You know what I’m talking about, ladies. Those moods you get in when nothing’s actually wrong but everything feels out of sync. Food, clothes, conversation seem out of line, and you can’t figure out why you’ve fallen out of favor with the universe. You start to question all aspects of your life and how you got here. Why are you feeling this way? Is this all there is for you? Could this be how the rest of your life will play out? Before you know it, the questions are crippling your ability to have rational thoughts, and you’re spiraling into a full blown episode of fake depression.
It’s no joke! Why don’t your pants fit? Why does your toast taste like bacon? Why can’t more foods taste like bacon? Why are you always forgetting to buy more bacon? Do your pants not fitting have anything to do with your love of bacon? So many questions…and about more than just bacon!
When you feel this deep apathy for your life coming on, there’s little you can do to stop it. You’re a female, and part of the price you pay for being good at everything is the occasional bout of bleh. Yes, that’s the technical term. Trust me; I’m a writer.
You just have to ride the wave moodiness until the tide turns, and you get back to being awesome. Fortunately, there are a few pitfalls you can avoid to keep yourself from sinking further into the fake depression quicksand. And because I’m always looking out for you, dear reader, I’ve compiled a list of them for you here. Read it. Bookmark it. Print it. Share it with others. Most importantly, come back to it the next time you feel that bleh creeping up on you to save yourself, and everyone around you, at least a little trouble.
1. Do not listen to Dave Matthews Band.
Specifically the album Everyday. Specifically the song Grey Street. Want to know why? Let me break you off a few of the lyrics to this tragically depressing song:
And though it’s red blood bleeding from her now
It’s more like cold blue ice in her heart
She feels like kicking out all the windows
And setting fire to this life
She could change everything about her
Using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together – to grey
And it breaks her heart
Now, imagine you already feel crappy. Ole Davey-boy here has just strummed you into a tornado of angst, confusion, sadness, and regret the likes of which no college dorm room has ever seen before! At least the co-ed has her whole life ahead of her. You’re no spring chicken. You’ve already chosen a man, a home, a job (or not to have a job), and kids. Where are you going now? Nowhere! You’re not kicking out windows; you’re cleaning them. The only things you’re setting fire to are the many, many candles on the birthday cake you had to get for yourself because apparently someone can’t remember to pick one up on his way home from work even though your birthday comes on the same damn day every damn year. Oh, yes. You’re living on Grey Street, lady. In fact, you’re the realtor for Grey Street! That’s how well you know it here (and because the work hours of a realtor fit in perfectly while the kids are at school, and the extra income would really help you afford to stay in a nicer hotel when you go to Disney next fall).
DMB is just gasoline on a fake depression fire, so avoid him at all costs! Listen to Miley Cyrus, and click your tongue at her crazy ways. There’s a girl who will surely make you feel like you’ve got a handle on things! Save Dave’s mumbling and picking for summer nights on the front porch, when a beer buzz will muffle your ears just enough to not let you get caught up in his lyrical voodoo.
2. Do not listen to any music that you had on repeat in college.
While we’re on a music kick, it’s important to note that you should stay away from all songs that bring back memories from your days in the dorms. For me, this would basically be the entire soundtrack to the musical RENT. College is nothing like the real world, but that’s not something you learn until after you enter the real world and it’s too late to fully appreciate all the freedom and youth you had. A few bars into your song and you’ll be happily remembering how virtually carefree life was then and how silly your problems were. A few more notes and you’ll be thinking about all the free time you had and how skinny you were, not to mention your fantastic hair, skin, and wardrobe. The song will keep playing, and before you know it, you’ll be sobbing in a corner while trying to figure out which decision lead you to this place in your life.
Should you have changed majors?
Would you go back and give that blind date sophomore year a second chance?
Why did you ever stop talking to the girl across the hall?
Who gets a perm the day before graduation?
What happened to that minor in business you planned on pursuing?
The questions will attack you. The tears will drown you. The wonder will consume you. The music will linger above your clouded mind that just three minutes and twenty-four seconds ago was trying to decide between making the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or dinosaur chicken nuggets for lunch. A life that was maybe humdrum at worst will now seem wasted. And not the good kind of wasted either! Heed my warning! Just stick to the pop stations. Those same five songs on endless loop may drive you crazy, but they won’t drive you down memory lane, which always dead ends in fake depression.
