclaimed your pastries when they were happily sitting in my car:

Super unclassy, guy.

Kindly adhere to rules of the playground in the future.

No take-backs.

~LDA

And How Does That Make You Feel?…

It’s a weird situation shaking hands with someone for the first time and then immediately vomiting every bit of knowledge of what’s wrong with yourself at them.  Seeking psychotherapy is like some weird reverse dating situation.  You know how when most people date, they try their best to hide all their annoying quirks and glaring issues at the beginning, in the hopes that the gradual release method will soften the blow and succeed in convincing some sucker to spend the rest of their lives with them?  Well, therapy is the opposite in the sense that you purposely expose all your flaws since you’re not worried about scaring away or losing the person.

You’ve gone out of your way to pay someone not to run away when they find out what a monster you are.  They’ve even got a master’s or doctorate degree on their wall that says they won’t lose their poker face and make you feel like an irredeemable mess, no matter how many steaming piles have hit your psychological fan.  It’s an interesting dynamic.   

“Hi, my name is Lady. I’m slightly suicidal and prone to flights of delusionality that I like to write down and call fiction. Can you help me be a tad more functional in society without yanking out all my word-spewing bits? Thanks.”

I have to admit, when I made the decision to seek professional help several months ago, a little part of me expected to walk out of that room with a brand that read “crazy” on my forehead. Not that I’m opposed to therapy. I mean, heck, I wanted to be a psychologist at one point, so I hate the stigma that’s attached to receiving psychological/psychiatric treatment. If it’s publicly acceptable to heal our bodies, why isn’t it publicly acceptable to heal our minds?  But in all honesty, a part of me was still laughing at myself for having reached the point I had to walk into some room and talk to a stranger for an allotted amount of time, just because I couldn’t handle the weight of my issues on my own.  

It takes guts to admit that to yourself.  In an ideal world, everyone would have close enough friends and family members to talk to on the regular basis and not need a stranger to talk to.  In an ideal world, I would just have a stable enough head on my shoulders in the first place.  But this is not an ideal world, and speaking to a loved one is not quite the same as talking to a qualified professional.  So to a therapist I went.  

I ended up seeing my therapist roughly once a week for two months and it was a great experience.  Not in the sense that I walked out of there a renewed and completely whole person, entirely devoid of the thoughts that had plagued me before, but it helped.  It definitely helped.  I felt and still feel somewhat rejuvenated as a result of having a better grasp on myself.  This more intimate knowing of yourself, or just assurance that you’re not completely nuts, inevitably translates into having a better grasp on life in general.    

Therapy is not just some silly thing people who have a lot of money and time on their hands choose to engage in so that a person can ask them how they feel constantly.  It can sincerely be a big help and you might be surprised at how accessible a therapist may be to you, even if you don’t have insurance.  There are such things as free clinics and there might be one near enough you if you do some digging.  Another alternative is online counseling which tends to be more affordable or using the variety of free phone mental health services.  

Don’t ever let the stigma of getting psychological assistance get in the way of you receiving the help you need.  It’s not something to be ashamed of.  In fact, there are plenty of people who say they’re fine, but could use psychological attention and are much worse for the wear.  Don’t be those silly people.  Throw away your ego if you have to so you can get a better quality of life.  Seriously, which is better?  Some ridiculous sap who has his thumbs up but is dying on the inside, or a person whose insides match their outsides, even if that does mean grinning a little less because at the moment you’re not particularly happy.  At times, even people who have a stable support system can use a stranger to whisper all their dark, secret thoughts to.  

Sometimes, you grow so tired of ignoring your problems or questioning yourself about how you’re doing, that you just need someone else to do it for you for a while.  

And that’s okay.  

~LDA

Building Walls

I’ve been battling with mild depression for a while. Mild, because I’m still functional and able to hide it. I find one of the toughest parts is making sure I keep a balanced life. Little things like getting up early, vitamin supplements, exercise and staying on top of work & hobbies become paramount to my ability to keep it together. A declaration that if I am able to manage the little things in my life that add up to big things, then I can certainly handle the huge demons lurking in the back (and sometimes the front) of my psyche, that in the end really add up to little things.

Depression, or at least my experience with it (after all, everyone’s mental health journey is as different as our fingerprints), can blow things massively out of proportion. There are many times I’m left grappling with this giant weight that becomes so suffocating I feel I might be better off offed. It becomes such a burden to even deal with the mental/emotional/spiritual turmoil that often stems from nowhere in particular, that I’d rather not deal with myself.

But of course,

I have to deal with myself.

I’m the only one who can take up the task to do so.

I can not escape myself.

Or at least not without going to some very dark places.

