Debbie Downer’s Depression

We follow a number of hilarious women whose common denominator, besides cracking us up, is depression. When people admit they bounce between Tigger in public to Eeyore at home, there’s an instant kinship. The shift from dark secret to openly vulnerable normalizes our sad-sack mental health.

Many of us suffer from bouts of the blues. If you’ve ever questioned, “How long is life going to fuck me before it just wants to cuddle?” you’re not alone. 2015 was a rough year, so if we look bright and bubbly on the outside, it’s because we’re full of champagne.

I’ve never been prone to anxiety, but lately, my nerves twitch over a simple lunch with friends. The heart palpitations are as vigorous as a baby kick, a reminder that life goes on after the death of a loved one. My head complains, “Stop bringing everyone down,” while my body yearns for more middle fingers.

My anger alternated between boil and simmer. No one in my family was spared. I got caught in the perfect storm of grief and menopause. It’s difficult to balance when you’re down a quart of estrogen. Possessed by rage, I looked to Linda Blair and wine for guidance – popping a cork so I didn’t pop my cork.

Depression threatened to drown me. When I was ready to swim upstream, my doctor prescribed a life jacket. There’s no shame in medicating if you can’t tread water. The funk isn’t permanent. When the waves retreat, I’ll paddle back out. Not everyone is so lucky. What the hell did depression do before Netflix?

I have bouts of sunshine before the storm clouds roll in, and rain pours down my cheeks. I naively believed that happiness was a choice, but it’s not always that easy. Somedays I put an ‘out of order’ sticker on my forehead and call it a day. Positive affirmations look good on paper, but they don’t always stick, even when they’re written on a Post-it.

Sangria Wine Rack

Sister Soothers
Live in the moment. Stop worrying about the future.
Do something nice for someone else.
Practice yoga. It’s as good for your heart and soul.
Take daily vitamins to improve your mood.
Soak in a warm tub with a glass of wine.
Put headphones on and listen to your favourite song.
You’re only one brisk walk away from a better mood.
Stay in your pajamas and do nothing for a whole day.
Refill that Rx.
Slap on some lipstick and get out there.

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Join the discussion

  1. Danny Miller

    Hey Sisters: Wonderful post.

    I am doing a long term portrait project that I would love to have you participate in.

    Let me know.

    • Sangria Sisters

      Sure Danny, we would definitely be interested in that! So many of our friends have lost parents in the last few years. We would all qualify for your project.

  2. Rachel

    So timely. You hit it on the nail. I can relate to the ‘positive’ statement . Sometimes it is just hard to be that. Thanks so much for sharing

  3. Landen Stein

    To the Sisterhood et al, for a pick-me up, one of my recent go to’s is:

    “Yer blues John, yer blues…”
    Mick Jagger intro to John Lennon and The Dirty Mac rendition of “Yer Blues”, (The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus)…

    Listen to Mick Jagger & John Lennon’s Introduction of the Dirty Mac by John Lennon & Mick Jagger on @AppleMusic.
    And “Yer Blues”

  4. Dawn

    What an awesome post Valerie. I learn something new everyday my friend. Luv ya

  5. Carolyn Peters

    This hits very close to home. My favourites are, “just get over it”, “move on”, “just be happy, it’s easy” oh, I hadn’t thought of that. Grrr

    • Sangria Sisters

      I agree Carolyn. I was one of those uninformed people who thought happy was a choice. But now that I’ve seen the black hole of sadness, I’ve changed my tune. Life is hard, but we’re in this together!

  6. Jessie

    I love this!!! I love your website. Mostly I love all of your blog entries and your writing

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