A Little Of Topic

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When I created this blog, I had intended to use for purely geeky purposes. To talk about my favorite things, to show my newest autograph, make book reviews and more.

There’s something very personal in my life, that I never planned to bring here. It’s something that I don’t really talk about. Recent activities online have brought up some things for me. If others are helping to erase the stigma, then by God, I am going to do my part too. Every small step adds up, right?

I have depression. (Oh, and anxiety/social anxiety, and panic attacks. Awesome, huh? *eye roll*)

And I have had it since I was 16, so half of my life. I go through periods of good, when all is smooth sailing. Then I have periods of darkness, where I either feel major self hate, or numb. Both are awful. Both are nothing but hell.

Actor Jared Padalecki started the ‘Always Keep Fighting’ campaign, helping to bring awareness to mental health and slowly helping to break the stigma. Seeing someone like him, in the spotlight with millions of eyes on him, talk about his own battles made me feel like I am not so alone in this.

A couple of days ago he caused some worry for his legions of fans, myself included, when he tweeted that he had to go home and see his family, and “I need all the love I can get right now. Please give me a few seconds of your time and write me. #AlwaysKeepFighting.”

With so much talk about depression and mental health online lately, and seeing Jared do so much, it made me realize how much I hide my depression. I don’t tell many people about it. I don’t talk to anyone about it when I am going through a rough patch.

Why?

Because of ignorance. I have had shitty comments made to me over the years, which is why I started hiding that part of me. It’s funny how if a physical part of you is broken, people give sympathy or come to try and help you. But if it is something they can’t see, it is a whole other story. They turn their back, either not understanding or not knowing what the hell to do.

I’m not keeping quiet anymore.

I am not a person who should be ashamed or be made to feel bad for something I CAN’T HELP.

If you suffer from depression or another form of mental illness, don’t feel embarrassed. Don’t hide like you have something that is a dirty little secret. I’m no longer hiding. And if someone has an issue with that, if someone can’t deal, then it is their problem, not mine.

And if you don’t have depression, anxiety or whatnot, be careful what you say to others. Educate yourself.

Here are a few things said to me over the years.

“What do you have to be sad about anyway?”

Do you think I like feeling like this? Yes, I have a good life. I’m part business owner of the salon I work in. I’m a published author. I have a loving mother (and father, RIP), a fiance who loves me. I’m healthy, I have friends (not a lot, but I’d rather a small number of loyal friends then a bucket full of fake ones.) Could certain things in my life be better? Sure. But my life is good. That has no bearing on my depression.

“Why can’t you just be happy?” 

Do you think I like waking up, feeling ‘numb’ for days and weeks on end? Feeling nothing. Or do you think I like waking up, having what I call a good day, and by noon or the evening my internal frame of mind has taken a complete turn? Feeling good one minute and literally like hell the next? Nobody wakes up and decides to be depressed.

“If you were down why didn’t you just call/email/text?”

Okay so that isn’t exactly a shitty thing, however, odds are of reaching out are slim to none. People who are depressed feel as if they are a burden, myself included. If I was just having a blue day and needed some fun, sure I will get in touch. But if it’s something deeper, I won’t be the one going to you. My inner dialogue? “He/she has their own shit pile, no need to bother them with this.”

“There are people worse off then you.” 

Yes, I know that. And thanks for the added guilt, as if I wasn’t feeling shitty enough. Thank you for making me feel bad about something I can’t control.

“Well it could be worse.”

True. But spend ten minutes inside my head during a dark period and maybe you will understand my personal hell.

“You don’t look depressed.” 

You don’t look ignorant.

The stigma in regards to mental health needs to stop. If you suffer from something, please get help if you need it. If you don’t suffer from depression, please have some love and compassion for the people in your life who do. You have no idea what another person is thinking or feeling. Please don’t judge. (I think it is safe to say that everyone should follow that golden rule.)

I could say a lot more on the topic, and I probably will another day. These are just some of the random things going through my head the last few days. No matter what you suffer from, you are NOT alone.

Always Keep Fighting.

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4 thoughts on “A Little Of Topic

  1. Glenn

    Very interesting reading this, and I’ve spoken with our mutual friend at length RE: this topic.

    I’m a writer. I identify myself as such, and no longer call myself an ‘aspiring’ writer. I’m a writer, just not a published one.

    As a writer, I am an interesting duality of oppositional forces. I described it to “D” as being equal parts crippling self-doubt and supreme arrogance. That’s a very schizophrenic soup already, before you add in the fact that I’ve battled moderate to severe depression since my teens…and it gets worse every year. Harder to ignore. To control. And I’m loathe to reach for the happy pills, afraid as I am to what they may do to my neuro-chemistry

    The point (or question, since I don’t really have a point), is:

    Are creative types more prone to depression, ORRR….is depression the gasoline that fuels the creative engine?

    I would argue that (most) comedy stems from very dark places. Man getting hit in ‘nads with object is as universally funny now as it was when the 3 Stooges were popular…but at the end of the day, we’re laughing at somebody’s physical pain. Similarly, most popular sitcoms take a character, put them in a bad situation and then pile on and make their situation worse. Hilarity inevitably ensues…

    The question is interesting in a chicken/egg sense, isn’t it? And I’m not sure of the answer. In bad times, I need to remember to write…it’s my medicine. It helps this void-y angsty guy shrouded in grey write his way back into the light.

    writing (creative writing) is extremely cathartic for me that way, and it allows me process a lot of raw emotions that would ordinarily have me cowering in my chair.

    One last point: as a man with depression, I think that there are societal and gender double-standards about what being a man is that make “coming out” less accepted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown up my emotional guts (on someone’s Jimmy Choo’s) only to be told to “nut-up.”

    Great post
    +1

    Liked by 1 person

    • bear1982

      Hi!! Thanks for your great message. I have so much to say I don’t know where to start!
      First of all: yes, you are a writer. You don’t need to be published to call yourself one. There are the odd snobby writers out there who think you do. But I say stuff em! If you sit down and write, no matter if it is poetry or fiction or non-fiction, then yes you are a writer. And don’t let anyone else tell you different! 🙂
      You are so right! We’ve discussed this at my writer’s group once. Being a writer, you go through two very different things. The self doubt, the “oh my God what garbage did I create?!” and the “Look what I did! I just wrote THIS!” and you feel good about it. I think a lot of writers go through that. I think we all go through the self doubt. And yes, my depression plays a factor too.
      When I am severely depressed, I can’t write. Literally. It’s like the gears have come to a full stop. I also have no drive for it or passion. It gets put to the back burner. But if I am not too low, writing helps. I need to get back into journalling because I find that helps me A LOT. It keeps the gears going, slowly but surely.
      That is a fantastic question. Look at the writers who have suffered over the years. I agree, a lot of comedy stems from pain, both physical and emotional. I think I have to go with you on this: it’s like the chicken and the egg scenario. I do think that there is some sort of connection. Depression can hit anyone but it seems like so many creative types suffer from it. That’s something I will be pondering. And I think it is great you write to get back to the light. I think I need to try that more often.
      I also agree with you 100% that there are sociatial and gender based double standards when it comes to men suffering. I can see someone being ignorant enough to make that comment to you. I have had my fair share of comments made to me over the years. The ones I mentioned here are just the tip of the ice burg. There is such a huge stigma and negative image in general and so I can see even more of that put on men who suffer from it as well. I think generations of “men don’t cry” being shoved down society’s throat is a big part of that.
      Thank you, I’m glad you thought it was great. 🙂

      Like

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