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Take a Whack at the Paiñ-ata!

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Wildly Exaggerated: Take a Whack at the Paiñ-ata!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Take a Whack at the Paiñ-ata!

I have a two problems:
1. Like so many 21st century Americans, I suffer from periodic bouts of depression
2. I can't stand to drink hard liquor straight up

These may seem unrelated, but let me tell you they are not. And I inadvertently proved it during my most recent episode, when I got into a habit of trying to dull my sadness with an evening drink. My poison? Margaritas. Therein lies the conflict. I'll explain...

Let's say you're an angsty, artsy type, prone to bouts of horrific depression. Your friends probably know this about you and keep an eye out for the warning signs. As a result, when you get near rock bottom, you might have an exchange like this:
YOU: What's the point? I don't even care anymore. I've got a fifth of JD, and that's what I'm having for dinner.
YOUR FRIEND: A fifth of JD?!?! For dinner? That's it, I'm coming over!

But when I get near rock bottom, it looks more like this:
ME: What's the point? I don't even care anymore. I'm already on my third margarita.
MY FRIENDS: Rock on!! Three margaritas before 2pm? You're livin' it UP!
ME: I guess. If you call this living. I think I'll double the tequila in the next one.

A margarita just doesn't work as a cry for help. If you're drinking something light brown that burns your throat on the way down, that's the universal sign for "I NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO". If you're drinking something dayglo green that tastes like a lime Jolly Rancher, it's the universal sign for "I NEED TWO BACKUP DANCERS AND A KARAOKE MACHINE".

Not only that, but you can't cry into a margarita because the tiny umbrella deflects most of the tears. Even if you manage to get one or two in there, all you did was save yourself some money on salt. At the end of the day, it's the liquid equivalent of bringing up the rear of a conga line to "Hot Hot Hot" at a funeral - it looks ridiculous. I might as well get myself some crazy straws to complete the effect.

Lucky for me, my depressions never last more than a week or two, and if I have to be bad at something, "being an alcoholic" is one of the things I'd most like to suck at.! The only downside is that I look utterly ridiculous for two weeks. But that's really not so different from my non-depressive state.

Serious Part Real Quick-Like, Though:
I've had these little bouts of depression off and on for twenty years now. I'm lucky that they aren't so bad that I require medication or have to put my life on hold - I manage to keep working, improvising, and blogging in spite of the temporary chemical imbalance in my brain/salt imbalance in my margaritas. But there are a lot of people who have it way worse than I do, and if you're one of them, please please please make sure you ask for help when you need it. Just do what I do when my friends mistake my Margarita Depress-tival for a Fiesta-val: pick someone whose last birthday cost you at least twenty bucks and send them an email that says "LITTLE HELP HERE?" in the subject line. Then tell them what it is that you need - a chat over dinner, a quick phone call, a sleepover party, five rides on the Dahlonega Mine Train at Six Flags, help finding a therapist...or even help figuring out what you need! That's what friends, family, some coworkers, and all suicide prevention hotline workers are for ;)

Oh, and I don't really endorse self-medication with alcohol. Just so we're clear.

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