Krissie: Revisions, Goddammit

So I don’t know what I did yesterday but I certainly didn’t do revisions. And I started out this morning sorting socks. ‘Splain this to me, Lucy.
I did see my therapist, who pointed out that it was amazing I even finished a book while depressed (and yes, I’m still pretty depressed, I’m just not dwelling on it). I think I have to accept the fact that my perceptions are all off. I’m thinking my life is over, I’ll never be happy again, yadda yadda yadda. That kind of garbage. I’m impatient with myself. Why is it we can be caring and kind to everyone but ourselves? I have a certain writer friend in NJ who loves to beat up on herself. I don’t cut myself any slack. Why can’t i nurture myself the way I needed to be nurtured?
Ah, well.
Lost the weight I gained in NJ. Back down to 228 (I was up to 230.5, which wasn’t nearly as bad as it should have been). Been fighting temptation (really wanted morning glory muffins yesterday). When I have a shitload of work to do in a short period of time I usually tell myself I’m allowed to eat, but I’m fighting the good fight. Yesterday I thought about comfort food (after seeing my therapist) and then thought, do I really want to gain that weight back or do I want to lose more. And we know the answer to that.
Nothing but work today. Don’t want to think about anything but the book. If I get too restless I can go to the library and work — that’ll be peaceful. In the meantime, one day at a time, I guess.
My mother always felt put-upon, ill-used, screwed-over by fate and life. It was something that used to drive me crazy. I suppose I could feel sorry for myself in her honor … naaah. I want to be merry and bright.
Just having a hard time getting there.
That’s probably part of the reason people get depressed at Christmas. They feel that they ought to be happy, and there’s something wrong with them if they aren’t.
Hell, I don’t even like admitting that I’m not happy right now.
But I will be. Getting this book done will be a huge relief.
Oh, my. I just had a revelation. An epiphany.
And you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it, because I have to get to work.

21 thoughts on “Krissie: Revisions, Goddammit

  1. It is amazing what you have done! I’m constantly amazed by your will and determination and generosity.

    I am a big believer these days in the power of faking it, of letting something become a habit, of pretending what should be real is real until you know it is real. (I’m not talking about fabricating delusions here; I’m talking about getting rid of delusions — like the one that says you don’t deserve to give yourself the same generosity you offer others).

    There was a time when I believed I was completely ineffectual. It was a debilitating and painful belief. To combat it, I started a journal where each day I wrote down five things I had accomplished that day. Some days they were pretty small (washed the dishes, watered the plants) and there were times that made me feel worse. But I kept after it and what happened was that with time, it became a habit to notice the things I accomplished. As I went through my day I’d pay attention and look for the moments I’d acknowledge later. With time, I even started to accomplish more (“If I get that patch of garden weeded, I’ll be able to put it on my list tonight”). And with time, it became a mental habit to think well of my ability to do what needed to be done.

    It wasn’t a change because of gritting my teeth willpower. It was simply that I decided to make a conscious effort to change what I noticed about myself and to change what I said to myself. It didn’t feel natural at first. I had to replace the old habit of thinking badly of myself with a new habit of thinking well. It took some time. And I think the important thing is that I wasn’t telling myself lies. I was learning to recognize the truth. And the truth about you is that you are a large-hearted intelligent woman who has many many qualities to recognize and value in herself. That’s the truth worth paying attention to.

    I wonder if you couldn’t keep a “be nice to Krissie” journal. Each day you write down five good things to yourself. You note five things you did well, or did kindly. Each day you do something for yourself and say to yourself, whether you believe it or not, “You deserve this generosity.” And you write it down: “Today the deserved gift I gave to myself was . . . .” Maybe it would become a habit. Maybe you’d start to believe it.

    I hope the depression lifts soon. I hope the change in meds works. At least you know that when you think, “I’ll never be happy again,” it’s the depression talking, not reality. Here’s to that happiness swooping in and surprising you SOON.

  2. Ho ho, ho ho, it’s off to work we go…got the pick axe over the shoulder, headlight switched on, lunch is in the pail, and I’m heading down the mine shaft. Hope there be diamonds.

  3. Kieran says:

    Krissie, I’ve read some really cool articles about how happiness is overrated. Leading a fulfilling life of purpose brings peace and well-being, and that might be something to focus on instead of whether or not you’re happy. One article pointed out that when there’s happiness, there’s also shadow–we just don’t focus on the shadow.

    You can get really deep into this topic. They call it “positive psychology.” You can also take it down a spiritual road, and when you do, it’s uncanny how well it aligns with fundamental philosophies from different world religions.

    I’m in a really bad way right now with too many obligations and not enough happiness because I’m seriously stressed out. So what I’ve decided to do, as of today, is forget about happiness. I’m going to focus on working hard and doing one thing at a time. While I do that one thing, I’ll focus on doing a good job. I think I’d rather feel planted deep, knowing I’m doing the right thing, than flitting around my life looking for happiness. The irony is that happiness can be a by-product of this way of thinking. But I ain’t gonna wait on it!!!

    Have a great day, everyone!!!

    • Alis says:

      I wish I could get behind this, but I lived with a mother whose entire philosophy was, “You don’t need to be happy. You’ve got responsibilities, and obligations, and you just do what you have to do. Happy doesn’t get you anything.”

      Needless to say, she wasn’t happy. She was a martyr through and through, sacrificing her “happy” on the altar of duty or obligation, and she drank herself to death at 53. It isn’t your “positive psychology”, Kieran. A “fulfilling life” is just as hard for someone’s who’s depressed to find, and I think duty, guilt, and obligation is where the unhealthy mind can end up in the pursuit of that philosophy.

      Happy may not get you anything but happy, but I wouldn’t set it aside as a motivation for anything.

