provision, part two

When we last left our heroine, she had defied all odds and managed, through credit card advances, persistence, and luck, to arrive in San Antonio alive, her trusty cat Max at her side.

In Corpus Christi, I managed to drive my beat up Accord to a local mechanic. I was wearing pleather pants, which convey a sense of power and control, so I’m sure I wasn’t swindled when the mustached shop manager said the engine was full of holes, he wouldn’t charge me for looking at it, and he had a mechanic who could take it off my hands for free. Grateful that I didn’t have to pay to unload my car, I accepted a ride home from the manager in his Pontiac Firebird.

You can’t really get far in Corpus Christi without a car (they drive everywhere there, even onto to beach, it is so painful for a northwest hippy), so my first couple of weeks post-divorce were mostly spent reading the newspaper and watching movies with English subtitles. My new roommate, a long-time friend, bought groceries and I cooked as payment. We decided to try being vegan, for kicks. He was already vegetarian, but I ate meat four times a day, so this prospect seemed daunting to me and I was pretty sure the phase would be over before it really began.

The vegan thing stuck. But that’s another story.

A few weeks after I arrived in Texas, I was on the road again, this time to Pensacola, Florida. We crammed the few personal belongings that the Navy hadn’t moved into his tiny Honda del Sol, Max in her carrier on the ledge behind my seat. It was January, but hot, which is wrong. We stayed overnight at a youth hostel in New Orleans where the dreadlocked owner gave me a room full of bunks to myself (that’s the pet-friendly part of the youth hostel scene). It was cheap and I was grateful, even though there were no overhead lights and I’ve blocked the memory of the bathroom from my mind.

My friend and I moved quickly to find a house to rent. He wanted to be near his work, so we ended up in Milton, Florida, about 30 minutes from Pensacola. It was not a hopping town, unless you count the Texas Roadhouse or the Piggly Wiggly. No bus, too far to bike (and no bike), I tried to buy a scooter from a local dealer, but with a lot of debt and no income, that plan fizzled quickly. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was facing a classic problem of the poor – need a job to earn money, need a car to get to a job, need money to get a car, need a job to earn money, etc.

Three days after we moved into the three-bedroom house we rented from a local couple, me in my own bedroom, not crashing on a couch or a flea-bag motel for the first time in a long time, Max ran away.

It was my fault for not communicating clearly to our houseguest, a woman who would later go on to be killed in combat while flying helicopters for the Marines, that when I said Max “didn’t” go outside, what I meant was “Max would love to make a prison break, but she is a cat and doesn’t realize that cars, raccoons, and people are dangerous, so please do everything in your power to prevent her from exiting this safe building.” Jen, the houseguest, chatted on the phone late that evening with the back door open. The next morning, after I realized Max was not hiding somewhere in the house, she explained that Max had hung out contentedly on the back patio while Jen talked, but when Jen told Max it was time to come inside, Max bolted into the dark forest behind the house.

Let’s recap. My marriage is over. I am in Florida, in a town of 9,000 people with no car and one friend. I have thousands and thousands of dollars of debt and no job, no degree, no prospects. My brain is not sure why I have suddenly cut off its supply of SSRI’s. I have kept Max alive and safe through a harrowing cross-country trip only to have her saunter out the back door. All I can think about is Homeward Bound. I imagine Max will make friends with a stray dog and show up at my parent’s house in Oregon in three or four months. I break.

I run through the neighborhood and search the forest, whistling “You Are My Sunshine” through choking tears. I check the sides of the roads for little furry bodies. I pray so hard. My roommate drives me to the grocery store where I make hundreds of copies of “Lost Cat” fliers and then helps me post them throughout the town. As night falls, I stand by the back door, willing Max to return, and I leave it ajar until the moon is high in the sky and the mosquitos start to swarm in.

Tearfully, reluctantly, I close the door and sit at the dining room table, defeated.

And then, a scratch. Could be roaches, because Florida. But there it is again, a scratch, at the back door. I rush to it in hope while simultaneously preparing myself for one final disappointment, fling open the door, look down, watch Max cross the threshold and head straight for her food bowl.

This was the night that I started to see dimly how I was being cared for, watched over. What helped my vision clear…next.

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provision, part one

Nineteen is too young to get married, but I didn’t learn that until I was twenty two. By then, I had thousands of dollars of credit card debt, a prescription for a cocktail of antidepressants, and bruises from where I periodically knocked my head into a wall in an attempt to feel anything but grey.

