On Depression and Gratitude
I’ve been doing this 21 days of Gratitude thing as a hoot, but I just considered that I got this as a part of therapy. In other words, if you are depressed, being grateful for what you have is supposed to make you feel better. But does it? If you’ve never had clinical mental illness, you probably think it should make everything better. You probably apply logic to situations. But that’s just the thing. Depressed people can SEE logic, they just can’t act on it very well. Here’s one example. A dirty house makes you feel bad, yes? Cleaning it would make you feel better. Therefore (x + cow = red) you should get up and clean your house.
As you can see, Mr. Sad Face wasn’t too impressed with Snow White’s chipper attitude toward cleanliness, though blowing her up with a magic wand did bring a smile to his face. That’s always nice. More on that in a bit.
Gratitude journals are supposed to work the same way. But here’s the thing. There are different stages of Depression. It’s never “cured” but you can have times of mostly remission, as long as you take your meds and / or go to therapy or whatever it is you do to cope. But if you are in the really down stage, someone telling you to be grateful is only going to make it worse. For example:
It goes a little differently with the depressed brain.
So you see the difference? It’s not that the depressed person is trying to be obstinate, that’s just how our brains work. We already KNOW we have good things in our lives, and sometimes that us feel even more down. Just because you have depression doesn’t mean you don’t have gratitude. It means you have a chemical imbalance, and possibly some other sucky events have happened in your life. Your brain sees through a different lens when suffering depression. Like the drug commercial we know so well – this is your brain on depression. This is your brain without it. There’s a difference – it’s even visible on brain scans, so it’s not made up stuff to let depressed people lie on their duffs and take no responsibility. No matter how much it seems that way – even to the one who is depressed.
Now gratitude is a good thing, and when you’re out of your darkest days, it’s fine. But please don’t push people to be grateful when that is just one of the many things they wish they can do but can’t. It causes guilt, not happiness. Coming out of depression takes time, and hard work, and the right kind of therapy and meds. It’s not a quick fix. But there is one thing that is – even if the fix only lasts a few minutes. Humor. Humor helps. I’ve been in the hospital, and I’ve seen it work with other “mentals”. It is possible to laugh in the midst of suffering. And that’s part of why I blog. I love humor, and I hope my somewhat bizarre form of it helps people, whether they are sick or not. Remember that rainbows don’t appear during the worst of the thunderstorm. They come after. But during you can always use an umbrella. Until that blows away and you just hide under a taller person. Or – I lost track of my metaphors. Anyway, this is Alice signing out, hoping your brain has a good day.
P.S. I hope you found humor in how Snow White has kind of a Joker grin (not really intended). Why so serious?
21 Days of Gratitude: Are we done yet?
Nope, I’m on day . . . 6. That just leaves – carry the two – there’s several days left. So I skipped a bit again and I’m gonna have to throw a few on here, which is better than bothering you with several short pointless posts, right? Sure.
Day 6: Take a few minutes to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
Wait, what? Call someone? They mean, like, text, right? Cause calling is such a pain. Also, who is there to call? No one ever picks up cause, well, since no one calls anymore it must be one of them there telemarketer types. Or bill collectors. Avoid, avoid.
But I signed the fake pledge so – I guess I could call my husband. Haven’t talked to that guy in a while. Wonder what he’s up to – besides the insides of a car. Must find out.
Voicemail. That figures. I told his voicemail about my appreciation for him, and also my appreciation for voicemail. I should get a “k” text any minute now.
Day 7: Take a picture of one thing, person, place or specific moment that makes you feel grateful. Share it with your social network.
My daughter lost my camera bag with the battery charger for a while, so no chance to take a picture. Yes I have an actual camera that isn’t my phone. Anyway, I just read this post today complete with picture. I am grateful that I do not live in this specific moment. The 1950s, otherwise known as the age of Lysol.
The ad is kind of small, so best to view it on That Retro Blog, a blog created by my pal Merbear, which occasionally also stars my own sarcastic commentary. For more info on this fabulous lysol douche – yes I said douche and lysol in the same sentence – see here.
Day 8: Send thank you notes to five people who deserve a little recognition.
Thank you notes? Phone calls? Was this gratitude journal written in the 1950s? Do they expect me to be a wizard? Cause my hand cramps. And I have no idea where any official thank you notes are located. And I’m lazy. Gratefulness is HARRRD.
Fine, okay, I will list some people, but no one be upset if I don’t mention you cause it’s not that I don’t like you (probably), it’s that I have the memory of a gerbil.
1. Merbear: My Wonder Twin who listens to me whine for free, even with her own issues.
2. Noxema Mom: We’ve been friends for almost a decade, but it feels like we were switched at birth at times. She has no blog, but she knows who she is.
3. Ravinj: We’ve known each other since we were eleven and twelve. There are no secrets. She knows about every stupid thing I’ve ever done. Best to keep these people close.
