Raw

Depression is a Slow Waltz

No depression story is the same.

Here’s mine.

It struck like a tidal wave against my rickety boat. After years of weathering an internal storm, patching my sails together daily, fortifying the hull with spit and blind determination, this one event capsized the little boat.

I was 19. I remember the next four years drowning in tears, always exhausted, in terrible, horrible physical pain I couldn’t explain or fix with vitamins.

I was dirt poor. Didn’t have insurance. I didn’t dream of contacting a therapist.

I didn’t even know I was depressed.

I just sort of chalked it up to sorrow, grief – mourning a frail, broken sailboat of a dream.

Coming home late at night, I would plan out high speed car crashes into trees as a way to end the pain without hurting my family with the truth – I just couldn’t bear to live in my body anymore. It felt heavy. I felt like I was drowning every minute. My chest was tight. I couldn’t inhale deeply or run or do much of any cardio.

Even as I write this, my kitty is worming under my arm trying to get close. She’s so precious. She’s been through it all with me. The day I ran from my dad and hid at a friend’s house for a week, then moved in with some other friends for a few months. Then back. Finally to my apartment where I could breathe. God, I had forgotten how to breathe.

Some friends pulled me out of the storm – unlikely friends. Not the God-friends you expect to see you and help you, but spiritual nonetheless. The kind of people who are just good for goodness’s sake.

In the aftermath, I pulled myself back together. I began to see brighter days. I got on track with promotions and dating and giving myself permission to be happy.

One day I realized all the physical pain was gone. Just gone. I didn’t hurt constantly.

And I can afford therapy – you know, when I actually make time for my appointments.

But this kind of deep, wrecking scar tissue doesn’t heal completely. You’re never really out of the storm just because you find patches of sunlight. I tell myself I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m not in danger.

Today changed that – when I started working on a way to end it without hurting the ones I love. That’s when you know you’re never really out of the water.

I’ll make a therapy appointment.

Thanks for listening.

Fanny

Raw

Health & Wellness

Raise your hand if quarantine got you right in the love handles – and beyond!

🙋

I’ve grown up with good genetics, skinny all my life, blah, blah, blah. But I knew in the back of my mind when this miracle metabolism slows down I’ll be in big trouble. I’m lazy. I’d rather bend my brain to an intense problem solving task than bench anything physical. If brain activity burned calories, I’d be set for life! My career is endless problems to resolve and some days my poor gray matter feels like mush.

True story.

But as you probably guessed, it’s a desk job. Now cue the pandemic. Quarantine. Home bound. No more football field parking lots to trudge, no more 4 flights of grueling stairs. It takes me 5 seconds to walk to the coffee pot. At the office, I literally had to cross from one corner of the building to the far corner of a rectangular floor layout.

So here we are. Without cardio and movement, metabolism turns to lethargy. And maybe we’re snacking a bit more too, right? The vending machine is your pantry stocked full for the impending apocalypse.

Around August or September, I started to feel bad about my body image. I realize eventually everything will sag and rot, but during the “young” years of my life, there’s still something I can do about it. I can still change and my cells will respond.

And here I am running 20 minutes a day on my lunch break at the treadmill. I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy it. I’m literally blogging while running because this bores me to tears. But I’m still here 20 minutes a day 5 days a week gradually burning calories as slowly as the love handles crept on.

You know what, I feel better. My waist is shaping down again. My weight doesn’t seem to fluctuate much, but I can see the difference. I’m not pushing or prodding or going crazy with the weights. I’m just showing up for a little cardio, a little movement, and a little change in my eating habits.

How’s your quarantine journey going?

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Raw

Behind the Curtain

My husband and I were on a video chat with some long distance friends and all the while the tiny fibers in my being were urging insistently that this wasn’t enough. I began to suspect they felt it too because throughout the conversation someone would let slip “I miss you guys” in a soft and plaintive tone bespoken of earnest wishing.

What was so different about this than any other conversation? Long distance chatting is certainly nothing new. We have been using telephones, texting, and video calls for years. We ought to be well accustomed to this form of communication – and grateful since without we would have no other means to contact outside of a full vacation visit. Or letters. Which isn’t the same at all.

