Depression teaches helplessness and to really kick it in the ass, I have to get moving, despite my co-occurring social anxiety: moving with intent, with priority, with the knowledge that some of the social interactions called for will tire me, moving for the sake of my dog or someone else.
A hero, I began to think, is someone who doesn’t meekly accept a hopeless situation and steps up to change it, whether doing so will have a happy ending or not. It is not their job. They have no training. They aren’t impatient for their struggle.
Why would Barbie have warped my body image? I didn’t want those annoying tits or any of the scratchy hair-dos that came after her ponytail. Those were the years that Jackie Kennedy was changing the way my mother dressed and decorated. My television icons were Samantha Stevens, Marlo Thomas and, by the end of my Barbie years, Susan Partridge.
Addiction and social anxiety can stand alone but it’s easy to see how they complete each other as well. The first soothes the latter and the latter facilitates the isolation and loneliness that feeds the former. They rob life of space, or add too much space.