6 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Today’s northwest Oregon weather looks like my feelings and my Facebook feed. Bright and dark, clear and stormy, warm and cold, and general mayhem — predictable in that it’s all chaos all the time right now, and unpredictable as far as when, exactly, the next deluge will start. 

I admit, Diary, I’m becoming increasingly distressed by the viral spread of conspiracy theories and debunked scientists/doctors’ videos, and disheartened by the swirling funnel clouds of disinformation wreaking havoc on people’s minds and hearts. I have no problem with disagreements regarding Staying Home vs. Reopening our economy; I just wish folks would use peer-reviewed science and respected epidemiologists and public health experts to make their arguments. Not all the experts agree — there’s a discussion to be had here, a debate to respectfully curate — but just as America failed the Ability to Source Reliable Data test in the 2016 presidential election which, in retrospect, was grossly influenced by bots and bad actors reporting an enormous amount of false information via alarmist headlines that fed confirmation bias and encouraged viral spread, so America is failing the same Ability to Source Reliable Data test in this 2020 global pandemic in exactly the same way.  ...  read more

23 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Am I staying sane, though, in this time that’s not? I mean, I guess I ask myself that question even when we’re not in the middle (at the beginning?) of a global pandemic. That’s part of the fun of monitoring clinical depression.  It comes in disguise at the best of times. And by “part of the fun,” Diary, I mean decidedly not fun at all. Because depression affects the brain and processing and discernment — because depression lies and says “you’re just like this,” “this isn’t depression; it’s who you are,” and “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” — the Depressed Human is often not aware she’s depressed at all. So I spend a lot of time wondering, trying to stay on top of it, trying to learn the symptoms, even though the symptoms are always changing.  ...  read more

5 Plausible Explanations for What’s Happening in Our World Right Now

It does not snow where I live. Or rather, it snows approximately one quarter of one day during the winter. Everyone gets VERY excited, we cancel everything, people from snowy climates mock our hysteria, folks crash their cars, our children try to sled on icy gravel, and stores sell out of every apocalyptic supply item: bottled water, hot chocolate, mylar survival blankets, and hot dog buns. Don’t even ask; I do not know why with the hot dog buns — I just report the fact, folks. ...  read more

5 Real Ways I Eased My Depression This Year

SERIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT TODAY, friends.

I called the pharmacy. On the TELEPHONE.

Like, I was out of medicine, so I casually picked up the phone, all la-dee-da as though I do this every day, dialed, talked to another human, and ordered more meds.

TRUE STORY.

It took less than two minutes, as opposed to the usual two weeks of crippling inertia and dread.

It took no brain space and carried no anxiety, as opposed to a full mental shut-down, clammy skin, and racing heart. ...  read more

On a Mama’s Intuition (and Acne)

I took a 1st grader to the doctor this morning. This is his 4th follow-up post surgery.

IMG_5565Although Greg and I argued about whether our son really needed to hear out of both ears (Greg: “He really does, Beth.” Me: “But GENERAL ANESTHETIC and he’ll probably DIE and you are SUCH A JERK and GAH!”), Greg prevailed, and so Cai got a brand new ear drum at the end of March, and, to go along with it, better hearing. Whatever, Greg...  read more

I’m Depressed. Or a Genius. Or Just Human. It’s Hard to Tell.

My thoughts have been twisty and turny for days now. Sometimes content. More often angsty. Sometimes not very present at all, like my brain is on hiatus even more than usual, which is really saying something since I’m usually working with one cobbled together from dried toothpaste, discarded snack wrappers, and the petrified crusts of toast that breed inside my couch cushions. MacGyver ain’t got nothin’ on a mom brain, man.  ...  read more

15 REAL Dos and Don’ts of Juice Cleansing

I’ve started a juice cleanse to jump start myself back into better eating habits following this past season of life which I shall call the Unlimited Chocolate and Cheese season. And also the Don’t Hold Back the Butter season. And the Of Course I’ll Have Fries With That season. A good season, to be honest. A great season. And one I fully intend to revisit. But one from which my clothes and I need a brief break if we’re going to have any hope of making our relationship long-term.  ...  read more