I just got back from Klaipėda. It was really fun, I got to see the Baltic Sea, was as silly as possible (man, does being silly make me miss my girls!), stayed in a super crappy hostel and drank just the right amount to have maximum fun and avoid having a killer hangover. I took some pictures, they should be up on my flickr in an hour or two.
That was yesterday. Today, I realized just how much I am bad at handling tension between people, and that maybe I should be a little more careful about managing my depression. Generally, I just take an “along for the ride” role in social situations because it limits the tension, makes my life easier, it’s almost always fun and I don’t have to worry about being left behind. Today, my strategy failed. I ended up being surrounded by animosity (or that’s how I felt, more about that later) and I was trying to field complaints and make people feel better, and basically ended up so tense that the stresspuking reaction was very near to becoming a part of my life again. I don’t even think anyone was that mad, but because I was feeling all anger-spongy I didn’t know what to do with it. I just internalized everything, something that I know I shouldn’t do, because the only feelings that I am really responsible for are my own, and there is little I can do to make people feel any differently than they do.
That brings us to the depression part of this situation. I am depressed, as in clinically, my brain doesn’t regulate its chemicals properly and I have to take medication to function normally depressed. It’s just how I am. People are welcome to their opinions about medication and depression, I stopped justifying my choice to take medication a long time ago. The last month or so, I have been terrible about keeping up on my medication. Two here, one there, most days none. And, like always happens when I am not particularly careful about this, things have started getting harder in my life little by little and I don’t notice until I find myself unable to go to the kitchen to cook, or to listen to people complain about each other and not want to just run away. That’s where I was today. Nervous, socially anxious, feeling pretty bad in general and then dealing with people’s subtle hostility just really made me sad, and knowing that it’s my fault that I feel this way because I haven’t been taking care of myself doesn’t make it any easier. It’s situations like this where I really miss my friends, my family, because they know that I am crazy and they also know how to help me when I get like this, and I don’t have to worry about how they will see me… because they have already seen me in every possible situation and they like me anyway.
I am almost done whining, after I tell you about how I came home tonight and MY BATHROOM IS BROKEN. Imagine having social anxiety and then being denied your semi-private bathroom by a note that tells you to use the one in the other wing. The one that you don’t even really know where it is. It’s awesome, really. Oh, and then on the walk to the small store my iPod decided that it wanted to only work at full volume, so it’s essentially useless unless I want to get a brain aneurysm from Chris Smither played at 11.
So! Klaipėda, right? It’s a little town on the Baltic coast, one that I have wanted to see since I got here. I made the trip with a bunch of German people and one other person that knows German. I was the only person that didn’t speak German (thanks, American educational system! way to be so insular and make me the only monoglot in Lithuania!) and I felt pretty bad that they were forced to speak English just because I was there when they seemed to be a lot more comfortable speaking German. Fun fact: the Klaipėda part of Lithuania used to belong to Germany, so lots of the houses and businesses and people speak German there still. Interesting place, this Lithuania.
We walked the sand dunes, stood in the rain, took some silly pictures, stood in the rain…. It was awesome. Then we decided to walk to the Baltic, so I got to see the ocean (or the sea, does that count as the ocean? It’s all the same thing, right?) and we walked the beach to the stern warning sign that indicates that you are entering the Russian border control zone. Then we took some silly pictures, and L moved the border a few feet in the process. We took the ferry back penguin-style and spent the evening in Klaipėda.
Lithuania still makes me super happy, I mean, where else would I do things like this? I also really appreciate the fact that it makes me question my reactions and interactions in a lot of situations that I would never, ever find myself in back in Idaho. Maybe being a little bit unsafe emotionally is a good thing, even if it makes me really, really miss the safety net that I left.