Saw “X-Men:Days of Future Past” on a plane recently. This was my takeaway.
Anonymous asked: What do you do when you are having a bad bout of depression and you need to feel happy or hopeful about things?
What an uncannily timed question!
I’ve both been the depressed person and the person trying to give advice to the depressed person so frequently, I know that the things not to say drastically outweigh the things to say, so know that I know that all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone’s brains work differently. Everyone places different amounts of emotional/chemical weight in different stimuli or deprivations.
That said, I’ve never found it very productive to make “happy” the goal. “Functional” is a much less subjective goal, and oftentimes happiness is a cool side effect.
For me, going outside and getting vitamin D and sweating has a great deal of psychosomatic benefit. When I am in a bad bout of depression it feels like an actual substance or mass inside of me, and if I can distract myself with activities that make me feel like I am getting rid of it, it’s actually pretty helpful. A lot of it has to be a visualization, a trick you play on yourself. It’s sort of my bastardized version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the only kind of therapy that ever really changed my thinking about depression. If I address my depression with a lot of drinking and other forms of misbehavior, part of me knows I am play-acting depression and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You become a cartoon of a person drinking alone and Gchatting dark things to your friends with the specific intent to make them worry, and that’s cathartic, but rarely constructive. I’ve also been on the other end of that enough to know how fucking annoying that is, and one of my saving graces often ends up being my own vanity.
People who deal with depression know that a lot of times it isn’t about being sad so much as it is having a complete lack of feeling about anything, positive or negative. I know it sounds very cornball, but being in nature helps so much for me in that department. I’m a pretty visually oriented person so going to a landscape where nothing in front of my eyes resembles my day-to-day norm (my apartment, Los Angeles, my office, my computer) can throw me off in a good way. Maybe I don’t feel anything about what’s on the Internet that day, but I do feel something about how the ocean sounds. This was so hard when I didn’t have a car because your options are very limited as far as changing your scenery, but I would still get on the 2 bus and take it all the way to the beach and just lie down in the sand for a half an hour if that’s what it took. Sometimes I’d get there and it would be a beautiful, windy day in Malibu, and I’d sit there and I still wouldn’t feel anything, but I’d also be far enough outside my bubble that I could once again feel like roaming creature in the universe. You always have agency, even if it isn’t always over your brain chemistry.
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
—Harvey Fierstein (via zeldawilliams)
Official music video for ‘Good Life’
Featuring: Molly Fletcher, Shaya Ali and Kimbra Lo
Director: Steve Hackman
Director of Photography: Pete Polyakov
Hair, Makeup and Styling: Myss Monique
Shot in Lower Manhattan, New York City
LA - Come see my last show before I move to London! My guests are Nick Swardson, Bo Burnham & Jamie Lee. I need you to be there, Rick & Shelly.