Back to your regularly scheduled programming…

I don’t have anything profound to say today, but I wanted to do a podcast, so here I am. I think I can use some of these “empty” days as days that I can talk about things I’m devoutly interested in.

And maybe that can be a theme going forward – coping episodes. I think a lot of people find coping with grief an all or nothing situation: you’re either upset and thinking about it, or you’re avoiding it altogether…and I gotta say, each of those in isolation is SUPER unhealthy. I’ve had days like the former…woke up, didn’t want to, sat in my room all day and just thought about the things that triggered me the most: mom, dad, personal insecurities. Because let’s address it, the problem with depression is that it’s not about the thing that directly makes you sad.

It’s like driving on a worn-out road, there are the divots that develop overtime that every car eventually sinks into as they traverse that road…you get stuck in those divots and it’s hard to stay out of them. The issue is, all of the gunk on the road ends up in those divots as well, so if there’s extra water or debris, you’re more than likely going to run over it, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Same thing with these bouts of depression. If you can’t find an escape from these ruts, every. single. bit of negativity you can or do feel daily will undoubtedly find you and eat away at you.

My day may start like “I miss my parents”, but after awhile of unchecked idleness, my thoughts often go to “I’m tired of being alone,” or “I’m going to die alone.” Does it make sense? No, of course not. Is it OK to feel? Yes, of course it is. But the problem is, while allowing yourself to experience those feelings is important, it’s also important to recognize when your mind needs an extra dose distraction.

I know this seems counter to my previous statements…that allowing yourself to feel those emotions…to experience those moments of sadness…that doing that is a good thing. And I still think that. Finding “distractions” – and I’ll put those in a quotes for right now – finding those “distractions” that take you away from continuously berating yourself with every negative thought you have isn’t at all invalidating those feelings you’re having. It’s quite literally just distracting yourself from…well…constantly punching yourself in the face metaphorically speaking.

So I know what you’re thinking: that still seems contradictory. And, maybe it is. But these moments of grief are fluid…there’s no rhyme or reason to them. Sometimes they hit and it’s a light sprinkle…a quick sun shower in the middle of the afternoon.

Other times…it’s a monsoon. A continuous thunderstorm in the middle of summer…aggressive and loud.

Taking on the quick rain storm of a mid-afternoon is much different than weathering a hurricane. In those moments…you HAVE to find a way out. Otherwise…it’s flooding season. You’re waist deep in water and your house doesn’t have any exits.

So what do I do? Other than this of course. Writing brings me solace, but sometimes I just want to be mindlessly entertained.

I guess this is going to be just another about me post. You’ll live through it. I’m an interesting person I think.

I love playing video games. I currently go back and forth between Madden and UFC 4…but I also really love a good story. Most recently I got into Assassins Creed Odyssey, and Injustice 2 – although I’m absolute trash at that second one. I tend to enjoy sports games a lot more than other games strictly because you start and it’s right into the action.

I mean, I say that…but I’m constantly replaying stuff like the Final Fantasy 7 remake, or old Assassins Creed games. Story catches my intrigue a lot, so it just depends really.

Speaking of good story, I’ve been getting more and more into the Marvel shows available. Wandavision is awesome…and if you want a good story that centers around grief and the processing, or perhaps misprocessing of it, that’s a show for you. Falcon and the – sorry…Captain America and the Winter Soldier is also a fun time, and addresses some hard to talk about issues such as racial bias and the pressure and scrutiny black men experience in America.

It’s interesting how open that show was about talking about it, but also very much needed. I think these shows give Marvel a perfect platform to address deeper topics. The serial format gives writers a more open playground with which to incorporate more intricate elements into a longer and more elaborate story. It makes me wish these two shows were longer now that I think about it, but they did a great job with what they had, and set up a lot of MCU stories going forward.

Something you’ll learn about me over time…I can get overly interested in a topic SUPER quick. And I can talk about said topics for DAYS if prompted. Here’s the kicker about finding these microbits of pleasure within hobbies or interests…once you get in and you find out they do a bang up job in keeping your mind away from whatever negative thoughts you could possibly be having…they then become your past time.

I have hundreds of interests that I know I can rely on to pull me out of debilitating funks. And that’s the name of the game with grief. You can experience the pain you need to…the want to hear them again, laugh with them, hug them. But don’t let that pain drag you further away from the person they wanted you to be. There was a beautiful quote about the nature of grief in Wandavision, and it’s such a good one. Wanda had lost her parents at a young age…had just lost her brother and now felt excruciatingly alone. She sat in her room grieving the way she knew how to grieve…by herself watching the same shows she did as a kid. And at that moment Vision walks in to comfort her. An android who has no idea what loss is like…no way to fathom the heartache Wanda was feeling. But Vision…in his inhumane glory spouts off the line that millions of people will quote forever when talking about the loss of a loved one: “What is grief, if not love persevering?”

That love is ever present in our lives, and if we don’t take time to pull ourselves out of harmful funks, we’ll forget what it’s like. We’ll forget that it is love, and become angry and cynical. The only emotion associated with them will be negative…and that’s far from what they would ever want.

So “empty” days that are neither sad or incredible are always just what the doctor ordered. Healing happens second by second, minute by minute…hour by – you get it. It happens at it’s own pace, there’s no need to rush it and run head on into a seven hour session of tears…and there’s no need to avoid it altogether. You find a happy medium, and distract yourself when it gets to be too much.

There’s no right or wrong, there’s just…you. And how you want to do it.

I waste my time reading about MMA stats and comic book characters. You might pick something much more interesting…it’s up to you.

Maybe in the future I’ll talk about some of these interests more in depth…like do an entire episode on them or something. We’ll see. Until then…I hope you have a good day.

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