Riding Out the Wave

The other morning I woke up to birds chirping and sunlight streaming through my blinds. Instead of contentment, I immediately felt that both were seemingly mocking me.


I wanted it to be raining, to be dark, to have the universe send me a sign that it was okay to feel anything but sunny or happy and light.

Tempted to simply pull up the covers and block it all out—the sun, the sounds, the world—I knew that I wouldn’t, partly because I have a hard time being lazy and wallowing but also because I honestly didn’t have the luxury or the choice to do anything other than pull myself up and prepare for the day.

It went along as normal, and after the responsible things were all done I knew I could go one of two ways—self-destruction (common default) or self-care.

So I thought, “I should write. I should try and write something funny.”

I wanted to (attempt to) be funny, as writing those posts gets me out of my head and it stops me from feeling so shitty. Plus, people like to laugh or talk about themselves more than being faced with the reality of someone else’s struggles—me included.


But sometimes the weight presses down and the funny is squashed under shit.  There’s not some “big event” that brings it on, which makes me feel even worse, like I don’t deserve to feel so numb and disconnected.

It simply sneaks up and bites me in the ass and I find myself longing for any kind of escape. It drives me to literally run myself into the ground as I try and run away from it all (an entirely separate post I’ll probably never publish.)

Anyway, I was still at my computer—trying for a “healthy” escape—and thought that maybe I should write some artsy post in a way to pretend that I’m really just being creative and not on the low end of the wave.

Well, I tried, and I failed miserably at that, too.

It was at that point that I decided that was a shit idea anyway. The reason I would be doing that wasn’t to be artsy, but rather to hide behind a mask in an effort to make myself look a little bit better than how I really was in that moment—seeing the sun but yet stuck in the dark.

So I ended up with this post, one I probably shouldn’t publish. It’s not funny, it doesn’t really have a theme—it’s just me oversharing a bunch of things with cute pictures from Hyperbole & a Half because they fit and I read people like pictures in posts.

But also because I know that when I get this way I narrow my world down to the bare essentials in an effort to make myself feel safe.


That’s not good.

I reminded myself that this blog is important to me because it’s the one thing that’s allowed me to finally let people in instead of mistrusting them and blocking them out. So instead of worrying about what people think, I figured an emotional purge was a better than the alternative, so here you go.

And don’t worry.

This too shall pass, as it usually does. Sometimes in the same day I hear the birds and smile while 10 minutes later  I want to get out a pellet gun and mount the feathered bastard on the wall—metaphorically speaking of course.

I’m envious of those who don’t have to deal with this shit and can just be “okay” without so much effort, but that’s (my) life. And it’s one thing to be envious, but it’s another to be ashamed.

You should never be ashamed.

Unless you’re an adult who uses the word “adorbs” in conversation (topic of a future post.) 

Then all bets are off.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

40 responses to “Riding Out the Wave

  1. Girl, I totally get where you’re coming from. I was just musing on the fact that it’s bizarre that I love spring and extended light so much, when I prefer darkness in my soul. I’m dramatic even in my head. But I get it. Depression is a devilish beast, and usually makes no sense, and no matter how we will it to go away – it never really does. But I always find comfort in writing about it, and I hope you did too. Definitely do care for yourself, don’t shut people out, and keep writing and believing that it will pass – that’s half the battle.

    • I know you get it. I also know I wish you lived closer…bring Jess with you, too 😉

      • You know I understand how you feel. It’s so much easier to wallow and stay in the dark place, and I’m struggling HARD with that right now myself. But the truth is that you have to be brave and pull yourself up and face the day, because really, it could be full of opportunity and promise, but you never know if you don’t give it a chance to be great. Also I just threw up in my mouth after writing that. Also I need a dose of my own medicine. Also, let’s book this trip. I’ll bring the wine.

  2. Melanie The Spork Lover

    You know how with you I am on all of this. By the way, those pics are adorbs. *ducking*

    No, I do not use words like that. I’m one of the a**holes who wants to stab people for sammie, brekkie, sando, adorbs, whatevs, and all that other stuff. I’m a jerk. A manic depressive jerk. That makes it even jerkier!

  3. It could be something as simple as an imbalance in your brain where the serotonin gets sucked up too quickly instead of remaining where it should for your well-being. Serotonin uptake inhibitors (anti-depressants) can easily take care of that. Personally, I think they should be in the water supply. Talk to your doc about Lexapro or other medications. It’s really not a big deal and there’s no reason to suffer the loss of even one beautiful moment of life.

    • Jayne, I’ve been dealing with this for more than 10 years, so trust me when I say I’m familiar with medications. I just don’t talk about that on here 😉

  4. You’re right, it does pass. But those birds have some nerve being all chirpy and junk. A little buckshot would serve them right. Metaphorically. *wink, wink*

  5. “There’s not some “big event” that brings it on, which makes me feel even worse, like I don’t deserve to feel so numb and disconnected. ”

    wow…i spent 3 days unable to get out bed feeling exactly like this…actually, most days I feel like this…but sometimes I just can’t drag myself out to face the world. seems to be happening more and more lately 😦

    • I can’t presume to know your situation at all, but if you’re not working with a doctor or talking to someone, that’s the first step (I say hypocritically.) However, it’s about finding one thing–a freaking cup of tea, a TV show, etc.–that can make you smile. Once that gets you out of bed, you take another small, healthy step forward. Screw day to day. It’s hour to hour, and that’s okay. It gets better. True, it can get worse again, but then it gets better. Just keep getting up, my friend.

