What Dreams May Come

This is how my brain works:
I watched an old episode of 3rd Rock From The Sun in which Harry quoted part of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

“To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life…”

Of course I’ve heard this many times before but I was suddenly struck by its beauty. What did all this mean? So I looked up the meaning and analysis. Hamlet is actually contemplating suicide. To be or not be? Does it matter if I exist?

When we’re alive, we dream of things bouncing around in our head, like a computer defragging, putting all the tiny pieces of information in an organized manner.

But what do we dream after death? We cannot know. It’s fearful to think what may dreams may come when one enters the dreams of death.

From here, I got caught up in the life of Shakespeare. I found it positively fascinating for some reason and read for an hour.

That very night, I had a dream, for real. I was at my parents’ house. Someone was getting married. My mom was upset because it was too late to take the curtains to the cleaners to be pressed. I was pitching a fit because I already offered to iron the wedding dress and the brides maid dresses.

“OK,” I said angrily. “So I have to iron the main attraction, plus God knows how many dresses AND the curtains now? MOM, THE WEDDING IS IN TWO HOURS!!”

That was it. End of dream. To put this in perspective, when Shawn’s dad passed away many years ago, we were all in quite a pickle. It was to be a traditional Catholic funeral and not one of us had anything outside of work clothes.
We all piled into two vehicles and hit Wal-Mart and the mall. It actually turned out to be a comical experience, because we were all in a panic and shouting to one another about sizes and what we’d found and what shoe size is so-and-so. We laughed a lot and our little motley crew was getting many looks and stares. We laughed at that too.

In real life, since I worked at a cleaners, I was designated The Ironer of All Things the night before the funeral, and some things the morning of. I didn’t mind at all. With my experience, I could be the most efficient while others took care of other things.

Whoa. That’s what made my dream so weird. It was an actual memory turned on its head.

So there’s a peek into my brain and how it works. Most of the inner workings cannot be explained in words but sometimes it’s like a trail of bread crumbs.

Can you imagine my brain on drugs? Me either! This is partly why I didn’t experiment too much when I was younger. I assume most people think I’m on drugs because of some of the weird things that fascinate me.

For example, at the store one day I must have talked for 20 minuets about what antiperspirants do to our skin and bodies. For this reason I go au naturale on Sundays if I can, because the skin needs a chance to breathe! It suffocates daily!

I wonder how my arm hair knows that I’ve cut it. And it also knows to stop at a predetermined length while the hair on my head would grown continuously!

Yes, so you see, this is why I don’t do drugs. I’m just sure it would drive me mad.
Iron…
Iron…
Iron…
That’s a funny sounding word.
This is my brain on no drugs.william-shakespeare---the-life-of-the-bard

The Letter

Dear 12 year Misty,
I’m writing you this letter to better prepare you for your future. So, they’ve just separated the boys and girls to have you watch a lame video that was filmed in 1982. I assure you, the video will teach you nothing since every kid in this class has not only experienced puberty, but has nearly completed puberty.

I blame the hormones in farm animals.

Anyway, what this video will not teach you is that all these changes do not stop once you’ve completed your teenage years. You will continue to have random growth of new hair (such as your upper lip) but don’t worry, this is totally normal.

What this video will not teach you is that it’s very important to take care of your skin starting NOW. When you get older, you’ll find a medication that regulates your hellish, nine day periods and you’ll be tempted to skip the warning on using sunscreen with this med. Don’t. If you skip sunscreen merely because you claim to never go outside, you’ll be gifted with weird discolorations on your face and new freckles.
Also, acne never goes away. Ever. It’s a lie they tell you in sixth grade because at this point most everyone is stinky and miserable. In fact, at some times your acne may because worse with stress and the poison you call food that you put into your body. Acne doesn’t go way. It’s a false hope.

Later, you’re going to be tempted to lecture every 20 year old with a sunburn. Don’t bother. You’re clearly wasting your time and you must remember you also, were once 20 and pig headed. When your uncle dies of skin cancer, this will become much worse and you’ll be tempted to save the world, one young person at a time.

I beg you to take care of your body! It’s so much more difficult after the age of 30! Your flat, white girl butt will begin to seek your ankles and run away from your lower back for some reason. Your belly will swell after eating one granule of salt. And the only way you’ll be able to obtain any manner of perkiness is by using a push up bra. (Splurge on the expensive one, btw)

I wish I could place my current attitude into your stupid, tiny pea sized brain. There’s so many dangers I wish to warn you about but your prepubescent mind is too fragile to handle even 1% of the information I contain. For now, try to ignore all the discomfort, the awkwardness, and the self-consciousness.

