Whose Grind is it Anyway?

henry-hoover

What if the manipulators and mindsuckers used their power for good instead of aggravation and demeaning someone else? Why do some people with a modicum of authority believe that their control gives them the right to behave like unaccountable jerks? Who taught that being powerful means you have to belittle someone else?  That is not real power; anyone who has ever studied psychology would talk about their insecurities and lashing out as a childish manifestation rather than a responsible, adult behavior.  But we are in a world where we have to feed ourselves, keep a roof over our heads, pay for the doctors and medical care, so we put up with someone else’s mental deficiencies while they criticize ours.

For anyone who has ever had a depressive episode, or some other mental disability of any kind in their lifetime, we are circumspect and aware. Since one out of four of us has had this experience, why do the real sociopaths and egomaniacs get to treat us like we are only half as good?

What about the person who is so insecure that they have to be the smartest person in the room at the expense of including anyone who might be just as smart? Or the person who has to be so controlling and manipulative that they cannot share information out of fear and suspicion? Also, if someone’s only power is withholding information, kindness or inclusion, he has some pretty nifty unacknowledged issues of his own.

To me, those kinds of mental disabilities or failings, or lapses, are just as serious, if not more, than the ones we have been treated for.

We are willing to accept that while it has been very hard and painful, we are trying to heal. We take our meds, talk to our therapists, blog, paint, photograph, walk in nature…….all trying to find ways to take the depths of our brains and emotions and turn them into something that rings true for someone else. We are trying to do something positive and improve the situation for others as well as ourselves.

If we deny that we have struggled, then we try to act like the buffoons who don’t admit their own shortcomings.  They are not impressive enough to deserve my admiration. I want to respect the real powerful people in the world: those that are open, honest, truthful, direct, introspective, and willing to make a change.

To me, respect is earned by behavior, not by bank account. I am not impressed by the superficial.  I have spent too much time trying to understand the real needs in the world, and in my own head, to blindly accept the demands of a control freak.

But, the bad behavior does wear me down. It sucks the air out of the room, and me, like an old Hoover with a big dusty windbag and a hose.

Let’s clean up the mess and get down to the real dirt: how do you feel today?

You are better at being you than anyone else I know

quote about people judging others

Fear has silenced you. Anxiety and insecurity have prevented you from stretching yourself because your most basic needs must be met. You are realizing that you have your own strength and desires and needs. You want to improve your life.

For the last, however, many of years you have been told not to speak unless spoken to. Your right to express yourself has been limited to a small room with people that no one else wants to meet. By taking away your opportunity to speak, others tried to beat you down and defeat you. Rejection from others, and your own despair of moving ahead, have turned you into an insecure frightened person with no self esteem.

If they beat you down enough, then they win. The “they” can be any name you want to replace it with. There is always a bully or someone else whose own insecurity prevents someone else from shining his or her light. This is not a game of tug and war, this is your life. You have not given anyone the right to take away your voice. Who you are remains inside of you and is a part of all that you are. Your personal strength is not a matter of someone giving you permission. Not a spouse, not a boss, not a child, nor anyone else has the right to take away your opportunity to express yourself in a safe way. Find a way to be heard even if it is only in your mind.

If you have a voice, then let it be heard. There is not one thing that you could say that someone else will not agree with somewhere in the world. There are so many people silenced by regimes that block their freedom of speech. You have a right to be heard and to express yourself in any manner that does not harm anyone else. If your expression is music, then sing. If it is art, declare yourself an artist and determine that whatever you create is part of the expression you add to the great art of the world. Dancers unite in circles and perform publicly in squares. You have a voice; you are someone, no matter who tells you that you are not.

If your own worst critic is you, then you must allow yourself to be heard. Journal, write down your words, create a poem, put a quote that you enjoy on a blog, express yourself to a therapist, plant a flower, or feed a fish. Pet a dog, look at a painting, listen to your favorite music, search for an idea on Wikipedia. Find some way to express yourself and improve your life even by one minute, by one idea, which serves to improve who you are in the next minute. And the next. And the next. Do this until you have given five positive minutes to yourself and realize that you are someone worth loving and listening to. You do not have to hide away unless you want to. If you need to keep yourself away from others out of fear, then believe that they do not have the power to limit you, inside, even if you are already fighting a battle.

Put your foot down. Then put the other foot down just a bit ahead of it. Then begin to put one foot in front of the other and get a drink of water. Fill your body with a clear fluid and feel your cells hydrate. Your brain cells receive oxygen and you realize the gift of swallowing and feeling your heart expand with every kind thing that you do for yourself. Once it becomes a habit, share it with others. Help to do kind things for others for the sake of making them feel better than you do right now. Even if they never say thank you, know that you have helped another human being and given a gift of yourself to brighten the light of humanity. Step out of the darkness, even if it is only out of your bed, and see that someday it will not feel as bad as it does right now.

train tunnel

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Depression makes me cry, it does not dampen my intelligence

doorman tipping hat

There are just some experiences that inform and infuriate me as they emphasize stupidity and rudeness to another. Any depressive’s mind runs faster and longer around the clock than most other people. Yet the disease to please sometimes rears its head and you look for the kindness in someone noticing your feelings while grieving losses.

