Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 45

I’m finding that, rather than cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship based upon trust and communication, it’s far easier to not leave my apartment.

I’m also finding that, rather than sharing my feelings to people, I lecture at them in my shower, say nothing to them in real life, and feel defeated. It gives me an idea for a self-help book entitled “It’s Already Over: A Guide To Maybe Prolonging Death And Possibly Not Always Being Miserable.”

Imagine achieving total detachment. I’d pay good money to see the Buddha working behind the counter at a Starbucks. A woman is screaming at him because she ordered her latte with extra foam, and he smiles and says “so true, so true.”

But we all know it would be more fun to see the Buddha unleash a fireball of energy at the woman (I can only assume that the Buddha would, upon achieving enlightenment, be able to throw a fireball a la Ryu from Street Fighter).

That’s what’s so fun about watching superhero movies – we want justice in our lives, so we live vicariously through the fictional characters who meet out said justice onto people who deserve to be punched and kicked. That’s why a superhero movie where the superhero uses passive resistance would probably be met with questionable box office returns. Nobody wants to watch Batman go on a hunger strike (though it might annoy Joker into surrendering).

Meantime, my diet continues to be a parade of bad choices. They keep saying that if I eat healthy, I will feel better emotionally. I have tried this for extended periods of time, and I can say, with absolute certainty, that this has done nothing for me. Eating healthy doesn’t make me feel joy. It makes me feel aggravated that I can’t have sugar.

I’m reading Eddie Izzard’s autobiography, and I admire this man dearly. He’s talking about how he has quit sugar, and he’s finding that he is enjoying the taste of healthy foods – the sugar was obfuscating his ability to taste natural flavors. I am sure that what he is saying is true. I’m sure that the subtleties of the cucumber have finally been revealed to him after years of living in the shadow of the rice crispy treat. However, as good as a cucumber may taste, it will still never compare with the artificially created genius that is found within every pre-packaged “food” that one may purchase at 7-11 when one is on a path of personal self-destruction.

But as with depression, I’m just, for the moment, trying to watch what I’m doing as opposed to judge. And I appear to be watching myself give myself diabetes. But what is the upside? The sugar blocks the sadness – I can feel it working – it gives me energy and makes me jumpy. It’s a false high. This is very bad indeed. And the last thing I recommend doing is worrying about eating too much sugar while eating too much sugar. That’s like when you play that game “Portal” and you jump through three portals in a row and it gives you increased velocity to, in turn, fly up onto a platform 100 feet in the air. Yes, like that, but with real world consequences and death involved.

Watch – I go through all this worrying, and then the planet blows up in ten years anyway.

But don’t let me get you down. Have fun. I’m sure it’ll work out for you.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 44

Today is my day off. Days off are deceptive, in that they are supposed to be a day off from aggravation, but are, at least for me, a day to focus on those other points of aggravation that I don’t have time to focus on while I am working. I’m so busy lately, I really only have Sundays to obsess over my feelings as a professional and romantic failure. I long for my 20’s when I could focus on those all week.

I hopped into the car and said “today, I’m going on an adventure. I’m going to eat at a different sushi restaurant than the sushi restaurant I usually eat at. And I’m not going to look up new sushi restaurants. I’m going to let fate guide me to my destination. Somehow I ended up in the Universal citywalk parking lot. Something about Universal Studios turned me off today – it all seem too put together and touristy. It’s the same kind of vibe I got when I went to Disneyland. How much sadness goes into maintaining the happiest place on earth? I imagine at least fifteen tons.

So I turned back, drove to the mall, and found a sushi restaurant that was right next to a Hooters, right behind a giant Sears parking lot. Now THIS is my kind of speed. Nothing says depression like a restaurant with a view of a parking structure.

My favorite moment of this adventure was looking out over the Los Angeles skyline – seeing the hills, the palm trees, the brightness of the August SoCal sun. It reminded me of the positive vibes of so many 1980’s detective movies. In fact, I started humming the theme from Beverly Hills Cop as I was driving, and for a brief second, all was well in the world.

Now, I’m sitting in the Barns And Noble Coffee Shop writing this. Next to me is a woman who is staring out the window and having a conversation with herself. She has a suitcase and two large bags, and I suspect she might be homeless. Nobody around her seems to notice what is happening – which means that everyone around her notices what is happening, but nobody is saying anything.

