A Touching Video about Depression

Here is the link to the video.  I couldn’t figure out how to embed it.

http://mashable.com/2016/04/15/irish-man-depression-video/#fyktPfNU9qqy

I just wanted to share this video.  You might have seen it already.  It is a moving video of a man who bravely shares his depression journey on Facebook.  Through tears, I watched him talk about his silent struggle with depression and the double life he maintained in front of his friends and family.  I think almost anyone who has suffered from depression could innately connect to something he said in that video.  Moreover, seeing the amount of people who have seen and shared this video, it made be realize that we are more connected than we think sometimes.

Not to diminish the courage and power of the message displayed in this video, but after watching it, I also had some other thoughts.  Why did it go viral?  At first, I thought his message was similar to one I might have shared with my family and closest friends.  What made his message different?

Than it hit me.  It was so courageous because he shared such a vulnerable moment with everyone. When you think about it, on Facebook, you might not only have friends that are close family and friends, but also acquaintances, and people you are coworkers with.  Imagine yourself being able to do that.  That takes courage.  I mean, I think sharing your vulnerability with anyone takes courage.  Plus, since he shared it on the internet, he has basically almost shared it with everyone.

Secondly, it also made me realize that just because I have a safety net of close family and friends that I have heard my depression story, there are still many people who have might have little exposure to depression.  This video put a face on an illness where many still suffer in silence.

More importantly, it has given me a even a bit more courage to open up and to talk to others more about my depression.  Even though, the existence of this video, makes me think that the stigma still exists and that we have some ways to go before we can talk about depression openly.  This video gave me hope that more people will understand depression and be able to have honest conversations about it.

On the other hand, I also think that you shouldn’t feel discouraged that you haven’t reached a place where you can talk about it.  Everyone’s journey to healing is different.

Thanks for reading.  🙂

 

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Sometimes We Gain More From What We Lose

Ever feel like the world is against you.  I feel like I was having one those weeks.  Out of the blue, I had a bit of a meltdown at work, which rarely happens with me.  Then, going to work became stressful because all I worried about was that I would have another meltdown.

Then, to “put the cherry on top”, more like a sour and bitter cherry, I went and lost a sentimental piece of jewellery from my partner.

I was completely devastated and starting crying.  At first, I wasn’t sure why I was so upset.  Was it because it was expensive and I wasted someone’s money?  Was it because I felt bad that I lost something that someone thoughtfully picked for me?   I think it was a little bit of both. However, more than anything, I realized that it boiled down to the main reason for the anxiety in life.

Was I a disappointment to others?  Would others think less of me?

Pleasing others and caring too about much about what others think about me is a constant struggle for me.  As I started to spiral into some negative thinking, surprisingly, a visit to the cemetery gave me a source of positive inspiration.  Before I continue, I must back track a little.  I didn’t go to the cemetery to find solace,  I actually went to the cemetery the day before and hoped to find my lost item there.

As I walked between the rows of gravestones, I started thinking about a famous phrase.  I will just paraphrase it here.  It is something along the lines of “We came with nothing, and leave with nothing.”  Somehow, this nugget of a thought really helped me realign some of my negative thinking.

First of all, everything  we possess, whether tangible or not, will all disappear one day.  I started to think that I shouldn’t make every high or low in my life feel like life or death.  It is all part of the journey and in the light of the grand scheme of things, probably highly insignificant.

I walked out of that cemetery somehow a little lighter.  There is a lot of beauty in the world, even in a cemetery.  Those that can find beauty and gratitude every day must be the happiest.  Even though that is seemingly an impossible task everyday, when you find it once in a while, it is truly a wonderful thing.

Nothing ground-breaking here, but sometimes I notice just a little shift in my thinking can take me from slowly sinking to at least treading water.

So I did end up finding my lost item?  Yes I did and of all places in my refrigerator and despite this whole post, I was still extremely happy to see it.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Support Systems: “Maybe we are the strong ones”

Maybe we are the strong ones

This is often something I tell myself when things are rough.  Whether this is true or not, I don’t know.  I just know it gives me strength sometimes and consoles my wearied soul.

As a person who has mental illness, I often feel weak and helpless compared to others.  I will feel discouraged that I am not like everybody else (whatever that means).  It seems that everyone else’s path is so smooth and effortless, whereas mine was full of self-doubt and obstacles.

How can they do that so easily?  I would have not survived that situation.  Why couldn’t I be like them?

Often, I will hear people say how strong someone is to get through a difficult situation with such positivity.  What about us?  Are we not strong also for being able to get through a difficult situation without any positivity or light sometimes?

Maybe we are the strong ones

Sometimes I try to explain depression to others using the metaphor of a car.  When a car is running smoothly and there is enough gas, it is a smooth ride.  However, when the engine breaks down or it runs out of gas, the ride becomes bumpy and difficult.  When a person with depression “runs out of gas,” we still have to continue to push the car.  Every morning we wake up, and we decide that we still want to keep “pushing,” although every sign points to giving up.

Maybe we are the strong ones

Having anxiety, it feels like our minds are telling us that there is danger everywhere.  Yet, we will still get up and face these dangers everyday.  Sometimes, it feels like we are walking into a burning house, and yet we still keep on going even though it feels like the house will come down on us any moment.

Maybe we are the ones with the “guts”

Maybe we are the superheroes

Maybe we are the superhumans