    • romney says:

      Really interesting point. Happiness is a relative thing. The ups depend on the downs for context. Its a rollercoaster. Satisfaction in a job well done is a lot easier to hold onto.

  4. Happy, to me, encompasses contentment and cheerful as well as sad times, knowing that overall we are happy and not depressed. Or maybe contentment encompasses happiness; I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that happiness is related to contentment and peace and fullfillment and passion. And we need to acknowledge the dark or sad things as well as the light and cheerful things too. Looking at happiness as a byproduct of what we do and how we live is okay, but I think that simply sweeping happiness aside as part of what we want or where we want to be does us a disservice.

    Krissie, I’m glad you can admit that you are depressed. That’s a great beginning. You will manage well, I think. Finishing the novel will help. Accomplishing anything will help. Just don’t feel you have to do everything and be everything to be happy. That doesn’t work out so well. Good and happy vibes that all will be well very soon for you, and for everyone who needs it.

  5. Lois says:

    Very interesting conversation.
    I write in a journal in the morning, where I note the things I appreciated the previous day. I try to list one for each of my senses (because it can be easy to forget to listen or smell). When I have trouble sleeping I run through the list in my head and it forces out some of the anxiety.
    So I love your idea Terrie, of noting the accomplishments. Since my mom’s and sister’s death the accomplishments have felt few and far between.
    In a meditation class a few years ago our teacher taught about the wheel of happiness, consisting of meditation (calmness),discipline (refraining from harm) and wisdom (insight). You can enter the wheel at any of these points. It’s my simplified version anyway. But I think it’s true. For example, sometimes we need discipline to do something that will lead to our greater happiness.

    Krissie, good for you in accomplishing so much this year. And thank you for taking us along on the journey.

  6. You know what you need, Krissie? A treat day. One day a week or every other week when you get to eat whatever the hell you want. I’ve dealt with alot of dieters, some who truly needed to loose weight and some who, in my opinion, were fine the way they were. Those who took a treat day for themselves did better with their control because they knew they were going to get that one day to be ‘bad’.

    In the beginning the treat days were mind boggling – a whole pan of lasagna anyone? But over time between cutting sugar from their diet and eating smaller portions, it tamed down considerably. Their stomach couldn’t, for example, hold that whole pan of lasagna anymore (which made that person very angry) and too much sugar would make them feel sick. You should try a treat day.

    And I agree with the others about the gratitude type list every day.

    Good luck with your book.

    • I think that’s probably why my “treat two and a half weeks” with Jenny didn’t do that much harm. Though I ate sugar I didn’t eat tons, fried things were occasional, I didn’t go on binges till I felt ill. I just treated myself, and the damage is already turning around.

  7. JenniferNennifer says:

    Merry and bright IS who you are. Sometimes there are things on top suppressing it, but the potential is intrinsic to you, even if you aren’t feeling it right now.

    Good wishes for a productive day with increased happiness.

    Thanks for the link to the free book too. See you are being a Christmas elf, right there.

  8. “To be continued…”

    I hated those at the end of TV shows. I guess I like things all neatly wrapped up, because life is so unravell-y. Escapists-R-Us. Or escapist I are.

    I’m in a weird mood. It’s that end-of-year slump. Worse than a mid-year slump because now I don’t have time to get stuff done. I am talkative, and I’ve hit the mopes and I don’t want to use my voice. I feel taciturn. But this is like Wash saying “Once in flight school I was laconic.”

    This will pass, I just hope that I’m effective through it.

  9. Hmm, for me happiness is a choice and simply a label we put upon our moods. Right now, deep inside, I am dealing with many things. Things I don’t particularly want to share or discuss. It doesn’t mean that I am not happy as much as that I am not happy in this moment. Not being happy in this moment is the canary in the coal mine for me. It tells me that I am making choices that aren’t right for me. Thus, I am working on those choices.

    Krissie, all things considered about this year, wouldn’t it be more surprising if you weren’t depressed right now? I know that between you and your therapist, this too shall pass, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

  10. Reb says:

    Depression screws your perceptions. Well done for recognising that.

    You just reminded me of the mantra I tried earlier this year: behave today in the way that’ll make me feel best about myself tomorrow. I need to start that up again.

  11. Micki says:

    “A smile is just a frown upside down.”

    So maybe I should hang my head over the side of the bed and make angry, growling noises at the ghost of whoever said that first.

    Happiness isn’t a simple thing . . . but it does have a tendency to show up in the oddest places, so keep on slogging through.

  12. I was just going to say I’m not getting an doggone thing done – but then I realized that’s not true. I got tons of stuff done today. And I got paid for it. It just wasn’t either of my books or the class.

    And while the day job isn’t my personal highest priority, it’s important to me that I do my job well, and that does bring me happiness of a sort. Just because I’m not making progress on a book doesn’t mean I’m not making progress.

    Plus I have a purple cast!

  13. Redwood Kim says:

    I really like the idea of a nice-to-me journal. I’ve been trying to get back to my food journal, without much success, but maybe if I incorporated achievements (all the pumpkins are baked and the Thankful tree is down – the house is clear for Xmas decorating,) I could get motivated. Becaue I know that works.
    You know, Krissie, I really admire you. You’ve got guts, woman, and you have really been sticking this thing through, despite the obstacles. You may be feeling bad (and I know that cycle, too) but you are here, and you are slogging away, and that counts for a lot. I haven’t stayed nearly as true to my course, but I check in with you every day, because you are an inspiration.
    An aside: I had Thanksgiving at a friend’s mother’s house, and she had one of your books on her shelf (of course I looked at her shelves.) And I got this little jolt of recognition – that’s Krissie’s book! I know her! Which, of course, I don’t, except that I do. (I’ve only read your solo work on the Kindle, so this was the first physical book of yours I’ve seen.)

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