Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Black Thoughts and Blue Skies.

www.robot-hugs.com
Today this cartoon appeared on my timeline and I felt so moved by it that I shared it. It's taken from a website called www.robot-hugs.com which you should check out - it really is quite lovely.

I was moved by this because the sentiment in it is so important for those who don't live with depression to understand. It's not always possible for someone with depression to express what is wrong or what they need. I remember my housemates in a shared house at Uni asking me why I was the way I was and being so confused and tearful I just didn't know what to say. It didn't matter how much Rachel harangued me to explain I just didn't know. I still don't really.

Just as one of my other Uni housemates used to play Pink Floyd and lock herself away sometimes and be really excited and happy at other times and we just accepted that was who she was. When she was sad we would be around, but not in her face and when she was manic we'd be carried along by her enthusiasm and rapid fire chat and laughter. I've since found out she has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and this was what we were witnessing, but without any knowledge of it. I like to think we were not a hindrance to her and that she knew it was a safe space to be herself in.

Fuck this shit. I'm going to Narnia
It's not always possible to know what you need to make you feel better. Equally it isn't always easy to know what to offer to do. When my closest friend almost died (actually she technically did die and came back) I went to see her in hospital and I asked what she needed. She said she had everything - her ipad, fruit, etc. I thought for a minute then said, "do you want me to wash your hair ?" She looked so relieved and said, "Yes ! That's just what I need." I'd taken a guess because I remembered being in hospital with my newborn son and just wanting clean hair. It made such a difference.

Sometimes is isn't much, but it's just something. When my first marriage broke up and I moved back to my parents' home I was in a daze. It was a miserable time and I didn't know what I was going to do. My sister was living at home and she came to the room where I was going to sleep and said, "shall I sit with you until you fall asleep ?" I had no idea what I needed or wanted, but at that moment I knew that I didn't want to be by myself. My sister brought in a chair and sat next to my bed in silence. She stayed there in the dark until I nodded off. It was the single most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me.

This is a difficult time of year for so many people. The weight of expectation is so high and we are all supposed to be having a wonderful time. If you aren't full of festive cheer it can be impossible to be around people who are. It's ok to feel sad, or angry, or fed up, or nothing.

If you are around someone who is depressed bear in mind that you may not be able to do anything. Just being there might also be just enough.

blue sky





www.mind.org.uk

www.sane.org.uk

25 comments:

  1. A lovely post (especially the Narnia pic!) with a really important message. It's all too easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about those for who Christmas is a hard time x

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    1. I can't take credit for the pic, but I will find out whose it is as I love it too.
      As someone who has struggled with celebration times in the past I am sympathetic to others who do too xx

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  2. I nodded along with this post! I know exactly those feelings. And i LOVED that i am off to narnia photo :) xx

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    1. Thanks Keri-Anne, it's important to remember not everyone is full of festive cheer isn't it ?

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  3. Thank you Swazi! This is so moving and I thoroughly am in tune with what you say! I don't usually cope with the festive season very well either but acts of kindness like the ones you mention and the one in the cartoon certainly can help enormously with mood at this time of year or anytime! Love and hugs for writing this and I hope you don't mind if I share this on the usual social networks and in my paper.li tomorrow.xxxxxxxxxxxxx Irene Fitzpatrick @Calendulafitz

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    1. Hi Irene,
      Thanks so much for reading and please do share. The most difficult thing I find with depression is talking about it so the cartoon really appealed to me. I hope you have the support you need over this holiday time xxx

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  4. Loved this post.... Sometimes it just takes someone to say it's OK isn't it? As Mammasaurus has said, Christmas is not always a fun time for everyone too!

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    1. Thank you - I guess it's just remembering those who aren't having fun and can't or won't say so or ask for help.

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  5. aww this is so lovely, such an important message too x

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  6. A wonderful post. As a sufferer of depression I know all too well how sometimes it is nigh on impossible to vocalise how you are feeling. Sometimes you just want someone to sit with you and just be there x

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    1. Thanks Louisa,
      Thanks for commenting - it is hard to say when you're really in the midst of depression isn't it ?
      I wasn't able to write about this until I had gotten over the worst of it this time.
      Knowing I have people who care about my wellness makes a massive difference when I'm able to see it xx

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have a number of friends who suffer from depression and it's easy to overlook how they must feel at a time when everyone is supposed to be happy. I love that top cartoon, so lovely!

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    1. Thanks Globalmouse - your friends are lucky to have you and your understanding.
      It's a great cartoon isn't it ? Sometimes simplicity really just does it.

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  8. Great post. As someone who has struggled with depression on and off for over 20 years I get this totally and know that at times one can't explain. Nor might one want to. That 'feeling' just won't go away and to try to explain it could open you up to some judging by others, well-meant expressions of 'Oh it's not all that bad' or being excluded by friends.
    I've felt it a bit recently. No idea why. And have cut myself off a bit to try to protect others. Is this the right way? Dunno. But protecting others from 'me' when I'm like that seems fair on them.

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    1. As you rightly say Spencer it's not easy to explain or understand why. Finding a way to manage it without hurting others has taken me years - I still don't always get it right :) xx

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    2. Protecting others from me - oh I so relate Spen x

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  9. Great post. I think sometimes people try too hard to find answers rather than just turning to acceptance,

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    1. Thank you - it is frustrating trying to explain what you don't understand, just as it must be confusing for those who don't have depression to try and work out what is going on.

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  10. I shed a little tear reading this.I can relate to this so, so much.Thank you for writing this post x

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    1. Thanks Aly (passes tissues) xxx

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  12. Oh that Narnia image is me everyday and just had me belly laughing xx

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