#weekendcoffeeshare: Quirks

#weekendcoffeeshare: Quirks
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

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If we were to have coffee, I’d want it to be at a quaint coffee shop. It would be one of those places off the main drag that probably only has about ten to fifteen tables scattered around its four walls.

(Your dialogue is in purple. My dialogue is in green.)

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As of a week ago yesterday, I have changed happy pills.

You look around trying to find the waitress. It looks like this is going to be one of those discussions full of ifs, ands, and buts, and you need coffee. The waitress, a middle-aged woman who has kept her figure, saunters over, jots down our order, and leaves.

Weren’t those other ones working? You were on them for over three years.

I know. I thought they were working, but remember last fall when I got the extra pill?

You nod your head and glance at the counter where the waitress is placing mugs on a tray. You turn back to me and look expecting.

The coffee is put before us with commentary rolls in a small basket. I grab the Hazelnut creamer while you load your coffee with sugar.

I hated that pill. I had zero motivation to do anything. I wasn’t doing anything but starting projects and never ever finishing them. And that was only when I had the gumption to be creative or productive in the first place.

I remember you talking about that.

You make a grimacing face after tasting your coffee. You reach for the sugar again.

I weaned myself off the stuff and tried to make do with what I had, the one antidepressant. I did make do but that was it. All during that time, I wanted to be totally alone. That’s the way I was the happiest.

It does explain your excuses for not coming to have coffee. However, you do know we’re social creatures, right?

Exactly!

I take a sip of coffee. The sweet nutty taste fills my mouth as I swallow.

Well, that sounds like depression to me. Why didn’t that pill work for you?

It wasn’t actually depression. It’s anxiety.

Your eyebrow furrow in puzzlement.

Anxiety isn’t just about out-and-out worry. You can be worried about how others view you or almost anything else, I guess, yet it’ll show up as confusion, self-loath, fear, sometime paranoia. With me it’s usually confusion and/or fear. Therefore, being alone is easier. No one else there to confuse me more than I’m already doing by myself. No one else there to make me feel afraid.

As we sip our coffee I can almost see the wheels turning in your mind. When you don’t say anything though, I continue.

I called the doc. Of course, he wasn’t available, but he’s good at calling back. However, it was his nurse who called me. She wasn’t sure if I should be switching drugs without an appointment. Yeh, I got that. I just asked her to talk to the doc and get back to me. I fully expected to have to make an appointment.

So how did that go?

I didn’t have the appointment. Because I had talked to the doc about the anxiety before and about weaning myself off that nasty drug, he already knew what he should try next on me. Presto, I get a call from the pharmacy telling me my new happy pill is ready.

I finally shut up and slurp some coffee down. Your cup is half gone already. You bite into a croissant roll before replying.

So now you’re happier?

I have to think about this for a moment. I nibble on one of the sourdough rolls while I stare into the space between me and the rest of the shop.

Maybe the word isn’t “happy”. I’m more in tuned with the world than I was last week. Before, it was either a case of time getting away from me or time was standing still. In fact, there were times when I’d look at the clock and swore I had gone back an hour or more. I’m in sync now, I guess.

Was that kosher for the doctor to subscribe without seeing you? I mean, what’s the chance of error?

Come on, this is a small community. My doc is popular but he’s not the only doctor in town. He knows most of his patients pretty well. Plus, when he was in medical school, his internship was at the hospital I used to work at many years ago–and his oldest daughter still lives in that area so I ask about her a lot. I’m confident my doc does know me. Any error would be there with or without the appointment just because this type of medicine is a trial and error thing anyway.

We hear tinkling. You put your reading glasses on and bring your cell phone from its hiding place in your handbag. You frown at the small screen. While you take the call, I gulp down the rest of my coffee and hail the waitress.

Those rolls are so good. Can we get refills on the coffee?

Sure. Want more rolls too?

No, I don’t think so, but thanks.

I push my bangs back away from my eyes. I need a trim. I look like an unkempt teenager.

Sorry about that. I should’ve never had children. I’m not fit as a parent.

What do you mean? You’re not perfect but your kids do well in school and they seem happy to me.

I’m losing my patience with both of them. I need, I need, I need. I want, I want, I want. They never shut up!

