Deep Thoughts on Depression

Hello everyone. Snarky Coppertop here and ever so present. Though the name insinuates that I am full of snark, sarcasm, and what not today something has hit me hard in the serious sector. I had intended to post something a little more lighthearted and snarky for my introduction but I have to get this out.

 

Something that honestly has been ever present in my life here recently more so than usual. Tough topic for anyone to talk about and most like to sweep under the rug. Depression. At some point in our lives we are all faced with it. Whether it be a friend, family member, significant other or ultimately ourselves.

 

In my family I was raised that it was a taboo. That you just “suck it up buttercup”, the past is the past don’t dwell on it, or the “no ones ever been depressed in our family, doesn’t run in it”. So for years I’ve hid it, buried it deep down and never spoke of that dark place my mind would constantly wander into. Put on my happy face.

 

I think now that’s where the snark and sarcasm truly came to light. It was a mask, a diversion that I could so easily hide behind. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all a masquerade but when I’m am down it is definitively more pronounced. The thing about it though is after years of denial I have finally reached the stage of acceptance.

 

Kicking and screaming the whole way. That willingness to reach out for help and approach it open minded was like climbing Everest without an oxygen tank. But I made it. I have my days still but I am more aware now than ever before that I have to get back off that ledge before I tumble over again for the hundredth time.

 

To my point as to why it has struck such a chord with me today. I have two friends that are themselves over that ledge. Both choosing the same poison as their coping mechanism, alcohol. One recently ended up in an inpatient rehab facility for a week and the other in the ER/ICU with internal bleeding. Neither still seems to have reached the acceptance stage of “I need help” nor the willingness to take it.

 

So here I sit in a quandary. I want to go sit down, smack them upside the head, and have a for lack of better words a “come to Jesus” discussion. But am I honestly strong enough to do so as I myself am just putting the shattered pieces of myself back together? Am I truly the right person to try and talk them back over the ledge? I know that dark place all too well and resist falling into it every damn day.

 

I will percolate on it tonight. And see what resolutions I can discover in my own tortured mind. For those reading if you do suffer from depression or know someone who is please don’t do it alone or allow them to. Find someone, anyone to help. Never be ashamed because as I have learned there are more people out there than you would ever know fighting this battle. Don’t let it beat you and and drag you down. It’s only permanent if you allow it to be so. And remember the first step to the healing path is actually reaching out.

 

Snarky Coppertop

 

The Case For Queso

Today was a day for queso. You know what I mean.

I slept like crap last night. I passed out, but slept fitfully. I got up, fought the urge to burn the world, and proceeded to make my coffee and nag my 12 year old out of bed for school. I drove to the office, got all set up, then realized I needed to be at the warehouse today. Joined by one of our interns, I worked and she worked and then it was time for lunch and my stomach was SCREAMING at me and I just thought:

Q U E S O!!!!!

I had to have it. I *needed* the queso. I wanted to be one with the queso and have it be one with me. SO, I took my intern with me and we went to a local mexican joint and had some delicious food with…you guessed it…QUESO!

The first bite of queso provided that immediate euphoric experience. The cheese was hot, salty, gooey (get your minds OUT of the gutter…this is melted CHEESE I’m describing) and paired perfectly with the corn totilla chip that was delightfully crisp, but sturdy enough not to break in the dip. I dipped my chips in the queso, then in the salsa, and the combo was divine! An explosion of flavored assaulted my sense of taste and smell. The cheese lent relief to the biting spice of the jalepeno. The spiceness of the salsa complimented the mildness of the queso and lent it a livlier flavor than had I just enjoyed the queso alone. Mexican for lunch was SUCH a good idea.

All was right with the world. My irritations ceased. My frustrations fell away. I was simply surrounded by the blissfulness that only eating exactly what I wanted could provide. My days was right again. I don’t even mind the sleepiness I have now from overindulging. Because, as most people will agree:

Queso is life. Go get you some.

