Can’t a girl be depressed awhile? | AspenTimes.com

Can’t a girl be depressed awhile?

Alison Berkley

I’ve had the weirdest week ever.Here’s the thing: I’ve been trying really hard to feel sorry for myself. I’ll lie around the house all the livelong day and stare at the ceiling or curl up on the living room floor with my dog and tell him all my feelings and pretend he understands every word and is the only soul in this world who truly listens. I fancy myself this tortured artist and have visions of myself sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket next to a pile of tissues eating Bon Bons and watching old movies. (OK, so I wouldn’t be caught dead eating carbs, and somehow snacking on Ryvita crackers and raw almonds don’t really cut it. Whatever. You get the idea.)The problem is I have all these friends in Aspen who keep spoiling my pity party. “Come over and I’ll cook you some salmon,” my friend Dina said, because Dina is a nice little Jewish girl like me and knows exactly what I need to make me feel better. Good food. She’s house sitting at this amazing place that’s tucked into the woods like the house I grew up in. There are no real views, just lots of branches and pine needles and leaves that fill the windows and filter the light so it’s not dark but cozy. Now and then rays of sun flicker between the leaves like a strobe light, making crazy patterns on the walls and ceilings that disappear before your eyes can adjust to them. I’ve always loved being in the trees. All those branches and roots and leaves provide shelter and breathe life all at once, like a big friendly monster that holds you in its arms. Call me crazy, but I’d take that over a mountain view any day of the week.The most important room in the house – the master bath – has one of those tubs that I would arm wrestle for, a nice long, deep number with jets. The lady of the house had all the best bath products, so I chose a nice Laura Mercier crème brulee bubble bath that smelled like vanilla and caramel and crawled into the hot water with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and this week’s issue of People magazine.All of a sudden the bubbles started foaming and wouldn’t stop. I shooed them with my hands and blew on them but they wouldn’t stop growing, higher and higher until I swear they almost reached the ceiling. I imagined them filling the entire bathroom, and then the bedroom and then the house, until the frothing white suds spilled out through the windows and onto the street and down the Roaring Fork River. I laughed until I cried and then I laughed again and it was the first time in six months I have felt such effortless joy.The next day, my friend Denise invited me to go hike the Lost Man loop. “I don’t feel like it,” I told her. “I’m depressed.” She didn’t fight it. “OK, then let’s get some coffee and go shopping.” We met for a latte at Café Ink and within 10 minutes I was boring her with my bitching and moaning, so she said, “I think I want to at least hike up the Ute and get some exercise. Walk me over there.” We got to the trailhead and I decided I wanted to hike, too. Who cares if I’m wearing a skirt, a pink lace tank top and platform flip-flops? Is there a law that says you have to hike in hiking shoes? No! There is not!Not to brag, but I flew up that thing like a champ. As long as I made sure I had good footing, I was fine, and I actually think we should all reconsider skirts in terms of their functionality: very airy and comfortable. I kind of like having a little breeze flowing up in there, if you know what I mean. At one point this guy hiking up looks at me and goes, “Nice outfit.” So I put on my best New York accent and say, “I’m lost. Can you tell me how to get to The Little Nell?” Like a little kid who climbs too high into a tree, the hard part was coming down. I’d start sliding, grabbing branches and flailing my arms wildly about until I inevitably ended up on my ass in the dirt. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe, and I seriously thought I might die right there with my mouth stuck open like a crazy person, dressed like a sorority girl at a pool party. I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and couldn’t help but notice the meaning in that little metaphor.Then I ran into my dear friend Jordan at Zele. Jordan is half Lebanese so she has this really exotic look, with almond shaped eyes so dark you can’t see her pupils, long, curly black hair and a syrupy, throaty voice that makes everything she says sound sexy and dramatic. I am madly in love with her. We were sitting on one of those plastic recycled benches and she said, “So, how are you?” I said, “I’m a miserable wreck and haven’t talked to anyone but my dog in a week.”Without batting an eye she said, “You’re not depressed. You’re sad. If you were depressed, you would be totally debilitated and you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.”Being the wise soul she is, she’s right, I know. Not only did I get out of bed, I did it in platform flip-flops and ended up on top of the Ute trail after barely surviving an overflowing bubble bath with a pint of ice cream. It’s a strange and beautiful life, but at least it’s all mine.The Princess swears she is not on drugs. Send the top 10 reasons to go on Prozac to alison@berkleymedia.com

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