There’s an outside possibility that she is talking on a Bluetooth and I can’t see it, but I have a feeling that is not the case.

But she’s having a perfectly nice conversation. Who am I to judge – for all I know, she could be the happiest person in the room. What am I saying? Nobody is the happiest person in the room. The only person who seems happy lately is Obama.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 43

I was hit with a crashing wave of loneliness this morning, but fortunately I’ve got enough of a sugar high to power through it.

I’m thirty-six years old, and I don’t know what to do about this dating situation. Aside from the fact that I never date and I vacillate between not want to talk to people at all and wanting to have a terse, five minute conversation, I feel like I’m at an awkward age.

It doesn’t feel right to date women in their 20’s because I can’t stand being around all that energy and hope.

It doesn’t feel right to date women in their 30’s because I can’t stand being around all that success and maturity.

It doesn’t feel right to date women in their 40’s and beyond because I’m not in good enough shape.

“The grass is always greener.” That phrase springs to mind. Sure, I’m lonely, but I could be in a horrible relationship right about now. Yes, that is true. But sometimes the grass is literally greener.

I don’t want to go on dating websites, I don’t want to go out and meet women, I don’t want to be set up on dates. So that leaves osmosis, I guess. As soon as I can figure out photosynthesis, I’ll be set and ready to go.

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans – that’s what my mom taught me. So, knowing how the world works, I’ll meet a woman right at the exact moment when I do not want to meet anybody. Right at the exact moment when I accept and enjoy being single, and feel totally at peace with the world. The second I reach enlightenment, I’ll suddenly have to worry about waiting until she gets back from vacation to watch Star Trek: Discovery.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 42

I can tell I’m feeling better because I am panicking about my health. Are these heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat. I feel heavy and light headed at the same time. It’s quiet right now. Too quiet. What bad thing is about to happen?

I have an urge to be in nature. I’ve always felt an innate compassion that emanates from the trees. Which means that trees are either compassionate or at least polite enough to fake it.

I want to be in nature, but I don’t want to go on a hike. I hate hiking. Ideally, I would be carried by four assassin-trained servants on a guided throne of gold through the forest. But hey, we can’t all be Tesla.

I’d love an assassin-trained servant. Not only can they clean out the fifty or so empty bottles of sparkling water in my room, but they could use those bottles (even the plastic ones) as deadly weapons in a bind.

Maybe I’m having a problem with how I am processing sugar. The problem is, I’m not processing enough of it! I’ll be here all week!

Did comedians actually say “I’ll be here all week?” I think they did. All the way back to the first comedian who said “I’ll be here all week,” and God said “I’ll only be able to see the Sunday show.” I regret the last few sentences.

But seriously, back to what I hope is not a heart condition. I notice, right after intense periods of stress, that my body acts weird. My mother said that this was the stress catching up to me. So now, right after intense periods of stress, I start worrying about the physical aftershocks. It’s getting to the point where I am never not stressed – and the good thing about that is that if I am always stressed, then the after affects won’t affect me until after I’m dead. See, the key is you have to outsmart your neuroses. Cue “The More You Know” music.

I don’t want the last paragraph of this to be about heart conditions. My obsessive compulsive mind is telling me that if the last paragraph is about heart conditions, then I will develop a heart condition.

It’s not that I don’t think the Iron Giant was a bad movie, but is it really THAT beloved? Did they ever explain why it was sent to earth? I can’t remember. But if aliens built it to conquer, and it didn’t conquer, that had to be a bad day at the Iron Giant post op.

CHIEF: What do you mean, it befriended a ten-year-old boy?

SCIENTIST: Have you seen the boy? He’s very endearing.

CHIEF: You programmed it to kill. How does it even have the ability to form a friendship?

SCIENTIST: We gave it intelligence.

CHIEF: Why did you need to do that. We could have just launched a giant missile at the humans.

SCIENTIST: Yes, missiles are effective, but can you have a decent conversation with them?

CHIEF: You’re just really really lonely, aren’t you? That’s why you built this thing?

SCIENTIST: I can’t believe my wife fell in love with a cartographer! Somehow, he found the map to her heart.