3. Do not go on a date.
He usually can’t do much right to begin with, but if you go out (or stay in) for date night with your man (or lady), you both are doomed. The chewing will be too loud. The conversation will be too forced. The food will be too bland. The wine will be good because, as long as there’s alcohol in it, there’s no such thing as bad wine. But the rest will be his fault. Save him the grief and confusion of trying to see through your fake depression cloak! He really can’t do it. And when everything goes wrong, you’re going to get mad. And we know what happens when the lady of the house gets mad.
Just send him out or off to bed solo, and you flip on the craziest Lifetime movie there is. Cuddle up with your computer to stalk the crap out of strangers on Facebook or pin the hell out of impossible ideas on Pinterest while you watch Tori Spelling go into hiding after witnessing Ben Savage accidentally murder Tiffani Amber Theissen by the lake because he’s now after her because he knows that she knows but doesn’t know where she is, but, boy, is he going to give it to her when he finds her. And Candace Cameron is there too.
4. Do not start binge-watching a new show.
Speaking of television, don’t start a new show! Don’t! In your fragile, fake depression state, you aren’t going to be able to control yourself, and you’ll dive headfirst into a fifty hour marathon of staged perfection. No matter if you’re watching Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Mindy Project, or Orange is the New Black, you’re going to convince yourself that the main character in the show has it WAY better than you do. Meth? Pssh. You’ve got KIDS! Fighting for control of Westeros? Yesterday, you had to knock someone out of the way to get to the mall bathroom before your weakened pelvic floor (thanks childbirth!) let loose a river of embarrassment. Mindy works with her one, true love, but he won’t return her passion? Your man forgot to bring the cake to his own parents’ surprise anniversary party that you spent months planning! You have real problems! These shows are a wonderful, dreamy escape, and you’ll get so connected to them that when they reach their inevitable ends, you’ll be that much deeper in your fake depression because you’ll ache for them on top of whatever nonsense was bothering you in the first place. Take a walk. Catch a flick. Rob a bank. Just stay away from that remote.
5. Don’t indulge in just one bite of anything delicious.
While we’re on the topic of moderation, it definitely applies to food as well. Especially delicious food. Chomp on carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, apples, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries to your heart’s content! Warm, crusty French bread is the enemy. A bowl of creamy, sweet Turkey Hill’s Tin Roof Sundae is not your friend. Put down the chips, pie, chocolate, donuts, fast food, and pizza. There’s no such thing as just a taste, a small nibble, a singular morsel of that goodness that fills your belly, soothes your soul, and lays to rest on your thighs, ass, and abdomen. You are weak! Don’t be ashamed. Just be aware. You’re going to come out of this fake depression funk eventually, and if you overindulge, there will be a lot more of you coming out, which will send you spiraling right back in.
Am I telling you not to be sad for no reason? Absolutely not! That would be akin to me telling you not to be a lady. We have our weepy, angry, morose moments of discontent, and we’ve earned them! Do you know how hard it is to be the heart of your home? Do you know how hard it is to be an awesome extended family member? Do you know how hard it is to be a thoughtful friend? Do you know how hard it is to be a positive and driving force in all areas of your life, personal and professional, all the time? Of course you do! Because that’s what you are. Use your heartache days to feel bad for yourself and your first world problems, but avoid these five traps so that your bleh doesn’t last too long and give you a reputation as a Debbie Downer. Those poor ladies are a lost cause, and you’re better than that, dear reader. You’ve just got a real case of fake depression.
*Please note that I’m not making light of real depression, which is a serious ailment that millions suffer from daily, especially considering I have suffered with it myself in the past. You can read more about that here. I’m just poking fun at the fact that ladies can sometimes work themselves up a bit and be somewhat dramatic while doing it. And if you’ve ever met a female, you can’t argue with that.
Thanks for this! Going through this right now and needed this perspective!
Oh the college music! I don’t remember how skinny (or not) I was, but if I want to be in tears in a minute for no goo reason, give me some of that Tori Amos. And yeah, RENT. Though that was more my roommate’s speed than mine. Real Fake Depression. I call it PMS, but either way I think it should be added to the DSM.