Depression: Five simple things to lessen the impact
In an unrelated parallel, today is 'R U OK?' Day - An initiative to promote a simple check you can do for someone in need, ask them 'Are you OK?' - If it's sincere enough, it would be as though a truth serum. If you're having a 'Bad Day' on Depression, there is a rolling Hurricane cluster-fuck of negative thoughts and someone, with eyes betraying their honest concern, asks you, sincerely 'Are you OK?' and they give you a subtle but comforting smile - you would be howling buckets in this strangers arms.
It's a good idea though, let me not seem satirical, and I have experienced the beauty of these extensions of consideration from passers by.
'Hey buddy, you OK?' A solid built man holding an ice-cream in a cone, with a child next to him. Beaming at life. I was seated, waiting for then girlfriend to finish work.
As a rule my standing face is stern and not impressed. Not intentionally, mostly. I am just constantly thinking and no matter how present you think you seem, something will eventually show on your face.
I am immediately, pleasantly pulled from internal, sea of tangents and assure them, with an inspired sincere smile 'Yeah of course, thanks so much for asking' - the average person suffering from Depression, I would reckon, are the masters of distracting theatrics.
'Sometimes you dunno, a little kindness can go a long way. Have a good night!' They began moving off and waved.
'Thanks guys. Have a good night' I called after them and gave them a cool as fuck peace sign as salutations.
That moment though, after they left, remained with me. A warm glow nestled into my solar plexus and kept a smile on my face for a few minutes. Nothing revolutionary. But I was nicer to my Girlfriend and I was more open to what she was saying. two people positively affected by this one act.
ONE SIMPLE THING to lessen the impact of Depression - these are mostly for people suffering but could give a bit of perspective for those involved with someone who suffers - DON'T FIGHT IT. Be honest with yourself about the situation. If I can retain enough objective awareness when I wake up, before the Hurricane of a 'Bad Day' reaches the shore, I lay down and look up at the roof. Take a couple deep breathes, while I have an internal dialogue (along the lines of) 'Hey buddy, feelin' rough today? Yeah. It's all right man, you're feeling pretty shitty' sit with it for a moment and let it rise up and rise down. Sometimes, for a short period when you're dealing with depression, you can just sit and feel the emotions. These things need to be felt.
In my experience, I have a back log of emotions not dealt with, occurring because of situations I didn't deal with in the way I should have. I was scared and it makes me, now, scared of every moment. Or at least during those 'Bad Days'.
I take a deep breath and sigh it out. 'This is not the worst situation to wake up in, just earlier this year you were considering suicide' take a moment 'So let's be grateful for that and try to get a little stuff done'.
SECONDLY, but I'll be honest this list is likely all over the place, realise that most people don't get it. They can sympathise and give you space when you need it and comfort as required, don't get me wrong. But to understand what it's like to feel this way - to empathise - is difficult at best.
It's not that the rage or tears are due to irrational considerations, it's not a daily struggle with the monster in the cupboard. The concern and fear and anxiety is from a real source but it's not necessarily known what or where this source is. it has nothing to do with how you are living, for the most part, as long as you have food/shelter/willingness to strive - The source is inside.
Your partner probably won't understand but I bet (Don't take me up on the bet, I have no money to replace my mouth with) being comfortable and forgiving of yourself - will generate almost immediate positive response of inner peace. In a relationship (of any kind - between siblings, between parents and their children, between lovers), it can be a monumental effort to see that all the bitterness and disrespect you show others - because fuck them and their stupid shit - is symbolic vomiting of repressed emotion. Or repressed wants. Or one-liners you should have said that would have given you all the adoration you would ever need. Seemingly.
We strike out, because we want to display our pain. Not necessarily to garner an audience, either. We put it on display because if we don't, we're almost certain we will either EXPLODE or imPLODE.
It spins downward in ever-shortening cycles - ending, most often, in tragedy. Or at least attempted tragedy.
Most people won't quite get that. And that's OK. They don't have to. I live with my Old man, just the two of us (Everybody else is spread - globe trotting and nest building ;) ) and he tries, like anyone would, to understand the 'immediate' situation. There is no immediate situation, other than moons high and tides-a-risin' 'THAR SHEE BLOHWS' (not one of those aspects fits a sound analogy but if you look at the pieces you can see they fit the same puzzle...just different iterations). So for the most part, I try not to let him see me when I'm all fucked up - not much he can do but he hates seeing his boy suffering and inspires in him much the same thing that repeats in my head 'How do I fix it?'. I have to take the bad with the good - most days have elements of both. The bad is sometimes dangerous to the safety of others, so stay home.
Be thankful. Really. It's almost that simple. Whether today is your chosen last day on Earth or whether you feel calm at the moment, even if you're already stoked to be here - take a second to just remind yourself - Out of 8.7 million species, I am a fucking Human! Out of 400 Million Sperm I am the one that made it. I am alive during the greatest technological, spiritual and socially progressive time this side of the Ice Age. I have access to the vastness of Human knowledge, in sound and image form via the Internet. The mundane Caterpillar transforms into a kick-arse Butterfly. EVERYTHING grows from the unassuming seed. Ronda Rousey Arm barred an opponent in 14 seconds. If I can just be thankful for one thing though, it's that I'm alive. And I wouldn't choose to be anybody else. Except maybe Johnny Depp.
Don't do it out loud, near by listeners may not warmly welcome the abundant profanity.
Fundamentally and, due to the length of this post as well as my waning presence, finally - Love yourself. Love me. Love You. Love I. Love us. Love we. All the same shit. There is no you without I, or them without us. Be caring and kind to the only person you will ever be. As someone much wiser than I but whose name is forgotten so no kudos to them said 'Be your own best friend' - take yourself out on a date. Set a goal or promise and fulfil it. Give while you can because when you are down, others will give regardless of your wanting.
Blessed be the Moon people that created round objects and cheese.
- Ryan Dickinson, refuses to proof read.