Paint it Black - the Holidays

There is something about negative thinking that most people who struggle with mental disorders have great trouble with. In fact it might just be the very first thing you notice about yourself when you're depressed is not that you no longer want to shower, wash your hair, wash your clothes, the fact you are not moving anywhere off the couch or sleeping 18 hours a day, what you notice is how warped and negative your thinking has become. Remember that old Rolling Stones' song, "Paint it Black"? Recently I went on my friend's facebook page and she had a perfect picture of a bright red door, and underneath it she wrote, "I see a red door and I want to paint it black".

People think Prozac will make them happy. But if you are already normal, Prozac will have little impact on you. So all those stupid jokes about Prozac turning your life around if you're having trouble with life, are just that, stupid jokes. The fact of the matter is, your brain has to be in some sort depressed mode from the chemistry in order to work. And then you need 3 to 4 weeks for it kick in (or more). It doesn't work in one day, or two, so if you're suicidal, you might want to be closely observed in a hospital, or under doctor's care.

So negative thinking might be the first sign you are dying on the inside, and your brain is telling you to just to color everything black. The worse times for this condition to come out of your head is, surprisingly summertime, and Christmastime. Summer, because the intense heat and light can bring on depression, and Christmas, for the opposite reason, lack of heat and light. Plus at Christmas, the more you age, the more loss you may have to deal with, and it all comes back to you at Xmas. Instead of opening presents, you're opening bad memories, one by one, until they fill you up. Forgetting good memories is common. Maybe that's why we need little kids around, they only have, most of them, good memories.

As a lifelong expert on this subject, besides drugs, there isn't a lot you can do. Wait for New Years. That's all I want to get passed. Otherwise, go into lock down, see a doctor, don't drink too much, although you may dearly want to, and never put any pressure on yourself to try to be happy for everyone else. It helps to aid the poor, because everyone is really showing gratitude, not faking it. Avoid families, if possible, and it usually isn't. Hide in the bathroom if you have to. Once I fainted at Christmas Dinner, and my hosts, my dreaded step family, acted like I had my nerve. Can't you be a better guest than that?. No, no, and no. I think the happiest day of my life is December 26th.

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    Joan Clarie

    Chicago writer, artist, manic depressive person. this means things run hot, cold, up, down, rarely inbetween, but there is hope

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