Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"I'm Fine"

A friend of mine tweeted something really significant - something that stood out and made me think about my own situation. She wrote, "I wonder if self-help authors are as happy as they tell us we should be." If you think about it, self-help authors are the ones who have either been through or perhaps even still going through trouble in order to help those who are struggling. For instance, (and I bring this analogy up a lot), it's like someone who has never touched a drink in their life directing an AA meeting. They have no clue what the hell they're doing other than give "happy-go-lucky-you-can-do-it" advice without the pain, the willpower, the intense craving of wanting just one drink...and then another. For me, when I write about anxiety attacks and depression, I tell people what I do in order to feel better for that time being, or what I do to just keep me alive for just another hour, another night, another week. When it works, I give advice. So, 'this' worked for me, let me share it with you. "I've been there" sounds much better than, "Oh, that must suck", when trying to help someone who may be suicidal. I have a very young reader of mine who came to me recently. This handsome 15 year old who has his whole world in front of him cries all. the. time. Nobody understands him. Nobody wants to help him. There is something comforting about speaking to someone who's been there before - someone who 'gets it'. The pain, the agony, the tears - every second seems like an hour when you're in a dark depression after the intense anxiety shit storm. I have fired many therapists for 'not getting it' -- they were too textbook, blaming everything and my mother for the problems that only I'm accountable for. No one is responsible for my happiness. This therapist believes otherwise. When you feel like you're the only one going through such a "crazy phase" as we think it is --- we somehow put in our minds that we're outcasts; we're "crazy", and that right there is enough to set us over the edge. We worry about judgment, fitting in, acceptance, being loved, being safe, feeling comfortable, and when those things shatter into little pieces all over the floor, our stability within ourselves seems to just fall apart with it. "Why live?"

Yesterday afternoon, while dealing with my own panic and fear, I decided to just relax, put on a movie and call it a day. Oddly enough, I found The Snake Pit, a film made in 1948. It was about a woman who found herself in an insane asylum and cannot remember how she got there. Although the film was kind of predictable, it showed all the fears she went through and what the other inmates feared too, advising her not to tell people that "she thought she was fine". To indicate "I'm much better now" meant that she was absolutely out of her mind to the staff. It was better left unsaid rather than any progression revealed.  Isn't that what we do now? Isn't it better to convince people that we're "okay" and meanwhile, inside, we're dying. Last week while chatting with my friend who bartends at our local bar & grill, we started talking about depression and how one of the waitress's mother was in another country, calling her up at the restaurant saying, "I'm gonna kill myself," for the umpteenth time. And while every suicidal blurb should be taken very seriously, there is some truth to watching out for the silent ones - the ones who don't say one thing before offing themselves. You usually hear, "I never knew he/she was even depressed!" And sadly, that happens more often than not. Nothing was revealed. They simply stated, "I'm fine." A smile to hide the tears. A joker to hide the pain. A carefree spirit living a life full of fear and depression. Look deeper into someone when they tell you, "I'm fine." Don't know who quoted this but I love it: "Even the most beautiful rainbows can be colored with broken crayons." If you or someone else is depressed, never feel like you're "crazy" for talking it out or coming to someone in fear of judgment. In most cases, they can relate. You're not alone. I suffer through it, and I know many others who do. I do not believe those who haven't been there can help - that's just my opinion and experience. But in some way or another, haven't we all felt the pain of life? Haven't we all at some point in our lives just felt like giving up or found ourselves crying for hours when no one was around? If you are just at the end of the rope, please call 1-800-273-8255. If you don't feel comfortable talking over the phone, you can chat with someone live if you click here. People DO want to help. Just talk it out. --P.S. Stay.

Please take a moment, listen to the lyrics of this beautiful song, written by The Beatles and sung beautifully by Sarah McLachlan. Click here if you can't view this video. It's a beautiful song.

 

This post is dedicated to two special people who have been coming to me for advice. You know who you are. Stay.

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For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!