Skip to main content

Seattle is gloomy and the tide's rolled back in...

Photo by Ryan Moulton on Unsplash

 I want to talk about depression today.

Back in 2011, I was officially diagnosed with a severe mood disorder. My doctor called it a volatile combination of depression and generalized anxiety - with a big 'ol heaping of agoraphobia on top. This is the burden I carried with me every day, to and from college, and then I dragged it through every job I could hold down for more than a year. 

And by some miracle, in the last two years, it felt like that burden was becoming lighter and easier to carry with me. 

I made the mistake of thinking I could carry it across the country during a pandemic with no repercussions. I was so sure it wouldn't rear its ugly head while my partner and I tolerated month-long Airbnb reservations and desperately searched for jobs. I thought it would stay quiet while I grappled with the reality of not being able to visit family and friends for more than just safety reasons. Now, there are thousands of miles between me and everyone I knew or loved.  

I thought I would be okay while purging most of my earthly belongings, some things I had attached a lot of sentimental value to, so I could fit the rest of myself and my life into a small hatchback to move to the West Coast. I assumed, while cleaning up my cozy little studio apartment for the last time, that moving on would be easy. 

Trying to stay optimistic, I resisted comparing everything at my new home to the creature comforts I had become accustomed to back in Minnesota. The grocery stores and pharmacies were all different, but that was okay, because it was something new to explore! Super Targets are not a thing out here, but that's okay because now these department stores look they way they did when I was a child. It's not like I miss the mediocre deli sushi from a Target grocery department or anything. 

I stood at an intersection for Denny Way and Fairview Ave the other day. I have a vivid picture in my head of what Fairview Avenue looks like in Saint Paul, MN - and it is nothing like the corner I stood on in Seattle that day. A well adjusted person would likely not be very perturbed by something like that. But I was. And I suddenly felt so lost. 

Let's talk about what depression brings to a new job. It certainly doesn't show up bright-eyed and ready to learn. It arrives with imposter syndrome - a little voice reminding me that I'm not qualified to do any of this and sooner or later I'll fail - and in flows the intense desire to procrastinate. Checking email suddenly seems like a monumental task and the energy it takes to respond to one message could power the climb up Mount Everest. 

It's become so easy to retreat into something distracting and familiar. I binged the entirety of a new k-drama this week. As one episode bled into the next, I tried to tell myself that I should turn it off. I didn't and eventually the series wrapped up. Netflix was quick to recommend me a new show to lose myself in. 

Anything to tune out just how wrong it's all seem to have gone in the last few months. 

From the outside, I have nothing to complain about. New apartment. New job. New editing prospects

But this doesn't feel like my home. I've barely cooked anything in my kitchen even though I've been here for four weeks. I have all my skincare, makeup, and hair products neatly organized in the bathroom and I haven't touched any of them. My clothes hang in the closet, clean and fresh. I don't wear them because it's easier to throw on the same hoodie and leggings that I've been rotating through the last few days. 

Staring up at the Space Needle as I sip the coffee that's supposed to wake me has lost its charm. I'm not sure how to bring that back.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black-Owned Gothic and Punk Fashion Brands to Support Today

On June 1st, calls for a boycott against Dolls Kill went out after the owner of the company allegedly posted in support of the police after the murder of George Floyd. It isn't the first time they've been accused of racism , so folks have put together a list of alternative brands to support. I would much rather give my business to Black-owned fashion brands and those that are anti-racist. If you are of the same mind as I am, here are a few brands worth supporting: Punk Clothing/Alternative Sinister Sisters Sinister Sisters only have three items on their Etsy shop right now and none of those sexy crop t-shirts would look out of place at a death metal gig. Make sure to stop back in regularly to check for new items, I know that I definitely will be! Nasty Gem Independently owned, every item in this shop is hand-made, processed, packaged and shipped by the owner. Spiky bags and collars, deadly earrings, and chunky steel accessories are the mainstay motifs of N

Menhera and Yami Kawaii - So Cute I Could Die

Unless you're an avid follower of the more obscure fashion trends to creep out of Harajuku in the last two decades, you probably haven't heard of the fashion subculture movements that are challenging Japan's silent mental illness epidemic and suicide problem. *Content Warning: Mentions of mental illness, self-harm, suicide, and other potentially triggering ideas. Read at your own risk. Enter Menhera and Yami Kawaii . According to the tumblr account fymenhera , menhera ( メンヘラ ) is a Japanese slang term derived from the English 'mental health' and sparked a whole underground fashion subculture often referred to as yami kawaii ( 病みかわいい ) or "sick cute". Refinery29 did a piece on this a while back, which you can find here or simply watch the video below: Japan (and other parts of Asia) have long carried an intense and negative stigma towards mental illness. Those suffering from mental illness or other mental health problems had very little

Falling Prey to a Writing Scam: IAPWE

Typically, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  And that was certainly the case for me when I applied as a freelance writer for the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors (IAPWE). It sounded good at the time; I was looking for remote writing work and this Craigslist ad seemed just the ticket. (Note to self: don't job hunt on Craigslist unless you want to be a delivery driver - there are too many scams out there.) The application process was easy. In hindsight, it was a little too easy and that honestly should have tipped me off. As I recall they didn't even ask for my resume, just my name and email. To prove myself as a writer, they also wanted a sample of my work - which I was all too happy to pass along. And then I didn't hear anything for a month. Usually, one can assume that the hiring company decided to pass on your application for more experienced candidates and that's what I assumed had happened. Until I rece