I asked my best friend yesterday if he knew I suffered from depression. He said I might have mentioned it in passing. This sounds about right – i tend to mention when I’m doing well that I suffer, to let people know I understand. I get the impression people usually don’t believe me because I don’t ‘look’ like I’m depressed in the moment. When I am depressed, I tend to hide and not let anyone see it. But I’ve always wondered, maybe I’m not so good at hiding as I think I am? Maybe some people figured it out. But he told me I seemed really good at dealing with all my problems. That made me smile a bit – the way I’ve been ‘dealing’ for the past few months is waiting until 5pm when I allow myself to get stoned and drunk.
Anyway, then he told me about his depression. And I kinda had suspicians, but also never engaged directly for a lot of reasons… firstly, because like a lot of depressed people (myself included), he had the tendancy to lash out at others when he was in a bad way, which of course makes you not want to engage. He could be very unpleasant. Also, I believe our worst periods tended to overlap so we sorta withdrew simeoultaneously.
Lately the cracks have been forming. I’m not so good at holding it together. I had a coffee date today with a casual friend I’m not that close with – she lost her mother a few months ago, yet I ended up being the one to fall apart and she ended up consoling me, when it should have been the other way around. I was meant to do a volunteer shift tomorrow and also meet a friend but I think I will cancel because I need to stay home and hide my tears.
Lately I’ve wanted to explain to people that I have these demons, because I know it causes a lot of misunderstandings and sometimes people get hurt or percieve my withdrawing as a slight on them. But it can go wrong – people get upset or defensive or make it all about themselves. For sure, they’re not ready to hear I’m thinking about an exit plan. And that I’m often thinking about an exit plan. That freaks people out way too much…
How much do you tell people?
well it depends on who, but as little as you can emotionally get away with, spread over the most people you can find. It’s like stock, putting your whole deal into one stock would be a bad move, because that company might not do so hot. Only people are far worse investments than stocks, so you need to diversify harder.
this is the point in the rant where I point out that when a company gets free money from the government it’s “good” and “creates jobs” even if it doesn’t actually create any jobs, or do any good, FUN! However if you or I (I assume you’re a person and this isn’t a press release, if it is a press release, give me a jingle, we’ll workshop it.) got free money from the government we’d be a “drag on society” and “moochers” regardless of how much we actually took and whether we spent it merely on staying alive!
I use this place as my personal release valve. I say things much more horrible than I could ever say anywhere else, and the worst that comes of it is that no one responds. The people here know me, but not in a way that would allow them to find out where I live or anything about my other actual life (which admittedly isn’t much these days.)
I keep my wife in the loop about my general function state, such as right now I’m sick, and really not useful for anything at all. However, I anticipate later I’ll be less sick, and be able to contribute! Fun.
Oh and I have a therapist, which is someone you pay to listen. They do a stellar job at it though, average people? horrible listeners, therapists give good feedback if you want feedback it’s the go to. They have to give you good feedback to survive… I don’t know why I’m in a corpse smile mood today, but there you go.
eventually I reached the point that I felt that others actually knowing me, knowing who I am beyond my role, isn’t that useful. Which returns to what I said at the outset; tell a bunch of people, but only a little at a time. No one will have sufficient dirt on you or trust that they can sink you with a thought.
Your stock analogy is very apt.
I think it also depends on the person. What is their tolerance threshold. Do they really want to know? One of my friends once chewed me out for going dark on her so now I always repsond to her. She’s the type to worry if I don’t. Other people people don’t really want to know even if they say they do.
I’ve been debating firing my therapist because all she does is listen, when I kinda wanted more concrete advice. Maybe what I really need is a life coach instead of a therapist. I’m starting to wonder if it’s really constructive for me to keep whinging….maybe its better to stop talking about my traumas and instead try to forget them.