Get a Plant, Then Maybe an Animal
Depressed people often get the advice to get a pet and it seems like a perfect solution. Who couldn’t be happy with something small that loves you? It’s like a child that never grows up!
Sadly, animals need to be fed, entertained, and taken care of even when you don’t want to get out of bed.
So get a plant. Talk to it while you water it. Let it breathe in the sweet carbon dioxide of your words about your sadness and worry. It will turn those words into fresh air and beauty.
If you can keep the plant alive throughout multiple hard times then maybe you are ready to go rescue a friend from a shelter.
Write Without Stopping
Feeling like your emotions are going to burst out of wherever your particular emotions are stored?
Get a pad of paper or a cheap notebook and set a timer. The amount of time doesn’t matter, but I suggest starting small.
Three minutes is a great amount of time.
Write until the timer dings and then decide if you have more to say. If you do then keep writing. If you don’t then at least you kept writing until the timer went off.
Your Emotions Are Different Sizes
My happy emotion is small. My sad emotion is large and casts shadows on everything else. There are other emotions and they are other sizes. Sometimes one emotion changes size.
All emotions have a size.
Don’t let someone tell you that your emotions are too big or too small especially if that someone is you. Your emotions will be the size they are regardless of you trying to squeeze or stretch them.
You can’t live with a whale the same way you would live with a cat nor can you live with a dog the way you would live with an elephant. To live with your emotions you have to accept whatever size they are.
A day is a series of moments you will mostly forget. Some of these moments will make you feel good. Some will make you feel bad. Most of them won’t register anything. Yet, we will group all of these moments together and label them bad for pity or as an excuse for everything that goes wrong.
Worse, we will label a day filled with a high number of good moments as a good day. This is an excuse to look to the future with the fear of our luck running out. It also takes credit away from your own accomplishments
Take each moment as its own and at the end of the day don’t average them out to decide how your day went. Your day simply went as will your next.
Go to a Doctor
This tiny book isn’t going to help you in a way a medical professional can. This book can help, but it is nothing compared to what a person who knows what they’re talking about can do for you.
Go to a doctor.
It can be the doctor you go to for random aches, nasal abnormalities, or thyroid medicine. It can be a fancier doctor that went to school for a long time specifically to help people with our problems.
Hell, it can even be a therapist that doesn’t have a doctoral degree at all.
Just, please, go to a doctor and tell them something is wrong.
Severals of the Same
The best thing Andy Warhol said was about Coca-Cola, “All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.”
I have never seen a place sold-out of Coke, but I know every place that has them sells a lot of them. I’ve seen almost empty shelves. I’ve never seen an empty shelf or section because Coke is a (if not the) drink of the people.
No one can buy a better Coke than me. Anyone can buy the same Coke as me. You can get a Coke made with cane sugar. You can get a Diet Coke but no matter what you do you can’t buy a better Coke than anyone else.
I don’t consider myself a collector of anything, but that’s a lie I tell myself.
There’s a saying I heard while growing up: Three is two, two is one, and one is none. Preparing for failure seemed smart to me as someone who failed often. Being prepared for your backup plan to fail made me feel like Batman or Black Panther. I’m too honest to find comfort in this amount of consumable-based contingency plans. I have over a half-dozen of the notebooks I like. I plan on my backup plan’s backup plan to need a backup plan for its backup plan.
My life is at its best and calmest when it is a cascade of contingency plans.
The knife I use the most is a Gerber E.A.B. Pocket Knife. It holds a utility blade so I’m not afraid to use the tip to pry something. Right now I have six.
My favorite notebook is a MAKR Sketchbook because it has a clever way to hold a pencil. There are eight blank and waiting for me in a pile.
The pencil is the Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood. I don’t know how many I have around me in any drawer except for the drawer I keep my pencils in. There are twenty-three in the drawer. That’s not all I have. They’re scattered in bags. They’re in other and less-used drawers. If the damned holder that came with my AquaNote notepad was bigger there one would be in my shower.
I have a cheap flashlight I like. There’s at least one in every room and closet. I have a favorite pair of pants and I have them in different colors. I have some of those colors twice.
This is my collection made up of severals of the same. I could shove these things I love in a bag and only need food and water to survive for months.
I won’t shove them in a small bag anytime soon, but I won’t run out when I’m done with one I’m using. I won’t run out when I’m done with the one that replaces that one. If I’m running low, I’ll order more so I never have to wait.
Because, I’m the type of person who buys Coke almost every time they go to the store. Not because I’m out, but because I never want to be out.
Written for Plumbago, issue five.