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Tag Archives: Depression

Good Deeds and One Decision

Every now and again, I try to do a kind deed.  Whether it be buying coffee for the person behind me at Dunkin Donuts, or doing a little surprise for a stranger.  Usually I do it when I am having a horrible day, not because because I feel I will get repaid in any sort of way, but because the thought of making someone smile a little brings a little spark to an otherwise crapfest of a day.  Usually I do things where I won’t see the person’s reaction, and I’d like to think it’s a happy one.  I feel like when the world seems like it’s in chaos, a little kindness feels grounding.  Mr Roger’s said his mom told him to “look for the helpers”.  I’d like to be a helper.  My husband is a helper.  He sometimes gives money to panhandlers and when I have asked him why he gives knowing they are often scammers, he gave me an answer that stuck with me.  He said it’s your intent when you give a hand, not their intent.  He gives freely, with no expectations, with no judgement. He grew up volunteering at a homeless shelter.  Giving is in his nature.

Yesterday I dropped the kids off to school, and promptly saw the gas light was on in the car.  I headed over to the gas station, only to see that they couldn’t accept cards, so I went to the one across the street (why the put identical businesses across the street is beyond me, but yesterday I was rather thankful for it.  I went in my bag to get my card out and a face appeared at my window.  I won’t lie, it unnerved me.  I sat there, unsure what to do.  I cracked the window and the man started telling me his story.  Said his car had broke down near the highway and he needed a new serpentine belt.  Said his AAA wasn’t paid up, and that he needed $16 dollars to get a new one (he had taken the max atm withdrawal out. but was short.  It was a scam.  I knew he was bullshitting me.  At first I was afraid he wanted a ride and I said I was sorry, but no way could I put a stranger in my car.  He laughed and said no way would he expect that. He was just trying to raise $16 dollars.  He told me about his job, handed me his passport, which looked dogeared.  The name he gave me matched the passport, and the picture matched his face.   Even though I knew I was likely being lied to, I gave him the money.  He handed me a piece of paper with his email, and he left.  I went to put gas in the car, and as I did so, I watched him run across to the other gas station, grab a backpack, and hope on a white bike.  I watched him ride off.  I wasn’t sure what to think.  Clearly, his story was bogus if he had a bike nearby.  I felt sad.  Not for the fact I had been scammed, because I had surmised it was a scam all along.  I felt sad because he had needed to do it.  Normal people don’t go around scamming people.

Later than day, I pulled out the paper with the email address.  It was a name@gmail type of email, so I looked up the name.  My friends nicknamed me Angela Lansbury a few years ago because I could “find” or “locate” people.  I found it a relaxing hobby, and was able to find some long lost relatives for friends of mine.  In the age of computers, it’s not all that hard to do.  I found his facebook profile.

What I saw was a bit shocking. I saw he had been arrested a few times for trespassing and possession. That fell in line with the scam.  Then I sawwe  grew up in the same town.  He was clearly at some point quite affluent, as there were pictures of him on his boat, at a yacht club, and info about his business.  I also saw that he was facebook friends with some of my friends.  Interestingly, he was friends with my old ex, who wasn’t on my facebook page, but who I saw on his friends list.  It was utterly bizarre.  Was his story real after all?  He appeared to be much more affluent than I was.   I messaged one of our mutual friends who had ended up dating my ex for some time after he and I split.

She responded to me this morning.  Her story was an interesting one.  Apparently this guy had lived with her and my ex for a while.  They were really good friends.  Then over time he started acting off and got into drugs.  He left and struggled with addiction.  He would pull himself out of it, and then fall back in.  He had cleaned up for a while, gotten married, and then his wife passed.  She told me that I had done a kind thing, but that he had likely sunk back into drugs.  It seemed odd because recent facebook posts had him seemingly on the ok track.

I’m left saddened.  The fact is, I may have met him in my younger years.  We clearly hung around the same people.  He was obviously doing quite well for himself, and now is left asking a check to check mom of two for money.  I feel a bit foolish for giving it.  I feel like I may have enabled him, which makes me feel like my good deed fell to a bad one.  Mostly, I feel just sad.