4. Mental Mama: Also listens to me whine and has been where I’ve been (crazyville).
5. Every one else who is special and I can’t remember cause gerbil brain: Thanks. You guys are the greatest. Kiss kiss, Alice.
I just remembered I didn’t add in my Things. Or that husband person. Whoops. They get it.
Okay, so done with the gratitude for now. I would like to thank the Academy that I missed the Oscars last night, though I hear there were some decent dresses worn.
Requests for Alice!!!
P.S. I’m wondering if there was anything you’d like to see me write about. For instance, I was just watching TLC the other day, and there was Sexy Times in the ER where a guy used hot sauce where he really shouldn’t and all sorts of shenanigans took place ending up at the hospital! And TLC just keeps crankin’ out the weirdo shows like “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” in spite of the hot sauce incident and “Strange Addictions”. Latest one was a guy addicted to eating ONLY French Fries (way too edible there), and another dude who liked dressing up as a rubbery, cross-dressing doll. Also, there are several children’s shows I haven’t tackled to the ground yet, like Maisy Mouse, and Cailou, and who knows what other demon filled creations are out there to entertain our kids. There is also a certain population that never comments but really, really likes my posts about torturing virtual people. So anyhoo, let me know in the comments below if there’s something you’d like to see. Grats to all.
Alice (cause I’m so bold)
21 Days of Gratitude: 3 in 1 Blow
So I’ve fallen behind in my gratitude stuff, blah blah, bite me. I’m determined to get through every one of these (aren’t you happy?) Let’s see, what was Day 3?
Day 3: Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today.
I just know what some people would write here. God. I’m grateful to God cause like I exist and He hasn’t started another flood in spite of the Tea Party, etc etc. You know what I think? Total cop out there. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against God at all. I just have something against people who feel they constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, have to tell everyone how much they love Him. It’s sort of like the guy who is always going on and on about how wonderful and perfect and speshul his wife is. If he’s been married to her over 24 hours, I’m looking for the girl in the closet.
Note: You show love for people (and the god you worship) in how you LIVE not just in what you SAY. That being said, I’m so so grateful for my readers! You guys are awesome! Even the spambots!
Okay, fine, that’s a no-brainer too. Obviously I’m grateful for my readers. Just like I’m grateful for my Things – especially when they are hilarious and clever and, at times, out of my hair. So I need to use my noggin to come up with something different. And I did. Not only that, it takes out two days of gratitude with one stone!
Day 4: Write a short message of thanks for some of the “negative” things in your life.
I didn’t put the quotes around negative. What do they mean by “negative”? Are we talking “dog doo on the shoe” vs “terrorist attack” or what? Nevermind. I found something that answers what I’m grateful for even though it’s a definite negative (no quotes needed).
I am grateful for E.L. James.
No, I’m serious. I am thankful, in the negative, for her because if she hadn’t written such crappy books, I would not have been compelled to make 1,000 posts mercilessly mocking them (and her) and so would not have been noticed by someone else mocking her (Speaker 7 – rest her soul) and would not have gotten my hilarious, inspiring readers. Which I really am grateful for, along with God (please don’t strike me down).
Okay, so 3 and 4 are done and now we’re on day 5. Hurrah.
Day 5: Take five minutes to write about how grateful you are for all of the wonderful things that you currently have in your life. Don’t long for what you can’t possess-instead, take stock of all the blessings you already enjoy.
Five minutes? Am I supposed to time myself, cause I type pretty fast. Also, has anyone else noticed that this is getting a bit repetitive? How many times do I need to be grateful for the same things? And another thing – notice that grateful is not spelled like “great” but like “grate” which is something that like covers vents and stuff? I always have to hit spell check on that one to make sure I’m right. Maybe not after this exercise.
I also considered that this would be a good way to show off to other people, especially if you post these suckers on Facebook or something. For example:
I’m grateful for my 1,000 inch flat screen TV, my XBOX 7500, my 5 million buckaroos in the bank, my handsome and virile husband, my perfect straight A, gorgeous, athletic children, the LORD, my house in Malibu, Ronald Reagan, brown paper packages tied up in string, kittens, and the less fortunate people (ie the rest of you) because you make me feel superior. Amen.
I could do that, but I won’t. I, Alice, am thankful for all the wonderful things in my life (how long have I been writing now?) like fuzzy socks, electric blankets, and those family and friends I live with and chat with (like my Wonder Twin!) and all that stuff. And also my FABULOUS READERS who will most definitely leave me lots of comments now.
21 Days of Gratitude and Stuff: the ABCs
I have been involved in some GROUP therapy work which is supposed to make me less Sad Pony and Squirrel and more like my usual sarcastic self.
Day 1 was just signing a pledge that I would do it. Here is my pledge.
I, Alice, pledge to do this gratitude thing because why the heck not.
Today is Day 2. I was instructed to make an alphabetical list of things I am grateful for, so I sought help from my Things and whatever came up off the top of my head.