~The Grey

Copper Top and the Grey: It’s Been A Long Time Coming

I have an announcement and a little back story. First, the back story.

When I was 17 years old, I met someone that will ALWAYS be in my life. I spent the summer after my highschool graduation essentially living on her couch. I was so much a part of that particular group of people that I had status at the apartment. The couch was my spot (much like Sheldon) and if I wanted to sit or lay down, others had to move. I slept on that couch, cried on that couch, laughed and sang and acted goofy with my friends on that couch. And I spent the majority of my time with that chic. She and I became fast friends and even though life has taken us in different directions at times, we always come back to our friendship as though no time has passed. She is the inspiration for me starting this blog. She is the inspiration for the name of this blog. And now, she is going to be a PART of this blog! <— That was supposed to be the announcement!

I want to extend an extremely warm welcome to my friend, Coppertop. She will be posting, just like me. There will be posts by us individually (We will sign our names to differentiate who wrote what: Her being the Snarky Coppertop and me being The Grey) and then there will be posts that are collaborative and there will be posts that are simply little transcripts of our conversations. We decided last night that our conversations are too ridiculous not to share, so you shall gain some insight into our little corner of crazy. Hopefully you all will cackle like crazy, as we both do.

So hopefully, in the necxt week or two, posting will become more regular again and there will be more entertaining content to enjoy and share.

Smoochies~

The Grey

R E S P E C T

In an ideal world, when you give respect, you get respect.

No one lives in an ideal world.

I have also heard that respect is earned. Well, how do you earn that other person’s respect? You would think by being considerate, kind, and oh…I don’t know… maybe even a little…RESPECTFUL towards the other person would garner some reciprocation, but that is not always the case either.

But then, people are tricky creatures. We have feelings that have many meanings at any given point in time. And right now, for me at least, I have feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, embarrassment, and unhappiness. Because I have no respect. That is, I am being given no respect in certain aspects of my life and that is a difficult place to be in and function normally. I don’t think I am ever unclear about how I feel disrespected and I try to model the kind of respect I would like to receive, but I don’t think it is being taken seriously. Or maybe my feelings are so unimportant it doesn’t even register. I don’t know. I just know that sitting here, thinking about it all, a bright shiny flashlight is highlighting this all in my thoughts and I can’t stop dwelling and I just want it to stop.

I want the disrespect to stop.

I want the dismissal of my feelings to stop.

I want the intentional embarrassment to stop.

I want the denegration to stop.

I want the respect that I deserve, that I have earned. I want to feel like I matter.

I don’t think that is too much to ask for in life.

Sometimes…

I’m a touch flakey. It’s okay. I know I am. All people are, at times, a touch flakey. I have all of these ideas. These GREAT ideas! Ideas for work from home business, ideas for food, for what I want to do through out the week…and then I flake. I mainly flake on personal goals but every once in a while there is collateral damage…

I’m still trying to figure out WHY I flake. Well…to be honest at times I flake because I simply don’t want to do what ever it is I am flaking on. It’s just easier to be like, “Meh…another time.” instead of forcing myself to do something I am less than enthusastic about accomplishing. Sometimes I flake because I have overbooked myself and I run out of time. This is within my control if I would just manage my time better but..hey. Life, you know? And sometimes I am flaking and I don’t even realize it because I forgot. I’ve got a gajillion things running through my head all day and night and with three kids, a husband, cats, dogs, work, household chores, remembering to take my vitamins, making food….phew…sometimes ALL of that gets in the way and I get distracted and I forget and the flakiness is completely unintentional. But still…being better at setting reminders is a goal to keep this from happening. Other times I flake because…well…commiting myself to something SO time consumming and large leaves me feeling overwhelmed and scared of “what if I fail??” and full of the guilt for any time taken away from my family. And facing those feelings is harder than flaking sooo….you get the point.

All of this is within my control. I don’t have to be a flake. I can be the person that I see in my head. I can.

