Posts Tagged ‘stress’

La tristesse durera toujours

“La tristesse durera toujours”


My not-so-secret secret



For the better part of 15 years now, I’ve dealt with mild to severe depression. It comes and goes seemingly randomly. I haven’t been able to pin-point the triggers and haven’t made much progress in controlling it. I don’t deal well with medication and I’m not big on talking, so the counseling angle is never very appealing. Usually, the episodes are around 2 weeks long and then fade and everything goes back to normal (which is probably still depressed, but manageable). For the last 8 months or so, however, it’s been more of a constant weight with some time-spans dipping into the severe range for extended periods. I think it’s time for me to get some help, but taking that first step is the hardest part.

What the last 8 months has shown me, however, is that most people in my life don’t even notice, or at least don’t get what is going on. And that makes it worse. Am I really that much of an asshole on a regular basis, that when things get really bad in my head, outwardly I’m not all that different? Those that do notice, tend to say the worst possible things that they could to a depressed person. I’m sure it stems from misunderstanding and a feeling of being unable to know what to do, but these are a few things that, at least from my perspective, should never be said to, or around, a depressed person:

  • “Cheer up!” – That is one phrase, above all others, that makes just want to punch someone in the throat.
  • “He’s grumpy today” – Grumpy? Talk about trivializing. Ugh.
  • “He’s just being a dick today” – Yeah, while I had headphones on at work (nothing play on them) and a coworker (who is also a close friend) said that to a bunch of folks (including my boss) who were in his cubicle (next to mine).
  • “What’s your problem?” or “Why are you so miserable?” – I’m not going to answer with “I am depressed”. So, my non-answer will just lead to the statements above anyway by my avoiding the question.
  • “Focus on the positive” – If I could do that, I wouldn’t be a depressive. My brain doesn’t allow that.
  • “I’m praying for you” – Just…don’t.

Some suggestions of things that might be somewhat helpful, or at the least not hurtful:

  • “Is there anything I can do to help?” – Probably not, but at least it’s a non-accusatory thing to say.
  • “Sorry that you’re dealing with this.”
  • “I’m here for you if you need anything”
  • Say nothing at all

So, I guess I just wanted this to serve as a reason (not an excuse) for the way I respond (or don’t respond as it were) to the various things that life throws my way. Take it for what it’s worth, or don’t take it. Either is fine. When it’s bad, I internalize. I don’t talk. I don’t want to talk. And trying to make me talk makes it worse. But saying stuff like what is on the first list above should be the very LAST thing anyone should do. But…they still will.

05.14.2009 – Unexpected Downturn

As a matter of background, I guess I should explain that throughout my life I’ve suffered and struggled with depression. Particularly in my early and mid 30’s. Over the last few years I’ve taken HUGE steps in finding ways to live happy and view life in an more positive perspective. But…

You know…I just don’t get it sometimes. Today I am in a really rotten mood and I just should NOT be that way.

I am a HUGE Pittsburgh Penguins fan and last night they eliminated the Washington Capitals from the playoffs to move into the Eastern Conference finals for the 2nd time in 2 years. So, you’d think that today I’d be flying high. Well, it’s quite the opposite really. I’m pretty miserable. My mind is in a million different places today. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of work I have on my plate both here and at home. I feel like there’s not enough time in the day to do the things that HAVE to be done, in order to have the time to do the things I WANT to do.

I think that’s the whole issue. I’m tired of working my life away. I’ve developed a sense of ‘life is short, so enjoy it while you can’ kind of mentality. And now, I just am tired of working all the time. Seems the moments that are enjoyable are so short lived. And even DURING those moments, I can sense in the back of my consciousness that it’s going to over soon and I’ll be back to the same ol’ same ol’ again.

I hate that this post has a huge tone of ‘whiny-ness’ to it. I’ve worked hard over the past few years to eliminate that mentality. But, some days I just have to get it out and sometimes, just getting it out is enough.

I fully expect that tomorrow, or even late today, I’ll be feeling better about things. It’s just disappointing to be still having periods of depression.


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