Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looking at your life from the outside...

Image courtesy of my sketchbook.
Wow. Time flies when you're having fun living in interesting times. Still, I suppose it's better than the alternative... not living at all! Suffice it to say, although I've been thinking about blogging a lot, I've been dealing with so much other stuff that it just hasn't happened. I'm sure if you've lived through any interesting times of your own, you understand.

This year's flu shot absolutely knocked me on my butt! They usually make me feel a bit icky, but this year's... man. Maybe it's because I was coming down with something already. My NP seemed a bit unsure whether she should give it to me or not, but since I live an hour's drive away from the clinic, I ended up getting it anyway. So who knows whether I was sick from the shot, sick in general, or the two interacted to give me the awful flu shot plague. I did not, however, get the flu from the shot- that's a myth. The virus is dead in the shot, so you react to your own antibodies instead of actually getting the flu.

I'm also still trying to figure out how to rehab my knee. The good news is that it's improving daily. The bad news is that as I suspected, it will be at least a year before I even get an appointment with the orthopedic doctor. Because of that, I decided to do some research and figure out how to handle it myself. I'm fairly sure it's not torn cartilage, just because of how it's behaving. As such, I should be able to do exercises to strengthen the muscles in my thigh and calf to keep the joint more stable. Once the bones aren't wobbling around in directions they aren't meant to go, that should keep it from getting reinjured so easily. Plus, I could use the exercise!

Image via MHS Panther Print
The main reason I'm writing this, though, is to share an insight I had tonight. See, since I've been sick and miserable this week, I've spent too much time on Facebook, looking at pages for people I grew up with, people I went to school with, old crushes, etc. It was very depressing, seeing all these people so happy, so successful, so ... so not me. I found myself in a depression that was pretty unlike me, wishing that I'd been able to make more of my life to this point. It persisted, and I couldn't shake the feeling that I've wasted my life.

However, tonight I'd gone to walk with my husband, and I was telling him about this. As I told him about seeing the travels, the parties, the life experiences of everyone else, I had a realization:  when other people see what I've done, hear the different things I've seen and learned, they feel the same way about me. I've done some pretty crazy things: I've been a radio DJ, a professional photographer, a graphic artist. I've worked at a newspaper, and done costume design for theater. I've worked as a professional makeup artist, I've gone shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico and hand-fed wild dolphins from the side of a boat. I've lived, and best of all?

I'm not finished.

The world is enormous, and right now my future is open wide. Sure, I can sit here and feel sorry for myself because my Facebook page isn't nearly as interesting as someone else's. Or, I can accept the fact that Facebook pages are just a tiny snippet of someone's life, and everyone filters what the world sees.

Did you know that people have identified something called Facebook Depression? It's not just me. It's so easy to compare yourself to what looks like someone else's perfect life as shown by their Facebook page. Don't fall into the trap. Remember that your life can look just as perfect to someone else. Your life has value. Your life is special and precious, because of who you are and what you've done, even if you can't see it right now.

Anyway, I know this doesn't quite fit with the rest of my blog, but I feel it needed to be said. And please, if you feel too overwhelmed to carry on, too depressed to function, or even if you just feel like you need to talk to someone else, do it. Blurbomatic, a blog run by Dooce's husband, put together a collection of phone numbers that could be useful. I don't care if you comment because these helped you, but if you need one of these numbers, please use it. I care about you.

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743

Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438

Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673

Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272

Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000

Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-4394253

Introspection... it definitely passes the time!