Friday, July 6, 2012

FML? Not on your life.

by Kristina Wright

I can wallow with the best of them. Bitch, rant, moan, complain, cry, wail, shake my fist at the sky and proclaim (loudly) that the universe is out to get me and my life sucks. It doesn't last long, though. My wallowing has a self-imposed time limit because to wallow too long is to get depressed and I am already prone to depression. I have a pretty good handle on it (most of the time) and know that the best thing to do when I'm feeling like life sucks is to prove myself wrong. There is definitely something screwy in my brain chemistry that brings on bouts of depression, but they seem to be ebbing as I get older and are not to be confused with the bad-thing-happened-this-sucks kind of misery. But whatever the cause, I eventually find my way out of the darkness and back into the light. Thankfully.

When I saw this week's topic, it immediately brought to mind a bit of internet shorthand that I've seen over the past couple of years. The letters are FML. I had no idea what that meant the first (second, third) time I read it as a Facebook status. FML. For my love? Friend me, lovely? Friends may like? Faith moves legions? I had no idea. Then someone posted FML after a particularly lengthy rant about a bad relationship and I had to Google it. Do you know what FML stands for?

Fuck my life. 

And I thought to myself-- how can anyone truly feel that way about their life and still keep going? I get that it's usually nothing more than drama and frustration that makes someone type those letters, but when you type it out... whoa. Just looking at it up there on that line all by itself is giving me the creeps. I feel the overwhelming urge to delete the words, lest they foreshadow the future. Superstitious? Yeah, probably. But I grew up with a parent who seemed to live in a perpetual depression, the cloud over her hanging so heavy and dark it shadowed my life, as well. I walked away from that-- survived that-- to go on to have what I consider to be an amazingly happy life. So I have no desire to tempt fate or the gods or even my own brain into believing those words above.  

Maybe there's some truth to the adage that words lose their power the more you say them. That doesn't mean I'm ever going to say that phrase and mean it. Fuck my life. It's like bleeding onto paper, wadding it up and throwing it in a dumpster. Fuck my life. Not life in general, not humanity as a whole, but my own existence. Fuck my life. Everything I am, everything I have achieved, everything that makes me me. I can't even imagine typing those letters much less saying those words. Not even in my darkest depression where thoughts as dangerous as poison seeped into me. Fuck my life? Oh no. Never.

Things suck sometimes. As I wrote in my life lessons post last week, Be Fierce, You Special Snowflake, you have to learn to take what life throws at you, adapt, survive and ultimately thrive no matter what. I don't say that smugly-- I know there are situations that could bring me to my knees in a heartbeat and I'm grateful for the guardian angel or lucky charm or whatever karma or deity keeps me healthy, happy and blessed with a good life. But I have been through tough times-- and yes, I've said, "This sucks"-- only to come out the other side feeling stronger.

(In Long Kiss Goodnight, Geena Davis plays Samantha Caine, an amnesiac mom who is really a deadly secret agent named Charly Baltimore. Did she say, "Fuck my life"? Probably. But then she kicked ass, killed the bad guys, saved her daughter and lived happily ever after.)

I know there are people in this world who have a legitimate reason to say FML. I also know that they don't say it. The ones who are truly living in a hellish world, whether due to external circumstances such as war or internal circumstances such as terminal illness, are not the types to say, "Fuck my life." They're survivors. And that's what I always hope to be, regardless of what life throws my way: a survivor. 

(Speaking of survivors, I have a shiny new ebook out this week. Mammoth Book of Erotica Presents Skin Deep: The Best of Kristina Wright is a collection of six of my stories from previous editions of the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica series edited by Maxim Jakubowski. The title story, "Skin Deep," is about a chance encounter between a heart transplant recipient and a breast cancer survivor. It's one of my favorite stories ever.)


  1. I know internet shorthand that probably describes your mindset better: YOLO

    You only live once (usually shouted before running like a madman into a WOW raid you know you can't win)

    (not that I know about such things)

    I'm glad you made a distinction between chronic depression and "this is a bad moment in my life" depression. Many people don't understand that. But I suspect a lot of writers do.

  2. I feel much the same way about that phrase—I both cringed and experienced shock when I learned what it stood for.

    Thanks for this perspective, and big hugs.

    And congrats on your ebook release! :)

  3. Kathleen, I'm embarrassed to admit I had to look up YOLO, too. ;-) But yes, that's probably a better motto for me.

    As for depression, I think anyone who has experienced real depression knows that it's an entirely different animal than the having a bad day blues.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Em. I experienced that phrase as almost a physical slap. I'm glad I'm not alone in finding it disturbing.

  5. Hey, Kristina!

    Congratulations on your new release - and on another kick-ass blog post! (The Long Kiss Goodnight should be required viewing for women who feel helpless about their lives.)

    I'd never encountered FML before, and I can't say I'm sorry. Sometimes I get melodramatic and say things that might sound similar. Those are moments we all go through. They pass.

    Still, I know some people who really _do_ hate their lives, and yet, from where I sit, I don't see them doing anything to change what they hate. Very difficult for me to understand.

  6. I was in FML mode about two years ago here but I've gotten better. That is a powerful phrase.

    I'm interested in your book. I didn't know Mammoth made Best Of editions. I'm going to pick up a copy.

    These days you;re always hearing about the health benefits of buying food locally grown. I'm applying that to my reading since picking up Lisabet's "Bangkok Noir" and enjoying the experience of reading an exciting book by an author I know and can actually talk to about the book. I'm going to start "reading locally" and pick up your book.

    Does anybody know where I can also buy a copy of "Gaijin" by Remittance Girl? I can't find it anywhere!


  7. Garce - maybe it's only available directly from her. You could ask her.

    Kristina - I hadn't heard of FML either. Maybe it should be changed to "Please make love to my life" or some such thing, lol. I also hadn't heard that Best New Erotica produces single-author collections. Congratulations! It's hard enough for most of us to get one story into one edition!

  8. Garce ~ I love the idea of "reading locally." Thank you!

    The way I understand it, there will be more mini ebooks of the Mammoth Book stories (compiled from previous editions), but they initially asked the most frequent contributors to participate in this first run. I was pleasantly surprised to be included-- I didn't realize how many of my stories had appeared over the years. I love the Mammoth books!