Can’t I?

I mean, it isn’t like I set out to be this flakey person. I have THE BEST of intentions when I start out…but then I really just drop the ball. I need to get better at not picking up the ball if I don’t intend on holding  it like I am supposed to do. The only way to overcome that is to out myself and make the decision to move forward or not on whatever it is that I  am being flakey about and move the hell on.

 

So that is just what I am going to do. I am going to rehab my flakiness and become the Queen of Followthough….

I hope!

I am *NOT* your friend.

I had to reaffirm some rules this weekend. It was not fun, but it was necessary.

My husband and I have long contended over parenting styles. I am more relaxed, I have more of an emotional approach. He is more rigid, more structure based. Our differences are all based on our individual personalities and beliefs, but also on what kind of parenting worked for us best. I am working on my firmness and follow through. He is attempting to be a bit more relaxed and not quite so rigid. We are all works in progress.

i-am-your-mom

So, at times, my kiddos will push the boundaries and limits I have provided to them. My youngest lost her use of a cell phone because of poor choices with social media. We are currently in month almost 3 of her not having her phone back because she has yet to show me that she deserves it back through her choices and behavior. But keeping it from her is killing me! I hate her not haivng what she wants, but I have to remind myself constantly that this is good for her. That I am providing her with clear expectations and consequences and I am allowing her to make the choice of how long her phone is gone. I do remind her that she is the one in control of how long her phone is gone and that I am not budging on what my expectations are for her to earn it back. I’m expecting she will get her phone back in a week or two because she is improving.

i-am-not-your-friend-meme

When my kids got their cellphones, I made them all sign a contract with very clear expectations, do’s and don’ts, and requirements that came with them having access to cellphones. Some of those expectations are all authority figures have the ability to check the phone at all times, that we have access to all social media, and that they can not block us or lock us out of anything on their phones. Thisis to make sure they are not getting themselves into potentially dangerous ar risky situations that could harm them or others. My son decided to block me on a certain social media site. After repeated attempts to access said page, I had to remind him of who pays for his phone, how old he is, and that I am not doing this to embarrass him or cause issues, but to keep an eye out and to make sure he is safe. And I also reminded him that he signed a contract and he needed to abide by that. He gave me access…albeit begrudgingly. All of the teenage sullen looks were received last night. It was unpleasant, but necessary. He needed to be reminded that I am his parent, his authority figure, and even though he lives with his grandparents, that does not negate the fact that I am still his mother and he has to listen and obey.

not-your-friend-because-i-love-youI love my kids…but I am not their friend. I give them the boundaries and rules that I do to keep them safe. To help them learn how to work with others and to teach them how to behave in a way that is socailly acceptable, regardless of who they are with at the time. But staying firm witth them is hard…so keeping my mantra of “I am not their friend, I am their mother” going in my mind as I parent, as I discipline, as I spend quality time with them is what is going to help keep me strong in my decisions and firm in my boundaries.

 

Teenagers…Sigh

raising-teenagers

 

I LOVE my kids. LOVE THEM. But they can push those buttons and do ALL the things that drive me insane. I joke that they are in a contest to see who can put me in a straight jacket first, but honestly, it feels like I am teetering on the precipice of insanity 99.9% of the time.

parenting-insanity

Can we talk pre-teen/teenage girls?

Are they *ALWAYS* this squirrelly? Are they *always* this emotional? Must they *ALWAYS* pick a fight with their siblings over *absolutely NOTHING* and then get mad when called out??

The answer to all of the above is a loud and resounding Y E S. Yes, they are. Yes, they must. It is ingrained, I think, in the DNA and when they hit a certain age, all reason goes out the window and it is an out and out free for all of emotions and actions and behaviors.

 

Complete and total chaos and unpredictability. ALL the emotional rollercoasters, all the drama, all of the hormones….ALL OF IT IS HARD!!!

phoebe-madness

 

This was me. This past week and weekend. This is almost how I had to handle the girls. I thought I was going to go insane!

