I've recently been diagnosed with Clinical Depression. You'd never know it if you interact with me. I'm energetic, funny, and social, and I'm always the life of the party. But, if I don't have to socialize, I won't. When left to my own devices, I won't do anything at all. I have to force myself to interact with others. I have to force myself to take care of my farm and tend my garden. I have to force myself to ride and train the horses. I have to force myself to write. I don't enjoy any of it the way I used to, and I'm exhausted all the time from forcing myself to do these things that once gave me energy, these things I used to love. When I first stopped enjoying things, I figured I'd just apply "fake it 'til you make it" logic. I thought that if I just kept going through the motions for a few weeks, it would come back to me. And then weeks turned into years and it never came back. I realized I was miserable all the time and I needed to do something more because "faking it" wasn't working, so I went to a doctor. Now I have a diagnosis and a treatment plan, but that's not the end. I'm not even sure if it's the beginning. I don't know what it is, really, since I've never done this before. At least it isn't "faking it". I'm not writing this looking for sympathy or accolades. I'm writing it because so often I see people say, "So and So was happy and had so much, how could they have been depressed?" I'm writing this because depression can look happy and successful. Depression can look like you have it all together and are enjoying life. Depression is a black hole on the inside. It's a lack of energy. It's a lack of motivation and interest in the world. It's a pervasive, overwhelming exhaustion from constantly forcing yourself through the motions of life, and I can absolutely understand how that can drive a person to give up on their life. It's the "faking it" that really gets to you, and so the people who seem like they're on top of the world are often the ones struggling the most. Keeping up that facade is mentally and physically exhausting and overwhelming. If you know what that feels like and haven't gotten help yet, go see a doctor. It's easier than you think. I had convinced myself that it would be difficult and frustrating to get help, but it just took a quick google search, "psychiatrists near me", and a couple phone calls later I had my first appointment. You can do it, and you're not alone.
March is continuing to be the angry drunk of NJ months, which is no surprise to me. I've lived here for 20 years, and March is always just completely awful.
I'm continuing with my normal routine of doing absolutely everything but riding my horses. This month's project du jour is fence fixing.
30 things you may not know about me.
My last dog died two years ago, and I'd been saying for two years that I would get another dog when a new dog found me. I've honestly never gone out looking for a new cat, dog or horse. They just have a way of finding me, possibly because all my friends know I'm a giant sucker for a cute face and a sad story and send animals my way. And so I acquired a little beagle with a cute face and a sad story.
Over the years I've tried many different ways of keeping track of my rides, from handwritten journals (pre-smartphone and internet), to blogging, to apps and have never really gotten any of them to work well for me.
I’m the Shit Slinger In Chief of a little hobby farm deep in the bowels of New Jersey. I’ve been riding for as long as I can remember, and have been working with horses my entire adult life. ("Adult" being used in its loosest definition, here)
The time a Longhorn Steer showed up uninvited to the farm.
I don't know what it is about the horse world and dogs, but dogs are everywhere at equine events. Most horses don't seem to care, but I've owned two so far that had a homicidal hatred of everything canine. This always makes things awkward, because dog people can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that my horse will straight up murder their pooch.
I acquired Jack as 3 year old stallion. Yes, I am slightly nuts.... Why do you ask? Actually, Jack had no clue he was a stallion, so it wasn't really a problem. I figured I'd just have him gelded come spring when the weather warmed up. Easy peasy, problem solved. Until spring came and I couldn't find a vet to do it.