Monday was World Mental Health Day, a day devoted to bringing global attention to mental health education, awareness and advocacy. I was going to write a post about it given how I had equated my depression with stinky elephant poop two posts ago but my head was full of cobwebs and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t clear my mind of them. Since there doesn’t seem to be as many cobwebs stuck to my brain today, I thought I would try again. Think of it as me arriving fashionably late to the mental health party.
After coming out of my depression ‘elephant poop-filled’ cabbage patch, I was overwhelmed by the comments and many words of support I received from you, my Cabbage Patchsters. Pressing the publish button for that post was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I am truly glad that I did. It sparked a conversation about the effects of mental illness not only on my life but on yours or on someone you know. By sharing personal stories, words of encouragement and by sending me a multitude of cyber hugs, you taught me three very important lessons: (1) It’s okay to not be okay; (2) I am not alone; and, (3) Talking and writing about it has untold benefits.
And, for that I cannot thank you enough. Each and everyone of you is like a great big ole bottle of Febreeze air freshener spraying your goodness on that great big ole pile of depression poop.
In the spirit of your inspiring and uplifting words, I decided to put all the comments in one place so that I would not only have them to read on those days when I feel like the elephant poop is piling up around me (like today) and because there may be another person out there drowning in their own elephant poop who needs to know that it’s okay to not be okay and that they are truly not alone.
- “I’m just here and sending encouragement.” ~ Reprobate Typewriter
- “Thanks so much. Every time we talk about mental health, I think it helps: those who are suffering, and those who can’t entirely understand.” ~ KennedyStreet
- “Amen. I feel like I need to spend the entire weekend alternating between the couch and my bed in order to battle the mental and emotional fatigue that accompany my anxiety.” ~ Steph
- “You have managed to sum up exactly what I feel and go through with my daily struggles of depression, fribromyalgia and Tourette Syndrome. Hate that you and so many others are in this horrible group of ours but nice to know I’m not alone or crazy for how I manage my chronic illnesses. Bless you.” ~ Janet
- “Linda, aside from having a terrible illness, you have been blessed with a remarkable talent. Everyone needs (whether they admit it or not) a cabbage patch where they can go when needed. You have the unique ability of making us feel we have such a place by sharing yours with us. Stay well because we need the next chapter…no pressure tho, just whenever.” ~ Patricia
- “What Patricia said … sending lots of love your way.” ~ Bonnie
- “Much love.” ~ Lauren
- “I’m so glad you shared this with us. I love your blog, and you always make me laugh. Your sense of humour is a gift! Depression can be a real bitch, but know you’re not alone.” ~ Sheila
- “Great post! I just back-linked it to my Depression Screening Day post, “When Depression Comes Knocking.” Love the light way you are able to manage your conditions (especially depression, about which it is tough to maintain any sort of sense of humour).” ~ Madelyn
- “I can’t think of anything useful to say except that I send my good wishes and my admiration that you’re making jokes anyway. That’s a hell of a lot to deal with.” ~ Ellen
- “Glad you’re back – keep ‘em coming. Poo and all!” ~prettyflyforawhitemom
- “Keep writing. I will keep reading. Depression lies as you now – try to tune out the lies and hear the truth. And when that feels an insurmountable task, we’ll wait for you here xoxo.” ~ Wendy
- “So much of that is something that I could have written – especially the part about writing a humour blog to focus on all of life’s positives instead of negatives. But, of course, you’ve written it much better than I ever could. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one.” ~ mydangblog
- “I know what you mean about the ups and downs where sometimes ‘humour’ and the ‘I’m fine, thanks’ wears thin and you acknowledge how you are really feeling. So, my friend, there are many who can identify and empathize with you.” ~ Diane
- “I love your honesty. I do not have either condition but I know people who do and it is not easy for them. Keep writing … it is great therapy. If nothing else you get to say the word poop. Keep up the great blogging and just keep telling it is like it is. Life is not always fun and it does help people to know they are not alone in this journey called life.” ~ thechickengrandma
- “I like the humour in your writing. Not sure if I should say ‘get well soon’;). Just kidding. Any way, I can definitely say that you are not alone, dear friend.” ~settleinelpaso
- “I just want to say how proud I am of you for talking to so openly! And I hope your readers will show their love to your true talent with words … whether you clown around or are dang serious. Love * love * love.” ~ Cyranny
- “I know about depression but not MS. Depression was debilitating to me until the right drug was found. I learned that if I talk about depression, it frees others to be honest and talk about it in their lives. Thanks for sharing.” ~ that little voice
- “Great honesty – you put exactly into words how it is and how depression just makes you feel so lifeless inside … wonderful post.” ~samanthamurdochblog
- “Love you dear. You are not alone. Us sufferers have to remember: depression is a liar.” ~dSavannah
- “Thanks for putting all of that out there. I’ve suffered from depression at moments in my life, so I know how you feel. It’s a hard thing to shake. I bet your writing helps, though. Keep on doing it. It’s a great blog.” ~ Lisa
- “I love your honesty and sending hugs.” ~Eugenia
- “As a fellow depression sufferer, depression sucks ass. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was 10 years old and there are days when it just DRAINS me … I’ve found it’s really hard to really GET anxiety and depression unless you either (A) have it yourself or (B) are intimately familiar with somebody who does.” ~ mommatrek
- “This is your best blog yet, Kiddo … you never cease to amaze me even after all these years. I admit this brought a tear to my eye not just because of your honesty but because as someone who is supposed to be your friend, I underestimated what a struggle you were dealing with … for that I am truly sorry. Don’t every quit writing … it is your calling … plus I am still waiting on my 10%!” ~ Sandie
And my personal favourite because it’s absolutely the best analogy EVER comes from Laura:
- “Linda, have you ever heard of Black Ivory Coffee? Reading your blog about the elephant poop made me think about it. It seems that someone managed to find out that when elephants consumed the beans, what comes out the other end is less bitter and better tasting and is worth $50.00 a cup. Honestly, Google it! So the next time you feel weighted down from all the poop just think of it going through the process from being chewed and swallowed, then meandering its way through the stomach and into the intestines to finally emerge from the other end less bitter and worth so much more to yourself, your family and friends. Love your blog.”
