kim faires photography + stuff

Cloudy to Sunny in 6.

So. It’s like this: I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression about 13 years ago.

Now before you freak out and click away from this page thinking, “Oh Gawd. Ew. One of those kinda blogs…,” understand this:

I received this diagnosis innocently enough in 1997 and proceeded to engage in the whole song-and-dance, on-and-off routine with anti-depressants for, oh, I dunno, ten years.

But then I ditched them. For good. (Hint: find a psychologist/psychiatrist that shares your skepticism.)

Because I just don’t buy a lot of the present-day rhetoric surrounding Depression. (That’s a capital D there folks!):

I don’t have a chemical deficiency or a disease. (“It’s just like diabetes!” Not.)

I don’t have a MENTAL DISORDER (Shriek! “Run, kids, run!”)

Nor do I think I have to take drugs for the rest of my life to balance out my serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, (or whatever) levels.

Naw. Forget it. I’m me. And yeah, I’m a bit bipolar. And I have some habitual thought patterns that, well, make my life hell sometimes, but I REFUSE to embrace said diagnosis, hug it to my bosom, and make it a significant part of my identity.

So why am I writing about it?

Because I have to be honest and say that, despite my refusal to wholeheartedly embrace the D-word, it is an issue in my life.

By that I mean that I live a life of crazy highs and crazy lows. If I go several days, or a week, feeling super optimistic and jazzed about life, it’s pretty much a given that I will crash to the very depths for a few days before bouncing back again. It’s just the way I am. I have learned to cope with the lows somewhat, but there is one thing about this whole thing that nags me–especially now that I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and live the life I want:

It’s kinda hard to maintain my momentum when I’m all over the map emotionally.

If I could live my life full-time as Sunny Kim, I would absolutely rock. I’d be unstoppable. But, dammit, Cloudy Kim keeps showing up and she so does not rock.

Case in point: I was at a friend’s art opening last night. There were people I knew there, and some people that I kinda knew but not really well, and a bunch of people I didn’t know at all. Now if Sunny Kim had been there last night (which she wasn’t) she would have been down with the whole thing. She would’ve gotten herself a drink, chattered away with those she knew, and probably would’ve walked up to those whom she kinda-knew-but-not-really, re-introduced herself, and said, “Hey man! I remember you! We did this thing together a few years ago. It’s so good to see you again.”


But no. Sunny Kim was not there.

CLOUDY Kim was there.

Cloudy Kim doesn’t like to talk to people she knows, let alone those she barely knows. (And you can altogether forget about approaching complete strangers.) In fact, Cloudy Kim even had herself convinced that the artist whose show it was, who had invited her to attend in the first place, didn’t want to talk to her, and well, I dunno, hated her.

Man. Put that in your happy pipe and smoke it.

Yup. Networking–hell, socializing! No, living–is difficult when Cloudy Kim’s around. But I must find a way if I’m going to keep going, no? So I’m going to reiterate my rules for avoiding and/or dealing with the Cloudy One here, so we can get this out of the way and move on to bigger and better things. Here they are:

  1. Sleep. Get some. Get a lot. Lack of sleep is a certain path to the dark side. Ask Yoda.
  2. Easy on the alcohol. Moderate it people! Too much depressant makes you, well, depressed.
  3. Be nice. Be gentle. Handle yourself with warm, fluffy, mitts in the down times. Hot baths seem to work.
  4. Break the rumination cycle. Focus on some pleasant, creative, activity. Break the cycle of analysis-paralysis, and make a pizza or something. Or a cake. No wait–sugar…hmmm, ok, whatever. :)
  5. Talk to those who love you. Prove the Cloudy One’s dastardly lies wrong! Lock that monster back up in her cage.
  6. Play hockey. Does it for me every time. Elixir of Kim’s life.

And that’s it. 6 rules to keep me moving from here to there.

P. S. This post doesn’t address Stormy-Thunder-and-Lightning-It’s-the-End-of-the-Fuckin’-World Kim, which is a whole other ball-game. So, just in case you think I’m making light of this thing called Depression, I assure you I am not.

’nuff said.

Image by Myxi on Flickr, licensed under a Creative Commons.

5 comments on “Cloudy to Sunny in 6.

  1. Colleen Wainwright
    July 7, 2010

    Good for you, making a list. (And sharing it! Sharing is caring!)

    When my (non-dispensing) shrink put the fear of future medication in me, I made a startlingly similar list—with, you know, some key substitutions, esp. around hockey. The two other things I have to be very, very careful about are coffee and Internet. Which I found out via the Internet—and pre-high-speed, no less—so there you go.

    The one thing I wish I could find again is this crazy cocktail of supplements that really seemed to help. I know it included significant amounts of B vitamins and there was some kind of oil—Evening Primrose, maybe? If anyone has that recipe, please do send it on down.


    • kim
      July 7, 2010

      Well, HOLA! Ms. Wainwright! Thanks for dropping by–and for sharing and caring!

      I also have to be careful about the Internet. Too much square time can play with my moods for sure. And I limit my coffee intake to one (very, very, good) cup a day (at the most). Some days I don’t have coffee.

      But I would love to get my hands on that vitamin B cocktail ….

      AND, finally, I get the hockey substitution: I’m thinking skating around on a big sheet of ice chasing a little rubber puck isn’t a really popular thing to do in your neck of the woods…. ;)


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This entry was posted on June 18, 2010 by in Long-winded Existential Angst and tagged , .

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