Good morning, friends. I hope that your week has been treating you well thus far. I wish I could say that mine has been terrific, but unfortunately, I cannot! It ended up being four to five days of dealing with sudden onset depressive episodes, which in turn brought along tons of harmful thoughts and emotions. To say that it was a struggle would more than likely be a colossal understatement.
Recently I received the A-Okay to begin looking for full-time, traditional work that entailed stepping out of the house. While the pass to start a normal job was in relation to my physical health, I knew that mentally I could handle it since I have begun to learn and apply coping techniques for a lot of my mental health illnesses. Also, the best way to deal with my struggles is to face them head-on. On Monday I was called in for an interview with a company that had a position for me that would be challenging but that help me grow and obtain awesome professional skills outside of my current capabilities, with an amazing salary and health benefits. However, that interview turned into a huge disaster, one that left me feeling so horribly depressed and miserable afterwards.
I prepared for all possible questions that would be asked at the interview and I even went out of my way to make sure I had professional attire, so I could and feel my very best. I was nervous, but confident that I would kick some ass at this gig. But when I finally went in—they were 15-20 minutes late—it became clear that the only reason I was given this opportunity was due to the connection that I had with the company. They only asked me two questions pertaining to the job and then spent the rest of the time—about 5 to7 minutes total—chatting about how it was interesting and cool that I was learning a foreign language and asking me to repeat myself because they weren’t paying attention to my answers. This last part was actually said to my face during the interview process. It was by far one of the most unprofessional and belittling experiences that I have ever had in my life, and I’ve had some pretty fucking awful interviews before. Yet nothing had ever made me walk out of a room wrapped in a blanket of irrelevance and disrespect.
When I finally came home after that fiasco, I vented a little bit to my friend who’s been visiting with me for a couple days. I thought I had gotten it all out of my system, but about an hour later, I locked myself in the bathroom, turned on the faucet so no one could hear me as I sat down and just sobbed. I cried so hard and so much. My heart ached with dejection, self-loathing, disappointment, and sheer frustration of being treated like some piece of ignorant trash. I sat there and cried for a good twenty minutes or so. When I was done, I washed my face, put on my comfiest pyjamas, and tried my hardest to move forward. Instead, I ended up with one of the worst migraines I have had in years.
I can always tell when my depression is about to punch me in the gut because I will almost always have specific physical symptoms, such as headaches, loss of appetite, and the worst feelings of worthlessness imaginable that comes in the form of nausea. All of this things occurred within an hour or so of my bathroom crying session. I could barely focus on my work (writing and blogging), and I fell further into a reading slump that I had been battling since the weekend before. It was just misery left and right.
I tired many things to help myself. My first priority was getting rid of the bloody migraine. I ate food, took medicine, drank plenty of water and herbal tea, laid down and rested for a bit, yet nothing was working. I would obtain a small level of relief, but the severe pounding would never subside. It wasn’t until Sir Betrothed came home, had me turn everything off and take a couple of melatonin pills (3 mg each) that I was able to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up, I took a migraine specific pill, drank more water, and had a little bit of oatmeal. Finally, this damn thing began to fade away.
With the physical pain gone, I was able to re-examine everything that had happened the day before. My feelings of being worthless were still hanging around my shoulders, but I was also quite angry at the people who wasted my time with an interview that they clearly wanted no part of. Deep down, in the healthy corners of my mind that I wished so desperately to ignore in that moment, I knew that I couldn’t be held accountable for another person’s inability to do their jobs properly, which includes conducting themselves in a respectful and professional manner, particularly where job interviews are concerned. They messed up, not me. They never gave me a chance to mess up, honestly speaking. They never gave me a chance at all, and me sitting there in the middle of my bed, feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to help a goddamn thing.
This is an example of the worst kind of depressive episodes that I am faced with every few weeks or so. The intensity of the episode(s) is almost always dependent on specific triggers. In this case it was an extreme feeling of inadequacy and a dreadful lack of self-confidence and self-respect from being treated appallingly by other people. I am one of those types of folks who always finds blame within myself for someone else’s rude behaviour towards me. I have no idea when I began to feel or think this way, or even why, but it is a form of very harmful behaviour that I have slowly been trying to change within myself; this incessant need to victimise the offender instead of accepting that I was wronged, whether it’s big or small.
