Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Contrary Action

That’s a tool we shrinkees learn early on — contrary action. You get a negative impulse, you counteract it with a positive action. You don’t feel like doing something that’s good for you, do it anyway. Do the contrary. For a contrarian such as myself, you’d think that would be a piece of cake. Not so, however.

So, I don’t feel like writing. Tough. I’m writing anyway. Because I need to.

I didn’t see ST on Monday night. I’ve had a bit of a wonky stomach on and off since last weekend, and on Monday when I tried to push through it at the gym, I got dizzy and broke out in a cold sweat. I knew something was off when the thought of lying on my belly and getting whaled on made me feel nauseated. So I cancelled. I didn’t cancel because I’ve been depressed, because I really did want to see him. Anyway, I had nothing else I felt like writing about, so I took a break.

Yesterday came and went. Despite the fact that I didn’t post my usual Monday night blog, it apparently didn’t register on the blogosphere radar. I got four messages asking where my post was and if I was OK. Four. Talk about humbling. Surprise, surprise — Erica isn’t the center of the universe.

So all day yesterday, I isolated. I didn’t tweet, post to FetLife or anything else. I thought, fuck ’em all. I could completely disappear and no one would notice or care. Familiar territory, one I’ve visited many times in my life.

That got old. REALLY quick. I never wanted children, so having an inner five-year-old got tiresome immediately. Isolating and withdrawing is my go-to mechanism, but time and again it has proven that it doesn’t work for me.

Last night on the phone with John, I said that I don’t know why I can’t break out of this loop. I am consciously aware of all the good things and good people in my life, and yet, all I seem to be able to do is focus on the negatives and the losses. I know I’m being ridiculous, I know that others are probably looking at me and wondering what I’m crying and whining about. So why can’t I just knock it off?

He said because that’s how you are. It’s what you do. You can’t help it.

Yeah, I guess.

I know one thing for sure. Beating myself up and saying I should be feeling this or that doesn’t work. And completely removing myself from everything doesn’t work either. So fuck it. I’m writing.

Recently on FetLife, someone posted a journal entry, a poem about her depression. It reminded me of something I’d written a couple of years ago; I think I posted it on my old MySpace blog, but I’m going to repost it now. She wrote of hating her depression; I chose to write of accepting it. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If I embrace it, perhaps it will settle down and leave me be for a while.

Guess I’m not going to get Chrossed this week. Oh well. I can’t always be entertaining, interesting or titillating. Sometimes, I’m just plain neurotic little me. But I’m here. I do not plan to disappear. It’s too lonely, even for me.

MESSAGE TO DEPRESSION

Hello, old friend
Been a while.
More time passes between your visits these days.
Sometimes, I even forget you’re out there.

But I know you wait for me.
Wait for a chink in my armor, for a weakened state.
Then you slip inside and make yourself at home, in your old familiar surroundings.

I feel you deep within my bones, weighing down my every step.
Sucking the color and light from my world.
Singing sad songs to me, telling me lies.

I look in the mirror, and I see you reflected there.

But you know what?
Your visits are shorter.

You may be strong-willed, but my will is stronger.

The love of my friends, the love I have for myself, is more powerful than your malevolent force.

I know I will never fully vanquish you.
You’re like a virus lying dormant, waiting for its host’s vulnerability.
But while you used to stay with me for months, for years, now your duration is merely a week or two, sometimes days. Or even hours.

Suddenly, a day goes by, and I realize I haven’t cried.
My bed once again becomes a vehicle for peaceful sleep, rather than a refuge from the world outside.
I remember that life is good.

So, while you’re here, enjoy yourself.
Come join me under the covers in the darkness.
But don’t get too comfortable.

Because you’ll be going. Soon.

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23 thoughts on “Contrary Action

  1. I think something may be in the air. I wrote about having a terrible time recently and someone sent me this link. http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.htmlPlease read it when you have the time. It is not where you are but it spoke to me. It might speak to you too.(I am not depressed just overwhelmed with a situation and fighting the urge to sit under the bed with my dogs and stay there for a couple of weeks.)xxxxx

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  2. Hey there. I'm sorry you're not feeling well and kudos to you for fighting through it. You know, much as it's great when you're feeling sexy and funny, it's also good to read you being yourself. Dark & light, good & bad. Hang in there.

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  3. Not that the sexy – funny person isn't you. I just meant you shouldn't feel you have to perform that in order to be loved.