Someone I see often has exempted themselves from speaking to me directly or any eye contact whatsoever. I smiled and said good morning. He pointed out his extended index finger in response. Really? You have got to be kidding.

Is he trying to catch a cab?

Anyone who has had a mood disorder is more knowledgeable about medications, chemistry and neurology than your average person. Journaling and all the efforts at introspection and self examination make us hyper aware. Do you think we cannot hear or see the condescending behavior?

Have you ever dealt with anyone who treats you like your stupid or less-than just because they could? How did you handle it?

Riding the Wave and trying not to Crash

explosion wave

Today is one of those days when I feel somber, sad and washed over with a tidal wave. I try to stand in the surf, being brave, when along comes a giant wave. It covers me, I cannot breathe, I feel myself shaking and sputtering; it feels like a giant panic attack.

When I try to be positive, or get through my loss, I am reading and looking for answers. I am begging my angels or spirits or whoever is around me unseen, to please please please , let me know that I am not alone.

I have not had that validation and I question so many things. How will I know what is right? If I look for answers in unusual ways, am I being manic or slipping into psychosis? I think that is what it sounds like to someone who cannot fathom what I am talking about. I have to defend myself and reiterate that despite what it seems like, I am not falling into a chasm of manic depression. I have not lost my mind and my meds don’t need adjustment. The therapist and doctor are on call if I need them, but I am just trying to adjust to the situation in the best way I can. While I have had episodes of pain, I am trying so hard to find clarity and energy in a situation that is washing over me with more grief, mourning, and loss than I have ever experienced.

I was crying and the comment to me was “oh, you are thinking again, aren’t’ you?” Well, I am always thinking and always feeling. But I cannot help it, I react emotionally and I cry. I grieve, I mourn and I feel so alone and such loss. I feel unloved and abandoned, misunderstood and ignored. Just because I see the wave coming, and feel it, doesn’t mean it does not lay me out at times. Some days feel like a total wipeout.

If that is depression waving its heavy hand today, then so be it. The pile of crumpled tissues sits on the bed beside me. Sometimes, I simply don’t have the energy to get up. But I am trying to keep standing and keep going no matter how many times it tries to knock me down.

Happy Shiny Happy Face ~ Ta Da! Now You See It & Now You Don’t

shirley-temple

That bright shiny happy face is just getting too heavy for me to carry right now. It is up there, like my hair, my earrings, and the right color lipstick. But the weight of it seems to be too much for me at present. I pull it out and put it on when the situation demands it. I dust it off and do my old soft shoe and tap routine, patter and smile, like an old Bojangles movie clip.

But by the time I get home, that smile nearly weighs a ton and has pulled down the rest of my face with it.

I want to be happy, but it is such a complex pathway of emotions, experiences, feelings and chemicals. It also might be the life triggers of a death in the family, financial woes, realizing that I may need to find another job and trying to bear the toxic environment in the meantime. The realities should prove that it is not all in my head. There are plenty of outside sources cramming in to my neurons because I simply cannot push any more into my smile.

Maybe it shrank? Maybe I gained too much baggage? My smile just does not seem to fit as well anymore.

The Depressive’s National Anthem

stay strong fake a smile

Oh, dutiful, our specious sighs

Our amber waves of drain,

Our purple mental travesties

Among the brutish pain.

America, America

Send meds to our pharmacies,

And gird our sad with therapy,

And Mental Health Parity.

Wallowing in the Deep

chaplin sad face

I am sad. I am naming it, feeling it, staring it smack in the face. But I still feel it and sometimes it sucks that I do and no one else understands why.  We can hide it, and most of us do, but it is still there.  People can look away or pretend it is not there. But when you hide it under the rug, it comes out in someone else’s genes and you have to face it and deal with it anyway.

I am trying to build support systems, therapy, medication, reading, and psychology.  But I am still sad at times, frustrated, feel sapped of energy.  But people who tell me to think happy thoughts, picture sunshine and flowers, look at silly cat photos or the other attempted mind manipulations are just pushing me to have to hide more.

This is what we do. Someone is sad or depressed and society says turn that frown upside down and float a balloon. What if I want to wallow? What if I need to wallow? What if I don’t want to have to pretend to be happy all the time? What if I don’t want to have to put a superficial smiley face on everything?

Which is healthier: admitting you are sad and being able to express it or trying to shove it down and away until you are out of sight?

I am judged badly because I tell the truth and express my emotions and feelings. But, it is ok to be devious and lie? To make yourself conquer and control to encourage me to hide? I might feel bad about myself but at least I am honest about the parts of me that I am trying to fix.  I want to feel better and don’t know all the ways to do that. Some people never feel at all or are only self-centered. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way and I know that others are fighting a battle that no one else can see.  Let us sad people be sad sometimes, but keep us from having to bottle it up and then try to escape in a more harmful or permanent way.