What’s so different about sitting on a couch sipping coffee with friends through a viewing screen vs sitting on a couch sipping the same coffee surrounded by those very friends? I tell you, it IS very different and somewhat wrong. Despite the instant gratification of viewing, chatting, and filling up the social cup our souls need, this form of long distance conversation is missing the thing our souls crave.

Energy. Aura. Chakra, if you will. Each of us gives off an invisible to the eye – but blatantly obvious to the soul – energy wave which harbors our individual essence. You feel it in crowds which either drains you – if introverted – or energizes you – of extroverted. One-on-one conversations can be made more intimate if you both harbor similar energy patterns. And that is exactly what we are missing in the long distance.

It can be described as watching yourself eat food on a recorded video. While you watch the nutrients enter your body, you begin to crave because your senses tell you there’s food, but your fibers are pulling at empty stores. You’re hungry and never satisfied.

And as I refrained from verbalizing the helpless pining, my heart broke a little with longing. I missed them, too.

This has been,

FanTC

Raw

Story Time

Let me share with you a story. This comes from very early 2020. The setting is winter. The scene is corporate offices.


I dropped my purse on the desk – my desk. My very own. This was something I had strived for all of my adult life. I love this corporate life. It helps that I work for a very respectable company.

It was Wednesday. Nothing special, except I felt tired. It had been stressful the past few weeks since being assigned this new project. Per my usual morning routine, I hung up my coat, made my rounds of good mornings, and tacked the Hump Day Camel onto my cabinet for all to see. We don’t have cubicles, you see, but are divided by half walls. It made the floor open and inviting and easier to be cordial with coworkers. I have to say, they promote a suburb working environment here.

I opened my calendar to view the day’s agenda. First priority of the morning, freeze Customer X’s orders.

I couldn’t help a feeling a weight of weariness. This customer had been breaking promises left and right since Christmas. We had warned we were going to freeze their orders back in January, but somehow they had weaseled an extension. I was about to find out HOW soon enough.

Don’t get me wrong. We don’t want to freeze orders. This is a supply company, and we’re in the business to sell and make money.

But sometimes the customers don’t feel like paying their bills. That’s where my team comes in. We monitor the customers’ accounts and problem-solve any errors which occurred in the order to cash process. I personally find it fascinating, and I love the challenge. Especially when people like Customer X give us the run-around and expect to get away with it. It doesn’t help when the customer’s direct representative with the company is feeding them confidence and promises.

Yes, dear readers, the problem here rested prominently within our very own Sales Force. I’m usually on good par with Sales Force. If they come to me for help, I’m diligent and relentless to discover a solution. If I go to them for help, they usually reciprocate the same. It’s a beautiful relationship, but sometimes I encounter the odd squaller.

By her picture on our website, she looks young and friendly. Beautiful face, beautiful hair. Up until today, all our correspondence was in email, so I had no idea what I was in for when I picked up the phone.

“This is (insert ambiguous coworker name here) calling about that hold. You put my account on hold even when I told you not to.

Maybe you recognize the tonal inflection even through text. Maybe in your mind’s ear, you can hear the level of attitude delivered in quick punches. I suppose it would look something like this:

“Hel-LOOO. This is (SOMEBODY FREAKING IMPORTANT) CaLlInG aBoUt ThAt HOLD. YoU pUt My AcCoUnT oN HOLD eVeN wHeN i TOLD yOu NOT tO.”

You see, the trouble I have with people like this is they don’t have the patience to explain situations. If she had come to me early on with the details of this particular business partner, the order entry errors, and how she was working with them to correct, I would have jumped on board. Instead, she thought she could bully her way, let the order entries go on failing, and continue to collect her commission. I don’t roll with those types. In fact, the Taurus in me locks its legs in an attempt to fling its unsuspecting rider.


Life is an interesting deal. The more you work with the public, the more characters you encounter. And every encounter is an experience.

This has been,

FanTC