Massage Creepiness

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Massage is wonderful for depression because you release serotonin. If you’re depressed, your serotonin level may be deficient. It also helps reduce the tightness in your muscles, but you already know that!

I used to get a massage every 4 weeks at the salon where I go regularly. Then my massage therapist took another job, and I haven’t had regular massages since. He was never replaced. This was like a year ago. Since then, I’ve only received maybe 2 massages, one by a man and one by a woman.

There’s a massage place not far from me. All they do is massage. I’ve been there once before and left satisfied. However, I’ve been hesitating making an appointment. I don’t know why. Maybe because you get any one of their 14 therapists, male or female? Though most of them are women.

I’ve had one male therapist — the one who left the salon — and I felt comfortable around him, not vulnerable. I had another male therapist one time only, and he did an awesome job. It was the best massage I’ve ever had! I didn’t feel vulnerable around him, but he was kind of creepy. He would moan and groan every so often while working on me. Yikes!

So I don’t know what to expect with guys. On the one hand, men apply pressure strongly and really get at those knots. On the other hand, they (and I suppose women) can be weird, like the Moaner.

Maybe I can request a specific therapist, or whether I prefer a male or female therapist. All I have to do is pick up the phone and call them. But I hate talking on the phone so much, which is another reason I’ve been procrastinating. Even though my muscles are screaming to be unknotted!

Would you prefer a massage therapist of the same or opposite sex? Or does it matter?

Working on Us, Week 2: Mental Health Challenges

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On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information and the guidelines, click here. I am going to respond to Prompt 1.

What is the most challenging thing you face with regard to your mental illness? For me, the answer is lack of motivation. When I’m depressed it’s sometimes impossible to get out of bed. And if I do make it out of bed, I really have to push myself to shower. Even then it’s hard to push myself. All I want to do is lie around in my pajamas.

Does this sound familiar?

Rudy, Trainer of Hoomans

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So for the past couple of months, our dog Rudy has been following me down the hall from the living room to the kitchen. Every. Time. He’s always expecting a treat, and sucker that I am, I always give in. It’s so hard to say no! Look at those eyes!!

The trainer said we should switch things up so Rudy won’t recognize that he’s about to get a “cookie.” I’m afraid the opposite has happened because he now knows that any time I get up and head down the hall, it means that treats are coming! NOM!!

If I go into the bedroom to shower, Rudy will jump on the bed and wait until I’m absolutely finished getting ready. He never does that! As we go out the door, he turns left towards the kitchen, while I turn right to go to the living room. And halfway there, I turn around and meet him in the kitchen for treats.

Rudy and I had a special bond from the moment he came home with us. I got sick (depressed) for about a year and couldn’t take care of him. During that time my husband looked after him and does so to this day. Now I’ve been trying to “buy” his love back with treats. Haha! Slowly but surely, he’ll come around!

Follow Rudy on Instagram: @rudy_thegoodboy

Does your companion animal “own” you the way Rudy owns me?

Ketamine Infusion

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Two or 3 years ago I had been depressed for so long, despite taking various medications and having ECT, that my psychiatrist told me about another treatment: ketamine infusion. Yep, that ketamine.

They insert an IV in your arm, which is connected to a ketamine drip. Then you sit in a comfy chair for about an hour, while the drug is administered. It works quickly — within a few hours, even. And it’s an outpatient procedure.

The catch? It isn’t approved by the FDA, nor does insurance cover it, nor has it been around for very long. Five years, maybe? According to this article, esketamine, which is a kind of ketamine, was recently approved by the FDA in the form of a nasal spray for depression. I don’t know about you, but that sounds weird to me. A nasal spray?? For depression??

The other thing is that you’d need to have the cash to spare to do the infusions, which prevents most people from getting it done. Like ECT you have to go in for a series of treatments, which can become really expensive, really quickly.

I don’t know about the nasal spray, but I would totally try a ketamine infusion before having ECT again. On the other hand, who can afford it? My husband says that if I ever reach that point, hopefully insurance will be paying for it by then.

Have you ever had a ketamine infusion? Would you try it if nothing else worked at all?

Bird Girl

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In 1999, after seeing the bronze statue, Bird Girl, in the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I was struck by its ethereal presence. Here was this simple sculpture of a girl in a simple dress, holding up a plate in each hand in Savannah, Georgia. It evoked longing and magic.

Meanwhile, I was in Chicago longing to be a writing professor, a famous poet. My dreams seemed within reach. After I finished college, I went on to graduate school.

While in grad school, I didn’t thrive as much as I did in college. I was going through a depressive episode. My psychiatrist at the time was afraid that I wouldn’t graduate. This scared me, and I finished an entire collection of poetry (or thesis) that I had to defend in front of a committee, which was required to graduate.

After graduation I was eager to begin my career as a professor. Unfortunately, there was a glut of candidates looking for very few job openings. I taught part-time at several different schools, then the Breakdown happened. I’ve been on disability ever since.

My dreams were dashed.

That chapter of my life began in 1999. Twenty years later, this past March, I saw for the first time, the Bird Girl at the museum where she’s located. Because of her new home, photographs of her don’t give off as much of a dreamy quality the way it did when she was at Bonaventure Cemetery. Instead of being surrounded by tall, live oaks and other grave markers, her new backdrop overlooks the floor below and part of the ceiling. But she’s still standing.

And I’m still standing, too. I no longer harbor hopes of becoming a professor/famous poet. I don’t know what I’m going to be or what will be. I know I’ll continue to stand.

Is there a piece of artwork that speaks to you?