You’ve Heard of FU, Penguin? Coming Soon–FU Illness!

© Michael K. Nichols

I just realized there is an absence of sound. For three weeks now, my daughter’s rock tumbler has added its measured cadence to my day. Grr-squeak, grr-squeak, grr-squeak. I am positive I heard it earlier today, because I recall thinking it would soon be time to rinse the rocks, add the final packet of polishing powder and water, and program it for its final stage of processing. When did it stop?  How did I not notice? Even on the other side of the house, the damn thing sounds like industrial Chicago.

Whew.  This past week has been a mofo!  Actually, since around about Thanksgiving, life has been absolutely brutal. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like.  I don’t even know what the rest of today is going to be like. Because, of late, things have been so crazy, I’ve been so crazy, I’ll get up and be on top of the world, ambitious about the day!  And then I’ll plummet to the depths of hell.   That’s not usually how my days go.  I don’t usually do the roller coaster within a day mood swing thing.  I have problems with low mood, chronic depression.  I’ve even been needy with Trey*.

Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza!

In the four months we have been getting to know each other and getting closer, I have never been needy.  Gasp! Got to do something about it.  My internal thermostat is even wonky.  I’ve been too cold.  All of the sudden, I’m too warm.  I’m having problems sleeping, even though I take sleep medication and it usually works.  Going to do something about it.  My plan for the day is outlined below. It includes (drum roll, please!) pizza!  Mmm.  Warm fuzzy homemade pizza love.

Yesterday held some amazing content (ha ha!).  It fascinates me that people from around the world come together over the internet and give light and thought and hope to each other.  I don’t believe that things happen for a reason, that there is any guiding force.  I do respect others’ rights and needs and desires to believe in a higher power.  I hope that it gives them the strength, courage, and love they need to fulfill positive roles in society and feel secure.  It’s tempting to believe that because Trey* and I talked about writing about my father (who always has to be right and at high cost to those closest to him), I happened across fellow blogger Mark’s post on being right ( Coincidence or cosmic force?  I don’t disbelieve in a cosmic force, but I do pray there is one.  I pray that by praying for someone else’s well-being, some how, some way, it makes a tangible difference.  When it all comes down to it, I believe in free will.  I just as firmly believe, as Gandhi extolled, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”  If I show love, respect, and compassion, the person to whom I showed love, respect, and compassion is more likely to treat the next person he or she encounters with the same.  I believe that I can be a force for good in the world, albeit a small force.  I have no choice but to have faith in my fellow human.  I hold in high regard people who act with compassion and respect towards one another, and I have a profound gratitude for those who share their intelligent thought with me. Regardless of how it came together, I am extremely grateful that it did.

Yesterday was also Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.  I was reminded that his vision extended beyond Civil Rights Movement, though he is mostly and deservedly remembered for it.  He decried the absurdly large income gaps between the rich and the poor, called for “radical changes” in the structure of our society to redistribute wealth and power, and fought against the military excesses of the U.S., which he called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”  (

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

My horoscope has just been delivered to my facebook page.  Thank you, Rob Brezny and Free Will Astrology!  I love his horoscopes.  It doesn’t matter if they pertain to what I’m experiencing, he encourages and inspires me to be and to do my best every single week.  I feel his love.  This week, however, my horoscope is particularly apt:

This would be an excellent week to grieve madly and deeply about the old love affairs that shattered your heart. I’ve rarely seen a better astrological configuration than there is now for purging the residual anguish from those old romantic collapses. So I suggest you conduct a formal ritual that will provide total exorcism and bring you maximum catharsis. Maybe you could build a shrine containing the photos and objects that keep a part of you stuck in the past, and maybe you could find the bold words and innovative gestures that will bid goodbye to them forever. Do you have any intuitions about how to create a rousing healing ceremony?

Why is it apt?  Because in seven…seven short days (Ah, ah, ah!) Trey will be here.  I will no longer give any energy to brooding over failed past romances.  To do so would be blasphemous to what Trey and I have.  As Emerson said, “This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.”

This is what I’m going to do about today, today.  I may have 10,000 things that I need to do.  But I’m going to put fifteen things on my list.  Even though I’m in the grips of a major depressive episode, I can do fifteen things for myself today that will make my today and my tomorrow better.  When I’m having a really bad day, I usually only commit to one.  Today is a medium day so far, in the landscape of a major depression, I will try for fifteen.  If my day takes a major downturn, I will commit to the first five, regardless.  For every four must that are responsible, one must be only pleasurable.  When a depressed person concentrates only on what she must do, the results are, well, depressing.

If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator.” ~ W. Beran Wolfe

1.)  Take a shower and take exceptional care with my appearance.

2.)  Go to the pharmacy and pick up my medications and get some diet coke (I am out! Perhaps therein lies part of the problem?)

3.)  Make sure my apparel is ready for my job interview tomorrow.

4.)  Clean the kitchen in 15 minute increments throughout the day.

5.)  Finish watching Spirited Away.

6.)  Call and make an appointment with my therapist.

7.)  Call and make an appointment with my lawyer.

8.)  Call and make an appointment with my doctor.

9.)  Love on the dogs.

10.)  Make Chicago-style pizza for dinner.

11.) Finish one post for blog.

12.) Read the front page, at least of the New York Times and the Albuquerque Journal.

13.) File state tax returns (maybe not because everyone and their dog appears to be e-filing today and the system is s…l…o…w.

14.) Respond to one inbox message on facebook.

15.) Work on plans for three trips:  a.) My own atta-girl recovery trip to Paris; b.) My joint atta-girl recovery trip with my children on Historic Route 66 starting in Illinois and ending in California; c.) My joint atta-girl recovery trip with kids and mom and Trey (and what the hell, anyone who wants to join us!) to Xel-ha.  I’ve always wanted to take my children to swim with the dolphins.

One last list, my gratitudes:

1.) My children, my heart and my inspiration.

2.) To Trey, all that is good, fair, and ooh, la, la, in a man.

3.) Pharmaceutical companies and my health insurance.  I’d be a dead duck without them.

4.) To Fluffy Buddy and Lady Monster, got love?

5.) My brain–I had two ideas for books today.  And then I thought, “Fuck that, my own publishing company.” To possibilities everywhere, and my brain for thinking them up.  One of book ideas is “FU Illness: How to Give Mental Illness a Run for its Money.”

Peace, T.

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” ~ Dorothy Bernard


About ZephyrLiving

Join me on my journey, if you like. A return to mental health. When I started with my first blog in 2011, I was three years in. Now it's 2015, and I am so much better. I though I had nothing less to lose. I was so very wrong. So arrogant--or deluded! OCD, Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome, Chronic Depression, PTSD and Histrionic Personality Disorder. A big list, a big task. I've come a long way and still have far to go. But I've built my foundation and I'm working at it every single day! Join me for some laughs, some inspiration, some hope, and support. Peace.
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