Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So, I have been trying to come up with a description of what depression feels like for me and I have finally come up with a lengthy metaphor. Here it goes....

I'm going down the road happy as a clam and all of a sudden I find myself in a long dark tunnel. It wasn't on the map. It seemed to appear out of nowhere. I try not to panic because I figure I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon but it is nowhere in sight. In the meantime, I discover that this tunnel is filled with a thick viscous pitch from roadwork. I get completely bogged down in it. I keep trying to fight my way forward but I'm held back by the muck I'm trapped in. I really want help. I want someone to come in and help me to pull myself out but at the same time I push them away because I don't want them to get pulled down by the muck as well. So, I keep slogging through the pitch trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, I hear people outside of the tunnel asking me how I got in there in the first place. And I get frustrated because I have no idea and I'm too busy trying to concentrate on getting out to explain the path I took to get in this mess. I just know that as long as I keep moving, I will eventually find my way out.

And that is what depression is like for me. I can almost see a Reign of Ellen cartoon with me in it covered in pitch with a grumpy look on my face.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So, I went over to the hospital over my lunch hour and met Mia. It was a good time to go because it was just me, Amy and Greg. Greg put Mia in my arms and I got to rock her for fifteen minutes. She's a beautiful baby. I can't wait to start reading books to her! It's gonna be really fun.
My friends Amy and Greg had their baby this morning and I am so happy and grateful that everyone is safe and healthy. Mia arrived early this morning and I can't wait to meet her. I hope to go over on my lunch hour to see them. It's kind of a tricky thing because you know the family is overwhelmed with their new arrival. Mom is recovering and everyone is tired. The last thing they want to do is to entertain guests trooping through their room demanding to see the baby. But heck, how many opportunities to I have to see a friend's baby the day it's born? I'll just make it a quick visit and hopefully I won't bother them too much. It will be so fun to see who she looks like. Welcome to the world, Mia!

Monday, August 29, 2005

My mom and Gary have helped me to work out the logistics of my move, so I'm feeling much better about that. However, I think my latest anxiety has to do with long-distance friendships.

I see my friends as family. And it makes me feel really upset to think about being separated from even more of them. It is so hard to keep in touch with people. My friend Brad who was my closest friend for many years has shut me out for some reason. I never hear from my friends Dave and Lora who moved away. (and Dave was my closest friend in Denver) I feel very removed from my friend Jennifer. I haven't seen my friend Ellen since college. And I guess I worry that this is going to happen with my friends here after I move. We'll stay in touch for awhile and then we'll quit corresponding and I'll cease to be a part of their lives. I'm going to miss seeing my friends' babies grow up. (Dave/Lora and Amy/Greg and Ellen/Jason) I'm going to miss seeing their new homes and sharing in their joys and sorrows. I'll just become this person they knew who lives in another state. And that causes me a lot of grief. And scares me. That my impact on the lives of others could be so small.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

So, last Sunday was the series finale of "Six Feet Under." *spoiler alert*
It was a show I had a love/hate relationship with. I would often get frustrated with the characters. At how self-absorbed and whiny they could be. I'd quit watching for awhile and then I'd start up again. Maybe I didn't like it because I saw things in them that I didn't like in myself. But the show was well written and covered some pretty brave territory. I especially liked the character of David. The last show really shook me. I thought it was great but the last 5-10 minutes caught me by surprise. I like the fact that the show always brought death right to the forefront. It reminded us that death is a fact of life that we cannot escape from even though we try to ignore it. Seeing how each character eventually died gave all the viewers real closure. But it also reminded us yet again of the transience of life.

I have been working on reading the book "And Ladies of the Club" for the past year. I pick it up, read it for a few days, and then put it down again. It's a good book but it's difficult. It starts in 1868 with the formation of a women's club and ends in the late 1930's. You follow all of the characters in great detail, sharing their lives and joys and sorrows. The two main characters were 18 when the book started and now they are grandmothers. It kind of makes me melancholy in the way that the end of SIX FEET UNDER did. Why can't we just stay at our physical peak for the rest of our lives. Why do we all eventually have to turn youth over to others and face the breakdown of our bodies? Time is harsh. But then, we get to experience so many new and wonderful things as we age as well. I don't know. Maybe I'm just too much in my own head right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Have you ever wanted to read a newspaper article online but the website forced you to register before you could see it? Isn't that irritating? Well, my friend Greg turned me on to this website called Bug Me Not. You go to Bug Me Not and enter the name of the site requiring registration and it gives you a dummy log-in to use so you don't have to. I love it! It's the greatest thing since sliced bread! Give it a try...