And this is the part where I start to feel guilty because it’s against my code of ethics to travel to such dark places. I hold the belief that I do not fully belong to myself. That the only life worth living is one where you live your life in service of others. (Which is completely different, mind you, than living your life for others, as in trying to be a people-pleaser.) You will never find true happiness wrapped up in the pursuit of yourself. Loving others, even those you don’t know, by showing that you care, is the root of fulfillment. Of course, if I’m all stuck in my head traveling to dark places or entertaining the thought of really going to even darker ones, then I can’t live the life I was meant to live.

When you feel like I have lately, you get in the habit of building walls to block out the noise of your chaotic brain. The static can get to be too much so it’s important to hone this coping mechanism in order to keep from losing it completely. The ability to quiet the unproductive negative hum that threatens to drown out all desire to accomplish anything in life is vital, but I find that the most damaging thing I end up doing is blocking out the important along with the static. Things like family, friends, hobbies, and passionate pursuits. This of course only digs you into a deeper hole. You have to be careful, otherwise if you ever even crawl out of The Pits, there will be no one left to come back to and you’ll end up having to do a lot of damage control.

Honestly, the most difficult part of dealing with depression is trying to keep myself from the counterproductive construction of walls that separate me from the people around me. The actual temptation of silencing all static once and for all is not painful. It can actually bring forth a sort of catharsis that is very dangerous when fully fleshed. The static has a way of turning into seductive melodies that enchant and cajole when left unchecked. While it’s difficult to climb out of that hole, there’s a sick part of me that enjoys the darkness, and maybe that’s why it’s so hard to fully remove myself from the slump I’m in . Some selfish part of me doesn’t really want to succeed and have to continue fighting my way through life. It wants to let myself be taken down this road of destruction. The key to not actually hitting the self destruct button is keeping an eye on all the walls I’m building, and that’s the difficult part.

It’s easy to alienate people when you don’t even want to keep yourself company, never mind other people. It can start to feel like it’s some big production to be around people since if you acted how you truly felt, they’d either be concerned or walk away because it’s not fun to have you around anymore. Sulking and simmering in solitude starts to wax real attractive.

“Why deal with people anyway? I hate people,” is a common excuse I mumble to myself.

But the truth is I don’t really hate people. I hate the shady, shallow things they often do which make me want to give up on the human race sometimes. But I don’t really hate people, at least not when I’m examining and interacting with them on an individual basis. I can see the sad and stupid reasons for why they do the things they do and empathize with them most days.

The trouble is when you have no empathy left for yourself and the unreasonably gloomy way you’re feeling, that means no empathy left for anyone else either. The thing is, if you surround yourself with the right people, none of this should matter. You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your dark side from people who truly care about you. They will understand that you are not at your best and give you the support you need in the meantime. It’s important not to weed everyone out as an unsympathetic other. The walls we build must be to deflect static and toxic people only.

Otherwise, when the coast is finally clear to knock most of those walls down, and your face muscles remember how to execute an upward turn at long last, there will be no one left standing on the other side of them to smile at.

~LDA

If you or someone you love is dealing with thoughts of suicide please don’t hesitate to reach out to resources such as:

U.S. National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

United Kingdom Hotline: 08457909090

Canada: 5147234000

Australia: 131114

South Africa: 0514445691

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Silliness with Children

I used to look at people who became their goofiest when they played with children with an embarrassed side-glance.   I’d feel the need to feel uncomfortable for them, that they were doing such silly things in front of a bunch of adults.

Like, “You realize we can see you too, right?”

But in reality, it’s not like I thought any less of them. I understood that they were just doing things like making silly faces and pretending to trip on imaginary banana peels to entertain the kids. It didn’t make them any less of an adult in my eyes, so I don’t really know why I found it so embarrassing to watch them do their thing.

I think maybe I was insecure in my own adulthood at the time and so I felt like I had to overcompensate by not acting silly at any time, even if it was just for kids; in order to prove the sternness of my adult status.  Now, I’ve embraced the truth that all adults are just really big kids anyway, so what’s the use in stifling your inner child?  It’s just that now we’re big kids who pay taxes, and feel obligated to pretend we know what we’re doing.  But the huge secret is, we still don’t know what we’re doing.  Each stage of life brings new challenges that make us feel as awkward as a kindergartner, fumbling to scratch led marks between the lines we’re told to adhere to.

I find myself doing all sorts of crazy stuff these days to make my students laugh or keep them engaged. I’m not embarrassed in the least. Not even in front of other adults.

I don’t understand why we keep this lack of know-how a secret for children to find out when they’re adults.  It’s not like they’d look down on us or feel less safe in our hands.  I find they usually appreciate the honesty, to whatever extent you give it to them.  Why don’t we do them a favor and save them some insecurity & uncertainty later by fessing up?

I feel like a shadow of this truth is shown when we do things like make silly faces at small children, but I think the adolescents could use our help too.

Tell a young adult “I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m still breathing so I guess I’m doing something right,” today.

~LDA