Over the past few years, I have discovered a handful of methods that have helped me cope through such debilitating depressive episodes, and when I say cope, I mean alleviate the inherent negative and detestation that I will be feeling about myself or my current situation so that I can focus rationally on what is true and real versus what my depression conjures up to validate itself. The first step, which is the focus of this post, is to escape.
** Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I am simply one person who is reaching out and sharing their experiences and techniques that has helped them be able to move forward in life. Do not take anything that I say as medical advice as I am not a medical professional, and information provided here on BiblioNyan should not be construed as such. Thank you. **
Books can help with escapism from my reality for brief periods of time, however, this will never work for me if I am in a waist-high reading slump. The more that I force myself to read, the deeper I will sink, until I can’t even stand to look at a book. When books don’t work for me, I turn to my all-time beloved bedfellow: cheesy films.
That’s right, I turn to cheesy action films to help me escape my depressive episodes and to make my mind clear of damaging thoughts and feelings.
I refer to is as a bedfellow because I always do this while I am either laying down in bed or laying down on the couch. I make sure to be horizontal because it helps my body loosen up and relax completely so nothing is physically tense within me. I’m not sure why it works, but it greatly assists in loosening up the tension that I will have emotionally and mentally.
I originally learned about this method from my cousin, who also has severe depression, and when he needs to escape, he likes to throw paint onto a canvas and then use his fingers to guide his emotions through the different colours. He told me that occasionally in order to get out of our own self-hatred, we need to step outside of our own imaginations, to completely check-the-fuck-out so we can refresh, recoup, and reenergise our perspectives. He had asked what tends to make me feel most-relaxed and I began to list off a couple of films automatically. That’s when it hit me that cheesy films are my canvas. I can watch them over and over again, and like his fingers dancing through myriad shades of reds and blues, my lips will mechanically form the words and phrases of the films I watch, quoting them without a single moment’s hesitation or thought. It’s so breath-takingly tranquil and the perfect way to escape from my sudden depressive chapter.
I wanted to share this with you today instead of talking about other things because I think many people who struggle with depression—speaking from interactions with my friends and cousins who have depression—the most important thing is to get away from the thoughts that slither into your mind like Death Eaters and suck away any chance of positivity that you could otherwise muster up. While it’s not healthy to escape or run away from your problems on a constant level or for long-term periods of time, it is necessary to take a short break from them and say, “I won’t let you fucking defeat me,” and in order to do that, we need to do something that is mindless or free of anything real in the realm of thinking. One of my cousins has art. Another has music. One of my friends has anime. Another has surfing. I have cheesy action films.
In an effort to inspire you to find your escapist comrade, I wanted to share with you my top five favourite cheesy films. Number one on this list is one that I turn to at least once or twice a week since I can quote it from beginning to end, literally, and it just makes me so happy. Happiness is SO important when dealing with depression, particularly the ones that comes in small morsels from things that you would otherwise consider to be utterly inconsequential, like a good cup of coffee, or a gorgeous rainy (or sunny, if you prefer that) day outside, or even the way that your favourite anime/game/fictional character makes you smile when you see them (team SEPHIROTH all the way).
05. Godzilla (1999)
While this isn’t the greatest Godzilla film to release, I loved everything about it. The action is great, the characters and comedy elements are soft and make me chuckle, Godzilla himself is so fucking adorable (at least I thought so as a 12-year-old watching when it released on VHS), and I had a small crush on the nerdy scientist dude who was the main star (mostly because he was so nerdy and awkward). I also really liked the French guy because he was sneaky and the way he complained about American coffee was something I related to a lot. All these things make me smile when I’m down.
04. The Day After Tomorrow (2004) / Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Okay, I know that I listed two films here and that is because I couldn’t decide between the two. Both of these equally hold a special place in my heart. Dooms-Day films are some of my absolute favourites, especially when they are done pretty decently, which The Day After Tomorrow was! I also thought that Jake Gyllenhaal was hot-as-hell (I have since outgrown that feeling) and the library they all hide up in during the storm has such an epic fireplace! The film also helps me climb out of reading slumps by making me want to read action-adventure books akin to James Rollins’ Amazonia. With Deep Blue Sea, LL Cool J is BOSS! He is sassy and has a humorous relationship with God that felt akin to my own at the time. The shark attack scenes were so cheesy, but not nearly as cheesy as Samuel L. Jackson’s motivational speech, ohmygosh! Oh, and the sharks, of course. I’m such a sucker for creature features (Lake Placid, anyone?) and they don’t get more horribly fantastic than Deep Blue Sea. With my depression, I always laugh when I watch this, and it takes me out of my head quite wonderfully. There is also something rather cathartic about seeing asshole people getting chomped by giant sea monsters.