But they survived to make me crazy another day. As did I. And of course, I am sure the rest of this week, should I play my cards right, will be almost a repeat of this past week. Exciting, eh?

parenting-teenagersI guess my point in all of this is that where there is insanity, where there is conflict, once has to find the humor. Humor has been getting me through a TON of parenting situations. Because sometimes, all you can do is sit back and laugh at what is going on. Because getting mad doesn’t work. Getting sad doesn’t work. But laughter…well, laughter can help to soothe the savagery and help my progeny live to make me crazy another day.

Raising teenagers is tough, y’all. No lie.

#Woke

via Daily Prompt: Oversight

It was gradual. But powerful. Sitting back and watching the protests in  Ferguson, where ever there was violence against people of color, the beginnings of #BlackLivesMatter movement, I thought to myself, “Wow-how angry these people are.” And went about my own business. I wasn’t indifferent, just ignorant in my understanding of their experience. Sure, I could watch the tv news every morning and night and see the violence that people of color are subjected to daily by the government meant to protect us all, but hey-it didn’t affect me, so….I didn’t think about it too much. Am I showing how deep I was in my own white privilege?  I hope so. Honestly, I am still shoveling my way out of this deep hole I am in.

Then I spoke with people. SPOKE with them about their experiences. SPOKE with them about their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. And it started to sink in. I wrote a piece earlier last year…about 6 months ago…and I stated that violence begets violence begets violence…but I better understand WHY there has been violence. I was still mired down in my own privilege and allowing that to influence my thoughts and feelings. But not anymore. I GET IT NOW. We have, since the founding of this country, used non-peaceful protest and actions to achieve the desired results (Hello…the American Revolution! A giant war that included an act of rebellion and governmental property damage in Boston). WE WERE FOUNDED ON NON-PEACEFUL PROTEST. I get it now, my friends of color. I get WHY there has been so much violence. I get WHY peaceful protest does not always work. And I understand that, if I want to be a part of this protest against the atrocities taking place in our country against people of color, women, immigrants, the LQBTQIA community, I HAVE to WAKE THE FUCK UP to the fact that it will not be peaceful, silent, or pretty. I HAVE to be okay with that because if I am not, I will remain in my bubble of ignorance surrounding myself with the unrealistic and idealistic point of view that just by talking about it, something will happen.

NO. I was WRONG to think that a peaceful protest will always be the best way to be heard. And it is uncomfortable. I feel guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel like I have been part of the problem. And I am going to try my damndest to correct my oversight. I am going to try my damndest to continue to be uncomfortable, because when I am feeling this discomfort, I am learning about what I have done to overlook the truth of it all. And MY truth is that I was too scared to be fully involved because I didn’t want others to think poorly of me, to think I was stirring the pot, to think that I was supporting something just to support it and not because I truly believed in the movement. I didn’t want to catch shit from my family, whom I love dearly, but I do not share the same political beliefs as they do.

The amount of emotional labor that my friends of color and my friends in the LGBTQIA (of which I identify as being a part of, btw) have put in to educate cisgender, heterosexual white people has been tremendous. They are the ones experiencing the violence, condemnation, anger, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc and then they have to EXPLAIN WHY they are upset?? No. Not okay. NOT OKAY AT ALL. I should not expect them to go through all they do and then do MORE work to try to explain why things need to change. So, I plan to stay uncomfortable. And I plan to make other folks uncomfortable as well by talking about it.

So, my friends of color, my friends in the LGBTQIA community, stay angry. Keep protesting. Keep speaking out. I am going to be a better advocate for you. I am going to be a better listener. I am going to pay attention to the ignorance that is around me and try to educate people as best I can. And I may come to you from time to time to help me use the right words so I am not furthering misconceptions or passing along unhelpful and ignorant information. I am going to stay #woke.