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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

Depression

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

HUMANS 101

Five things you need to know in order to help yourself

Two weeks ago, I was kneeling to pull up ivy in the backyard with my sweetie, and when I stood up, I didn’t feel real anymore.

I don’t really know how else to describe it.

I wrapped my right hand around my left wrist, trying to feel real again, but it didn’t do much. I felt like I was disintegrating into particles of light but not in a fun, hot spiritual sense.

Jason could tell something was wrong with me immediately. “What year is it?” he asked. “Which way is north?” He did a silly monkey dance to get me…


This Is Us

A complicated love letter to music

Black and white side rear photo of a person’s face wearing earphones, hand moving towards ear.
Black and white side rear photo of a person’s face wearing earphones, hand moving towards ear.

This is a love letter. It’s also a story about depression and autism and music, but it’s still a love letter. Remember that as you are reading this. And if you know me or care about me a little, please know that I’m okay.

I am.

I’m not great, but I’m okay.

I’m never going to be great, and that’s also okay.

I don’t like binaries, but I’m guessing either you know what I mean when I say that music has saved my life, or you don’t. Not everyone has this kind of relationship to music. I guess other forms…


Humans 101

How to feel less bummed and more grateful as you age

Blurry image of pedestrians walking against overlay of clock hours.
Blurry image of pedestrians walking against overlay of clock hours.

My husband and I went for our annual eye checkup, and I was told I needed reading glasses. My husband, who is 10 years older than me, smiled and said, “Darling, this is just the beginning.”

I glared at him. The beginning of what exactly? The end?

I turn 43 this year, and I am officially having a midlife crisis.

I’m in the middle. The beginning is over. The next stop is “the End.”

I am looking at my life — my wonderful life. I have loving husband, who is my best friend, personal masseur, and chef; a fulfilling career…


This Is Us

The emotions of the pandemic hit me late

I remember where I was the night my friend texted me to tell me that “this coronavirus thing” was serious. They said I should have two weeks’ worth of nonperishable groceries on hand. I was in Brooklyn, and I scheduled a food delivery on Amazon Prime from my phone — mostly beans, rice, and pasta — as I walked to a bar to watch one of the Democratic primary debates. That was back in late February—approximately 4,000 years ago.

In the beginning, it felt novel. Yes, trips to get essentials were harrowing affairs, but for a while, nights hunkered down…


Humans 101

Five ways to get unstuck and reclaim your mojo

It’s easy to feel down these days, especially with the pandemic looming over us with no clear end in sight.

I’ve had bouts of situational depression brought on by deaths, breakups, job loss, and divorce. Like most people, I’ve gone through what psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross deemed the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

And, like many people, I had times where I wallowed in depression longer than necessary — soaking in it like warm bathwater. I invented good reasons to linger in the negativity. …


Fiction

Maybe you should’ve been a lesser person

A photo of a woman crouching down with her hand over her face, looking at the camera. The background is dark.
A photo of a woman crouching down with her hand over her face, looking at the camera. The background is dark.

Once I brought home a coyote and told my lover we had a new pet. Until it ate our chickens. — “Hunger” by Kelli Russell Agodon

1.

Let’s get down to the bone of you, the meat. I must admit, all the electrocutions have made you downright unrecognizable. First, there was the shock of your mother shoving food in your mouth. Eat, she said. On good days, the difference between nipple and spoon were periodic elements. Mostly you recall the tines of a fork scraping across your clenched teeth and your mother’s silent pleas, which reminded you of the many…


Fiction

A college student, a weekend-long bender, and the fear of being boring

A blurred photo of a man in a presumed bar.
A blurred photo of a man in a presumed bar.

Simon hated silence. It was his worst fear in conversation. Silence legitimized his biggest insecurity, that he was boring. Deeply boring. When Simon found himself fielding moments of silence, he grappled with the fact that he was a deeply boring person when he wanted so badly to be perceived as clever, intelligent, and funny — traits he wasn’t sure he had.

At the tail end of a weekend-long bender, the 21-year-old rising college senior at a local Connecticut state school was laying in bed in his small but adequate bedroom. He opted for predictability when selecting his respectable but far…


With no one to turn to, I turned to Facebook — and ended up with a cop on my doorstep

In the winter of 2013, I found myself spending a month on a leaky air mattress. I was staying at the home of my ex-fiancé’s Facebook friend, in Iowa. She’d generously welcomed me after my ex kicked me out of our shared Tennessee apartment.

I was three months pregnant and battling suicidal ideation every day. When my fiancé told me to go back to Minnesota and began spending all of his time trolling online for dates, my prenatal depression kicked into high gear. I was pregnant, recently dumped, filled with guilt, and terrified of being a bad mother. I was…


Don’t focus on ‘why.’ Focus on why he didn’t ask for help.

July 27, 2019, began as an unremarkable summer day. It was a day for visiting with my mother and doing some chores around her house, a day for walking her dogs, a day for idle conversation and shopping for my youngest son’s freshman dorm room. It was a late afternoon for a hilarious dinner with my sons. My mother spent the entire time commenting on the “atmosphere,” by which she meant the cute waitresses that she thought Ben, the oldest, should ask out on dates. …


Depression isn’t a three-act play with a fixed ending

“But suicides have a special language. Like carpenters, they want to know which tools. They never ask why build.”

–Anne Sexton

You never say the words; you write them. You repeat them to yourself like a song you can’t seem to shake, the lyrics of which you can’t remember. Maybe you can sing your way back to fine until you realize this is yet another promise you’ve made to yourself that you probably won’t keep. Over here stands your Babel tower of wants — the ground quaking beneath. Cracks in the fault. Over there lie the notes some of us…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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