The time from my middle-of-the-night decision to divorce and the legal end of my marriage was two weeks. I had just turned twenty three and I thought it was the only way I had a hair’s breadth chance of happiness.

My mom and two best friends helped me pack a small trailer with a couch I loved, some clothes, CDs, and a load of books. I had the local U-Haul attach a tow hitch to my vintage Honda Accord, hooked up the trailer, flushed the cocktail of drugs down the toilet, and headed south on I-5 with my cat, Max, asleep on the seat beside me.

I’m fond of rain and cool weather, so naturally when I needed a place to start over, away from the disfunction I had stewed in for too long, I decided a couple weeks in Texas followed by a few months in Florida with my friend in the Navy was a great idea.

The Accord started to smoke just south of Sacramento and I called my ex, crying and screaming, cursing the car I’d taken from the divorce (the one we owned outright, that didn’t require a monthly payment). With no job, no college degree, and no money in the bank, I felt helpless and hopeless. He agreed to advance me enough to rent a U-Haul truck for my trip. After sneaking Max into a “no pets allowed” motel, I hobbled into Stockton, California early the next morning.

I had never seen blight before. Never driven past an empty park or iron-barred windows. I stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and was shocked when I walked in and every surface of the filthy room was covered with graffiti. I was sheltered, I was unknowingly racist, and I was afraid.

I found my way to the U-Haul dealer, which was the side business of a used-tire yard run by a middle-aged couple from Mississippi. The woman had dirty blond hair and yellow teeth and the man sported an impressive beer belly. They had thick Southern accents that my ears and addled brain couldn’t understand. It took a long time for them to rent me the truck. The details are fuzzy now, but they couldn’t find the truck first, then they seemed unclear about how to actually rent the truck to me. Perhaps I was their first customer? My patience wore thin as the morning dragged on, but I was finally able to load my couch, CDs, and books into a filthy 14-foot truck, drive my car onto the auto transport trailer I had to add to the mix, and continue south.

By the time I hit Los Angeles, it was rush hour and the busiest city I’d ever driven in was Seattle. I kept talking to Max, telling her everything was going to be just fine and to hang in there. But the engine temperature indicator on the U-Haul had skyrocketed into the red zone. Then I noticed steam coming from under the hood. Terrified of breaking down in the middle of the freeway, I took the first exit and pulled into a gas station parking lot. I fumbled for the rental paperwork and called U-Haul’s roadside assistance. Through tears, I explained my predicament and they agreed to send a replacement truck. Two hours later, a young man arrived with my own, very clean 17-foot U-Haul. It started to rain and he started to take the keys to the broken van and turn away. I asked if he could help me move my things from one truck to another and showed him how little was there. He said he wasn’t allowed, and it started to rain harder.

It only took us a few minutes to move my soggy belongings from one truck to another. I hugged him, thanked him profusely, and got into the new truck. I slept that night at a friend of my dad’s, in Claremont, California, just a few blocks from where Dad grew up, and the next morning started to head east. The next night, I stayed in Phoenix, with another friend of my dad’s, a woman whose husband was dying of brain cancer. We talked about faith and marriage and new beginnings. Her son was a fan of the Bare Naked Ladies, but didn’t have their first album. We went out to my huge U-Haul and I dug it out of one of the CD carrying cases. The cover was still wet from the previous afternoon’s rain.

My plan was to drive east to San Antonio, Texas, where I was picking my new roommate up from the airport and from there to head south to his apartment in Corpus Christi. I drove late into the night in Texas, looking for a place to stop. There was snow on the side of the road, and construction. It was harrowing to drive a big truck towing my car along a narrow highway, the lights from oncoming traffic and construction barriers dancing in my already pretty crappy vision. I saw a wolf on a ridge at the side of the road, or a deer, and started to worry about hitting an animal, to boot. But Max and I made it safely to a motel, and we rested another night.

The next morning, I piled Max back into the U-Haul and headed for the San Antonio airport. Despite the mishaps and breakdowns, I had hours to spare and was planning how I’d spend the free time as I pulled into the airport complex, trying to follow the signs for oversized, long-term parking.

But excitement or fatigue or bad signage led to my truck pointed straight at a dead-end in the handicapped parking section of the airport parking garage. Every spot was filled. My 17-foot truck, with the Accord firmly strapped to an auto transport trailer, was hopelessly trapped, and anyone who came looking to leave that little section of the garage would be trapped with me. The thought of inconveniencing someone was almost as mortifying as the thought that I’d never be able to leave the San Antonio airport.

