Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End of the World

I've been having the kind of week where I feel like it's the end of the world. While there's absolutely nothing wrong -- no major health problems, no pending bankruptcy, no visits from mother-in-law, no bounced checks or foreclosures -- I keep having this nagging feeling that something isn't right, or something bad is going to happen.

This anxiety is driving me anxious!

And my "day of depression" seems to be shifting from week to week, too. It used to be very predictable -- either Wednesday or Thursday. I'd stay in bed and feeling the weight of that day pulling me down, and it'd take me hours to get up and do something. At least it was predictable. Now? It's as if my brain can't decide. Sometimes it's Monday. Sometimes it's Saturday. Sometimes it's Friday. It's driving me mad. I'd have the whole weekend planned and then BOOM! I'd feel depressed on a beautiful Saturday. What the eff?

But I wouldn't say I have full-on depression. A weekly funk is also not correct. I think I have a sustained, low-grade mood depression, which is not unusual for people my age, especially during this part of the year, or when we are going through some existential musing about our lives.  I went through a period like that about 5 or 6 years ago, and it seems like I'm up for another.

It's strange. While most people would go to the nearest pharmacy the minute they feel a cold coming, but they won't do anything when they feel depressed or in the funk. They just chalk it up as "having a bad day."  The problem is, if it's not just an occasional day or two, there's something wrong.

According to some statistics, most people in the US suffer from one form or another of depression or anxiety or mood swings. Prozac is one of the most prescribed drugs in the US.

I don't want to take drugs. I don't even think I have depression. But something isn't quite right. I didn't used to feel that way when I was younger, even when I was going through some really tough times. I always thought of myself as an optimistic, happy-go-lucky guy, and I still am, by and large. But something isn't quite right. This weekly funk is alarming, especially when I'm taking care of myself otherwise -- eating right, exercising, sleeping well.

I'm taking some precautions now. Supplements, mostly. The problem is, I'll have to keep taking them for at least a few weeks to start seeing results, but I'm really bad at taking pills or supplements. I forget. I hate it. But much like my gym routines, I know that I'm no longer 25 years old, and I have to start being religious about my "regimens." It's for my health, and it's not something I should take for granted.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thanks for the Delete Button

As Erica said to Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, whatever we write on the Internet is written in INK -- it gets archived, cataloged, indexed, or reported on other sites, etc.

It still doesn't mean we can't just "delete" it. It only means it may be difficult to completely eradicate what you wrote at 3 a.m. in the morning, drunk, bitching about your girlfriend who just dumped you.

That's the darnest thing about the Internet or social networks, especially places like Twitter or Facebook: you just don't know who is reading. Sometimes you don't really think, and you don't remember that your tweets are archived and broadcast to everyone (not to mention "retweeted"), so you'd better be careful when you talk trash about somebody or some group of people. Words (or in this case, texts) travel really fast on the Internet. And friends of friends of friends could see what you posted on your Facebook status updates, and they may turn out to be in the group of people you just badmouthed. Now, granted, you may not want to be their friend anyway, but still, you have no idea who they will talk to, or who they know. Perhaps they are your boss's best friend?

The idea is, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it, especially on the Internet. And that goes with doing it anonymously -- so many people nowadays hide behind a fake screen name and they spew whatever garbage they can think of. First amendment right without the responsibility, that's what the Internet has become. And if you're silly enough to post something derogatory under your own name, well, then don't be surprised if it comes back to bite you in the ass. People have been known to get fired over what they posted online.

To me, that seems harsh. But the line between what is private/personal and what is public is really blurry, and as far as the Internet is concerned, whatever is Googleable is considered public anyway, so we do need to be careful of what we say online. Bitching about your boss on your blog may not be a good idea after all.

Then again, there's that "delete" button.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This weekly thing is kicking my ass

I'm running out of things to say!

OK, something a bit more serious this time. Maybe even somber....

Over the years I've noticed something... people tend to warm up to me rather quickly and I've made some very good friends, but eventually, they all either moved again or stopped corresponding. I know that's part of life, where people come and go. Still, I kind of wonder, if there's something wrong with me. I notice that sometimes people irritate me because all they want to do is talk about themselves. And when I get irritated, I kind of shy away from them, too. Now that I think of it, I wonder if I have the same personality flaw. I know I can be rather self-absorbed.  I know when I'm excited about something (especially something I'm working on, an achievement, etc.) I may not stop talking about it. I wonder if people are genuinely tired of me, and that I should remember to be low key and stop talking about myself so much (thus the irony: I'm blogging about this! LOL).

Yes, we should be exactly who we are, and we shouldn't change for anyone. But, at the same time, if we have flaws and we can improve ourselves, why not? It's not "changing ourselves" per se, but to make ourselves better people. I'm not an asshole, I don't think. But I'm also not the most loving, selfless, understanding and gregarious person either, and I wonder why people seem to drop out of my life unannounced. I have friends who I see on Facebook all the time and who literally live blocks away from me, but they never call or invite me over or accept my invitation for dinner or say hi on my Facebook wall. Did I offend them? Did I smell or something? Was I so hideous that they don't want to hang out with me?

I know, I know. I shouldn't try to please everyone and if they don't want to be my friend, I should just accept that and move on. But I can't help but feel the problem is mine, and that I've caused such a rift, or how people shy away from me, the same reasons why I shy away from someone.