Category: depression

Afflictions Eclipsed by Glory

Most of you (assuming there are enough people who read this blog to split them into a majority and minority) know that I have two little boys who will be starting preschool over the next couple years. I don’t want to talk about what happened Friday. I don’t want to think about it.  I don’t even want to know that it happened, so I sure as heck don’t want to write a blog post about it.
Right now there’s nothing I want more than to curl up with one of the comic books my friend lent me and get lost in a nice, brightly-colored alien war where little kids don’t get shot to death for no reason.
In the last post on this blog I told you writers can’t ignore or hide from the disturbing, painful, sickening things that happen in our world. The coward in me wishes I hadn’t told you that because here are the facts: Babies are dead. Parents are dead. People across the country are sick, hurt, angry, and sad. We don’t know what to do with this.
Friday night, my sister-in-law said, “I told [my son] that the world isn’t going to end this month, but now I don’t know. I don’t see why God wouldn’t just swoop down and take us all out.” A lot of my friends and family have been saying how much they wish the Mayans had been right about the date of the apocalypse. I’ve been saying it, too. Can you imagine what a relief it would be to be done with this whole mess? Unfortunately, the end of the world isn’t coming on Mayan Apocalypse Day.
“[God] should kill us all with an [assault rifle],” my sister-in-law said. “That would be appropriate, don’t you think?” 
What my sister-in-law understands that some people don’t is that we’re all humans. If one of us massacres a hundred others, we all share the blame. I know it goes against the grain to admit that. Whenever some great injustice or tragedy happens, our first instinct is to separate ourselves from the perpetrator. To say, “This gunman was mentally ill. That dictator was power-hungry and sadistic. That group was part of a sect that practices a radical form of our religion mutated to fit their own beliefs. He/she/they are not like me.”
The truth is that gunman, that dictator, and that group are humans just like we are. We have the capacity in our hearts to as much harm as they did. You can swear you don’t or split this into a hundred different semantic arguments, but evil is in you the same as it is in me. It may come out in different forms, but none of it is helping make this world a better place.
The good news is there’s something we can do. In the previous post on this blog, I told you that I didn’t know how to respond to tragedy or even the pain of living every day. You have to feel it, you have to face it, and you can’t hide from it if you want to be a writer. But now I understand that you can have peace in spite of it.
  
One of my favorite songs says, “If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.” To me, that’s the real relief.
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Been a Long Time Gone

But that’s because I’ve been busy with my life outside of cyberspace.  Settling into a routine of feeding Oak, clothing Oak, changing Oak’s diapers; getting sliced and diced as a revenge prank on my gallbladder; re-reading some old favorites.  Pretty standard stuff.  I’m sure you understand how a person falls behind now and then.  Keep an eye out for a future post about how the doctors who did my surgery tried to convince me that I had post-partum depression.  In the meantime, I’m cooking something awesome today that my mom made for New Year’s Steve this year.  If you like fruit and and you like cookies, you’ll love this.
Fruit Cookie
  1. Take some sugar cookie dough and roll it out flat on a pizza pan.  I’m using pre-made stuff because I’m not a superhero like my mom, but if you are feel free to use homemade dough.  It will probably taste better (unless you’re a bad cook).  Bake for however long the package says to.
  2. Remove from oven (duh) and cool.
  3. Apply icing liberally.  I am using homemade icing because I do have powdered sugar.  Most icings are some variation of powdered sugar, milk, butter/margerine, and vanilla extract.
  4. Sprinkle with your favorite chunks of fruit.  I’m using papaya, strawberry, mango, and pineapple.  I wish I had some kiwi and blueberries for more color, but them’s the breaks.

Unlike the crap I make up, this is something my mommy makes.  If it doesn’t turn out good, you didn’t make it right.

Where’d all the chicken go?

Well, the truth is that there never was any chicken. Or maybe chicken was just a myth, like ice (Spongebob Reference #1). Since last we talked, the aforementioned depression has kept me too bogged down to cook anything more complicated than fish sticks. When I wasn’t stuck to the couch trying to stop crying, I was drinking or smoking or crawling out of bed with a sore throat and hangover. If you’re wondering about the boozing and smoking, there’s a simple explanation: I’ve decided to take my anger at my depression out on my body. But on the off chance that you’re a writer, too, I won’t bore you with the details. Chances are you already know this cycle intimately. I will say that I survived the worst of this last down. Maybe some day there will be chicken, but for now I have too many important things to think about. Namely Nacho Cheese Macaroni, my newest invention.

The theory behind it: I like pasta and I love queso y salsa, so why not combine them? It seems like hamburger might go well with this. A kind of Mexican goulash. I think I’ll work on a prototype Friday or Saturday night and let you know how it turned out.
Via con pollo, amigos.