Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to Be Depressed

In case any of my readers want to make themselves depressed, here are some helpful tips:

1. Even though you wake up at five o'clock after a full seven and a half hours of sleep, stay in bed for another couple of hours. Lie there and mentally catalog all your lifetime losses, with particular attention to recent crushing disappointments.

2. When you finally drag yourself out of bed, check your email the very first thing and continue to check it every two or three minutes for the rest of the morning, in case you might receive notice that one of your books has just won a prize that you hadn't even realized it was being considered for, or that someone from has fallen head over heels in love with you simply from your unflattering profile picture.

3. Instead of writing on your new book, email your other writer friends about how doomed this book project is and how unlikely it is to be brought to any kind of successful completion. Add in some comments about how unlikely it is that any unattached middle-aged woman is going to be given a chance at lasting love.

4. Instead of writing on your new book, continue checking your email every two or three minutes as described in #2.

5. If a friend invites you to go for a walk with her, refuse. You might miss that email about the prize. Or the email from that man.

6. Every ten or fifteen minutes, scavenge for any leftover Christmas candy (there is still quite a bit of it lying around, if you know where to look), and eat some of it.

7. Continue this program diligently until bedtime.

This program is ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED to make you depressed. I don't even need to promise you that if you follow this program faithfully and are not depressed, I will give you your money back. YOU WILL BE DEPRESSED.

On the other hand, should you want NOT to be depressed, my advice is to follow the REVERSE of this program.

Which is what I plan to do today.


  1. In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg tells about how she once read a poem about how full of despair and depression she was, and most people at the reading stared at her afraid she'd pull out the cyanide. She thought the poem was beautiful in its irony, that out of these terrible feelings she found a way to create something.

    Same thing here. Go Claudia.

  2. Some days you just have to give in to the yuckiness of life. Thankfully, you can always put an end to that. :-) Here's hoping you have many more reverse days!

  3. I stay up way too late often due to my own fears and frustrations. Usually, I check my Facebook pages before tucking in. Often, I stop by your blog to see how you are doing. it's my virtual water cooler time. I really had to laugh at rule number 5 of your reflection today — so true, so arch. It takes bravery to write about heartache and boundless heart to find the humor in the ache. You are so wonderful.