A: Asphalt – we drive on it and it beats dirt
B: Birth control – I only have two kids! Yay!
C: Calculator – because I am bad at Math
D: Dragon Tales – the show that got me lots of hits from angry crazed fans.
E: Elevator – cause I’m too lazy for stairs
F: That word I cannot say
G: Garage – where my husband goes
H: Hatahs – cause they gonna hate hate hate but I’ll shake ’em off, shake ’em off
J: Jesus – cause I’m afraid not to list Him
K: Kmart – low low prices!
L: Lunatic – which I am not hurray!
M: Money – I likes it
N: Nice people – cause I can take advantage of them, I mean, cause they’re nice!
O: Organs – Cause livers and spleens are good things to have.
P: Pee!: Always a relief
Q: Quasimodo – Reminds me I do NOT have a hump!
R: Radio – even if it was killed by video
S: Spammers – Who are like half my readers! Much to the thanks, guys!
T: My Things (or children, whatever)
U: Ugly people – they make me feel pretty
V: Victory – I like beating people.
W: Words – they go in the sentences (please tell E.L. James)
X: Xanax! Woooooot!
Y: Yeti – they are all white and fluffy and eat people
Z: Zantac – beats acid indigestion
What do you think? Do you have an alphabetical grateful list? Could you make one and put it in my comments section? The weirder the better. The best one I’ll list in a future post with a link back to their blog so spammers can find them! Or you can NOT do it, see if I care.
50 Shades of Valentines
Hullo, Alice here. I have been ripped out of my seclusion because I just had to tell you about the most romantical movie ever made, so romantical they of course had to release it on Valentine’s Day! Before I begin, I must warn you that this post is not fit for children, dogs, or respectable human beings.
Are they gone? Great, it’s just us. Naturally, the movie I am referring to this:
That’s right, folks! Just when you thought it had crawled under the sewer grates of the world to die, it has returned! 50 Shades of Crap – er Grey! I was going to put in one of the posters from the movie there, but even WordPress for some reason refused to let me do it – three times in a row. I guess even they have standards.
Of course the movie producers could have saved time by just doing this:
I’m not sure why they didn’t just get Kstew and Rputz or whatever their names are to star in this one. Everyone knows their careers are pretty much in the toilet after those Twilight movies. But then again, a number of actors ran from this movie, so maybe they finally wisened up too.
Anyhoo, you might be wondering if I went to see this great feat of sinamatography (spelling intended). I refuse to spend that much money to sit in a theater and watch this, especially considering I would spend the first 15 minutes either heckling it or snoring, and would soon be thrown out. Will I get it on video? Oh, you know I will, if only so I can answer some of those deep down, burning, throbbing questions. For instance:
1. The tampon scene
If you haven’t read the books, you can check out my review of said chapter, or try to forget I ever mentioned it. Suffice it to say, I really want to know how they pull that one off, er, um, fit it into an R rated movie. Personally, I think they should have aimed for XXX or even ZZZ.
2. Christian introducing Ana to his “manhood”.
I just have to see if they include that, and how the actors manage to keep from falling out of the bathtub laughing.
3. Christian’s lobby
There better be a buttload of sandstone there, or I will be sorely disappointed.
Speaking of buttload, there must be buttplugs. A whole drawer full of ’em. Maybe some will be shaped like Mickey Mouse or something. They should go all out (and in) on this.
5. The way Christian’s pants hang.
Just how DO they hang? From his hips showing his underoos like Marky Mark? Maybe they hang from his nipples? The world must know.
6. The emails
Will we be treated to that heart-stopping typing action with all its vomit-inducing cutesy-ness? I can’t wait.
7. The sex scenes
I will not accept these scenes as authentic unless Ana says “Oh Jeez” at least once, and makes lots of pirate noises (argggh).
8. The bicycle incident
Early in the book Ana is almost hit by a van er I mean a bicycle. I think they should get Lance Armstrong to guest star. It’s not like he could fall that much farther.
9. Christian’s long fingers
I’m hoping they add on some appendages, kind of like Edward Scissorhands, only not as subtle.
10. Ana’s multiple personalities
Will we hear all of Ana’s thoughts rattling around in that empty head as voice-overs, or will they get actual people to play her subconscious and inner goddess? I expect pom poms.
And that’s just the START of my questions. Now there is a chance the movies will be better than the books. Like Twilight, I really can’t imagine them being worse. I can think of a few suggestions to make things a little more interesting. For instance, instead of tying Ana to a cross, Christian could tie her to that wheel from The Price Is Right, spin her around, and attempt to mate with her (or the board) while it spins. If they time it right, they could win the Showcase Showdown.
I guess I’ll never know for sure unless I actually watch it, but guessing is half the fun. So I ask you readers, did any of you go to see this piece of . . . movie history? Do you have any guesses about what it will be like? Or are you, like most sane people, in denial that the book or anything like it ever took place? Let me know in the comments below!