I promise, promise, promise, it does get better. In about 25 years. Yeah, that’s kind of mean but you’ll get through it. In the meantime, be sure to use plenty of sunscreen and yes, even moisturizer even though your skin is so greasy you’re tempted to make fried chicken.

With all my love and best wishes,
Your older, wiser self

This Is Your Life!

Peter: Hello Misty and welcome to the show! We’re getting ready to play another round of This Is Your Life!

Misty: Uh….

Peter: Misty how are you feeling today?

Misty: Did anyone tell you that you sound like a game show host?

Peter: Let’s welcome the main attraction. You know him as The Man Upstairs, The Big Guy In The Clouds, please give a warm welcome for….God!

(applause)

God: Hey Peter, it’s great to be here! I’m excited for this edition of This is Your Life! Tell me, how did Misty spend her time?

(Peter opens a thick ledger)

Peter: Well Big Guy, Misty spent 472 hours standing in line at Walmart! She spent 328 hours waiting for lights to turn green and I don’t think I have to tell ya, they don’t even make a number for the amount of hours she spent looking at a screen!

God: Dang

Misty: Bummer

God: This is how you choose to spend this gift of life? How do you plead?

Misty: Impatient.

God: Very well. Do you remember the sad garden you started in the backyard with a few dying plants?

Misty: Yes. But July came around and everything died because it was too hot to go outside.

God: Well we have an amazing prize for you! Peter open Door Number One! You’ve just won your very own botanical garden complete with plants and colors you’ve never seen!
Misty: Neat!

God: And as a special bonus, there is no July in Texas here so the plants will never die! In fact, they don’t even need water!

Misty: Awesome sauce!

Peter: Alright folks that’s all the time we have for today!

God: We don’t have time here….

Peter: Thanks for playing This is Your Life!
(Applause)

NOTE:  This is one I wrote about a year ago. I could have elaborated on it but was afraid I’d go on forever until it was no longer even a little funny. I always imagined Judgement Day like a game show.

 

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Two Different Worlds

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Let’s have a look at one situation, from the point of view of two separate people with two different minds…

Misty’s point of view:
Shawn keeps bringing home fast food. That’s fine. I’m not going to nag him to eat healthy. The problem is that he’s bringing home fast food for FOR TWO. I’ve begged him not to. I’ve asked him to call me first. Don’t just bring me food! I’m trying to eat healthy here and it’s like you know I can’t resist!

I considered that maybe he’s TRYING to fatten me up. Maybe he’s insecure and if I’m fat, I won’t be attractive to anyone else. Is that it? Why won’t he listen to me?

10:30PM one night, Shawn comes home announcing, “I brought you something!” He opens a bag of Taco Bell and pulls out foil wrapped cheese, fat, and carbs. Sigh.

“Are you TRYING to make me fat?!” I finally asked.

I’ve know Shawn over 20 years. The look on his face told me everything.

Shawn’s point of view from Misty’s perspective:
Shawn wants to do nice things for me because he loves me. He knows that I hate flowers because they die in a few days. I’d rather have a potted plant that will take me a couple years to kill (or 6 weeks because I forgot to water it).

Shawn brings home food because he knows food makes me happy. He doesn’t understand the mental anguish I go through. He doesn’t understand my love-hate relationship with food.

Shawn needs to be studied. He can eat whatever he wants, as much as he wants. I’ve told him, just because you’re thin, doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
A few years ago, Shawn had a blood clot in his arm. It wasn’t related to his eating habits or his pure addiction to soda. It was just one of those weird random things. I was at work when he called me after some blood work. “The doctor said my bad cholesterol is too low,” he said.

I called Shawn a liar. That same day, he produced a sheet of paper from the hospital with his stats. His BAD cholesterol was TOO LOW!

He’s a mutant and needs to be studied by scientists!

So, as I determine out loud that Shawn is trying to make sure I won’t fit through the front door so I’ll never escape, I watch his face. He brought me Chik-Fil-A because he knows I won’t go get it myself and it will make me happy.

How can I say no to that?

Oh, Just Exercise!