CHIEF: Get out of my office.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 41

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 41

I bombed last night onstage, so I am depressed today. I’d say I suffer from conditional depression, but what happens if every other condition causes the depression.

The good news is, there is no hope. I say that to remind myself that even if/when I achieve my goals, there will still be problems. So I should be thankful I’m depressed. If I’m depressed, it means I’m not dead. And that’s probably a good thing.*

I know I’ve in this place before, and I know I’ve already written a blog post about this. So, how can I make this blog post different than other blog posts about depression? What is unique about my depression today?

I find I’m self-medicating by watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the morning. Of all the Star Treks, I seem to be choosing the one with the moodiest mood lighting. Probably not advisable, under the circumstances.

I’m tired of telling myself that everything is going to work out. I’m also tired of giving myself pep talks. I’m tired of “positive energy.” Let me rephrase. If positive energy happens by itself, then great. But I’m tired of faking positive energy. I hate everyone who is succeeding right now.

“You should be happy for the success of others,” I’ve been told. Why? They’re successful. They need me to be happy for them on top of it? If successful people want to help me, they should immediately inform me whenever they fail.

That’s the service I am providing in this blog. I don’t want to waste your time with stories of how great things are going for me. I only want you to know what’s wrong. Finally, I feel like I’m giving back to my fellow humans!

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 40

I had a very illuminating conversation with my mother last night. I told her “I think I suffer from depression,” and she did not disagree. She said that she and I are different. She is only depressed when she’s going through a difficult situation (and the last time she was not going through a difficult situation, Eisenhower was just entering the Oval Office).

I was surprisingly thrilled to be validated in my depression. I’m still afraid to admit that I have it. I have a voice inside my head that says “in your case, it’s not a real condition. You’re just overreacting. You’re conjuring something that isn’t there because you want to come up with a brand for your comedy.”

And that’s not true (except the part about coming up with a brand for my comedy. Depression – that’s why I want to come up with a bumper sticker showing an attractive woman wearing a cat sweater and eating Cheetos with the caption “putting the ‘sin’ in Depression.”)

Whether this is a genetic condition that I have had since birth, or a series of habits that I have cultivated over the years as a defense mechanism, it is a real thing. I cannot let myself off of the hook. I cannot allow myself to be at peace. I must always be worried about something. I must always have anxiety about something. There must always be a problem. It’s like I’m living on the Starship Enterprise, and every week, there’s a new crisis. Maybe everyone on the Enterprise is depressed, and they get off on the constant threat of danger. (I don’t buy it – Scotty seems happy most of the time. McCoy on the other hand, has had enough).

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 39

So all the things I’m worried about aren’t happening. And all of the things I am not worried about are happening. And then we cease to exist.

I’m too stunned to feel depressed today. It has to do with being overwhelmed. It’s like the train wreck is happening, and I’m in the middle of it, but also watching it and noticing that the pattern on the seats is very retro.

Is that ultimately what it is to be enlightened? To, in the middle of all the horrors, just stand back and say “huh. Who knew suffering had upholstery with a twinge of salmon.”

I didn’t eat any meat yesterday, and I feel less sad today. I read about how, when animals are mistreated, their bodies release toxins that stay within them after they are killed and served as food. So we are, in effect, eating the negative emotions of those animals. So that’s why I’m going to embrace a strict MSG only diet. You know what they say – if it comes from a lab, it’ll make you feel fab!

Scientists are close to being able to grow meat artificially. Theoretically, they could create meat without having to kill an animal to do it. And then, we will finally be able to do what we’ve always wanted to do to all of these animals: hunt them to extinction. #Progress.

A beautiful woman just walked into the coffee shop. Do I just go up to her and start talking to her? Do I walk up to her and say “hey, I don’t know anything about you in terms of essence, but I can already tell that I would like to try having sex with you. Do you want to proceed with that, and then have a series of probing conversations in which we attempt to determine if we are psychologically compatible?”

So I continue writing this blog and the woman leaves the coffee shop.

I wish I could let things roll off my shoulder. Forgive me for being human, but if something is rolling off my shoulder, I have some questions as to how that thing got there, and whether or not it can pay for the shirt it just stained.

