Category Archives: How To

Breaking the Cycle (or 4 Easy Ways to Get out of a Depression Spiral)

So I have FINALLY joined the ranks of the employed people again. Praise Jeebus. Consequently, I am in a good mood with some time on my hands, but no money yet. The answer? Ramble about random crap on the internet!

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Everyone knows that it’s incredibly difficult to get out of a spiral of depression. I know that the more depressed I become the less I get accomplished and the worse I feel about myself. My apathy and negativity only breeds more negativity, and eventually I’m only able to socialize with those who similarly hate life in general.

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So this got me to thinking, what are the things that people do to get out of a funk and feel better about themselves? Quite a few of my “feel good” activities include something incredibly geeky, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, to quote Ben from Parks and Rec, nerd culture is mainstream now, so when you use the word “nerd” derogatorily, it means YOU’RE the one that’s out of the zeitgeist.

But I digress. I’m here to discuss the things I’ve tried to get myself out of depression. Not all of these have worked. In fact, there are a few that were downright counterproductive, but nonetheless, here they are.

Alcohol (in all it’s various forms)

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One of the worst (and most common) things people do after something traumatic happens to them is to get drunk. Homer Simpson said it well. Beer. The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. Who hasn’t had a tough day at work and gone to happy hour at their local watering hole?

But if you really think about it, drinking when you’re upset or stressed is actually an incredibly stupid idea. Alcohol is a depressant, and most of the time afterwards you are left only with a headache, empty wallet, and mild to severe dehydration. Despite the temporary euphoria, none of the results are a cure for what ails you.

Creative Outlet

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This one is my favorite. Whether you enjoy painting, writing, being a mime, or whatever, expressing yourself creatively gets out all the bad energy you’ve been building up inside you and expunges your feelings. Personally, I rock the PANTS off some karaoke. There is something cathartic about getting up in front of a room of perfect strangers and belting your heart out to an 80’s power ballad. Or, if that doesn’t annoy you enough, I can sing something even more atroucious like a song from a musical. Gloria Estefan sang it correctly, eventually the rhythm is going to GET you. Truth be told, I love it all, except for the dozen or so karaoke songs that have been so overdone that they need to retire permanently. Ooh! Topic for a later blog.

Meditation

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When your mind is running a million miles a minute and you can’t sort out the path you should take, meditating in some form is a very good way to get clarity of the brain. Some people read an inspirational book, some people light incense and take a bath, and some people do a serene exercise like yoga or pilates. I, for one, like to do a combination. I read a fantasy novel in a contortionist twist whilst in my bubble bath.

Comfort Food, Blanket, or Other

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A quick fix to make myself feel better is to cook my favorite meal, wrap myself up in my favorite quilt, and watch my favorite show on Netflix. These small but essential things bring me back to the truth that is Adaire, and even if I have only a few minutes, I can listen to a groovy song on the way to work. It puts my mood in an entirely new light.

I know there are many of you out there who are going to tell me I missed a huge one: exercise. To you I say, go bother someone else. I hate running when I’m not going somewhere with a purpose, or climbing stairs to no where, and team sports baffle and intimidate me. The one exception for me is dance. Dancing fits into the exercise category very well, but the only reason I enjoy it is because it’s an art, and I’m putting dancing up there with Creative Outlet. I am sure when the zombie apocalypse comes I will be kicking myself for this one, as I watch all of you healthy individuals run past me as I’m being fed on by a horde of zombies because I fell behind when a stitch in my side hindered my escape and my weak lungs ended it.

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How To Play it Cool When Meeting Your Hero

Living in the cultural mecca that is New York City can be pretty awesome. Most of my fellow New Yorkers have a story or two about meeting a celebrity.

Squeeeeee

Squeeeeee

Some of their stories are short, “I saw Alec Baldwin at Best Buy.” And some are epic tales of karaoke with the cast of SNL.

