I feel your pain and I am still sad

monday depression

Being empathic means that it really is all about you, but I have the aftertaste.  Doesn’t sound so pleasant now, does it? Sometimes it isn’t.

The ability to see and feel emotions means that I understand the energy of pain. But the feelings of narcissism, control, passive aggression and deceit come through crystal clear too. There are days when “Off with your head” would be most helpful. Whether mine or the other person does not always matter.  Sometimes, it depends if I am feeling picky.

The strong feelings of love, or pain, or deep emotion, cause me to cry. Sometimes, the crying is such deep, raw sobbing.  When I see and hear people speak, hear and feel the strangled voice full of emotion, and sense a broken heart, my own tears begin unbidden.

Some people laugh; I cry at the feeling of great emotion.  I wish that I had the ability to recognize all of the feelings I process. Some come from people right in front of me, others thought of, and some merely in the energy around me.

My empathic depression means feeling someone else’s pain and turning it inside, and outside, of myself.  I can identify the superficial, controlling, taunting, and ignorance around me.  My weary battle scars are deeply embedded under the skin, but lie far too close to the surface.

My family may understand at times, or at others, merely sigh, and ask “Are you crying again?”  I am not blocked from the pain, but am trying to find a boundary (OK, a really really thin line) so that I don’t lose myself in the heartfelt, desperate depth of pain. When my own arises, it is already resting heavily on the weight of the others’ whose pain I carry.  It is easier for me to understand what is going on and how I feel reflected in the shadow of it, but harder to bear at times.

I will no doubt continue to cry. I don’t mean to embarrass others, but who can apologize for feeling great love, or great pain, even if it is not mine?  Some people make me cry at the real truth of their bad behavior, hurtful words and attitude that they think goes unnoticed.  I cannot slap them but it is not my sadness that is accountable for another’s bad behavior. That is his karma and lesson to learn, or unlearn, in this lifetime. Arrogance makes people treat those with anxiety or a mood disorder so callously and deny their own contribution to the toxic energy that we experience deeply.

Either way, I have to invest in a lot of waterproof mascara

More Masks Than Mardi Gras

mood-swing-smiley-emoticon

Happiness is not simple and I find it so fleeting. It takes a lot of energy to patch anxiety with a happy face. I feel that the moments of happiness for me are so brief.  It is like a rare double rainbow that gets my attention when it happens, but fades too quickly.  My prayer for happiness includes an absence of pain in its many varieties.  I don’t drink or take drugs to numb the pain.  Trying to stay afloat of it, but having to go through it, takes so much work and effort.

My sadness sometimes overwhelms me into tears I cannot end.  I wish that I did not burst into tears when I hear or feel heartfelt emotions, but I believe that is part of being a highly sensitive person. I also believe that it freaks some people out! For that awkwardness, I do indeed apologize.

I try to keep going and put on a brave face.  I have more masks than Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Despite a determined effort to try to keep it together, sometimes I simply cannot stop crying or keep that mask on tight. Other times, it means that I am quiet. People don’t realize that being quiet does not mean I am negative, or aloof, or trying to be rude. It means that I am sad. I am inside myself with a brain buzzing and trying to keep that straight face mask on.  The response to being quiet is sometimes so harsh that we, the introverted, stigmatized or disenfranchised, isolate even further.  When there is so much pain, self doubt, and fear in our own heads, why would we share it with someone and give them the power to exact more sadness and control?

For all of the feelings that I have, and take in despite trying not to, there is still a spark inside of me that wants to protect me and say I am a good person, kind, and try to care for others despite how they treat me.  It is incredible to think that with all the bad feelings, there is a spark of an ego, a self that wants to defend itself and be heard.  Knowing you have the ability to hurt someone who is damaged in some way, and using it, merely seems cruel to me.  I cannot respect the ability to hurt someone else to raise yourself up.  Reach down and lift someone else up, share a kindness, offer a small smile, even if for a moment. The pain still remains, the sadness and the circumstances don’t easily go away or are completely unavoidable. But that fleeting moment of happiness, when someone enters your circle of enclosure, and offers a minute respite from the pain, is the most meaningful and means more than you can know.  It is an effort to move forward and to create something positive in the depths of sorrow.  It means that we are no longer alone and locked in our brains. Our quiet is shared and leaves a brief peace that we are cared for, we have value, and still try to seek our way out of the pain. There is nothing negative about that.

