Monday, September 13, 2010

Watching TV, Family and other Musings

I have to admit when I am blue some things just cheer me up. The little things that remind me of childhood. Watching half an hour of Spongebob Square Pants in my bunny slippers. A cup of hot chocolate in the wintertime, with little marshmallows. Playing in the snow. I really love this time of year.

One of my guilty TV pleasures is a British Comedy called 
“Red Dwarf”, and another is an Adam Sandler comedy movies. Both these things take me away for a bit out of the present and into a funny place where I can laugh and feel safe. 

So this weekend I rented an Adam Sandler movie, "Click",  on DVD.  I had wanted to see it when it came out in theatres, but never got around to it. The story in a nutshell is nothing new, stressed man gets a universal remote control that makes him fast forward the boring parts of his life. Unfortunately, he also used it to fast forward the good parts of life, like the entire weekend, so he could work on a project and get that promotion. So while he is working in real time on the promotion, he is living his life on fast forward. Stick with me, the movie does work! 

Of course there is the standard epiphany, straight out of something an angel like Clarence would give- Adam Sandler realizes he has fast forwarded 30 or 40 years of his adult life up to the moment when he dies. (you cannot fast forward that!). And he realizes he has missed out on his children growing up, his wife becoming dissatisfied and subsequently divorcing him. (In hindsight, maybe it’s a GOOD thing not to recall your divorce!). 

His dying words to his son, who has become just like him, another work-aholic, is “Family comes first”.

Of course, there is a twist, and I don’t want to ruin this for anyone, but this movie, much like my favorite holiday movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, is that something happens to you to show you that you really do have a good life and are valuable. 

But believing it is another thing. And realizing that your family does come first again, is another thing. 

Over the years I have whinged at psychiatrists, therapists and support groups that I wish I had an angel like Clarence who would show me I had a wonderful life. That every time I was on the brink of ending it all, Clarence would say “Susan, don’t! You have a wonderful life!”

Have I? 

This illness has robbed me of one thing- parts of my life. Like the Adam Sandler movie, I have chosen to fast forward when my life has gotten to hard for me to handle. My fast forward is called SLEEP. I have been guilty of hyper sleep, and when I don’t know what to do, I will seek the comfort of a good 4-hour nap. And by doing this, I believe I have slept more than the standard 1/3rd of my life away. I think I am up to a higher fraction. Maybe 40-45 percent. Life I cannot get back, life I have lost by not living it. Time I did not spend with my parents. Time I could have been doing volunteer work, going for walks to loose weight, reading or taking adult ed courses to keep my brain active. Even a second job when the money was tight. I chose the easy way out, by sleeping. 

Don’t get me wrong. Sleep is important. But not when you don’t need it, not as a mean as escaping, not when it is taken over spending time with your family because you don’t want to. 

One of the things  someone I use to know said, that once we feel better we need to take control of our lives, then we MUST work on recovery. We cannot think the meds, whether you take them or not,  are going to do all the work.  I am a member of AA- with a 14th anniversary sobriety date as of this past September. I know every day I must work at this, and recovery from my bipolar is just the same. I cannot wait for Clarence to stop me and say I have a wonderful life. I have to eliminate the middleman, and live it myself. It's hard. I just want, I just want Clarence at the end to tell me I did have a wonderful life.  But you know, in the end, Clarence isn't going to tell me that. The only one that will tell me that is me. I have to believe I am wonderful again. 


Chronic Impending Disaster said...

It sounds like you're feeling disappointed. I don't think it's helpful to live too much in the past, whether that means ruminating on how lousy it seems or trying to convince yourself it was awesome. Just think about the present. (I suck at this, so who the hell am I to talk?)

P.S. Oooooohhhhhh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

susan said...

Patrick Star?

The Depressed Reader said...

Like Woody Harrelson says in Zombieland, you've got to enjoy the little things!

Whether it is watching a show you like, blogging, eating your favorite food, or just taking a walk on a nice day, the little things really help. But they don't help at all if we don't appreciate them, and therein lies the rub. Especially if we're prone to depression, we tend not to do this.

That's why I make a daily list of the "little things" that I appreciate from the day before. It keeps me positive and reminds me that, even if I am not having a "wonderful life", I am having one that has some things I enjoy and appreciate.

misssrobin said...

I have slept my way through difficult situations as well.

When my worst depression hit about nine years ago, I basically went to bed for a year and a half. I missed a lot of my life. And there's no rewind.

I'm getting better at participating in life. I take fewer sedatives. I face difficult things.

But it is a long, trying process. And having someone who would cheer me on and direct me would be nice.

susan said...

@Depressed reader, I never saw that movie, I shall put that on my rental list!

I love love love the idea of the little list. Thank you so much! I shall start doing that today! Thank you!

@Miss Robin I am here! But I know what you mean. Thank you for understanding.

The Depressed Reader said...

Hi Susan,
Zombieland itself is one of the many "little things" I have enjoyed recently.

How are you going with the list writing? I started doing it on August 3rd, and have written one for ever day since then, usually just after I wake up. It really helps me find the good in life.

Mark p.s.2 said...

Your blog has helped me, and I assume it must help others. Remember in the movie its a wonderful life, his saved brother saved a bunch of people in the war . It like the game six degrees of separation. Only God knows.

susan said...

Mark! I forgot about his brother in the movie. Oh gosh!
And how dark it was if he wasn't born because his brother died.

Thank you thank you thank you!

Syd said...

I don't sleep too much. Maybe about six-seven hours a night. I tend to stay up too late but am now used to it. It feels good to me. I don't want to miss much in life by sleeping it away!

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