I had the opportunity to work at an upscale hip hop slash sports club owned by a certain rap mogul, and consequently met several famous people during my time there. Unfortunately, as a country girl who loves the theater, I had no idea who most of those people were. Even as others around me would flip the frick out I remained oblivious to their notoriety, and to this day do not understand the fawning worship that these people would inspire.

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I maintained my aloof, uncaring disposition, and kept my absolute chillest while serving rappers, singers, sports players, and (the worst of the lot) reality television stars. I did, however, concede that if David Bowie were to ever walk into the club, my panties would hit the ground so hard you could hear a sonic boom.

My eyes will pierce your soul and destroy your undergarments.

My eyes will pierce your soul and destroy your undergarments.

I was therefore not prepared to meet my favorite author, Peter S. Beagle, at Comic-Con one year.

For those who don’t know, Peter Beagle wrote my favorite book of all time, The Last Unicorn, and it has since been turned into a classic animated family film and I hope one day a much darker live action movie. Think the re-imagining of Batman or the difference between the 80’s animated Hobbit and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I own three copies of the book; an early edition (not a first edition you liar on E-bay) that I keep on a shelf, a copy that I will lend out to friends and/or family who have interest in borrowing it, and a copy for my own reading pleasure that no one is allowed to borrow because I will often reread it about once a year. I have an old VHS of the animated movie, a DVD that I ordered from Conlan press so Peter Beagle could sign it, and the only Blu-ray in my movie collection is The Last Unicorn. In addition, I have original artwork from a friend drawn for my birthday, framed pictures of the Unicorn tapestries, screen backgrounds of the Unicorn by the immensely talented Rebekah Naomi Cox, and several plush toy unicorns given to me over the years. I even have a permanent dedication to The Last Unicorn, a tattoo on my ankle. My adult bedroom could easily be inhabited by a 12 year old version of myself.

I like... unicorns.

I like… unicorns.

Imagine my delight when I found out that Peter S. Beagle, in the flesh, was to come to Comic-Con and sign things.

I was given a pass to attend Comic-Con and carefully packed my early edition copy of The Last Unicorn in my purse and headed to the West Side of Manhattan to meet the author who shaped my childhood, nay, the very fabric of my being.

This being my first venture into comic fandom I did not dress up, but had heard stories of the elaborate costumes and level of precise detail the Comic-Con fans would recreate. As I was also a die hard geek, I did not judge these creatures, but respected them as only a true fan could.

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I waded through the crowds and made my way into the labyrinth that is New York City’s Comic-Con. The soul purpose of this trip was to meet Peter Beagle himself, but I felt my journey into the depths of Nerd Domination had to be savored so I first stopped to get a slice of soggy pizza, and meandered past the multitudes of stands, pausing at the Red vs Blue booth to buy a t-shirt, and made my way to a small table in the back of a vast ocean of booths.

I turned a corner and saw in the distance the subject of my adoration, Mr. Beagle, sitting behind a desk full of Unicorn paraphernalia jovially smiling and chatting with a small group of fans. At that moment my heart began to race, I blushed nervously, and I started to tremble as I approached my idol.

When keeping it real goes wrong.

When keeping it real goes wrong.

When it was my turn to meet the honored guest I handed over my copy of the book I wanted signed, and told him in a voice that was at least an octave higher than my normal speaking voice that I had read his novel two dozen times, and that with every read I would find more to connect to, as it is a book that lends itself to generations of readers, and artfully shows deeper themes of heroism and spirituality. Peter Beagle gracefully accepted my praise, and gave his signature to my book.

I tried to maintain my cool exterior but felt such an abundance of happiness that tears were leaking out of the corners of my eyes as I thanked him and tried to stop babbling. I walked away from the experience elated, feeling all at once jubilant, astounded, and inexplicably serene.

If they ever do make this book into a live action movie I hope I can be involved somehow. I will never again judge a person for freaking out over a beloved icon, as I have witnessed the glory of a true believer, which exists in the inner-most part of me as a little girl who loves unicorns.

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