For about half an hour, I tried to reverse out of the garage, but the trailer kept jackknifing. I flagged down a man returning home from a business trip and asked him to help. He tried and failed for a few minutes and said he needed to move on. Panicked and panting, with my little Nokia phone almost out of battery, I dialed 411 and then airport security, to beg them for help. They said they’d come if and when they could.

As the battery on my phone died, a lightbulb pinged in my head. Working as quickly as I could, I loosened and removed the straps holding the Accord to the transport trailer, backed it carefully off and parked it around the corner. Defying all liberal arts major stereotypes and a history of trying to fix things by hitting them, I unhooked the trailer from the U-Haul (wires and all) and pulled it like a rickshaw away from the truck, around the corner, and to the front of my car. Freed of its trailer burden, I could now back the U-Haul out of the handicapped parking section with ease and did so, then quickly hooked it all back up again and pulled out of the dark garage into freedom, with a half hour still to spare.

Tomorrow…part two, or, when things got really bad (but also good).

that moment

That moment when you realize that the…

  • aches and pains
  • bone-crushing exhaustion
  • total inertia
  • mood swings
  • hiding from people
  • flaking out on responsibilities

Might not be PMS or jet lag.

And you’re already getting pharmaceutical help.

So, there’s some shit you really actually need to deal with, like for real.

Pushing it down with food isn’t working.

Ignoring it isn’t making it go away.

And you don’t really know where to start.

Well, you do.

Well, I do.

But prayers turn to sawdust on my tongue. Tangle in my brain.

If I’m tired of my own voice, surely God is, too.

Tired of the same questions, the same doubts, the same struggle.

So tired.

 

isolation

Isolation is a sign and symptom of two particularly difficult struggles in my life, food addiction and depression, and sure, they feed each other (feed! get it?!), but they manifest themselves in very different ways. And while the isolation that results from addicted behavior is always unhelpful to me, the isolation from depression can either be dangerous or productive.

When food addiction isolation takes hold, I basically just want to shut myself up in a space and eat. I do this in my office many days – that afternoon snack that I don’t want anyone to see me eating (“Do you really need that, fat girl?” says the imaginary-surrogate-authority-figures-whose-approval-I-crave-as-much-as-salty-fat). So, I close the door, inhale the food, and then open it up again when I’ve cleaned up all the evidence of my wrongdoing. Or I might stay up long past everyone else in the house, stand alone in the kitchen, and graze by the light of the refrigerator. There is nothing helpful or healthy about this behavior. Nothing.

Depression isolation looks a little different. There’s more sleeping and less shoveling involved. It’s a slow-paced isolation, without the racing heart and shame.

Today’s isolation was the unhelpful kind. Last night, I was awake until four am…first watching a very dark, but compelling television show and then obsessing over updates about the Malaysia Airlines flight that has gone missing, particularly drawn into the horror of imagining being on a flight with my own child as it dropped into the sea. Staying up late and sleeping late is one way to ensure I face people the least amount of time, because I can only come up with so many half-truths to explain how I feel or am doing on any given day, and it’s exhausting.

I had every intention today of locking myself away to catch up on some of the school writing that I’ve let slide for weeks (this is a reasonable and healthy kind of isolation to which we will turn in a few moments). In fact, I ditched a training and the opportunity to have my friend Beth kick my ass at the gym in order to be productive. I was going to isolate FOR A GOOD CAUSE! I didn’t, really, though. Today was mostly an obsessive internet surfing, excuse-making kind of day.

There are some days, when you open your eyes and know you’ve already failed. That’s the kind of day this was.

Last fall, I spent several very productive and restorative weekends at a spiritual retreat center about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia. I went to read and to write, and I mostly felt really good about the time there. I’d call Giehl to check in here and there, and on Saturday if I had been very good, I’d buy dinner at Whole Foods and speak to the cashier there, but other than those short interactions, those weekends at the hermitage were just me, my wifi-less laptop, and God. I even managed to keep distractions to a minimum. I will read anything with words, from tween dystopian drama to bird watching guides…anything to avoid hearing my own thoughts. On these trips, I brought the books I needed for research, a Bible, and nothing more. I wrote and wrote and wrote and prayed and listened and wrote some more.

