Tuesday, May 24, 2011

As A Formerly Depressed Person . . .

There are issues. Issues you would not think of. But most certainly, issues. I'm going to let you in on some of them right now. These are only my experiences, but  since I’m the one recovering from depression I can totally poke fun at the absurdities of that process. And getting sane?  Totally insane.

The majority of my days, since being properly medicated, are normal (read: insane) just like yours. But since I was mentally checked out of life for 2 + years, I sometimes forget that this kind of insanity is the good kind. Follow?

 Issue #1 Celebrities.
Listen, no, just listen. Shut. UP. Unless you are really going to be honest, unless you were actually depressed, then you need to shut your pie hole. Kendra? Painting one’s toe nails does not cure PPD/Depression. You weren't aware of that? Really?? You mean Dr. Drew didn't fill you in on that? Wow. Shocker. Let me enlighten you: fitting into your Playboy Bunny costume and getting a mani/pedi does not magically alleviate PPD/depression. But thanks so much for putting that out there.

I clicked on over to a link about Gwyneth one day, hopeful to hear that she was speaking about her fight with depression. The interview left me wondering if she had PPD or needed a really deep conversational topic to discuss. But I did know what kind of jeans she was wearing and what she was eating, and it did mention her 'blog' Goop. I went over there, seriously hoping to find more about her struggle. What I found was the exact same dialogue. Exact. Word for word. The same sanitized version of the story. However, beneath this Purell washed story there was a contribution by Bree Howard Dallas. It was earth shattering. This is what should be shared. Click here for her story. It's truly amazing.

 I'd also like to send out a big thank you to Tom Cruise and all his spewing about natural living and no meds.  You see, I tried his ‘cure’ of exercise and good diet, and huh, it didn't work.  Tom’s ‘all natural’ approach is great for some, yes. But I will seriously knock out the next person who says to me, “Didn’t  you work out? Because I’ve heard so many people talk about how working out and eating whole foods totally cured them!”

Catherine Zeta Jones is seeking treatment for manic depression right now and I seriously could not be more pleased to know that she is 1) seeking help and 2) putting a strong face on the poster for manic depression. However, I haven’t heard what she has to say about it yet, so I reserve the right to yank this statement back so fast you’ll get rug burn.

Issue # 2 The Crazy In My Head
Every mom has days that completely fall apart.  I have three kids and if I get them out the door in the morning dressed and not stinking of some foul body odor, well, I rock. But the crazy in my head says: OMG I had a fight with my husband this morning and I went to the grocery store and forgot to get milk and I still haven’t showered and gah! I didn't get the chicken out for dinner! And now it’s the witching hour and the kids are rabid raccoons on crack and my husband is coming home and he’s like Fun Bobby (from Friends) when he comes home and I.can’t.do.this. Does this mean I’m going back to the nervous hospital??

Yeah. But then I take a deeeep breath and perhaps have a glass of wine,  and remember that all the crazy I’m looking at is normal. It’s sane insanity. And hopefully I've done this little freak out only in my head, or on the phone to a great friend, and we
can totally laugh about it.  Because seriously, how can I not laugh?

Issue #3 Kind People
I've put my story out there. I really have. I mean, I blog about it, under my name, put it on my Facebook page, etc. I am open and honest about what I went through and what my family went through.  The kindness that has been extended to me, to my family over the past years is astounding. And the support I receive now is encouraging and so heart felt.

What isn't?:  “Oh, depression? My cousin had that. She killed herself.”
Seriously? Did you just . . . ?
Or, how about: “You went in to the hospital twice. Huh. I’m not that bad. I mean, I’m just sad, not like . . . Crazy.”
Yeah, keep talking and I’ll show you crazy.
And my favorite: “You’re husband didn't divorce you? ”
No, no he did not. We took these things, called marriage vows, where we promised to love each other for better or worse, in sickness and in health. This was my sickness. This was my for worse. He didn't go off and have an affair. He didn't leave me. He stuck by me because he is an amazing man and we.took.vows before God. Hello? But did you actually just say this to me?

I can't make this crap up. All of this, every single thing I just wrote has been said to me. I can totally laugh about it, because seriously, that's some pretty messed up and funny stuff. But if you know somebody who is recovering from depression? Don't say it.  Give them a hug. Say, "I'm sorry you had to go through this. You're strong and it will get better."