Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Mimisms ~ Let's Talk About Depression

Headache, Head Ache, Pain, Head, Ache Depression @ Mimi WritesOnce upon a long time ago, I had a part-time job working for a salesman who lived in my neighborhood. I needed extra cash and he needed a secretary to keep him and his endless sales paperwork organized and accurate. It was a perfect arrangement.

My boss was a funny guy, albeit with a cynical side, who had an unfortunate penchant for near constant migraines. Much of the time he was in terrible pain, barely able to function. On the road to sales calls, we spent lots of time talking about our lives and families, while I recorded data and created invoices. This brief blip on the road of my life would ordinarily seem unremarkable, except for one telling conversation I've never forgotten to this day.

One day I noticed he was particularly anxious. Nervous. Jittery. Unwell. I asked him what troubled him so. He divulged very little and simply replied,
"Mimi, just remember this -
stress'll kill ya."

A few years later, he committed suicide.

Beyond being sad and grieved for his lovely family, I found it oddly prophetic. When I am overwhelmed and anxious, I sometimes hear his pain-filled voice say....."stress'll kill ya." He was warning me to try to learn to control the stress in my own life.  I wish he could have found his way out of that space.
Directory, Signposts, Hope, Hopelessness, Mimi Writes, Depression
What I've noticed lately is this: There are a lot of people walking around with what I call Life PTSD.  They're not clinically depressed, not on medication, and not in therapy. But their situations and circumstances seem to constantly spiral from hope to despair and back again, the likes of which a tilt-a-whirl ride has never seen. In today's world,This Is Your Brain on Drugs has morphed into This Is Your Brain on Life

Cumulative situational depression is a very real struggle. It is rampant in the society we live in today. It steals your joy. It fogs your brain. It hurts your relationships. It tears you down physically in ways that doctors are only beginning to truly understand. There is no way around - only through.

And we need to talk about it.

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Mark In Mayenne said...

How are you feeling, Mimi?

Mimi Lenox said...

Mark - Thank you for asking. I am good. The usual life stress like many others. Moving slowly through my own stuff and trying to be a sounding board if anyone needs to talk.

Also re-vamping my own need to be more transparent about how I'm REALLY feeling. So thank you for asking. Again. Really.

How are you, my friend?

Ned Hamson said...

Stress is a catch-all non-definition that stresses me out - grin. I have had attacks/periods of anxiety, depression, and OCD for years and one by one spent time finding the triggers and sometimes the sources. But "stress" as most seem to define it - pressure, speed, out of control was never an issue - go figure. Body chemistry has something to do with it and some drugs can give you time to figure out what the triggers are and how to disarm them. For those who have chosen to kill themselves, it often seems as though they have accepted some form of guilt for real or imagined faults and suicide seems to be their judgment of what they deserve and a way to end and make up for their sin/crime/wrong. At least that's the road that four people I knew took. Talking when they are willing can certainly help. Accepting them and loving them can help. But... recovery and change is an inside job. Supporting positive thoughts and not giving energy to negative ones can help. But... recovery and change is an inside job. Listening obsessively to Buffy St. Marie's God is alive, magic is afoot helped me a lot. grin.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, we do, and it's not easy. I've been experiencing it myself for quite a few years now

Mimi Lenox said...

Ned - Thank you for such an insightful comment. You always seem to enhance and explain much better what I intended to say. You are right on so many levels. It IS an inside job and very personal. Triggers, yes! We all have them and need to recognize and understand them. Supporting and loving someone through depression is as effective as antibiotics for the sick. Supporting yourself through temporary sadness or situational depression/stress/anxiety (whatEVER) is much harder IMHO.

I've used music all my life to heal myself. Maybe tonight I should crank up Buffy....

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - Lately I've taken to pushing the envelope with a few people who needed a gentle push to open up and talk. I mostly listened and encouraged. It made a world of difference - to both of us!

Mark In Mayenne said...

I am well, thank you Mims. A bit unsettled if I look deeper. We have decided to sell our current place and find something smaller that we can manage in a proper retirement. So contemplating the double uncertainty of departure from the known at some future time unknown, plus an unknown destination. But nothing seriously amiss.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mark - That sounds like a lot of stress. Moving is a big deal. Decisions decision....there comes a time when decisions must be made.
Glad to hear nothing is seriously amiss, however.

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