I’ve heard all my life that exercise is good for depression. We don’t move around as much as we used to, not like our parents or grandparents. We weren’t meant to do nothing and if you’re already wired for mental health issues, doing nothing I think, can fuel those issues.

For those who don’t understand, it’s not just about “sad”. True depression is caused by a chemical imbalance or sometimes caused by a personal incident that’s difficult to get over. It takes all the joy out of a person’s life. There’s just no joy in anything. Even eating food isn’t exciting. Can you imagine?

So imagine you have the flu and someone tells you that going for a walk would make you all better. Ha ha! Um, no. I’d rather lay in the bed sweating and shivering and vomiting now and then, thank you very much.

It’s kind of like that. Telling a depressed person to “just exercise” is easier said than done. Yes, I agree exercise turns on certain hormones and endorphins however, when you have the flu you really just don’t want to do anything.

Things like this can be very hard to explain if you’ve never experienced it. I’ve met a lot of people who’s significant other simply just doesn’t understand. It’s like the flu. For the mind.

Years ago during one of many attempts to quit smoking I was trying to explain what this addiction was like to a Never Smoker. “Try not to eat for three days,” I said. “It’s like that.” It was the best way I knew how to put it. If you don’t eat, you get sleepy, cranky, your body wants it, needs it and your mind is even telling you THAT YOU NEED THIS TO LIVE! Really, you need this chemical in your body for those around you to live because you might snap at any given moment, especially considering that GUY OVER THERE IS SMOKING AND YOU HAVE TO SMELL IT!!! WHY DOES HE GET TO SMOKE? IT’S NOT FAIR!!!

So that’s nicotine addiction.

I have comings and going with depression, even with medications, so I try to find fun ways to get about moving without it being, ugh, exercise. There were no workout videos back in olden times because everyone worked on their feet, you know. Videos are BORING.

Portia de Rossi made this comment near the end of her memoir and I scoffed at it. Oh yeah, we’ll all just marry Ellen DeGeneres and move to her ranch and play with dogs all day. Sure. But that’s kind of what I did. Ha ha! You assume too much, reader! When we got a pitbull puppy I had no idea how much activity she would involve me in. And it’s never, ever boring.

My point is, when you’re not depressed, think about things that would get you moving, or even just outside if you like being outside. Try it when you’re not depressed, see if you enjoy it. Then when the dark cloud starts to loom overhead, do that thing. See if it helps lift the fog a bit.

I understand not everyone can get a dog, but there’s SOMETHING you can do that you enjoy that gets you moving. Find a hilarious audio book and walk one or two blocks. I personally recommend “Sh*t My Dad Says”. It’s short, but laugh out loud funny and you can find on free library apps. Laughing is good for the soul even if you’re not depressed.

You’re not going to get better unless you WANT to get get better.

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Birds of a Feather

Yes, it’s true. Like minded creatures tend to hang out with their own kind. I’ve recently conjured the theory that broken people make friends with other broken people. What do I mean by “broken”? Well, it’s those oddballs that cannot seem to process information because of anxiety, the ones who have panic attacks (in public!), the ones who have serious food issues, the ones who might avoid a crowded store no matter how much they need toilet paper, and so on.

For the record, I am all of those. I was lucky to have met my also-broken-husband at a fairly young age and we’ve managed to grow old and more broken together. I’ve noticed that out of the few friends I do have, they’re all on meds. Or at least, should be. That’s OK because so am I. It’s OK to talk about it, really! How else are you going to know that you’re broken?

This is a good thing. We broken people tend to be more empathetic to other broken people, especially once we get to know each other. We understand anxiety, panic, PURE FRUSTRATION, and the lack or inability to handle all of it. We can give a pat on the back or a little hug and you know: We understand. And there’s nothing we can do to help but be here and listen. Sometimes we might even smack you. Because you are broken.

It’s not a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. For some people, the toll of environment, stress, etc can lead to brokenness. For others, we’re just wired differently. There’s an embalance of something chemical, hormonal, emotional…we don’t really fully understand it yet. And that’s why medication can be a crap shoot.

Sometimes you simply have to admit you cannot fix this, you want to change, roll the dice and hope you don’t land on snake eyes for your first roll. OK, that’s really a bad example. Here, I will use myself as an example. I’ll give you the short version.