My mother told me that, whenever I am feeling anything negative, that I shouldn’t try to fix it. I should just try to watch it. Just watch what is happening. So I’m watching myself get upset. And now I’m watching myself thinking about the advice to just watch what happens, and now I’m getting even more upset. #Progress.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 38

I managed to have a stressful dream, which means I’m finally getting back to my normal depressed self. I want to apologize to any readers who felt disappointed in my momentary lapse into joy. I don’t know what came over me, but thankfully, it’s over.

I woke up this morning feeling like a total failure. And this is because I have a very lofty definition of success. Here it is:

Success = Being worshipped as a God.

So you can understand my disappointment. I am really falling short on this one.

When I make a mistake, I get angry with myself and defensive towards others. It’s because I value myself by what I achieve, not by who I am. Towards the end of his life, there was a period of time where my grandfather could barely speak. I remember sitting with him, and he was looking at me. He laughed and shrugged. The essence of him was still there, even though his mind and his memories were slipping away. That essence was, for lack of a better word, humor. And what is humor if not the ability to step outside of one’s own existence and see how overpriced it is. Perhaps, by stepping outside of one’s self, one is actually stepping inside something larger than one’s self. And no one ever disappears because everyone is part of this.

All that’s fine and dandy, but I still want a damned sitcom.

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 37

I can’t explain how, but I don’t feel horrible today. Don’t worry, friends, I’ll be back to my non-jovial self in no time. I am somehow not worried, and I just hate it when I’m off my A-game like this.

Fortunately, the person sitting near me at the coffee shop was coughing about once a minute, so now I have concerns about catching a cold, and this would be the worst time of the year for me to get sick. So I respond to this by turning my head slightly to the opposite direction, because maybe if the cold germs can’t look me in the eye, they won’t notice I’m there. #science.

I want to go on an adventure. And what I mean by that is that I want to watch an 80’s adventure movie. That’s how I explore the planet. Why go to South America when I can watch Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner do it with much more flair and romance?

Here’s why 80’s adventure movies are wonderful:
heroes can save the day without staining their kaki pants.
The soundtrack features some degree of synth.
Danny DeVito is running around comedically worried.

Perhaps there is a psychological reason why I am attracted to the 80’s. I was a child in the 80’s and a teenager in the ‘90’s. So in the 80’s, sugar and toys were more than enough to manage my depression. Thus, anything 80’s related brings me back to those times. Ah, for the movies where one cop could go against an entire machine-gun wielding drug cartel with only pistol and a dream.

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 36

I skipped doing this yesterday, and that’s wreaking havoc on my obsessive compulsive disorder. The night before last was terrible – I was awake all night with worries about… does it matter what I am worried about? Ten years ago, I was worried. Ten years before that, I was worried. I’ve always been worried. I have a feeling that, after I’m gone, somehow, there will still be worrying. If somebody walks over my grave, they’ll have a sudden urge to check to make sure they paid the gas bill.

I now begin to understand that the ability to relax is a comprehensive process that involves a degree of discipline. Or drugs. Frankly, the drugs path is probably the more realistic one. But I’m too afraid of becoming addicted. So I guess I’ll have to try to sit under the bodhi tree for seven years.

I’m feeling tired this morning. I had a dream that I was playing Jaques in As you Like It. Jaques is “melancholy.” He describes it as “a melancholy of my own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry’s contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.” Well, at least his sadness was humorous. He should be grateful. The Snyder sadness is 100% pure grain sadness.

I was also just thinking about zoos this morning, which doesn’t help my emotional outlook. I was reading an article about how a zoo in Egypt has been accused of painting a donkey to look like a zebra. I hate the concept of zoos to begin with. I know that I can’t tell exactly what animals are thinking and feeling, but I have a hunch they’d rather not be forced to look at us all day. Of course, I could be totally wrong – there could be some animals who would prefer to live in the zoo, and don’t mind being put on display. Perhaps, there are some animals who are like me, and hate nature – “we’ll take a cramped apartment over the African bush any day of the week.” So, I guess, for them, the zoo might be fine.

I remember a particular tiger who paced back and forth behind the glass. He (or she, I don’t know what sex it was) seemed frustrated to me. His thought seemed to be something like this “I want to kill and eat. I want to kill and eat. I want to kill and eat.” He looked mentally unhealthy. Why? Because he was isolated, confined, and not doing what he was built to do. The only difference between him and me is that I am the one imprisoning myself.