  6. I have nothing profound to add but will say only that if Hyperbole and a Half is depressed (which she is) then you have every right as well because until I met you I thought she was the funniest craziest blogger ever. Actually, you’re both amazing so go with that. Eat chocolate ice cream until you feel better.

  7. Boy can I relate to this. I think people who say their lives are all unicorns and rainbows are liars. If we can’t admit our downs and our faults we lie to ourselves. Abby, You know who you are and I applaud you hitting that publish button. Besides You still made me smile at the end 🙂

  8. So, thank you. I read this while waiting for the bus today and it freaking made me cry. (Thank you, sun glasses?) It’s like you put everything I’ve been feeling lately into real words. Especially this line: I knew I could go one of two ways—self-destruction (common default) or self-care. It’s so much harder to choose self-care, no?

    I totally get the whole “I want to blog and be funny but I’m not inspired to write about anything but this rainy cloud over my head” thing, too. I’m too self-conscious to actually write about the crap storm, so I don’t write. For me, though, the break in itself is a bit therapeutic because I no longer feel “the pressure”.

    Hang in there!

  9. I adore you, Abby, and I adore this post. You managed to convey, with such authenticity and humility, a topic that so many shy away from.

    Your writing is a gift.

    And you’re right, we should never be ashamed. Ever.

    You’ve helped me through a few grey days this week, so thank you. And you were right, it did pass.

    Life is painless for the brainless, right? 🙂

  10. I don’t really understand people who never get that way. I really only fairly recently learned that there were people who didn’t have to put up with “the dark,” and I still don’t totally understand how that could be. On a perfectly regular day when nothing MAJOR enough to warrant a Mood had happened, I once burst into tears when I crossed an intersection and someone honked. Now that’s fragile. Yikes.
    I hope you don’t ever feel like you’re “oversharing” – your blog is for you, and its purpose is to do what YOU need it to do, and sometimes that purpose is to act as a spitoon for life’s used chewing tobacco (bad metaphor, but whatever). Besides, people like YOU – not just your writing (which, yes, is awesome), but also the person behind the pen, the WHOLE person, who’s a real person and as such isn’t always feeling like dropping sunshiney rainbow pellets on the internet. 🙂

    • This will sound weird, but I actually like sharing the more “serious” things because it feels good to get it out and be honest. This community is awesome and has helped me so much, but I have to be careful I don’t sound whiny or compromise anything professionally. In the end, I am who I am and I’ll never hide that from anyone–for better or for worse. And next time? Just flip the honker off. It’s very therapeutic 😉

  11. I had an odd moment reading this.
    I’m in a similar situation – eerily similar. It’s hard to talk about this stuff, and sometimes it seems like my blog – even though it is quite new – is my only tether to humanity, my only communication vector while my brain is closing doors and drawing down blinds in the real world. It’s about the only thing I can do right now.
    I don’t think I’ll use it to purge, like you, because I need to be careful with it, to allow it to take care of me in it’s own weird way – but I’m glad you chose to do so. I think it helped. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you find this far behind you soon.

    • Like I commented above, I don’t “purge” all that often, but I never shy away from the serious issues I deal with because I do need to get things out there. I know that secrets keep me sick and that others sometimes need to know they’re not alone, just as I need to know I’m not alone (even though I claim I don’t really care, Ms. Fiercly Independent.) But I do pick and choose. I keep a lot of things to myself, as I like this blog to be more entertainment and escape than a journal. It’s different for everyone, and I’m glad you feel safe on your blog. Shape it as you need it.

  12. What the hell is “adorbs”? Can’t wait for that post 🙂

    I’m hearing you. I’ve been fighting with depression for a very, very long time and “those” kinds of mornings are very frequent around here. If it weren’t for the need to get the kids to school, I might never get out of bed, let alone leave the house.

    Hugs, if they help. I look forward to each post, because they’re you….

    • “Adorbs” is a bastardized version of “adorable,” and I already have that post written. It just needs to marinate a bit… And thanks for commenting, as it led me to your blog. Even though I’m not glad you can relate, I’m glad you can relate, and sometimes we all need that accountability–be it kids, work, or a cat–to keep us going.

  13. I’m kind of in a dark place because of family issues and stuff so I have nothing funny to say. I just want to show support by reading and commenting and for you to know that just writing down this stuff makes you great.

    real beisbol in 2 weeks.

    • I know you are and like I said, you guys are in my thoughts and I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I know you’re there and I hope you know I’m here…patiently waiting for baseball.