I had struggled with on-again, off-again depression for most of my life. In my thirties I decided to see a doctor and asked for some kind of low dose anxiety medication. Since it was December, he asked if it was because of “Christmas stress”. I literally laughed out loud. I gave this stranger the short-short version of my daily life which at the time was chaotic, stressful, and involved very little sleep.

What I didn’t tell him is that I was sucking it up all day and once alone in the car or shower I was crying a lot. I cried daily because I had no other outlet. A friend suggested that I scream and holler so I also did that in the car.

I’ve been on Paxil for two years now. It helps. And then it builds up in my system and doesn’t. I’m generally happy but I can get seriously depressed for no reason whatsoever. So I eat cheese. I like cheese. It makes me happy, even if temporarily. I often tell people, “You better be glad I have food issues because if I didn’t, I’d be a raging alcoholic.”
This is an example of an unhealthy way to deal with depression. I am not so depressed that I cannot function. I still do everything that needs to be done however, it’s like I’m on auto-pilot. I have no zest, no real compass, no drive, nothing is enjoyable. It usually lasts for a day or four then passes just like that. It’s really weird. Maybe I just need to up the meds a little.

My husband has issues too, but they’re very different than mine. We’ve been together 23 years because I am the most patient person on the planet. That’s his take on it. It took a lot of practice but I learned when to simply listen to him, walk away from him, argue with him, tell him, “You’re right, I’m wrong, I really don’t care!” when to hug him and when to scream at him.

Ah, marriage! Seriously, it wasn’t for my own brokenness, I would have committed murder-suicide years ago. Because of my own issues, I UNDERSTAND. I understood what he was going through even when he didn’t understand what I was going through.

That’s true love there. It’s really, really, really hard for some people to understand depression, anxiety, all that stuff when they themselves haven’t been through it. Once you’ve both gone down that path roughly 378 times, you can get through anything together.

I have a friend who is twelve years my junior and it took me a while but one day I realized, “Oh my God. You’re a young version of ME!” I never thought I could hang out with anyone like me. YUCK! But here we were, gabbing like two best girlfriends except one is a married 37 year old woman and the other is a 25 year old gay man.

But we get it. My friend has panic attacks over opening the mail because he’s afraid it’s going to be bad news. “Of course it is! But it could just be junk mail and you’ll never know unless you open it,” I told him. I’ve been there. If it’s bad news, I will just deal with it tomorrow. Today is not the day.

We get along really well because we are both broken. We also openly admit to be being broken. Yes, that’s a key aspect. I can figure out if you’re broken but if you admit it to me right away, we’ll have something to talk about immediately! We can compare notes and trade stories! Oh, this will be so much fun!

It makes me feel less broken. I feel normal when I talk to others about my issues. Maybe this IS normal. We’re all assholes until we get on the right medication and then we’re just slightly less of of an asshole.

Well, maybe just some of us.

Regardless of the situation, if you want things to be better, if you’d like a change…YOU HAVE TO DO IT. If you’re not happy, figure out something that would bring happiness to you life. A pill won’t do it but for some people, it’s a start. It helps lift that black fog some people function under. For others, it controls rage and dials it down. Some may need to be on meds their whole life while others can ween themselves off.
But you cannot blame anyone else. Maybe someone hurt you badly or you had a string of seriously bad luck. You can choose to stay down, under the black fog. Or you can chose to do something about it.

It’s your choice.
In the meantime, my crazy pills are working overtime just to deal with you.

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Driving (A Poem)

Tedious
Redundant
Boring
Tiring
Confusing
Frustrating
Irritating
EXCITING! (not in a good way)
Patience wearing
Nerve racking
Anger producing
RAGE inducing
CRAZY CREATING!!!!
My mom used to say, Be careful out there. You don’t know who’s crazy.
What if I’m the crazy one? I might be, especially if you SO MUCH AS PULL HALF AN INCH CLOSER TO MY REAR BUMPER SO HELP ME I WILL THROW THIS CAR IN PARK AND RIP YOU OUT OF YOUR SEAT AFTER ALL IT’S NOT LIKE WE’RE ACTUALLY GOING ANYWHERE SO WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE SO CLOSE TO MY CAR THAT YOU’RE PRACTICALLY IN MY BACK SEAT??!!

HEY LOOK!  The creator of this meme got their “theres” correct!