But the last couple of times I went, I cut my time there short. I started to feel alone and afraid in the woods. I craved the warm light of my own living room, the soft fur of my dogs cuddled beside me. I felt something like a sense of panic before I frantically packed up the laundry and locked the keys inside the cabin on my way back to the city. The silence was too much. I felt the kind of vulnerable that comes just before I plunge off a cliff into the darker depths of depression. Instead of face the fear with Jesus in the woods, I left.

So now, I’m trying to figure out how to find a disciplined, monastic space in the midst of my daily life. Trying to discern if I should risk going back to the woods. Trying to figure out where I’m going to write the rest of this damn book that I’m supposed to finish in two months.

Just as soon as I’m caught up on my Hulu queue.

bedtime

Last night, I cried while I stood next to Isaiah’s bed and he drifted off to sleep. I was feeling the weight of what it means to be a parent. Fretting over the lifelong implications of behavior patterns he establishes now. Sure that a rocky week in Kindergarten foretells teenage hooliganism, succumbing to peer pressure, and drunk driving.

Tonight, it was Isaiah’s turn to cry while he went to sleep…well, while he started to think about going to sleep anyway. Since the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, Isaiah was also distraught about Really Big Things. The questions and comments came fast and furious, his little brow furrowed and his little body restless:

  • “I’m just really sad because I’ll never be a dog and be able to curl up like a dog.”
  • “When people die, do they become dogs?”
  • “Why didn’t you and daddy make me a dog?”
  • “How did you and daddy make me?”
  • “Are there heroes in heaven?”
  • “Where do heroes live? Do heroes live in your heart?”
  • “If nobody gets hurt in heaven, are there heroes and ninjas?”
  • “Will I die when I’m twenty?”
  • “What happens when we die?”
  • “I just really wish I was a baby. I wish I never had a birthday.”
  • “I wish we had a baby.”
  • “I just really like dogs and cats and babies because they’re so cute. Kids aren’t cute. I wish I was never a kid.”

Golly, dude. I’m sorry. Nights like these, I stand there in the dark, stroking Isaiah’s back, singing a song (here’s our current favorite lullaby), and remember my dad coming into my bedroom, sitting by my bed, singing to me, urging me to stop thinking, to close my eyes, keep still, and let myself drift off to sleep. The baby books tell you that “sleep begets sleep.” And I’m pretty sure in those list of begats in the Bible, somewhere it says, “And insomnia begat insomnia.”

 

The album description of our lullaby (Stay Close) says: “Our journey with Jesus often contains stretches of doubt, alienation, and loneliness…This song is a petition to be renewed and for a rich sense of God’s immanence to remain during a difficult season.” I think somewhere, deep inside, I’m desperately hoping that Isaiah doesn’t battle the same demons of depression that I face…and that, if he does, the plea from this song will fuse to that depressed DNA that I passed along, giving him a fighting chance for peaceful nights.

resolutions

I did some math recently and was dismayed to realize that, at thirty-five years old, I’ve spent the better part of the last quarter century battling depression and body hate. A quarter of a century.

During that twenty-five years, I’ve experienced extreme lows, recovered, and then entered the depths again. I’ve hated the way I look and scanned every room I have been in to find someone, anyone, fatter than I am at that moment. Both struggles have been such an important part of my everyday world that I frankly just didn’t realize how much of my life they had influenced…consumed, even.

The two battles have similarities and differences.

I’m predisposed to both. I come from big, depressed, and anxious stock. How I’m wired is, in some ways, out of my hands. Like Gaga says, I was “born this way.” I remember the first time I ever used food to calm my nerves. I was around four or five years old, and I poured my brother and I a glass of milk to drink while my parents were in the middle of a fight. Depression and food addiction fuel each other in my brain and body, and always have. Both are destructive, joy-killing, and lead me to feel isolated and helpless.

But while I still feel shame over the numbers on the scale and the food I put in my mouth, I wear my depression like a badge of honor. I’ve worked hard to understand my mental illness, to work with it, to make my life work with it. I’m eager to share my story of dealing with this disease, because I am confident in my ability to flourish despite its best efforts to bring me down and because working through those valleys has strengthened and humbled me in exactly the right ways. Hell yeah, I go to therapy! And sometimes I need an SSRI and a sleeping pill to function! It’s all good, it ain’t the end of the world, and this weakness really is my strength.

