Among the non-medicinal therapies my counselor and I are talking about to help me get through the Dark Forest of Depression is the idea that maybe I need a good cry. You know, one of those cries that flushes out all the toxic waste in your soul and allows sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns to prance their way back in.
Because I have wanted to retain my status in the family as The Strong One, She Who Gets Shit Done, I have not really allowed myself a good wallow in grief. I am supposed to use the next two weeks to entertain the idea of taking a one-day vacation from life to try to initiate a good sob session and/or temper tantrum and give myself the privacy and permission to just cry it out, bitches.
It is an appealing thought. However, Jason needs to play the role of jail guard and take away all sharp objects, shoe laces, and belts. Because while purposefully trying to make myself cry, there's always the chance that it will, you know, not end well. Though I think if I just stay away from the last episode of Lost, I'll be okay.
While pacing the floor Thursday evening trying to both pay attention and not pay attention to the Presidential debate (when I am emotionally unwell, my tendency to get embarrassed for people explodes, and I simply could not watch either candidate speak despite my intense desire to be able to understand all the jokes SNL will later make about them), I started to make a list of things I could watch or listen to that would bring on the tears. I started with the first thing that ever made me cry: Snoopy Come Home. When I saw that cartoon as a little girl, I scared the crap out of Mom when I began crying so hard that I got hives and ran a fever. True story.
By the end of making my list, I got the giggles. Some of the sad stuff out there is just so outrageously sad that it becomes funny when you pile it on. There must be evil geniuses out there who sit in an underground Tear Lab and think of ways to make grown people sob until the blood vessels in their eyes break.
And then, just to make it sadder, they throw in a dog. Because if you take a sad situation and add a dog, it multiplies the depressant factor by 30. Again, final episode of Lost.
So here it is: the things I will try to watch or listen to on a future date where I can try to wring the sadness out of my soul like wringing water out of a wash cloth.
Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." It's the music that plays during that one scene in Platoon. Yeah, that one.
Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, also called the Pathetique, also called "I wrote this symphony right before I died and right after I realized life might just be a hopeless mess you can't crawl out of."
The last ten minutes of To Kill a Mockingbird, from when Scout says, "Hey, Boo." I think we're supposed to be happy at that moment, but I just want to curl up in a ball every time, because o my God Boo is misunderstood, you guys, and saved their lives and will probably get the crap beaten out of him for sneaking out of his house after Scout walks him home.
When Debra Winger's character talks to her sons right before she dies in Terms of Endearment. Of course.
When Sally Field has her tearful, angry breakdown at Shelby's funeral in Steel Magnolias. Of course.
The episode of Party of Five where Charlie is supposed to marry Kirsten, but he gets cold feet, and then when he decides he's ready she decides it's too late, and when he tells her he still loves her she says, "Maybe you'll get over that." Gah. And then Bailey talks to Charlie after it's all over in a speech that boils down to, "Yeah, you screwed this up pretty bad...but you're still my brother, and I love you." Gah. And then Vincent runs out of the woods and curls up next to Matthew Fox so he doesn't die alone. Wait, I might not have that last part right.
When Billy dies on Ally McBeal.
The dog episode of Futurama, a show I never watch, but watched that one episode online thinking, "This can't be as sad as people are making it sound," and I was right, because it was sadder.
No, wait, this one.
Stop the presses--no, really, this time. It's this song. Here's a fun game with that one--try to guess where the song is going when the second verse starts and you catch on to the pattern. And just when you're rolling your eyes thinking, "Dear God, this country song is cheesy and predictable," your eyeballs will roll right out of your head because of excess moisture caused by a tear deluge. Because that stupid Vincent crawls right up next to Momma.
Wait, I don't think I have that last part right.
If any of this fails, I have a few less-worn and non-conventional rain makers. The Casino Night episode of The Office. (Damn you, Jim Halpert.) A video I have of Ainsley at around 18 months running around our house and blabbering in a way that's so adorable it makes my heart hurt. The Wizard-of-Oz-themed episode of Scrubs. (I have never seen The Wizard of Oz as remotely happy; there's no place like home, but there was no place like Oz, either, and the Scarecrow and Dorothy clearly had something special going on.) The card Scout's vet sent us after we put her to sleep that had a lock of her fur sewn inside and a post-mortem paw print. (That thing really, really should have come with a warning.) The mound of pictures we displayed at Mom's funeral, pictures which not only make me ache because so many show my Mom beautiful, young, and happy, but because so many of them show me beautiful, young, and happy and remind me that every day I'm a little older and a little closer to my own mortal end.
I've got lots of material to work with.
If you can bear it, feel free to join me. Let's do some soul-wringing. Either we'll all feel better afterwards, or we won't, and we'll have to be hospitalized. But we'll at least have heard some beautiful music, seen some fine acting, and watched network TV at its finest.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I hear a dog barking deep in the bamboo.