Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pandora's Box Revisited

Well, maybe some of you have guessed by my listless and infrequent blogging that I've been struggling with Depression for a while and now Winter Blues (SAD) have piled on top of that. I've slipped back to keeping bad hours - going to bed too late, staying in bed too late to compensate, but still not getting enough rest. I've been a mess even by my own traditional "mess" standards. It's odd because it started back when my evil brother died. Maybe there is some closet mourning going on, though I don't feel like it. He was very ill and suffering, so his death was not tragic. I didn't like him. He was a vile human being - at least to me. I hadn't spoken to him in 20 years, so it isn't like I miss him. He was the last of my immediate family to kick the bucket, which leaves only me. Maybe that's part of it. I've been feeling very mortal of late.

It's an odd thing that when I'm depressed, my physical problems seem more overwhelming. I don't think I'm walking any better or worse than I was but I FEEL more wobbly. Will I make it to the kitchen? Will I make it to the desk? Of course I will... or at least I have so far. I've been toying with the idea of getting a walker to replace my cane. Part of me resists that both because it's an admission of being more fragile - a giving up of some imaginary independence that I don't actually have - and because "old people" (vanity never dies) use walkers and I'm only old-ish. Anyway, the worst part of the kind of depression I've been in is a kind of "brain tired" that goes with it. Thinking feels so hard, like climbing a mountain. And climbing a mountain whose peak keeps getting hidden by thick clouds so that you don't know where it is. I've felt lonely and craved having people around me but at the same time that brain tired makes it feel impossible to be around people because thinking is so bloody hard. This is true for cyberspace as well.

But anyway, I didn't mean to whine. Pandora's Box in today's story is actually kind of a happy story, not at all like the myth where troubles are released into the world. Quite the opposite in fact. A couple of week's before Christmas, the new Schwan's guy (Bill) and I were talking about some music I was playing and he told me to check out a website called Pandora. I didn't really follow through until Christmas Day which was cold and bleak and particularly lonely. Pandora - I forgot to mention - is an online radio station created by something called the Music Genome Project. It offers 40 hours a month of free non-stop, no commercial music of any genre your heart desires and for $36/year you can have an unlimited supply and a few other perks. The way it works is that if you plug in John Denver, it will play his songs and those of similar artists. You can bookmark special ones, check favorites and give a thumbs down to those you hate. When you give a thumbs down, you'll never hear it again. How cool is that? Well - talk about Christmas Miracles - I didn't turn my TV on all Christmas day! I just listened to music. And the same the next day. I've had the TV on again but hardly at all compared to my normal routine. Music really is a healing thing. I don't know that I'm out of the depression woods - and the universe has thrown signs of a tooth going bad into the mix of things for me to obsess and worry about - but I feel much better than I have a ages. Am I fixed? Don't know. But I'm feeling more hopeful.

I hope maybe Pandora will offer the same gift to some of you who still generously stop by here and read and comment that it has to me.

Hope your holidays were rich in love and joy and music. My picture taking has been in a bit of a slump, but here are a few just because I took them. As you can see, it has been bleak and cold here. Mercifully, we haven't had much snow to go with the cold. But it was 7 degrees most of the day yesterday. Brrrr... and Yuck!


Herewith ends today's whine. I do hope you'll check out Pandora. It's wonderful.

Have a great day!


quilly said...

That's funny -- I just wrote about another online station with no time limits, but all the music there is brand new.

The hard part of me is having no speakers, I have to wear headphones and that means I can't leave my seat!

Raven said...

Quilly - talk about serendipity - while you were posting here, I was commenting on your post. Hmmm.

Janie B said...

Good to hear from you again. I'm sorry about your "blues" but completely understand. I get the blues at Christmas every year and when the sun doesn't shine for days. Hang in there and fight it.

Finding Pam said...

I am sorry that you are down right now. I fight the same thing. I think sometimes it would be easier to just give up, but then I would loose so much ground.

So I encourage you to keep doing as much as you can. Hopefully, this will pass in time.

Happy New Year.

NanU said...

A bummer to hear you're feeling blue.
I've always found that doing nothing much as a cure for feeling blah and tired only leads to more tired blahs. It's a downward spiral. I hope you get online and read some good blogs and find some good jokes (here's one that might provoke a slight smile, if I dare:, and listen to lots of great music. The sun is coming back! It's on its way already.

Felisol said...

Dear Raven,
I jut popped by to wish you a good New Year.
I'm so sad for you and your depression.
I can see why it is there, and can but offer prayers.
This last month I have had Significant help in stress management by using the Silva method.
Do you think that might help you to find a better sleeping rhythm?
I had no great expectations as I started, but am surprised that it actually made a great difference.
Hoping the best for you.
From Felsiol

Unknown said...

Isn't Pandora grand?! We listen to it a lot! Not 40 hours a week, fortunately, but over the summer, we might find we go over!

I think we may still have my grandmother's walker, should you decide you want one...I think you'd find a basket on the front to be super convenient for moving things from one room to the other. She kept the portable phone in a tote bag tied to the front. I but a wicker basket would be better...just a thought. If you're interested, let me know and I'll ask the family if it's still around.