  14. I think it does take a great deal of effort to be “okay”. I’m a pretty positive person, but it takes constant vigilance and care to not let myself go down dark roads. I think people who don’t have to do so much work a blissfully ignorant. It’s not a bad thing, because I’d rather be in tune with myself and the world than not, and I’m sure you’d agree.

    Like you said, this too shall pass. One thing that helps me get through any difficult time is the reminder that difficult times eventually end. It’s naive to say that things will be better tomorrow, but a week, a month from now? I bet it will be.

    In fact, I know it will be better when hockey playoffs start in April! For now, ride on Abby.

    • Agreed. It sounds paradoxical, but I’m generally pretty okay. Yes, I’m biologically hypersensitive to my own emotions and blessed with OCD thoughts and waves, but I would never want to go through life ignorant to my surroundings or others. Like I said, things change hour to hour with me, so it can pass and then come back and then pass. I just have to remember that nothing is forever, even when the dark is so freaking dark. But like you said…HOCKEY!

  15. When you say “Riding out the Wave”, can I assume you’re Bipolar? I have to say, you’re the first bloggist I’ve read that I seem to be able to identify with. I’m Bipolar and I’ve been dealing with that for more than half my life, and choose not to be medicated…and I always seem to feel as if nobody understands where I’m coming from when I try to express myself the way you’re doing here. It’s therapeutic to see that someone else “gets it”.

  16. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    Yes, yes and yes. To this post.
    Also, I like these pictures.

  17. from someone else who frequently has also has “to deal with this shit” as you put it ….

    thank your for allowing us all “in” and for having the courage and strength to write this post.

    go easy on yourself “friend”

  18. oh but we can relate… and its good to “talk” it out….and i appreciate you even more. xoxox

  19. All of the above and then some . . . . . much love xxxx

  20. I hear ya lady. And I think hyperboleandahalf pictures are PERFECT for a post like this (if only she’d come back and post again!)

  21. Your “adorbs” comment had me thinking of the show Happy Endings, where Penny abbreviates everything. That drives me batty. Probably because I’m the person who writes out entire words and sentences with punctuation and proper capitalization in text messages…

    Hope you feel better soon!

  22. Sometimes word vomit is the best therapy. I often rant with no real point or purpose, but feel a little better afterwards. And any improvement is better than none, yes?

    Thanks for sharing even when you’re down. Because, realize it or not, you brighten my day on the regular. 🙂

    Ok. I can only do the emotional stuff for so long before I start to break out in hives. See you tomorrow, biatch. 😉

  23. TangerineMonday

    I hope your dark clouds disperse soon. Much love from the people of the Blogosphere.

  24. kelleysbreakroom

    I love whatever you write- funny or serious. Love the pictures from Hyperbole and a Half, too. I recognized them right away. I’m glad blogging has opened you to trust people more. I adorbs you.

  25. arent emotional purges so therapeutic though. i can totally relate – on wanting a healthy release, a productive writing session, a fulfilling pastime, less guilt with inactivity – all of it.
    for the record, “lazy” is not the right word. you have high expectations for yourself and you just have to remember its ok to not be amazing 100% of the time. im saying this as someone who struggles with the same emotions.

  26. Yes, absolutely you should post it. First, because I don’t think we’ve heard from Allie at ALL since she posted about her ongoing battle against depression. That scares me. And second because when funny is forced, the funny becomes stupid. Truth is always better, even when truth isn’t nice.

  27. Thank you Abby, for being a great, honest, courageous writer and catalyst, and those pictures fit so well. Thanks also to all those who commented. Can definately relate to this. We keep trying. Surviving. It does get better.

  28. “I wanted to (attempt to) be funny, as writing those posts gets me out of my head and it stops me from feeling so shitty.”

    Um… yes. I know that all too well! And it’s the WORST when you want, need, and try so hard, and yet fail, miserably.

    I loved this post, Abby. And I’m glad you hit publish.

    Except that I don’t think we can be friends anymore. Because I use the word adorbZ in real life.

  29. Ahhh I’m all about the emotional purging via blogging;) And I love that your issues always give my issues company. We seem to go through a lot of the same stuff at the same time!

  30. Wow, I can see you wrote this awhile ago, but you had a link to it on your post. When it said My Depression, I just had to click. I’ve had it all my life. Been on different medicines, and it’s finally working ok. But NOTHING helps completely when you’re hormonal! I can’t say that I’m really happy or anything (family issues), but definitely more controlled. Counseling/therapy is too expensive.
    I write a humor blog too. It’s funny how depressed people can do that. I really wish I could write about it on the blog, but my teenagers read it, and I have nosy relatives who would talk behind my back. Better left unsaid unless I start a new anonymous blog. Actually not a bad idea, then I can divulge ALL my deepest, darkest!
    I don’t know if you are a person of faith, but the only way I have gotten through the last 13 years is my faith in God. At least I know that someone loves me unconditionally more than I can imagine. Sorry if that sounds like a cliché, but that’s just how I feel.
    Thanks for being so courageous. I think you hit a nerve with women out there.

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