That isn’t your fault. That’s peers talking.

Our refills come. We repeat our routine of add-ons to our coffee.

Yeh, sure, I know. Sometimes I want to scream at them, maybe even take out their voice boxes.

We grin at each other and sip our coffee.

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Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis – a good hot cup of coffee. ~Alexander King

 

Adversity Everywhere

Image provided by Esa Pitkänen https://www.flickr.com/photos/esaskar/
Image provided by Esa Pitkanen
https://www.flickr.com/photos/esaskar/

 

I’ve been bombarded with adversity lately. No matter what I do, how I do it, or when I do it, I’m confronted with a wall of stones, debris, and sticky stuff I can only describe as tar. I’m stuck into the revolving door of tribulation. I’m certain I’ve not the only one going through something like this; there must be thousands feeling the anguish and torment of defeat and oppression over and over again.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you find yourself reluctant to get out of bed in the morning? I’m not referring to those off days when something is planned where you don’t want to participate. For instance, I have a dentist appointment coming up. I hate the dentist visits. I’m sure I won’t want to get out of bed that day. But getting back to this question, I’m talking about those large chunks of time, weeks or months, when you wake up wishing you were still in that state of nothingness or dreams so that you would have to face the day, no matter how positive it may prove to be.

I’m pretty sure a doctor would say this is a sign of some form of clinical depression. However, I’m not the depressing type. Really! I’m the one who sees a problem and wants to correct it, rectify it, fix it, whatever it takes so I can get on with my life. Wallowing isn’t my thing.

If you have gone through this type of gloom, do you have any idea as to when it started, when that one small incident happened that was the flake of snow that turned into a humongous snowball rolling out of control? Do you know what that event was? I believe I know when it happened to me. It was approximately seven years ago, maybe slightly less. I could feel that the situation was wrong. I kept questioning the validness of it in my mind. I hesitated to go along with it.

Obviously, I made a wrong decision. Some may point out I didn’t have any way of knowing what the outcome would be. Okay, I didn’t know for sure. Still, all my intuitive instincts were on alert, and I chose to ignore them.

Some may ask if I was conned into the situation. The person who had proposed the action isn’t a fault. She made sure to tell me she was giving me the suggestion with the understanding that it was my choice to make and whatever I decided would not reflect on our business rapport. When I was introduced to the circumstances I’d be partaking in, my intuition was flapping its arms all over the place, yet I disregarded all the misgivings I was feeling.

Now, that episode has been over for quite some time. It did leave its mark on me though. I became fearful of making decisions. It didn’t happen all at once, mind you. I’d determine a course of action on something and it would turn out different and wrong from what I thought would be. I’d make another choice and it just wouldn’t happen at all.

This cycle of adversity has gone on since that one event. I’m tired.

Is this lack of motivation and confidence, and abundance of weariness an indication of depression? I rather doubt it. I just don’t know what to call it.

My course of action? I am working harder on being more deliberate in all situations. I’m reminding myself to heed what my gut feelings are trying to tell me. I’m also reminding myself daily that Rome wasn’t built in one day.

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If you have an inclination to answer the questions I’ve put out in this post, the comment section is right below.

There are times in everyone’s life when something constructive is born out of adversity … when things seem so bad that you’ve got to grab your fate by the shoulders and shake it. – Anonymous

 

Obscurity on the Land

Obscurity on the Land
Image provided by John Bennett
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbgoblin/

At 11:48pm on December 21st this year, it will officially be winter above the equator this year, the winter solstice. I find it preposterous that such great lengths would be taken to get the precise minute winter starts. I doubt even weathermen (okay, weather people) care about when, exactly to the minute, winter started, just twelve minutes before midnight. I would think they’d be sleeping, partying, watching a good movie, or reading. Surely they wouldn’t be sitting looking at a clock waiting for the precise minute of the beginning of winter. Why not just round up or down and be done with it. This year, I would say winter starts on December 22nd.

Those who live closer to the equator are probably reveling in the mild temperatures that will eventually give way to blistering heat later on next year. (Those south of the equator are feeling that fever right now.) Those of us further north are experiencing a climate making the days dreary. These are the days when the number of daylight hours are the least.

