Monday, November 21, 2011

Nature Boy

This weekend was cold, grey, damp, and depressing. Last Friday, my uncle passed away from cancer. I was never close to him, but he was my dad's last living brother (of a family of eight brothers and sisters), and the third of his siblings to die in the last year.

I love my dad dearly, but have had a rocky relationship with him, to say the least, in the past several years, particularly since my kids were born. He is what I would say is a functioning alcoholic, and I didn't even realize that until after I was out of college, when my mom told me that. He has never been the slobbering drunk, slurring words, stumbling around kind of alcoholic. He was much more in control, but it was just something that was always part of my reality as a kid. Dad drinking beer all day every day.

In the past several years, dad has lost some of the people closest to him, two of my uncles (his brother-in-laws), and now three siblings. Since one of my uncles died, I would say dad has been pretty depressed, and combined with the fact that he is retired, not in great health himself, and sits around drinking much of the day, it's not difficult to see why he and I have butted heads a lot in recent years (well, all of the above combined with the fact that we're both equally stubborn).

Each time someone else passed, I would think "Maybe this is the time he will be motivated to become healthier. Stop drinking so much. Get out of his chair and life his fucking life." But no. I fully believe that a depressive gene is something passed on, and I'm pretty sure I got mine from him. The difference is that I choose to get off my ass, go to the gym, not just sit at home.

By no means am I saying that I don't have days where I don't want to leave, where I think it would just be easier to get in my car and drive and not stop until I hit the west coast, and I'm probably lucky that I don't have the proclivity to drink to excess. I can see how the combination of depression and alcoholism could be a deadly one.

My dad is also from a generation who, unfortunately, doesn't want to TALK about their depression or drinking or anything else, and to consider taking medication for it, well, that's another story altogether (though until he gets his drinking under control, I wouldn't think he should take anything).

I don't know. I feel like once a month I talk about how depressed I am, and I hope I'm not "wearing out my welcome," so to speak, on the topic. My own depression is more wrapped up in being a parent, and feeling unsuccessful at it, and it's just part of who I am at this point in my life. Seeing my dad living with it has me grappling with how best to deal with it for myself.

The song below doesn't really have anything to do with depression or alcoholism, but it crossed my mind this weekend and I love it. I had never seen this particular video before, but it is strange and amazing.

Sequin tee: Loft
Oxford: Old Navy
Jeans: F21
Shoes: Thrifted
Bracelet: Belt, ala Target
Earrings: F21



Courtnee said...

I hear you girl! My own relationship with my parents leaves a lot to be desired. The older they get the more I realize they are just...people, and not very nice people to boot:(

My own depression is wrapped up in body issues and my relationship with my children(I fear that I'm turning into my mom and they won't have anything to do with me!)

Seriously, don't feel like you're wearing out your welcome. It's your blog, you can cry if you want too;)

If you want to talk, drop me an email. I'm always happy to listen!


MerciBlahBlah said...

Courtnee - thank you so much for your comment, and it's good to hear from you again!! I may take you up on your offer sometime. Hugs.