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  4. Yeah… I missed ya alright… especially when you weren't commenting my wittiness.. or "ba-dah-bump" lack of… When it's totally quiet on your front.. that means you are at John's.. or hybernating.. riding out that bout o' depression .. with your only light being the light of the old movies playing on the TV screen. AND.. knowing you.. sometimes it's just best to let it ride itself out, and not try to think anything I could say or do would make it better.:-) –> glad ya came up for air.

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  5. Poppy — perhaps we have the same friend; I was alerted to that blog as well. It's brilliant.I hope your situation is sorted out soon. Being overwhelmed is no fun either.Mija — I knew what you meant. 🙂 Thank you. Hope you get well soon (read that you're under the weather).Zelle — one of my worst weaknesses is being "other-directed" — giving others power over my state of being. No one is (nor should they be) responsible for doing/saying the right thing. I need to create my own well-being.And you're right… old movies and old TV. Just discovered an obscure cable channel that runs nothing but oldies sitcoms… have been ODing on Jack Benny, George Burns and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

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  6. Four messages asking if you're okay sounds pretty good to me just based on one missed post.I just assume people have other things to do that come before blogging.. unless it's been a long, long time.

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  7. Hi, Erica, you always seem to be implicitly apologizing for not being entertaining. When I was growing up, I honestly believed that I was responsible for being entertaining–particularly to my parents. That's not very healthy thinking. So, maybe you can't get chrossed all the time, but it makes it that more special (for you) when you do. We don't care–except insofar as we are happy for you when things go well in your life. I think I speak for most of us when I say that.I enjoyed your poem and the way you ended it. So you have managed to be entertaining in spite of yourself. Feel free to write what you feel and know that there are many of us out there who are interested in reading what you have to say even when it isn't witty and upbeat. You have anything but a shallow audience….

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  8. Dear Erica,While I chose to remain anon, I'd like you to know that I've been a long time follower of your blog. I've enjoyed your wit, your insight into TTWD, as well as many other things. I was not one of the people to delurk on LOL day. But, seeing your poem on Depression really resonated with me. It is a truly wonderful poem, one that caters to who you are, or who I believe you are. I believe that you are one of the strongest people I've ever 'met' and to see you struggle and adapt to something I have as well is an inspiration. You managed to capture the way I feel about my Depression and the struggle we live with, and I thank you for that.

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  9. Hi Erica, You know i truly care about you :-)I would know if you disappeared and i hope that would NEVER happen cause i would be sad and freak out 😦 I hate depression too i have had it for a long time, the poem is really nice.Hope you feel better soon i am here for you :-)Much love and hugs to you from your naughty girl Jade XOXO

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  10. Hope you come out of it on the other side soon, darlin'!

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  11. Shame on you! Get over yourself and do something productive. Instead of whining about poor pitiful Erika, get up and do something to bring yourself out of it. Be pro-active when it comes to your own mental health. Look in the mirror Erika, that's who it is that will make you happy. Not John, ST or cyber friends. You make your own happiness…now get up, shut up and go do something about it. Participate in life!Just a little tough love.

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  12. Conina — you're right, of course. I confess to succumbing to all-about-meism, an unfortunate side effect of depression. I know it's ridiculous, which is why I chose to write about it.Dana — thank you. I appreciate that. It's the comedy writer's daughter in me… I feel like that is my contribution to the world sometimes, being humorous and entertaining.Anonymous — how lovely. This means much more than a delurk on LOL Day. Thank you!Jade — I know you do, honey. Craig — I hope to. It's time.Anonymous — from a true friend, that would have been tough love. From you, someone who clearly has no understanding of depression (or of me), that was a lecture.Perhaps I would have taken it more seriously if you'd spelled my name right.

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  13. I can't speak for others, but I know on Monday and Tuesday I found myself returning to your blog a couple of times, hoping for an update. And while I thought it was unusual there was no post, I thought it would be rude to message you about it. After all, while you might see your blog as a way to share and get feedback, to communicate with the world, some of us see it as a form of news, ideas and entertainment.Basically, I'm saying I was concerned and I missed your post, but hoped you were taking a much-deserved vacation. So don't fret over a mere four messages when you're late posting, it's not that everyone doesn't care — some of us care and are aware life gets in the way of posting sometimes.