My depression has also forced me to reckon with God and reconcile my childhood faith with my adult reality. I have lived through the darkest days only because God’s hand protected me. God is with me when I am in a blind rage, when I can’t drag myself out of bed, when I can’t stop crying, when I want to run away, when I do run away, when I hate myself, when I hate God, when I scream at people I love, when I try to hurt myself, when I am exhausted, when I give up, when I ask for help, and when I start to heal. And God is there when the cycle starts again. Maybe it’s the Lexapro talking, but I don’t feel like I need to escape depression. I have learned so much about who I am, who I can be, and have felt so loved and held through these experiences…it sucks, but it’s also a gift.

I can’t say the same about my body or food, my enemies.

There are parts of this battle that I can own. My choices are my own. My failures are my own. I decide what goes in my mouth. I decide how much I move. I choose. I don’t want to play the victim or improperly assign blame.

But at some point, the disease of food addiction began to take over my mind. I no longer made sane choices. I told myself if I just had enough willpower, I could stop eating potato chips and lose weight…but what I didn’t realize was that I had loads of willpower. If I wanted food, come hell or high water, I was going to get it.

I was…I am powerless against this drug, food, and I am not my will. I am more than my will.

Here’s what food addiction is like for me: I obsess over food. It is always on my mind. Though I have never experienced food insecurity, I worry constantly about where my next meal is going to come from, if it will be enough, and whether I will enjoy it. The idea of food is often much more delightful than the real experience. Dissatisfied, I will continue to eat, hoping for satisfaction. When I am anxious or angry and put food in my mouth, there is nothing like the instant calm that flows through my body. My heart stops racing. I can breathe deeply. My muscles relax.

This addiction is fueled by the messages that I’ve heard for so many years and internalized on the deepest level, the subtle and overt ways that usually well-meaning friends and relatives have participated in my shame. Here are a few that I remember:

  • Being called “thunder thighs” by a peer in middle school, while waiting for the bus.
  • A middle school PE teacher standing in a crowded hallway, hands on my shoulders, telling me she was worried about my weight.
  • The picture of a JC Penney model my mom kept on the fridge as a reminder for herself that she wanted to lose weight.
  • Going to Weight Watchers before I was a teenager, and then again, and again, and again.
  • Going to my first nutritionist and keeping my first of many food journals in high school (and yeah, I wasn’t a stick, but I look back at photos now and want to weep at how deformed I thought I was as a size 12).
  • Being told that I could have a pair of designer (acid wash!) jeans if I lost a certain amount of weight.
  • Getting complimented on how I looked only in the context of weight loss.
  • An uncle who offered me the “jumbo” piece of cake and my partner the “sliver” …to correspond with our body sizes.
  • Being congratulated for not eating dessert by an employer.
  • Watching a fat girl walk down the street being followed by a group of boys and my mother wondering aloud at how sad she was for the girl.
  • A friend laughing at a fat girl riding a ten-speed bike down my street.
  • The countless times my dad told me my fingers weren’t the fingers of a fat girl; hearing him talk about how beautiful other women and girls were; sitting in a grocery store parking lot as he remarked of a patron “she has such a pretty face, she’d be beautiful if she just lost weight, it’s too bad she’s so fat.”
  • Girlfriends who I thought were half my size constantly talking about how fat they were.

Maybe there’s more. I don’t know. I do know that my parents and friends love me. I’ve no doubt of that. And I should also make it clear that if I didn’t pick up these messages from these people who loved me, I probably would have heard much more damaging ones from folks who didn’t.

No matter the source, I soaked all those messages in. They became a part of me. They began to define me. I avoid photographs now like the plague. I manage to forget that I’m fat until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, or see a photograph. The disgust I feel is overwhelming. I don’t own a full-length mirror, I rarely go shopping, most days I try to hide my body in baggy clothes and when I wear something moderately fitted, I feel like an imposter…a toad trying to dress up like a princess. I gobble food in secret. In public, I try to eat small portions, to avoid real or imagined judgment from others.

There are a few things I haven’t resorted to in my effort to shake the fat off my body: I’ve never taken pills or had surgery, gone on a cabbage soup or grapefruit diet, or made myself throw up. I’ve never starved myself. But I have tried groups and books and plans and specialists and spanx. There have been so many gym memberships, VHS tapes, DVDs, and personal trainers. I quit them all and every time, put another point on the “Sarah’s a failure” board.

