Wednesday, February 19, 2014
So in the searchbar, I typed "depression." And the results were all... depressing.
I mean, sure, mental illness is a serious deal and it comes with many hardships. But to only focus on the downsides is just giving into it, isn't it? The idea that someone like me, with major depression, does not have anything positive or humorous going on in their life is as big of a downer as the disease itself.
In high school, I took a Holocaust literature class. And I came into class one day on the verge of tears because it was so much to deal with. My teacher was wonderful, though. And she dug out some short stories for me to read and lead me to an empty classroom across the hall so I could have time to myself. The stories were written by Holocaust survivors and while I can't remember who wrote them or what they were specifically about, I do remember they made me laugh out loud. These were words from brutally oppressed people, trapped in a living hell with no end in sight. Yet they were able to find humor in the smallest things and that gave them hope and optimism.
Clearly, the Holocaust and mental illness are on two separate planes but having depression can erase all notions of hope and sometimes even kill the desire to survive. A common mechanism for coping with any variety of traumatic circumstances, though many won't admit it, is humor. Dark, black, morbid gallows humor. Self-depreciating humor. The kind of humor that makes people feel bad for laughing but still doesn't stop them from doing it. Because if you can't laugh at yourself and what you're going through, how can you laugh at all?
I spent a week in a psychiatric ward in 2009 and it was terrifying, restless and honestly, pretty boring. There weren't straight jackets and padded cells and no one was locked in their rooms or restrained to their beds. But no one was allowed to have shoes with laces or belts (suicide risk). We weren't allowed to have crayons or markers, either. They were legitimately concerned about Crayola graffiti on the walls. I was allowed to have one dully sharpened golf pencil so I could write in my notebook or do Sudoku puzzles. One of the guards let my mom sneak in a giant bag of Skittles for me. I guess they liked me well enough to trust I wouldn't leave sugary rainbow globs on the furniture.
I wasn't allowed to have my cell phone. There was no radio or cd player and definitely no computer. There were televisions in the dining area and hangout rooms and they always seemed to be tuned to Harry Potter marathons. I spent a lot of time reading and rereading a Michael Jackson memorial magazine and pleading with the staff to order me a pizza.
I made friends with another girl there named Emily. We did a lot of pacing up and down the long hallway and talking about our experiences that had lead us to this crazytopia. Often, a guy named Craig would be sitting out in the hallway. He had anger management issues and was a giant pain in the ass. So Emily and I would be walking up and down the hallway and start talking about going to our rooms to get cigarettes whenever we passed Craig. When we reached the end of the hall and turned back, we'd pass him again and he'd offer us a quarter for a cigarette.
"What are you talking about, Craig? We don't smoke. And you can't smoke in here anyway, it's a hospital."
With that, we'd be on our way, leaving him with a dumbfounded look on his face. And whatever medication he was on must have been strong because he'd forget about it and we'd do the same thing a half hour later.
Maybe a little mean, but the guy also called me a cunt. So I don't feel bad. And it's still not as bad as when Emily told an old paranoid guy that the hospital staff was listening in on his phone calls (which was totally untrue and would be completely illegal for them to do anyway). I can only imagine the hilarity that ensued from that.
The point is, it was a crappy week that was the result of a crappy situation but I found ways to make the best of it and I can laugh and joke about it. The woman who got a hold of lipstick and used it as blush and eye shadow. The woman who offered to take me to Applebee's when we got out if I'd drive her to a drug house in return. The guy who collected styrofoam cups because he refused to pee in the toilet. These are really fucked up and also really funny if you look for the humor in them. And regardless of who you are or what you've experienced, I'm sure there are situations in your life where this can be applied.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Ian Maclaren
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
|Shelves help preserve my sanity.|
|Even my socks don't match.|
Monday, February 17, 2014
Tea is easier on me and I feel like there are far more varieties. Just like coffee, I don’t add sugar or cream to my tea. I generally just pick up individually wrapped flavors, whatever I’m in the mood for. Black teas in the daytime, herbal teas at night. I don’t know if they really do anything for me in terms of keeping me awake or helping me sleep but it’s a routine I manage to stick to. I have a small collection of loose teas and even a pretty awesome Teavana tea maker that my BFF Stevie got for me a few years back. But for quick cups of loose leaf tea that just needs to steep a few minutes and be consumed, I came up with a quick fix that only requires a coffee filter and a toothpick.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
I just spent the better part of today redesigning the blog. I am by no means finished, but 7.5 hours of sifting through code and creating images has worn me out. I earned a break.
Screenshot of the progress so far, because yo dawg, I heard you liked blogs so I put a blog on your blog so you can blog about blogging.
I have a lot of kinks to work out but at least I have more impetus to stick with blogging.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I’m extremely excited to show off my most recent cardmaking efforts. I created two designs for a Michigan themed Valentine’s Day card. They have different looks and feels but both say “Smitten in the Mitten,” a nickname for the Great Lakes State.
The first card has a red background with a very subtle heart pattern. I had a lot of fun arranging the words in different fonts and colors. I went through so many drafts before reaching a point where I was okay with not tinkering with it. The second card is far simpler with a plain cyan background. The state is solid red and has “Smitten” written across the Upper Peninsula and “in the Mitten” in the Lower Peninsula. I started out by testing different fonts but finally decided to make use of my unique handwriting. (Side story: I’ve gone years without using a mouse, despite doing so much artistic stuff on my laptop. I finally got a mouse six or so months back and I love that I can write out words and it looks so much truer to my handwriting.) Once I completed each card, I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. So I put them both up on my Etsy shop!
Click on the images above to view the respective cards on my Etsy shop!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
So what is it? Laziness? A lack of energy? It's definitely not a matter of having little time. I'm sure if I had a decent computer and a regular Internet connection, things would be much easier. But alas, here I am making excuses.
But the fact remains I want to write. So now I'm writing.
I never claimed to be a fascinating person.
— Becky Locke (@becklo) January 25, 2014
Though I'm really writing for myself, I bet having an audience would help. I don't think I'd be on Twitter as much as I am if I were sending 140 characters out into nothingness. I have enough close friends who also tweet regularly that it isn't an issue. Regularly blogging friends, though? Not many. And the ones I have are also active on Twitter, so...
I’m the queen of trailing off my sentences, so…
— Becky Locke (@becklo) February 5, 2014
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I stayed at the Pop Century resort inside the park, which was a smattering of different American cultural memories from across the decades.
I went to EPCOT that day and was disappointed that the Spaceship Earth was closed for renovation. Still cool to see it in person though.
There were artists all over doing work in plain view, which was a nice touch.
Amazingly, I found time to put down the camera and enjoy myself. But some views are too breathtaking to avoid taking pictures.