Depression is an all too real thing. It’s been ignored, stigmatized and minimalized by people who don’t understand it and that is why I advocate. I often minimalize my own work, because I really don’t know if I reach anyone or not, but then on the other hand I might, but numbers aren’t important to me, helping is. Until Sibling showed up in my life (she’s my best friend and soul-sister), I was a feather in the wind floating out of control with mood swings that could hit grand-slams. I did my best to be kind and compassionate to others, but what I saved for myself was awful and admittedly no matter how hard I tried to be “normal” sometimes the pain and moods would spill over into my relationships with family, friends and if I was dating, them too, though I did my best to hide that from whomever that I might have been with at the time – have to be perfect right? Yeah.
When Sibling popped into my life, it took years to come to terms with my mental health, but then I finally began to heal. I removed the stigma from myself with her help, got help and started to see the light at the tunnel. I finally had some semblance of control and it felt amazing. Just writing that makes me a little weepy to be honest, because I see how far I have come. That being said, today I offered a journal to someone with a blue check to their name. I don’t normally do this, because I don’t know these people, and I almost deleted my comment, but decided not to. If they see it, great, if they don’t I know I tried.
You see, blue check or not, people are just people. Sibling used to work in the entertainment industry and over the years I have gone from gooey and starry eyed to, it’s cool to have met you and thank you for being human. haha! Exactly, they’re all just human sharing this human experience on a more recognized level, but today I didn’t see the blue check, I saw someone in real pain and someone who I could relate to. I’ve been there, I’ve done that and recently too.
Truth is I realized I reach out to anyone, no matter who they are. I used to be afraid of that, but then again I know we’re all humans existing together and trying to make it through each day, no matter what our station in life, or how well known someone is, or is not. A blue check means they’re well known, but it doesn’t make them any better than anyone else, because as someone once told me a long time ago when I felt intimated by someone, “They’re not better than you, and you’re not better than them. We are all special in our own ways.” That came from Sibling’s mom, a well known Jazz Musician in her hey-day, who was like a second mom to me and though that was years ago, and she has since passed away, I still remember her poignant words.
I am grateful for those with a check next to their name who bring awareness to Mental health. They’re showing how real it is, they’re helping people understand that it doesn’t make us miserable people, we’re still happy go lucky like everyone, what it does show is how many of us struggle on certain days and could use that extra lift, or hug, or just a shoulder to lean on with no words being spoken.
Depression is a funny thing. I remember my episodes, but I don’t remember my spirals so much, which is why I journal them now, and even that is no easy feat, trying to get yourself to do something in the middle of a spiral is like asking someone with a broken leg to walk without crutches, it’s not easy and it is painful, but I do it, because if I can figure out my triggers, that might be the key to figuring out what makes me spiral.
So reach out, whether you get a response or not, sometimes the words help and it shows someone they are not alone. I felt validated by a post I saw after my initial comment and realized that even I don’t have full acceptance of myself, but I am getting there and those kinds words and the reply after lifted me and reminded me that blue check or not, we’re all here to help one another and that it is okay to be compassionate, kind and uplifting no matter who someone is.
As Henry James once wrote, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, now does it?