Depending on your general attitude toward life and your ability to adapt to changes in your surrounding, this time of year can be a psychological tussle. It isn’t so much the cold and damp that plays havoc with some during these bleak cloudy days of the season. It’s the scarcity of utter light. I know that with me it isn’t the lack of sun really. It’s the number of hours of utter darkness that I find myself battling with.

Now that I read these words though, I can’t deny that the increased murkiness of each day does feel oppressive, sometimes to the point of being suffocating. On those days when the sun peeks out, I have to admit, my spirits improve.

Here’s a question for you: Are the winter festivals (even the ones not celebrated anymore) a way the human population decides to ward off all the darkness that comes with winter?

I tried doing a search for this information. If there is any, it’s buried in the crevices of articles loosely related, and therefore, are wearisome to find. Sorry, but as interesting as I obviously find this to be, I don’t have the patience to go digging for the right word or phrase that’s going to get the ball rolling in the quest for the information.

Sometimes I go through episodes of depression. It’s not something to get concerned about, at least so far. It’s just part of the inability I’ve had since my late teenage years. It’s a purely physical affliction of my brain.

During these months of endless shade, this nasty annoyance rears it ugly head more often. Although I can’t actually get rid of the melancholy, I can dilute it. I turn the lights on in the house during the so-called daylight hours. The torch lamp is especially good for this because I can brighten a large room with only one. (Good thing too because I only have the one.) The light is pouring out from a high angle creating almost a natural light effect.

I will sit at a window on the south side of my home when the blues get too bad, and gaze out the window where the natural light is stronger. When the sun is out, this becomes extremely helpful.

The winter months are necessary for much of nature. Sure, around the equator this doesn’t seem to be so. The foliage is of the variety that doesn’t need a time of rest, a time of hibernation. Keeping this in mind, my tolerance of the lightless effect of this season is heightened.

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Do you handle the darkness of winter well?

“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.” — Cesar Chavez

 

Reveling in Melancholy

I’m taking a one-post break from writing stories. I want to work on developing better endings that aren’t so abrupt and are more complete. Some writers are geniuses with this sort of thing. I’m not one of them, obviously.

Image provided by Sara @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarabiljana/
Image provided by
Sara @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarabiljana/

Before I looked up the word, I thought melancholy meant sadness or depression, which it does. However, it can also mean sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness. If you’re uncertain about the word pensiveness, it means dreamily or wistfully thoughtful. Of course, with both of these words, there’s other meaning too, but these are the definitions I want to discuss in this post.

The first time I remember hearing the word, melancholy, was when I saw the movie, Paint Your Wagon in the theater. That was in 1969. I wasn’t quite 15 yet. In the movie, Lee Marvin goes through a bout of melancholy, which is the type I thought was the only meaning of the word. I didn’t question the definition until I started dabbling in writing poems a few years later. I was going to use that very word, but began to question using a noun as a verb. Of course, the noun wasn’t going to work. That’s when I found the word, pensive, which fit in beautiful. What was the poem? I don’t remember and I have very little in the way of mementos from back then so I can’t just pull it out from the closet where all the junk is.

What got me thinking about these words and the means I’ve picked from the dictionary was the typical April weather that is in my area. Yes, rain, rain, and more rain. This kind of weather can put a person in the emotional dumps. Per contra, it doesn’t do it with me. Instead, I find myself making plans that I’ve avoided before, and going through marvelous “what-ifs” that have a possible future in my life.

This means melancholy too. Who would have thought — right?

I love that laid back feeling when I’m in that dreamy state. It’s peaceful, yet at the same time, inspirational. It has a weird ability to get my motivation going for whatever it is that I’m thinking about at the time, whether it be writing, chores, relationships, or as I’ve already said, whatever.

This realization about melancholy got me thinking about the different moods I have. Do I really have all that big of a problem with depression as a side effect of the General Anxiety Disorder? Or is it that I immerse myself in melancholy? If the latter is what is happening, this is more likely to be a good thing for me. It’s a time when I am organizing the files in my head. It’s a time when I am in the first stage of forming goals to achieve. This sure doesn’t sound like a problem with depression to me.

Inner reflection is a good thing in my opinion. Those who indulge in it regularly seem to like themselves better than the ones who don’t get into this exercise.

What are your thoughts on this?