Monday, August 22, 2005

So, I have been reading this book by Mark Helprin called "Freddy and Fredericka" and it's pretty funny. I'm about halfway through it. It gently pokes fun at the British monarchy with main characters in a sendup based on Charles and Diana. I have had it on our Staff Recommendations display for about two weeks and no one would touch it with a ten-foot pole. Yesterday, a review appeared in the Sunday Denver Post about the book giving it a good review. Within fifteen minutes of opening, people were calling in for the book. People won't listen to me but they will definitely come running if a journalist recommends it. Maybe I'm in the wrong business. I had no idea journalists wield so much power. Except for Oprah. She's so powerful that when she recommends a book, people become zombies and pour into libraries and bookstores requesting it. Wow. What I could do with that kind of book power!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

So, Gary is finally here. We went out with our friends Sara and Greg to the Palm last night. It was so fun to get dressed up and go out with friends. We all shared lobster and it was delicious! It's too bad I have to work today. But Gary is helping me out by running errands for me. And we have all day tomorrow to be together.

Tomorrow is the final episode of "Six Feet Under." I'll kind of be sorry to see it go. Although, I always thought the Fishers were a pack of whiny selfish brats. And yet I couldn't keep myself from watching the show so I could see what happens next.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Let's talk about censorship.

I have noticed that this has been a big topic in libraries lately as different groups across the nation are calling for the removal of certain materials in public libraries. One of the most public right now is the call for the removal of certain Spanish language materials that have comic drawings of naked women in them. I have to say I find all of this somewhat amusing because I have seen much more questionable materials in public libraries than that. But I work in a library and I know that materials of a more mature nature and typically placed high up out of the hands of little ones. Now, I don't have kids so it probably isn't fair for me to say this, but I believe that it is the parents responsibility to decide what materials their children can see. If you are letting your child run around the library by themselves, well... I hate to say it but the library is not a childcare service. We can't monitor every child. And someday, Lord willing, if I have kids, I think I would be much more worried about them seeing a movie or book filled with extremely violent pictures than I would be about having them see a picture of a woman's bare breasts. Once you allow people to censor one item, it opens the floodgates to censorship of all types of items. And who gets to make these decisions for us?

Monday, August 15, 2005

I'm feeling better today. I think the fog around me is lifting. That's the odd thing about depression. You swim around in it not knowing where it came from or when it's leaving. And then...poof!'s gone.

I had a nice weekend. I got to rest and spend some time with my buddy Sara and that really gave my spirits a boost. I feel like we are finally figuring out a plan for my big move. And now I get to look forward to Gary coming into town at the end of the week. And my favorite season, Autumn, is right around the corner! Maybe things are starting to make a turn for the better...

I have been officially crowned by Queen Frank! (Queen Ellen to most of you) I told her I'd make a better lady-in-waiting. But maybe after next July, I'll be ready to be Queen of my new domain. It's kind of weird to see myself without glasses now that I've had my laser eye surgery. I'm never getting rid of my mole, though, unless they make me.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I just found this book on the shelf and I think I'm going to read it. It's called "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping." Hopefully, it will give me some good ideas on dealing with life right now. So far, I've learned (and this is probably obvious to most of you) that stress can lead to depression, anxiety and weight gain. All things I'm dealing with right now. So, maybe I'll get some good tips. If any of you know of any good techniques on dealing with stress or good books on stress or depression, let me know.
I feel really frustrated right now. You always here that employers value people who take initiative but I'm beginning to think that's not true.

I just handled an irate customer who had two overdue books that were due in early June. She had accrued the maximum fine. Theses items had a grace period of 39 days but she still couldn't get them in on time. Now, two months later, she brings them in and she's pissed that she has to pay a fine. She thinks the library should send phone calls and notices galore. We sent her one notice and she felt that wasn't enough. So, I tell her it's her responsibility to get things in on time and that even if she had returned them 39 days late she STILL wouldn't have had to pay a fine. But over two months late require a fine. So, she's pissed but she pays the fine. Then, my boss walks over and gives the woman back her money. Right in front of me. Thus, undermining anything that I had done. Thanks a lot. That is really supporting your staff.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