I am not dangerous, I am depressed.

That means that I am too tired to be a threat.

Real depressives and bipolars have gotten a bad rap in the media. Shoot and kill men, women and children and have a psychiatric file, and people will believe that all people with mental illness are dangerous. But most of those people stopped taking their meds, or took other escape routes, and avoided getting professional help.

I am too tired to be a threat to anyone but myself.  I use up all of my energy to get dressed and drag myself to work. Then, I spend eight hours pretending that I don’t care that I have no real friends there and that I don’t want to go into the bathroom and cry.

I am depressed. I can hear everything that you are saying and see what is happening around me. I don’t have the energy to clean off my bed, but I cannot forget the nasty things that you said to me two years ago in the lunchroom.  My pills don’t make me feel better. They make me like everyone else who looks miserable to be at their desks. However, with my meds there are differences: no sex life, no simple pleasures, not enough cookies.

Being depressed, and responsible about it, means that every three months you will sit in an office for a couple of hours until someone who has not seen you in three months is willing to give you a scrip for a few different meds, but none that will let you sleep.

You will be so tired, but your thoughts will loop higher than a six year old pumped up on cotton candy unwilling to stop riding the roller coaster over and over again.  It is necessary to roll around and look at the clock every hour, or so, and figure out how much longer until you have to get out of bed and get ready for work. These are part of the depressive’s night job.

Your day job will not bring you real joy because you cannot remember what that feels like. But you will remember that some passive aggressive jerk made a comment about you not smiling. You will begin to wonder why you cannot feel good about pasting one on your face for someone else’s benefit.

The only threat I pose is eating too much sugar and a dirty bathroom because it takes too much effort to clean.  I will lie about my weekend because I am too tired to get dressed or out of bed.  Your secrets are safe with me because I am used to hiding how I feel and not being able to tell anyone the truth. People will tell you to cheer up because it could be worse. Do not fall for that trap or the universe will rise up and show you what could be worse.  Like a new combination of meds that are no longer covered by insurance.

Another Work Wizard with a Sabre of Threats

I have just spent another day at work with the Nike School of Management for direction.  What is that you ask? Just Do It. No questions, no support. Take this and Just Do It.

If you were a carpenter and I said just do it, no questions. Oh, and by the way, I am not going to give you any tools to do your job effectively. So, just hand back that hammer, saw and nails right now. No training you, Just Do It.

Why do people get into power and throw it around like the discus at the Olympics? Then, even though they have missed the mark by a mile, expect to have a crown of laurels place around their head and receive the roar of the crowd and cheering approval?

Just Do It. How should I phrase that skill on my resume?  I did not reach my goals. I have not achieved or completed tasks on time. Time – an arbitrary line on the horizon in which you will eat your lunch, go online, talk on the phone and brag about your management skills because your job is done.  You gave it to me and the blame is on me as an incapable person with a bad attitude when I say I cannot complete this with no questions or guidance.

You went to business school and graduated at the top of your class which is supposed to make you ready to go out into the world with your mad skills and run a corporation. Well, if you have no people skills, I don’t care how many clichés and metaphors you can throw around. Those studies and graphs? Useless. But if you get to have the job anyway, then it does not matter how you treat the people who work for you.

Just because someone handed you the Magic Wand and the Sabre of Threats does not make you a wizard. Work does not get done magically by cobbler elves leaving paperwork at your door in the morning.  If you really saw the faces and acknowledged all of the workers, then you would have to admit that you did not build the empire all on your own. Go ahead, Just Do It.  I bet that you cannot do it either.

What powerful and all-knowing wizardry at work did you see today?