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Depression: Observations and Helpful Information from a fellow blogger October 29, 2014

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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Oh, People.  There is so much misinformation about depression.  People are not well informed at all.  And when they speak without any personal experience, and I mean experience from their own head and body, I just want to scream “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!”  And then the expletives try to escape my clenched teeth. I want to know how a person gets qualified, without any personal experience, to write things, or create projects, that are utter nonsense, and claim that they are knowledgeable AND that they are actually helping people cope with, and overcome depression.  So does my fellow blogger.  Give the article your attention, and share with a friend who suffers from depression.  They’ll thank you.

I don’t feel qualified to speak.  But I have a regular mood swing that I’m aware of.  Sometimes.  Other times it sneaks up on me.  I don’t really notice when I’m feeling happy, because that feels normal.  I don’t usually notice that I’m becoming depressed.  Usually other people notice it for me.  So I don’t even understand it.  I only know when I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because it feels pointless at best and counter productive at worst.  Even then, if you asked me if I was depressed I’d say, “I’m not depressed because I’m depressed; I’m depressed because life is depressing.”  Sometimes life’s circumstances are fine and tolerable, other times they pile up on top of me and try to crush me.  But, truth telling here, I regularly do feel what other people say is depression; it’s just never been professionally diagnosed or treated.  I’m fairly high-functioning, because I force myself.  And I recently learned it has a name.  Mine is called “Cyclothymia.”  But no one except my family and close friends ever feel it or notice.

Fortunately my mood swings aren’t that high or low.  I don’t feel the urge to take drastic measures against my depression or myself.  But if I had the money I’d be a hermit, or stay in bed for a month or two at a time, and then come out for a month or two, and see if anything had changed.  If you feel any kind of self-destructive urges, please wait.  Before you do anything to yourself, or to anyone else, read the article I’m linking here and call someone for help.

Here for your information, and hopefully help, is the blog article link by my friend and fellow blogger hmills96 :

 http://ilayreading.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/you-cant-just-shake-off-depression/

I confess, music actually does help me sometimes, when I feel depressed.  But when the music fades, or when I don’t want to hear it, it doesn’t.  As a Christ Follower, I routinely go to church.  They have music there, that is meant to encourage people.  But there are times when the supposedly supportive words of the songs, and sermons, are complete and utter nonsense to me because they don’t match or help with my situation.  Sometimes when I’m forcing myself to go to church I want to walk out because the message or the music just makes me feel more alone and depressed than when I went in.  It’s not supposed to.  It’s supposed to be real, supportive and encouraging but sometimes, my best therapy is Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Metallica, or Kiss, moreso than “Jesus Loves Me, or any more modern chorus.

In the morning chaos, I loathe morning radio shows where they fake their laughter and enthusiasm.  I found a classical music station for that.  It’s the same at a church where friendship is faked, or where they fail to reach out.  There’s some of that fakery in any church.  I haven’t found a really good, good friend at my church yet, but I’d recommend anyone to go there.  I don’t think it’s their fault.  They do try hard, I give them credit.  I think its that maybe I don’t understand them, or trust them.  I hope I can find a real friend there soon.  I’ve been going there for a few years now.  He’s right under my nose, but I’m not seeing him:  The buddy I can really be real with, who won’t try to fix my attitude with some spiritual sounding antidote.  I don’t want to hear, “You can do it, pull yourself out of your own funk by your own mental bootstraps,” or “God loves you, why can’t you understand that?”  I want the person to just be there for me.  To pray for me.  To pray with me.  Maybe to have a beer with me.  And you anti-alcohol nay-sayers, look up Martin Luther, the reformer guy in your church history books.  He’d have been an awesome friend.  And Ben Franklin, and Sam Adams, if you don’t like European history.  There’s this one guy at church, who actually did pray with me and I think he actually cared while I was in the last big crisis.  I think we need to hang out some time off the grid, while I’m not SO down.

Sometimes what I need, I think, is time, without having to face chaos and obligation.  It’s a rare moment I can escape from the stress of what HAS to be done into what I want to do.  And failing the time to actually escape, sometimes, occasionally, what helps is a good stiff beverage, I confess.  One is not going to hurt, unless it leads to the next, and the next.  Some people can’t handle alcohol, because for them it becomes destructive.  It’s not a real escape, it’s only temporary.  I would just about kill to have time and money to do what I want.  I admire people with the courage to just do what they want and not care about the consequences, especially when they land on their feet and get away with it, and find enough money somewhere, somehow, to support themselves.

What I need is not a new drug, or an old drug.  What I need is a non-drug remedy that will help me reach a breakthrough.  I think for me it may be money so I can be in control, time to do what I need to do AND what I want to do, and true, lasting friendship.  If you’re rich enough to tell me that money doesn’t help, send me a bunch, and let me find that out for myself.  For others it may be the voice on the other end of the phone, who has lived through it and understands.  If you don’t have what you need, and can’t figure out what the remedy might be, don’t be too proud to call for help.

Thank God, my wife notices.  She’s just there for me, and she doesn’t try to fix anything.  I don’t have to say anything, but she listens when I do.  And she knows she doesn’t have to listen, but she does.  That’s why she’s my best friend, and that’s why I married her.  When I need help, there are times I don’t want to have to call for help.  And when I don’t want to call for help, but she knows I need it, she’s there.  When I’m ready to call for help, I have a few guys.  One is from High School, Mike.  One is from a job I had long, long ago, named Mark.  Sadly, not one from seminary where I finished that Masters degree.  And that one guy at church who seems real, named Rich.  Mike and Mark are the best friends I could ever ask for, and I know they would let me vent, and show me they cared, if I needed to.  Three of my fellow writer friends, and a guy from Boy Scouts are pretty good, lately.  So maybe that’s all I really need.  If you can find a friend like that, hold on.  If you can’t and you need help, call one of the people on the list in HMills96’s blog.  Or write to me.

I don’t have any answers, and if you need medical help you should try it.  But I’ll be a friend and I’ll try to be encouraging.  My praying for other people usually works better than my praying for myself.

There are so many writers and artists who have historically suffered from depression that didn’t end well.  Robert Howard, whose work I adore.  Sylvia Plath.  Don’t be one of those.  Don’t let yourself get to their depth without reaching out for help.  The world at large will try to crush you under the weight of their stupidity.  It IS their fault, because it is what they do.  But a corner of the world needs your presence- your gifts, your personality, you.  I can’t do this alone.  I listed a bunch of people who are my support system.  Even introverted me; I have a handful of people.  Reach out.  People who care, genuinely, can help, or encourage, or just be there for you too.  They are there.  You can find them.

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Comments»

1. Loenzo - November 3, 2014

Well written Michael. My wife and I have been down the same road. FYI, we are joining the Lutheran Church because of the down to earth attitudes of the great Martin Luther.


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