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  14. Ugh to that evil stomach bug. I had it Saturday through Monday. 😦 As for depression, I think it's maybe what could be similar to "Hell on Earth" at times. For me, angry feelings are more noticeable to me than sadness or lack of interest in doing daily activities.I did notice the long posting gap from last week to this one, but I'm better at giving others' space to do things in their own time because I know that's what I prefer. Glad you're back. 🙂

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  15. The tough love post sounds just like a lecture I received a week or so after I was released from the hospital for being suicidal. My "well meaning lecturer" summed up my problem as I was just being selfish and I needed to stop being depressed and start being happy. He actually told me that I needed to sing songs and decided to be happy instead of being depressed. Silly me if I had just decided to be happy and sing a song I could have avoided the whole hospital stay, but then again I would have missed all the fun that I had and of course the great hospital food. There is always someone out there who thinks they can "cure" us with their tough love, but I think I will stick with the coping skills I have learned over the years and rely on loved ones and true friends to help me through the tough times.Both my wife and I noticed your absence and were very glad to see you posting again today. We both missed you and are very happy that you are still around. I know that you will make it through this as you have done in the past and as I have done myself. Remember as long as you are still hanging on, even if it is just with two fingers, you are doing great! You are never alone ….. How's that for Tough Love.The VBB

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  16. Anonymous — everything you said makes perfect sense. When I'm in that screwed-up state, I don't quite see reason. Thank you for the reassurance.Kelly — I didn't get officially SICK sick… just stomach weirdness. Probably stress. Sorry you had to deal with it!VBB — you know, I was so afraid of posting what I did, for fear that I'd get a response just like that Tough Shi… er, Love one. Then I actually got it, and all I did was laugh. Perhaps I'm feeling a little better.I like your response much more. You and your wife sound so very lovely. 🙂 Thank you.

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  17. Hi Erica I checked back here looking for you several times over the last couple days. I always very much enjoy reading your accounts of monday nights with ST but this week I was more concerned with how you were doing with things. I have had a few bouts with depression myself, so I have been and will continue to keep a good thought for you that this will soon pass. Glad to see you back : )

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  18. I thought of you on Monday as I scrolled through my Blogger feed wondering if a bug was causing disappearing posts again. I can't say I relate in dealing with depression personally, but I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a hard time lately and hope it passes for you soon. I like your message to depression and am sure it will resonate with many.

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  19. You are the most wonderful Erica ever, and don't you forget it.I was about to post a link here, re. a recent phone message, but I'll send it by this new-fangled email device I had installed by a neighbor kid.PS, check the telephone device message which has by now been delivered to your own telephone device, it's there on the kitchen counter…

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  20. PS – What channel has Hitchcock and Jack Benny? I would watch that, as long as they also had Jack Parr, and outtakes of Jackie Gleason ranting about that punk kid Johnnie Carson, that kinda stuff.

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  21. Glen — thanks for checking in and for caring. :-)Lea — nope, just disappearing me. I hope you're right, that what I wrote might resonate and help a little.Danny — ah, I miss you. Thanks for the message and the invite.The station is called Antenna TV and they show a lot of old stuff; 70s, 60s, 50s. No Jackie Gleason or Jack Paar, though. http://www.antennatv.tv/shows/

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  22. Dear Erica,like many others I noticed your absence and checked for an update several times. When you commented on my post, I found a notice about the comment in my emails and immediately checked whether the commenter named Erica was you. I was very happy to see that you were indeed back and to find your new blog post a short time later.I agree with your observation that life simply goes on, even if a well-liked blogger suddenly disappears. I have seen that happening several times when spanking models who were talented bloggers and who had many followers decided to quit blogging. But I think only very few bloggers would get four messages if they missed a single post. I'd say it shows how much your readers and friends care about you!I already thought about commenting on your last post, but I had too much on my mind to find the right words. I'll try it now.I am lucky in that I haven't ever suffered from a real depression. But I have experienced a time of depressive mood, so I know a bit about the feeling of everlasting darkness. I have to admit that I was very lucky, though: With some professional help I found out were the depressive mood came from and what caused the feelings of anxiety and sadness. In my case it meant that I had to change some of my attitudes which wasn't easy at all, and that process is still ongoing. The dark mood still comes back every now and then, especially in the winter time. But I have developed a few “tricks” to prevent it from becoming too strong (first and foremost: take my feelings seriously, don't beat myself up about them and take good care of myself and my needs). I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be to deal with a real depression, though! But I think not beating yourself up about the depression and taking good care of yourself sounds like a good way of handling the situation. I guess that I can't do or say anything that would be really helpful, but I'm thinking of you and I cross my fingers that you will feel better again, soon!

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  23. Kaelah — you are such a kind person. Regarding not being able to say or do anything, you already did, just by writing this. One of the most insidious things about depression is, one gets convinced that they are insignificant and that others would either not notice their disappearance or be better off without them. Very, very hard to break out of that thought pattern, once it takes hold. A kind word or thought goes a very long way, believe me. So thank you. 🙂

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