Candid conversation…

It’s about the elephant in the room…the one no one wants to talk about:

depressionDepression and mental health.

Why is that?

I discovered the answer last night while driving and trying to determine which road to choose…drive into a telephone pole, or make my way down to the Ottawa River.

It’s because no one knows what to say.

True story.

For the people who just don’t understand, I like to call the “purple painted ponies pooping butterflies jacked up on Sugar Smacks” community:

“I don’t honestly know what that’s like. If there’s something I can do, please ask, otherwise, know I’m thinking of you and support you in the journey to find yourself in a better place.” (Because…we all have to own our shit…find resources if we need them…that kind of thing)

For the people who know someone who knows someone with a mental health issue:

“I’ve seen much more commentary about mental health in the news, but alas, I’m not sure what would be productive to say that you might find helpful or reassuring, but I get how it affects a whole family.”

For the people who know mental health issues a little more closely…say, a relative, friend or loved one:

“I just want you to know that I love ______ about you.” And maybe they’ll send you a funny meme on Facebook.

For the people who *know*:

“Dude, I will Thelma & Louise right there with you, but it’s not the way this story is gonna play out, so let’s have ice cream instead.” And they sure as shit send you a  Dr. Who meme on Facebook.

My husband didn’t bat an eyelash last night when I told him. I don’t think I know 100% how to take that, other than the obvious, “No, you wouldn’t have.” Which is entirely true.

But the fact remains that I wanted to. Neglecting to recognize the underlying emotion that fuels such a statement is akin to building a home without a foundation…you’ll still sleep at night, but the need remains for something warm and comfortable in order to provide for a quality of life.

Right now, I’m at a place in my life where the pros and cons of sustaining cellular activity are pretty much on even keel.

MY duty, my responsibility…is to find the resources to help me attain better coping skills and more appreciation for those pros…

There is no such thing as thinking I’m “entitled” to sit on my pity pot and have caring, kind people dote on me the commentary required to get off it. That’s MY job. And, I strive to promote awareness and contribute to the health community to ensure that I am actively participating in my own self care and those of others around me. I’ve also taken many steps in order to augment my own personal health situation…I’ve quit smoking (coming up to two years in March)…I’ve joined the gym…I’ve undertaken to complete a Chartered Herbalism program that will enable me to add another, holistic, means of care to my health team.

Your mission, should you choose to accept being a friend, a colleague or loved one, is to figure out which community of thought you think you’re coming from, and SAY something.

Ignorance is not bliss.

I’m doing my part. I need help, and I need it in the form of acknowledging that my emotions matter…whether you would choose to think in that same manner or not.

Differing thought processes should never invalidate the thoughts/ideas/emotions of another.

Simply put: “I love you.” “I’m hearing you.” “I care.”

13 responses to “Candid conversation…

  1. Reminds of the quote “She’s standing on a line between giving up and seeing how much more she can take”. I always say that there are plenty of people out there fighting for lupus, but if I get the chance to be a voice for a cause it would be depression. It is so misunderstood…. people think because I post happy pictures and statuses and I get up every morning and dress and cook, well I can’t really be depressed. Depressed people lay in bed and look miserable all day. They don’t understand that last week while cutting up vegetables I thought, if I went upstairs and swallowed all those pills this would all be over and how wonderful would it feel not to feel this pain. And for a split second or two the idea was blissful. I fight depression, I make conscious decisions to do so, I’ve learned how to recognize signs and what to do. And one of the things that helps is to say it, out loud. To make people aware. If I have the flu, I say so and people offer soup and “do you need anything”. If I am depressed I want to be able to say so, and they can say “I am here” or “want to talk” or offer soup (ok not that last one, I really hate soup 🙂 ). My hope is one day depression will get to hang out with the flu, and cancer, and lupus, and addiction, and eating, and all the rest and stop being the leprosy of today.

  2. Dear the best I can say is what was said to me.
    If it comes to that we will discuss it.
    You know how close I’ve been. Its not new to me.
    You better know how much I love you, and will always honour you. .
    If you ever need anything just ask. Other them baby sitting your hockey team you’ve got it.
    Now I just need to find a chocolate Tardis.
    Hugs dear

  3. We have to talk about these”taboo” feelings. So. Very important and so many of us yes us meaning me as well suffer depression. Life is a precious precious gift and we know that it can change in the drop of a hat throwing our own life into complete unknown turmoil. When my dark cloud could not be cleared I spoke to my doctor, best thing I ever did!! Hugs to. You

  4. When I shared your post on my Facebook page I may have gotten a bit ranty. The idea that someone, in THIS world where diagnosis of mental illness seems to be increasing exponentially, that in this world someone can say with honesty that they are not touched in some way personally by mental illness; ya well I have to call bullshit on that one. Here you go my friend, here is you coked up, skittle shitting unicorn. Enjoy!
    Now for the rest of us, those that were given razor blade slides instead of rainbows, I’m sitting right there with you when you are trying toile that choice: pole or lake?
    Each time I by chance make it home instead, what a joy it would be to have someone say, “I’m glad you came home, thank you, I love you .”
    If given the choice to give up any of my chronic illnesses, I always pic the depression/bipolar over the lupus, the fibro, the EDS or the rest. Here is why: depression is a seeming endless blackhole. It’s infinite pain just keeps getting worse. Physical pain? It’s finite. If it gets really bad I can get a shot or I’ll pass out.
    Alas, I’ve gone on too long.
    My dear: I hear you, I get you, I care. I am far but easily found. I can even shut up if you need me to.

    • “…coked up, skittle shitting unicorn…”

      Omfg…if THAT didn’t just make my whole fookin’ month, I don’t know what would.

      That, my dear ally-against-skittle-shitting-unicorns…deserves it’s own mutha freakin’ t-shirt. xoxo

      Well said, Jules…well said.

  5. I do understand that there are days when you’re seriously tempted to choose to call it quits. I understand because, unfortunately, I’ve been there. I’m so thankful that you chose to go home. You offer a lot to the world, my friend. I hope that you will reach out and ask for support or a listening ear when you feel you need it. You might be surprised at the response. Hugs and much love.

    • I think I’ve been greatly underestimating that level of response…if taking a chance on this post has shown me anything, it’s just that. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and support…it helps that people have read this for what it is…not a pity party, not a Whine-1-1…just bringing awareness to validate a very common emotional state. xoxo

  6. Hits way too close to home. You wrote this with the courage that I wish I had when it comes to confronting this demon. Both family and personal struggles with mental healthhave been hard especially when said family doesn’t want to see it in themselves or others. Thankfully I do have some people around me who may not understand or understand too well and can be there when I need it. Thank you for being the voice of those who are either too afraid to speak or can’t for many reasons. xoxo

  7. Pingback: Why talking matters… | Lupus Interrupted

  8. Pingback: How hidden triggers help validate… | Lupus Interrupted

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *