Usually, I don’t have any trouble talking. In fact, I can be a real chatterbox. The life of the party. The girl you wanna hang out with it. The wife, I’m sure, my husband wishes would. just. stop. talking. The mother who, well, you know, talks a lot, just ask my boys.
All that changes when my assholey depression and anxiety rears its ugly head. I lose my words, my creativity, my motivation, my sense of humour, my sense of self. I battle my mind and try to ignore the lies my assholey depression tells me. I withdraw. I go numb. I exist but that is it.
Today, however, I am going to step outside of myself and talk. Talk about mental illness. Talk about my depression. Talk. Just talk. It’s been ages since I wrote a post for my blog, a tell tale sign that my assholey depression won’t loosen its ugly grip on my mind, my body, my soul, my very being. It is relentless and hateful. But today is too important of a day to let go by. Today is Bell’s “Let’s Talk”.
Six years ago, Bell launched “Let’s Talk”, a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada. For every text, call, tweet and Instagram post, Facebook video view and use of Snapchat geofilter, Bell will contribute 5 ¢ more to mental health initiatives.
This is important, extremely import, and I urge you to participate in at least one form of social media today, using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will develop a mental illness at some time in their lives. I am one of those 5. My mother is one, as was my father. I have watched friends and other extended members of my family battle their own mental health demons and, because of that, because of being surrounded by mental illness my entire life, I know how real mental illness is. It sucks. It hurts. It robs people of their brilliance, their quality of life. It has the strength, the power and the will to tear apart and destroy families, relationships, lives. Mental illness is real. It is serious. Mental illness can kill.
But there is help. Back in November, I hit an all time low. I was beginning to feel like I was becoming a burden to my family and friends. Thankfully, I understood how serious and dangerous this kind of thinking can be. So, I decided to talk. First to my husband, then to my family doctor and finally to my therapist. While I have a long road ahead of me in terms of understanding and developing more effective coping mechanisms for dealing with my depression, I am fortunate that my experiences with mental health issues up to this point in my life have provided me the self awareness to recognize when I am heading into dangerous territory and the importance of reaching out and talking to somebody. Not everyone is so lucky.
So, what can be done?
First off, let’s talk today. Text. Instagram. Snapchat. Hashtag the living daylights out of #BellLetsTalk to raise money for mental health initiatives. There’s still time; it’s not too late in the day to participate.
After that, educate yourself. Google. Visit a library. Contact your local mental health organization. Learn more. Ask questions. Tell a loved one you love them. Extend a hug. Reach out. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Show compassion. Be there. Encourage people to tell their stories. Let others know they are not alone. Anything is better than nothing.
Trust me, I know.
I’m talking and so can you.
you sound like you have a good plan. I have depression again too. It’s been about 9 days. There are no more new meds to try. You might like this video. I would love a simple click.
I am sorry to hear that you are battling it again. It is so flipping exhausting fighting it. Which video is it that you would like me to check? Is it the one you mentioned in your previous post?
How are you feeling now?
Well done. Mental Illness is just as real as physical illness, yet there is such a taboo about it. Thanks for sharing!
You’re very welcome and thank you for commenting. You are so right; mental illness is just a real as a physical illness AND it can be just as debilitating. We certainly need more people ‘talking’ and I appreciate the encouragement you have given me to talk more about it. Hugs!
I know only too well about how depression robs you of joy, laughter and life itself. Bell does a great service by advising people of the realities that many live with every day… I suffered for many year… actually most of my adult life with ‘it’ rearing it’s ugly head every so often… but thankfully I actually have been free for several years. For me it was finally finding the right therapist.. and cognitive therapy. But it can be different for everyone to hopefully help them… . I wish you well.. take care! Diane
Thank you, Diane <3. You've described depression so well and I am encouraged by your words. I am feeling better; I started therapy before Christmas and my therapist is wonderful. While I have some hard work ahead of me, I do know that, with better coping mechanisms in place, I will be able to deal with the depression more effectively and, hopefully, it won't side line me for as long as this bout has. <3
By the way, for some reason there is difficulty receiving your reply comments…This time I got the first two words.. but I found another time when I didn’t get your reply at all . I’ve checked to see if something is wrong at my end, but couldn’t see where there were other blogger’s comments that I didn’t receive…. so thought I would just mention it and you might want to check your settings… I’m going to recheck mine again though too … Diane
Well, darn it all to hang, thanks for letting me know. I’ll look into that.
Bravo my friend…so eloquently put. Your bravery is an inspiration to me and so many others. Keep up the good work kiddo…you’ve got this. Love you huge.
Sending hugs…retweeted earlier today
Thank you for the hugs and for the retweet. They mean so much to me and they encourage me to keep moving forward with ‘talking’ about it. <3
I’m glad I helped…you help me as well
Well said, soul sister. Talking builds bridges, and those bridges lead to health and happiness one day. Much love,
Much love back to you, Suzanne. Your continued support means so much to me, more than words can express. Hugs to you!
Hugs right back!
Have missed your voice! Thanks for coming back and sharing about #BellLetsTalk. You are so right: it is so important to talk.
Why, thank you! I finally feel like I’m getting my writing groove back and your kind words encourage me all the more. Thank you so much for that. Hugs 🙂
I commend you for speaking out about Mental Illness. We all get depressed on ocassion but do not suffer bouts where it stops us from living our daily lives. Suffering long bouts must be terrifying. I think talking about it and more important being able to recognize the the signals is a key to help modify the onslaut. Keep talking a we will keep listening and encouraging you in your quest to keep it under control. Well done today. I am sending a virtual hug and hope it makes you smile. (((())))
Thank you for reading my post, commenting and for encouraging me. I cannot adequately express what your comments mean to me. Your virtual hug certainly makes me smile AND is the icing on top of the ‘let’s talk’ cake. Sending all that love right back to you. Thank you ever so much. 🙂
Yay! I’m with you. Ending the stigma of mental illness is one of my “things.” Raising awareness for mental health initiatives, Yup
And sending out lots of chatter. When I’m up for it.
Thanks for this post, and drawing attention to #BellLetsTalk
Yay! I’m with you, too. If you’re ever feeling up to chatting and need a safe place to chat, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. There is so much strength to be had from talking with people who ‘get it’. We are not alone!
the value of talking and NOT keeping it bottled up …thank you!
Thank you, Susan, for reading my post and commenting. It means everything to know that we are not alone. Talking and writing about our experiences truly does help. Hugs <3
Hang in there, girl.
Depression and anxiety are heinous assholes who are like my abusive boyfriends. I’ve known them since I was 10 years old and it’s taken me 28 years to learn how to deal with them effectively. Some days I am GREAT at it and can be social, even though that is terribly draining for me. Some days..not so much. Which was part of why I essentially quit my job back in Oct and just went back to being a fill in (working for people who called in sick or when a kitchen needs extra help). I could feel myself hurtling very quickly towards a very dark place I did NOT want to go to. And working full time as I was, I was too exhausted (physically, emotionally and mentally) at the end of every day to deal with it. Something was going to have to give and I was afraid it would be me and this time I WOULD end up in the psych ward (I’ll tell you that story too, if you want) on an involuntary hold. I did not want that. So I did what I had to do to make sure it didn’t happen. And maybe people don’t understand that, but it’s OK because I DO.
Thank you from the bottom of my anxious, fluttery heart. My mother-in-law moved in with my husband and I last July. This winter, thus far, has been an epic struggle for me anxiety-wise. When the sun goes away, I tend to withdraw into myself, and like you, become quiet. One of the ways I cope with my anxiety is cleaning and organization. It truly helps me – it’s something I can control – get a grasp on my own emotions. But there’s a new player in the game, and her flighty, do-it-when-I-feel-like-it attitude about everything has been dragging me into my hibernation hole of doubt and rage. I’ll be going home tonight and talking with my husband, and I’ve made an appointment with my therapist, whom I have not seen in more than two years.
When I blew my stack over having to clean up the kitchen for the fourth time yesterday I should have gotten a clue. But sometimes we have to be knocked upside the head to see our own issues. I hope that you’ll come out the other side soon – I’m with you.