So, I watched "Prozac Nation" last night which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I read the book years ago. The thing about the movie was that it reminded me a lot of myself. I haven't had a major depressive episode since college. And I've never had to use medication to pull myself out of it. (not that there is anything wrong with that, Tom Cruise! I think meds have their merits) Therapy has always been a bust for me. But I still have small depressive episodes now and then. Like this week. I think I am just feeling overwhelmed. Wedding planning, volunteering on four committees, hating my job, etc. And I haven't seen any of my friends in two weeks. Part of the problem is that I just don't have a lot of friends here. I tend to have only a few close friends in keeping with my personality. And that's great. But it makes it difficult when you feel the need to socialize and be with other people and they are all too busy. I'm not really complaining. My friends are busy and have big things going on in their lives. But I just feel really lonely right now. And it is made worse by this depression that has settled in. And it is so hard to describe to someone. Gary tries to get me to explain why I feel depressed and I can't. I can't pinpoint something specific. It's just a general ennui...or malaise. I feel like I'm underwater. But I'm still functioning. And that's a good thing. At least I manage to get out of bed everyday. I consider that a personal triumph. And I'm starting to pull out of it. I think all of these life changes are just getting to me right now.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

When I was in high school, a teacher had each of us take the Myers-Briggs personality test in order to sort us into groups. At that time, I was an INXJ. I was evenly split between sensing and feeling, hence the "x." Now that my personality is set, I am an INFJ. It's kind of interesting how accurate this test seems to be. This describes my personality:


By the way, I'm slowly coming out of my mood. If only I didn't have to work. It's raining and I just want to hole up in my house with movies and books and not talk to anyone except my cat.

I feel like the main character in "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day." Only instead of a day, it's a week. But things always turn out in the end.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My mood has not improved one iota today so I have decided to leave off of blogging for the next few days because I don't have anything positive to say and it's no fun to read a whiney negative blog. So, once my mood lifts, I'll be back...
I heard this song recently and it kind of describes where I am in my life right now. It's called "No Sign of It" by Natalie Grant:

"It's a long wait at the gate
just to glimpse your fate
just to see whether it all works out
It's a long road, a heavy load
You gotta really want to go
and just let the others walk around you now

up and down again
but this time it's different
it took some waiting to straighten out the bend
In and out of luck
yeah at times it was difficult
I got a new life baby, It takes some getting used to but...

No sign of any rain
My skies are clear today
I keep bracing for that hit
But there's no sign of it
No obstacles in sight
My skies are clear tonight (My skies are full of light)
I keep thinking I might see that cloud arrive
Oh but there's no sign of it
No sign of it

And as I look around, it's all new ground
the leaves on the trees touch down
But I'm above weightless as a dream
It's been a long road, a heavy load
I just simply had to go
Had to get here hard as it's been
In and out of luck
yeah at time it was difficult
I got a new life baby, it just takes some getting used to..."

I think I'm gonna make it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

In my effort not to be grumpy, I'm trying to think of something positive to blog about. Our friend Muffin just got voted Best Artist in the Bay Area by the readers of San Francisco magazine. Gary and I already own two of her paintings. Gary gave me this one for my birthday. It's called the "Rejoiced Heart."
I have a nasty grumpy gremlin inside of me today. I feel tired and achy and I have very little patience with anyone today. I am the absolute worst version of myself. I come in this morning to work and find out I have to the bilingual storytime again. Normally, I don't mind but I don't feel well today and it takes some preparation to get it together. But I did it. Then, my co-worker called out sick again. She has called out continuously for three weeks so far and counting. Evidently, she is suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome. Now, I'm not saying that this isn't a real complaint. I have had wrist problems because of this job and I know it can hurt. But she is even calling out for her shifts that don't require shelving. In the meantime, no one can get vacation approved because we are short staffed. I know I shouldn't be impatient and angry about this situation but I really am. I feel like she is letting us all down. And I know part of this is my general grumpiness. I feel a little depressed. And for no particular reason either. I think if I could just stay in bed for a few days, I would feel better. But I can't because they need me at work. My co-worker has already called out for tomorrow. And I would be willing to bet money we don't see her at all this week.
Here is a quotation I found on an Intelligent Design website:

"The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion."

Basically, it is a way for Christians to try and reconcile evolution and religion. The idea is that evolution is accepted as a theory with the understanding that it is guided by a divine hand. That there is an intelligence behind the design. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this theory. HOWEVER, it has become politicized and some people see it as a way to get religion into the science classroom.