Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Little annoyances

Something is going on with me. I'm annoyed. I'm irritated. Little things, seemingly one after another, keep getting under my skin. I'm irritable and irritated. It's uncomfortable, and I don't like it.

  • The company that hasn't sent my product 8 weeks (and 12 mostly ignored e-mails) after I ordered it. 
  • The mysterious neighbor who again put their trash can so close to my driveway I can barely squeak by without scratching my vehicle.
  • The work e-mail I can't ever seem to access from home without a lengthy call to the help desk.
  • The state office from which I require assistance whose phone line is still busy after 68 redials.  
  • The freshly painted doors, which became freshly unpainted around the knobs and hinges after I removed the painter's tape from them. 
  • The hot flashes... Oh, the hot flashes!
  • The scam calls warning me about my lapsed vehicle warranty (which I never had) or offering to improve my prescription drug coverage (which I do have), but only if I provide them with all of my vital stats first.
  • The Amazon Prime video stream which fails, and fails, and fails again in the middle of my WWII movie.

I could go on, and that's the point; I could go on. I'm hoping writing down all of these stupid things will decrease, or better yet stop, my irritability. Looking at them one at a time, these are all things I usually deal with as annoyances. They don't usually leave me cussing and kicking garbage cans. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say, I did that. That's not the person I typically choose to be.

Irritation is a choice. I'm not sure why I'm choosing it now. It certainly isn't doing me any good. As I look back over my list I see only one item over which I have absolutely no control. Yup, the damn hot flashes. For every other item on the list I can choose to take an action to mitigate the annoyance. I can then decide to let go of the results. After all, I can't control what happens on the other side of the street. I may or may not get what I want, but once I've taken the action it does me no good whatsoever to stew over the unfairness and injustice of it all. (That last part is best read while yelling and raising a fist in the air.)

Life isn't fair. Sometimes people are assholes. Sometimes companies are fraudulent. Sometimes helpers are busy helping others. Sometimes equipment doesn't work. I can't change any of that. I need to get back to taking appropriate actions, accepting outcomes, and letting go of the emotional garbage I've attached to these small, insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things annoyances.

Phew... Thanks. I needed that.


Eva said...

This post reminds me of an article from Esther Perel. It's about complaining. It's actually called "the joy of complaining". And she talks about the benefits of it. She uses it in relation to the current situation most of the world is in now because of covid 19 but it struck a cord in me. She says:

"You’re allowed to complain; it feels good sometimes! We can’t be grateful all the time. Gratitude is deeply important and healing, but this is a time where we also have to make room for complaints. There’s a reason we have ten words for “complaining” in Yiddish. It’s a valve release. It's a way to still feel like you have a say over your life when you don't control squat." (One of those words is kvetching. Love that word)

I always feel guilty about complaining. Telling myself "other people have it worse" and lots of things I learned in therapy. You don't control what happens to you but you do control how you deal with it. Or: your emotions are a result of your thoughts so therefore you can effect your emotions by changing the way you think.

Esther Perel also talks about feeling guilty about complaining. She says: "by the way, guilt means you have a conscience."

The article is much longer and there is a video accompanying it which I haven't watched yet. But she talks about how she complains to others in these times and how it can help.

So please kvetch all you want. Hot flashes are a bitch. I agree! I'm getting sick of them.
And some people are assholes. My neighbors know how noisy our houses are but it doesn't stop them from inviting over people and making noise until late in the night (apparently they have invited over some people in the middle of the week) and I can't sleep. And don't get me talking about them inviting over people when it's ff-ing not even allowed because we should be social distancing!
And they can't park. So we can't even get in our parking space in front of our house.

Here is a link to the article in case you are interested:

etta said...

@ Eva: I think it's okay for me to complain, but it's not okay if that's all I do. I deplore the victim role, hence my focus on taking action to address whatever it is I find annoying. I do believe my reaction to the shit thrown my way is my choice. When I find myself feeling incredibly irritable, and little things which used to roll off my back bother me immensely, it is usually because I need to do something; whether that be address the problem, exercise, take a nap, or spend time with a friend. Doing those things helps get me back in balance. Then I'm better able to deal with the assholes without driving myself crazy in the process! It's about taking care of me despite the assholes.

Eva said...

I think that is the topic of the article. Get things of your chest. Share it with others. And than find meaning in the things you can't change. You do certain things to get your balance back. By sharing this with others you might help someone else. But it all started with you sharing your sharing your little annoyances with us.