I have always told people “you are always just one small decision from a whole new life”.  I have told my children this, and I believe it.  One small decision can change one’s whole path in life, either for the better, or for the worse.  I tell my children this so that they will be mindful of consequences, but also so that they know that no matter how bad life gets, a small decision can set you on a new path to a happier life.  In other words, you can always change your life if you aren’t happy. I wonder how some choices ended him up in that gas station parking lot.

Part of me wants to email him and just let him know that I hope he’ll be ok in life.  Part of feels like I need to let it go.

 

 

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Turning it around

Well, hello there!
Sorry it’s been a while. It’s been a rough few days. Nothing catastrophic, thank goodness, but just a few days where everything seems to go the wrong way, and it starts to drain my sunshine. Actually, it’s been a rough few weeks at least. Some disappointments, sadness, family illness, and having to make some tough choices have left me feeling rather down. Frankly, I’m exhausted both emotionally and physically. I might get into more details at a later date.

Anywho, after a rough couple of days with a sprinkling of rage thrown in, I was feeling a little on edge. I saw the anti smoking commercial today with Terrie Hall (I think that’s her name), and it made me burst into tears, (those commercials with her in them positively SLAY me, and I hate if anyone is in the room with me when they come on because I will start to cry…every.single.time.). I then read an article about a woman with breast cancer, and that too made me sniffle. I decided I needed to cheer up. After all, here were women who had major illnesses, who went through hell, and I am simply having a bad week! My life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damned good. Sometimes, a little reminder of the good things sure does help combat feelings that life is being too harsh. I figured what I needed was some reminders of what IS going right.

The first thing I did, was have Ben and Jerry’s. Why? Because it’s friggen delish, that’s why! Well, that and the fact my husband brought it home for me after hearing my day sucked yesterday. He’s a champion that way. So after my nom nom’s, I gave the dog some cuddles, I reminded myself that he loves me, even when I feel icky or ugly or when I have cried my makeup off my face into black pools, which might look kind of jowly in the right light. Ok, enough of that, I almost depressed myself again…..sometimes it’s 2 steps forward, one back? Where was I? Oh yes, the hound. The hound was adopted sight unseen from TN, and he is one awesome pooch, Never barks, loves the kids, loves us, doesn’t chew stuff, and isn’t a high maintenance asshole dog. He’s just a great dog, and I adore him. I said “wanna go to bed?” and he got all wiggly-butted and then darted upstairs and jumped onto his bed. Within 3 minutes, he is snoring. The husband stopped home from work on a break to do me a favor, reminding me yet again of what an awesome guy he is. How on earth did iIget so lucky to marry such an incredible guy? I took a few minutes to go and sit in my son’s room. He got new bunk beds this weekend, and he and his sister asked if they could have a “sleepover” in there. He conquered his nervousness about sleeping on the top bunk so that his little sister could sleep on the bottom bunk. I was so proud of him, and so happy that there was no bickering tonight, only excitement that they could both sleep in the same room and tell stories to each other, I sat in there and watched them both sleep. I listened to my 3 year old girl snore like a man. I felt peaceful. I felt…happy.

So here I am, a girl who was sad and down earlier, and I feel a lot better. I have practiced being grateful. It works. Next time you are down, grab a sheet of paper and jot down what you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter how small or silly it may seem; if you’re grateful for it, put it on paper. You may start with “I am grateful I have enough toilet paper to get me through the night” and go into some deep philosophical stuff. Taking a moment to be grateful for what is good in one’s life forces oneself to focus on good, rather than the bad. It will make your frown less frowny. Nobody likes a crabby patty.

My life isn’t perfect. I have problems like everyone else. I have bad days. Money is tight, work is hard and sometimes insanely frustrating. People gossip about me. My back hurts a lot. But things are at least good. I can find a way to hustle to make some money. Not all days will be bad. In fact, there will be an occasional spectacular day. Work is work. At least I have work. Could be worse. I sometimes think that if people are using their time to gossip about me, they must be lacking something in their own life, and their opinions of me aren’t my problem, The back pain, well, some days it hurts, some days it doesn’t, I just need to be more mindful of the days it doesn’t hurt so much. Trying to find the good in situations takes a bit of effort, but it does change perspective. It’s helped me get my issues with depression in a better place. Sometimes, it helps make a crappy day a little less crappy. On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to say “today really sucked! The probability is that tomorrow will seem awesome in comparison! ”

Stay positive, stay grateful. Start small. Go big. Don’t take no shit. -words to live by.

Messy xx