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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fighting Back

Thank you for the comments, for the e-mails, and just for visiting.

Today I am better. I had a wonderful talk with The Professor last night. Let me tell you about him. The Professor came to Portland from San Francisco and sent me an e-mail to introduce himself. We decided to meet in person, and we instantly clicked.

What I enjoy about the Prof is that conversation flows so easily with him. He's well-traveled, informed, open-minded, experienced and genuine. Last night I got advice from him on everything from relationships to enemas, (You don't want to know - well, you probably do, but I'm not telling) and I told him about what I'm going through right now.

I have never struggled with depression. Not in the way I am now. But I have learned from this experience, and I think I will have good advice to give others in the future should they find themselves in a pit of despair. Many people advise that only time can heal. For me, it isn't time that is healing me. It is work. Hard work.

Depression is such a difficult struggle because it requires you to do everything you don't want to do and nothing that you do want to do. It's exhausting. When I feel depressed, which has been almost every day, I want to curl up in bed for days, drink myself numb, watch television, stay away from people, stop eating and sleep my life away. Living like that leads to, guess what? More depression.

So, lately, I'm doing all the things I don't feel like doing. I'm working out, skipping happy hours, eating regular and healthy meals, socializing with friends, and staying busy.

My friend Muscle Chick took me to dinner and the new Harry Potter movie last weekend. We talked about healing and how much work it is. She ended a long-term relationship earlier this year and has become a fitness fanatic. She works out almost every day and is going to compete in the Gay Games this summer. I am so inspired by her. When her mother passed away, Muscle Chick did not get drunk, because she knew that would only make it worse. "Toddy, there is no answer at the bottom of a bottle. You know that," she told me.

Actually, many of my friends have given me that advice, but there was just something in the way Muscle Chick said it that really hit home. Or maybe I was just ready to hear it. If I were to name all the great advice and love I've received from friends lately, I'd need at least an hour to type up my list. Mom, Ms. Karma, Auburn Pisces, Pony, The Handsome Prince, The Toddtender, Willie (I finally wrote about you!!), Juju, Metro, Eclecticon, Verdi, Apollo, Paul, Steph, Katehopeeden, Jodi, Lynda... I give up. There is no way to name everyone.

I owe it to my friends and family to keep fighting. I owe it to myself. So I promised Muscle Chick that I would work out almost every day just like she does. I promised her I would drink less and stay active. I promised her I'd eat better. And I promised to go with her to Chicago to cheer her on (and flirt with gay athletes from all over the world) when she competes.

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