03. Independence Day (1996)
This was one of the first films I ever saw with aliens in it, and because of that it has always been special to me. It was also one of the films that I saw in theatres with my dad, so there is a sentimental memory associated with it as well. Reasons why I love to watch it while I’m depressed are because I can quote most of it, I really enjoyed Will Smith’s and Jeff Goldblum’s chemistry on-screen, the action was pretty badass for the time, and it was one of the few PG-13 films I was allowed to watch alone when I was younger. It also inspired me to beat up anything (mentally) that holds me back. Additionally, there is a scene where a bunch of secret service guys line up in front of a window to shoot down an alien, and I felt it was so badass back in the day.
02. The Scorpion King (2002)
Now, when I say The Scorpion King, I am only referring to the first one! Not the other ones. Those are just godawful creations that I pretend never happened. I remember all of the brown people in this film and it made me believe that brown-skinned people could be fantastic warriors too. It was my first experience with seeing something such as this outside of Indian cinema. The Rock is in it, whom I loved in The Mummy Returns, even though most of his existence in that film was CG. There is a fondness within me for stuff like this—fantasy, historical, warrior type of things. I can quote this film as well, and the comedy was dry and witty, which is my perfect kind of comedy. Also, Kelly Hu is in it and she is SO BEAUTIFUL. I’ve had a crush on her for about 1,062 years.
01. The Mummy (1999)
I love this film so fucking much, I cannot put it into words, y’all. I have seen this film probably more times than I have years under my belt for age. It is most-definitely my favourite film ever. I can quote it from beginning to end, including being able to hum all the notes for the musical score. Every time I am depressed, I watch this film. Not a single week goes by when I don’t see it at least once. The characters are all marvellous. Rick and Evie have superb chemistry and their bickering reminds me of Sir Betrothed and myself. She’s a librarian book geek, like me, who does not handle her liquor well, also like me. Brown people play the brown characters, for the most part. ODED FEHR IS THE SEXIEST CREATURE EVER and his voice is a gift from God—definitely the best dude in the whole film. The Mummy just makes me so genuinely and beautifully happy. It helps me wholeheartedly forget about my depression for the two hours that I watch it, and when I am done, I am ready to fight what is keeping me down so that I can move forward.
Now that I have written approximately 2,450 words, I would like to say in conclusion that if you have depression, you will have days, weeks, or more where things will feel so unbelievably shitty. There will be days when life will hit you in the face or stomach when you least expect it to. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be its punching bag. It is more than okay to say, “Okay, I need a break from this crap,” and do what will take you away from it. I also understand that for many people this can be excruciatingly difficult; a challenge that seems nigh impossible. I am someone who used to feel that way, and when I get random, crippling bouts of depression, the feeling comes rushing back.
But it doesn’t have to be that way forever.
There is something out there for everyone that can be your companion, your friend, your perfect relaxing departure from everything that causes you so much agony. You just have to take a tiny step outside of the bubble to find it. Once you discover what that is, it will change your life and show you that you can conquer this thing and that you can come out stronger and better than before. Hang in there and keep trying. Remember, it can be anything: music, favourite TV shows/anime/films/books/video games, walking, singing, taking a bath, painting—anything, so long as it isn’t self-harming (drugs, alcohol, physical or emotional self-abuse, etc.).
With that, I would like to wish you all a good and contented week ahead. If you ever need anyone to talk to, my DMs on Twitter are always open, or you can drop me an inquiry and I can e-mail you, if you are comfortable speaking that way. I am always here, even if it’s just as a silent listener.
Thank you for visiting me today. I am grateful for everyone who takes the time to visit and/or interact with me. Until next time, happy reading, happy otakuing, and happy healthing! 🧡