It’s a bizarre thing, this kind of failure. In other areas of life…in school and work…I excel and achieve. And while it often takes hard work, some of it comes pretty easily. I don’t quite know what to do with this trying, half-assed trying, and failing cycle I have going on here. But maybe it’s not working because I’m trying for the wrong thing.

I’m a work in progress. I feel really lucky to have met a wonderful friend this year who has helped me to connect the messages I’ve received from others to the way I think about myself. She’s helping me take the first baby steps towards believing that I really am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that my body size is not my beauty or my worth. I can do things that make me feel better, that make me hold my head higher, that remind me that I am strong. And those things aren’t directly related to my size. When I shave two or three minutes off of my mile time, when I can lift five more pounds than I could the week before, when I can sprint faster…I feel amazing. I want to capture that for its own sake, not for a result it may or may not bring.

And the OA mantra “progress, not perfection” is emerging from my brain in new ways.

When I was in middle school, at the start of every summer, I would make myself a very detailed daily schedule and resolve to follow it. The schedule included time for all the things I knew I should do: hygiene, exercise, daily bible reading and prayer, and Scarecrow and Mrs. King watching. A day or two later, the schedule was out the window and I was just reading novels all day, yet another failure.

At other points in my life, I would make these strict lists for myself: no more sugar, exercise every day for an hour, eat two pounds of raw vegetables a day, no more animal products (I took at stab at this one for years before finally going vegan, which I also assumed would be a phase – I really have very little faith in myself, I am coming to see). I have always loved me a to-do list. Little boxes to check off = worthiness to live another day!

This remarkable college kid who did weight-training with me this fall told me something that has stuck with me. He said, “I like it when you fail. It means you’re trying really hard.”

I like it when you fail. It means you’re trying.

I can’t remember the last time I wrote New Year’s resolutions. I think for years, I’ve just assumed that I would fail to keep whatever ridiculous and overreaching resolutions I made, so I never bothered. But this year, I’ve got Jordan and Nicole and Lexapro and Rachel and Beth and Paul and Grace and Giehl and Isaiah in my head, and I want to give them the microphone instead of the lame-ass crap I’ve been listening to for the last quarter century.

The first draft of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions read like the old middle school schedule. A bit strident, a bit negative, a bit too much. But I wrote until I stopped writing, and then I paused. I prayed. And Jesus sat with me and helped me write a second list, and then a third.

What I have now are two lists: one of resolutions and one of goals. The resolutions are the few things I’ve discerned are valuable to me, will feed me spiritually and physically. They are as much internal processes as they are external actions. The goals are where I hope to be by the end of 2014. In the past, I’ve wanted to do something “every day” and the first day I miss ruins everything. I hope these lists honor the reality that my growth is not predictable, that it won’t come in specific increments, and that there will be bad days and better days. I hope they give me something to reach for, not something to live up to.

Resolutions for 2014:

  • Wonder well.
  • Take risks. Fail.
  • Eat and drink mindfully.
  • Listen for God.
  • Bask in the sun.
  • Write more. Watch less.
  • Move and strengthen my body.

Goals for 2014:

  • Walk while working.
  • Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes.
  • Do 30 pushups in 1 minute.
  • Write 4 blogs per week.
  • Finish my first book on evangelical animal liberation theology.
  • Enjoy eating.

dark

It hit me yesterday, around 10 o’clock in the morning, when I was still struggling to drag myself out of bed. The reason I’ve been perpetually late, achingly tired, and totally unenthusiastic about basically everything for the last few weeks isn’t because my life sucks. I have a great life. My old companion depression has melted slowly into my brain again. 

She showed up at this same time last year, too. Maybe it’s the short day. Maybe this happens more than I realize.

Well, regardless of the possible seasonal cycle, depressed Sarah is ruling the roost up in my grey matter. I’ve been eating a lot of feelings. My fuse is short. My tolerance for bullshit is nonexistent. The grass looks way greener somewhere else. My need for order and calm and efficiency is very high. I have bursts of pleasantness and joy, but mostly I want to sleep, or cry, or scream. I probably shouldn’t drive very much (particularly in Philadelphia, where the jackassholery behind the wheel seems to be at constant epidemic levels). I probably should cut back on the coffee. 

I have a therapist. I have a psychiatrist. I have drugs. I have a great community. I have a husband and son who understand me and love me. I have a faith that helps me remember it’s not all about me. So, no intervention needed. But you may not want to cut me off in traffic.