On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 7:55 PM, Tales from the Cabbage Patch wrote:
> Linda posted: “Usually, I don’t have any trouble talking. In fact, I can > be a real chatterbox. The life of the party. The girl you wanna hang out > with it. The wife, I’m sure, my husband wishes would. just. stop. talking. > The mother who, well, you know, talks a lot, just” >
Thank you so, so much for sharing your story. There is strength in that as well as when we find others who understand what we are going through. I finally feel like I am coming out the other side and, hearing that you’re with me, helps me in ways I can’t adequately express. Thank you for that. Hugs <3
Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:
This is Tales From the Cabbage Patch!!
Glad to find you. I have battled for four decades, sometimes successfully sometimes not so much. I have learned it can be battled.
I am glad to have found you, too. I have been battling depression since I was sixteen so I know exactly how you feel. And, you are so right, it can be battled because we are not alone. Hugs, to you!
Thank you and hugs back.
Thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness to a subject that people are still leery of talking about. Hugs
Thanks for the hugs; I so needed them. I am getting better and more confident about talking about my depression. Slow and steady will win this race ;).
Healing energy to you!
Getting better … one day at a time <3
Great post for such an important topic!
Thank you so much. I appreciate the read and the comment. 🙂
Hello Patchy! It has been way too long. Neither of us has been bloggy lately – the Christmas rush kind of sweeps everything else before it, doesn’t it?
I’m sorry you were having such a hard time in November, and sorry I didn’t help, but I am very glad you spoke up and did something for yourself, and as always I admire and respect the hell outta you for managing to look outwards to help others though even finding the energy for yourself must be very difficult.
It’s funny, today I checked my reader for the first time in a couple of months and this was one of the first posts I saw, and today I know how you were feeling; it’s been one of those shitty days for me too. The warning signs, really; tiredness, lethargy, boredom, apathy, not able to deal with frustrations with any kind of equanimity. We’ve had a full on 2 months summer holiday, lots of going here and there, lots of people staying over, no time to write, no space to myself… and I guess it’s just all that catching up to me.
Thank you for the reminder that I DO need to make the time to take care of myself because if I don’t that bastard D word will sneak up on me again. The boys are back to school (at long last!) so I am quite sure a bit of space from them will help a lot! xxx
Darling! So happy to hear from you :). I’m doing so much better; I began therapy before Christmas and it is really helping. You’re so right about that bastard D (sometimes I call mine ‘the Ditch Pig’ — don’t know how the hell I came up with that name but it seems to suit”) and needing to take care of yourself so it doesn’t sneak up on you. Mine hit me like it was a 2 x 4.
Are you on Facebook by any chance? Perhaps we could chat some time on there or, if you’d like, email me at email@example.com so we can get caught up and be there for each other if that bastardly D, the Ditch Pig, shows up again. <3
Check it out! I nominated you! https://entirelyerika.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/the-mystery-blogger-award/
Wow, thank you, Erika! * blush *
Wow, thank you! * blush *
I’m feeling this myself lately, strange how it creeps up and then you find yourself bawling everyday for no reason. Glad you’re encouraging talk about it.
It’s so hard to deal with, isn’t it? The bawling part drives me insane because I can never explain the ‘why’ of it; it just comes on whenever the heck it wants to. I am glad you are sharing your story with me; this way neither of us are alone. If you ever need to talk, vent, rant, rage or just be plain silly, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously.
heyy, its mahjabeen from https://awesomeideas2003.wordpress.com i’ve moved blogs, please follow the new one which is:https://velvetessence.wordpress.com/
Done! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Wow, this was such a deep and heartfelt article, Linda. Thank you for this.
I have been diagnosed with mild depression and on meds for the next 6 months. I needed help and proud of myself for taking the first step. I am very nervous but ready to be ripped opened and get on track to a happier and toxic-free path in my life.
Wishing you a wonderful day/night 🙂
Content creator for ALL-IN-ONE
Thanks, Kelly, for sharing your story with me. I know what courage it takes to do so. I am proud of you as well for taking that first step. Slow and steady is my motto and I know you are well on your way to recovery. Keep on talking! 🙂