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The Deal with Depression

Well, come on then. We’re not gonna make it all the way up there if we sit here moping. Oh, don’t you start with me. It’s the same 12 floors we always take. I’ll have none of your complaining. I even wore sneakers. What do you mean you’re too tired?! What about me? I have to carry you all the way up, and down, and out! No. No, we’re not doing this. Not here. You promised!

Here’s the thing about depression. Sure, we’ve heard it all – the devastating effects, the often horrific consequences and the triggers that we think cause it. Something I talk about often is the use of language and how lucky we are to have the knowledge we do.
Despite pervasive stigma, we get to look back at years of experience and research to assist in understanding our problems. Often it’s a look back, to pin point what went wrong. And sometimes it’s too late. It might go like this: “Ooooh, so that’s why I was so listless on that vacation”; “I get it now. That’s why that relationship didn’t work out”; “No wonder I was so shitty at that job, despite giving my all”.
But is it ever enough?

I’m not having any of it. Look, 8th floor. I bet you didn’t even notice how far we’ve come, huh? Told ya so!
You think I like this?! You think I enjoy these one-way conversations? Screaming at you? I don’t see you motivating me to get up in the morning.

So what did I do? I made a deal. No, not with the devil. Although it might seem, or feel that way. No, I made a deal with depression. I listened to advice to personify the problem and then address it as such. Talk to it. Negotiate. Sometimes it’s coddling, other times it’s a furious spurt of anger.
Never the silent treatment. Not anymore. Ask any couple, that shit will go on far longer than you had intended! Most of the time, because it’s never leaving, you just take it by the hand and say, “Let’s go”.
It’s the child you never asked for. It’s the forlorn dog following you home that just won’t take a hint. It’s not cute, but you feel pity for it. Kicking it might make it cower and hide around the corner, but inevitably, it comes back, nipping at your ankles and following dutifully.

I don’t enjoy this any more than you do. I’m with you through all of this. I’ve been here the whole time. Come on, man, you’re wearing me out. No wait, please don’t start crying. What did I say this time?! I’m too tired for this. Here, give me your hand. Stand up. There you go. Want me to carry you again? No, I don’t mind. But please give me a break now and then.
So, what’s it gonna be? Oh, don’t give me lip. Chin up, we’re almost there.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Giving up? Think Again.

Because everyone needs a Wilson Phillips moment. Also, apparently I inadvertently plagiarised this line from Neale Donald Walsche’s Conversations With God. It was probably the 34th book in the series (there aren’t really that many!).  Let me stress, I am not a thief. Maybe it was a coincidence from a conversation with God? But on to more serious things.

In my work, I aim to dispel myths and stigmas as far as possible. I’m really just a man with a mind and a keypad and willing fingers, trying to incite change with words.

Some call me arrogant, outspoken, an asshole and a myriad of other fun names. I don’t care. I wish there were a more eloquent way of stating that. But not caring is as succinctly as I can put it.

Whether it’s LGBTI issues, or my take on politics, I believe that it is important to never shut up, not that I was told to shut up about this issue. Not by anyone other than myself, that is.

Depression is something, and a word that is thrown around so often that people have adopted it as generally as they would a headache. But even that analogy has the migraine with which to contend. However, we have all tossed our heads around and proclaimed “I’m so depressed!” as if it is something that can be cured with a pill and a nap.

I did this too, until I went through it myself. What I never expected was the shame that accompanied it.

An aspect of my personality is that of extremes, with me trying to stay with the positive side of an extreme. I’ve explained this previously, but I try my best to stay sober and happy. That way I won’t veer into the darkness.

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Recently I found myself head first in this darkness. It was not pretty, by any means. My best friend told me that I was a shadow of my former self.  This is something that you never want to hear from someone who knows you inside out.

It was the result of something as simple as a betrayal, yet the effects caught me completely off-guard.

One accusation that was thrown my way by someone during an argument was that I act like a victim, and more specifically, my “victimisation of self is pathetic”. When the offence faded, I was so grateful for this. I looked past the anger and realised that in a situation like I was in, one has two options- fight or flight. I did neither. I stayed and mulled. The darkness descended, enveloped and consumed.

I was a victim because it was easy, and fantastic!  Why fight someone when you can sit there and let others feel sorry for you? Why fight back and exhaust yourself by inciting an ego? So I sat, and it came. The ego came for me, and the darkness came for us.

I recently encountered someone and I found myself in the opposite role. An alcoholic, this person has ruined many lives and expected a chance every single time. After the umpteenth betrayal, he was at the point of being arrested in a scuffle. Skinny me was there and it got ugly very quickly. The hard option was to step back and speak to this person rationally and calm him down while we got his family to safety. I, on the other hand, allowed my own ego to take over and went at him, spewing insults and trying to incite him.

As someone who is not a fighter, and does not believe in fighting, this surprised me as much as anyone else. But here’s the sad part, it felt good. Even now I think back and the feeling at the time was as gratifying then as it is embarrassing now.

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My own experience with depression, which I’ve previously regaled on this blog https://jawonthefloor.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/depression-my-story-idaho-2012/  , has left me wiser and stronger. Yet we are human, and we forget. We all forget.  It is really easy to sit back in the dark and feel a certain way. This is, of course, not to say that people with depression and who attempt suicide should be dismissed. Everyone experiences things differently.

But with this very un-funny post, I would like to remind everyone that as cliché as this is, there is always tomorrow. And if you are thinking of anything extreme, wait a day. That’s all I ask. Wait a full day and take your time and think whatever thoughts you want and go through the motions of what it is you feel you need to do.

But wait a day.

I hope that you too see the sun rising and realise that, wait a minute, what I’m going through is really not that bad; that the world is going on and people actually want me to be happy; that maybe there is someone who can relate to me. And maybe, just maybe, the love of my life is out there, somewhere, in some form, waiting for me.

You are thinking of giving up? Think again. Always think again.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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