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Butt Crack For A Face

I don’t understand these profile pictures of cleavage. You’ve focused so much on your cleavage that you’ve cropped out a good portion of your face. This says a few things to me.

1. I HAVE BOOBS!
Yes, we’re very proud of you and this accomplishment

2. You want attention
Well….this is facebook, after all. I mean…

3. You’re sending a very clear message to all the single fellas out there
Message received. Call me old fashioned, but I believe a relationship should begin on the basis of personalities, likes and dislikes, etc. Unless your intentions are one night stands, then of course personality really doesn’t matter.

But really, come on. Facebook is on the internet and if anyone wants to see boobs on the internet I would imagine it’s quite easily found. Your boobs are no more special than the 14 skillion other images found online. Unless you happen to have a third nipple or something. I would consider that special.

Guys, you’re not off the hook. You’re just as bad. When your profile picture is nothing more than a barrage of your perfect, well maintained muscles, this too sends a very clear message to all the single gals out there:

“I don’t have time for you because I’m too busy measuring my biceps and working on my pectorals.”

It says your arrogant and spend all your free time at the gym, chugging power protein shakes for all meals, naturally. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with bragging a little about all your hard work. You should be proud of yourself to maintain a routine and achieving a goal. Just don’t make it your entire facebook page. With that said, ladies, you did nothing to achieve your breasts other than happen to wind up with a nice blender of DNA. At least the Gym Guys worked for their redundant profile pictures.

Look, all I’m saying is that instead of posting a picture of your boobs pressed together (which looks like an ass crack when you remove your face, by the way) or that weird ugly vein popping out of your arm, looking as if it might burst at any moment and deflate you, post a picture that says something about YOU.
Unless of course, you’re just looking for a one night stand. By all means, post away.

The picture below is a meme I created and actually used as my own profile picture on Facebook.  It was extra funny because everyone KNEW that was obviously not my own boobs.  (they actually belong to actress Kat Dennings)

I have boobs

 

I-Have-A-Tiny-Penis Truck

I had an earth shattering epiphany last night as I drove home:
I learned how to become the lead vehicle on the interstate at all times.
Step 1: Purchase a gigantic I Have A Tiny Penis Pickup Truck and put gigantic tires on it, six in all, even though you don’t own or work on a farm or never intend to.
Step 2: Install headlights that have the power of a thousand suns.

This works because there was absolutely no way I was going to be in front of this guy for the next 30 miles. I wasn’t the only driver with that thought. We all, one by one, switched to the slow lane to allow this douche bag to pass us. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve won the Asshole of the Year Award! Lucky you!

 

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It’s The Non-Optional, Social Convention

I’m not fond of the obligation to give gifts. Every time someone has a baby, gets married, survived the birth canal, buys a house… It never ends! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to give gifts but my drive behind it has changed radically.

For example, I like to give gifts because I saw something a person might like. It may not be the day this person survived the birth canal, but maybe because I happened upon this item and thought, “Oh my, that is PERFECT for So-and-So!”

I usually hate surprises, but I’d rather get a small something out of the blue, a Thinking of You Gift, rather than It’s Expected Because It’s Christmas. These are the kinds of gifts bought out of obligation and I for one think we ought to take a stand. I used to love it. I used to start in June, plan and work on homemade, thoughtful gifts. I made pillows and t-shirts, spending hours and hours on something very personal.

Then it became more like, “Well, I have 30 gifts to buy now. Just grab something, wrap it, and toss it at the person. This feels more like a chore!” And it is because it’s expected. So I would give girls make-up, even if they didn’t wear make-up, and DVDs for people who probably already had that movie. Why? Because I needed something to wrap and give.

This year I am taking a stand and I’m not buying gifts for every single person in my family. I got a few things for a very select number of people and each of these items were picked because I know it will be useful and appreciated. A gift that’s useful? What a concept!

One of those items happens to be food. You can’t go wrong with food. This is an excellent gift for that I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Buy person. If the person loves jam, get them a big assortment of jams, build a basket, or make homemade jam. It doesn’t say I’m Cheap. It says, I know you love jam so I made some and destroyed my kitchen in the process. There’s jam in my ceiling fan, for Heaven’s sake, and probably a hair in the jam but I know you’ll love it because this is the kind of gift that says I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH! I was willing to destroy my kitchen in order to provide a tangible proof of it!

Then you can toss some crackers at them and go about the rest of your day.