I am so blessed knowing that “I” am not alone in this journey and that “We” are in it together and, because of that, I will never give up. If you know of someone who could benefit from reading the above comments, please do share with them. Let them know that they are not alone and that “we” can help them on their journey towards wellness which, according to elephant poop coffee, is worth an astounding $50.00 a cup.
P.S.: Go Jays Go!
I love this quote!! Great post too;)
Thank you, Kristen! I am so happy that you enjoyed it. 🙂
you, my dear, are worth far more than $50.00 a cup!
Awwwwww thank you, Suze; so are you! <3
Amen, Madame Suze!!
Wow… Is there love around, or what?? Linda, I knew that poking you with a stick would eventually get you back to the keyboard, but each time, you come up with such powerfull posts… I am thinking about changing for a fondue fork!! Beware Patchers… She might start writing more often… LOL
<3 What would I do without you? You are THE BEST stick poker around. <3
You’d be Awesome with or without me… But I’m glad I’m there to kick you in the arshe whenever you need me to 🙂 *Big hugs*
Love. That is all.
Bravery comes in many forms, your personal post was mega brave. I enjoy your posts so much keep them coming. I’m glad your community rallied behind you and join them in wishing you well.
Thank you, Barbara, for your kind comments. I am happy to hear that you enjoy reading my blog. I have the BEST community and I appreciate you being a part of it. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
I loved seeing the collection of comments. It helps people to know they’re not alone:-)
Reblogged this on DREAM BIG DREAM OFTEN and commented:
Tales From the Cabbage Patch is a great follow!!
This is a really lovely post. Thank you for sharing these.
And thank you for your comments.
I apologize for not replying to you until today. Your comment was sitting in a folder on WordPress that I didn’t even know existed until a friend pointed it out to me.
I really appreciate the visit and your kind words. 🙂
Dang I’m sorry Patchy! I’m still catching up on posts from the past month and working my way backwards. So I’m sorry I didn’t get to tell you back then what an awesomely positive and encouraging and hopeful woman you are, and that I admire the heck outta you. But I’ll tell you soon. 😉 xxx
Isn’t support awesome, Linda? I have to tell you, as someone who feels as if he’s moved past certain barriers in depression, an honest truth is, it never goes away. It feels that way, for me. What’s changed is how it affects me. Little of that progress is me, or the things people who don’t understand what we go through, telling us what to do. It’s something innate, something that we have to wait on and be mindful of and be patient when it comes around less quickly than we’d want. I will say also that the rough spots, and the recoveries, and the times you feel backsliding, those are moments of learning and truth, not only for facing what you feel and know, but in seeing how loved you are by those who value you, your soul, and the words you give. So, write on. Words are often places where our lives intersect, and feeling this sense of community isn’t a small part of the easing of the path.
I apologize for not replying to you until today. Your comments were sitting in a folder on WordPress that I didn’t even know existed until a friend pointed it out to me.
You are so right; depression never goes away but with great support we can learn not only how to manage it but how to learn from it as well.
Thank you for you kind comments. They encourage me to keep going and to write on, as you say. Please do keep writing as well. You have such a way with words that means so much to so many.
There’s never an expiration date on responses dear – great to hear from you, and as I hope you also feel, writing will be part of my days until the day they are no more.
You have been awarded an award that is so magnificent, so bloggery-worthy and wonderful, so coveted by bloggers throughout the universe…….and you can read it here! http://suziland.net/2016/10/the-best-award/
I have to tell you how much I loved reading this post. You have shone a bright light on a dark feeling and for that I’m grateful for. What a wonderful community you’ve created here! I must ask politely as possible of course, are you Canadian like me? 😊🍁
First of all, I apologize for not getting back to you before today. Your comments were sitting in a folder on WordPress that I didn’t know existed until a friend pointed it out to me.
Second, yes, I am a Canadian! Where abouts do you live?
Third, thank you so much for your kind comments. You definitely are not alone and if you ever need to talk, drop me an email at email@example.com and we can have a real good ole chinwag. Or if you’re on Facebook, send me a friend request — Linda Kauffeldt — and we can always chat on messenger.
Linda thank you for writing such an honest and informative post. I am delighted that you and many others are opening up that closed off world labelled depression. Here in Ireland others are beginning to be more open about this condition. Simply by talking you are all creating large ripples in a pond. You probably realised from reading my Bob’s blog that Ellie and I work with a rescue and recovery river group and thanks to society becoming more informed we have fewer callouts. Long may it stay that way.
I apologize for taking so long to reply to your wonderful and encouraging words. Your comments were in a folder on WordPress that I never knew existed. Thankfully, a friend of mine pointed this folder out to me.
Thank you so very much for your comments; I cannot adequately express what they mean to me. I do know that the only way to move forward and help others is to open ourselves up and start talking. Thanks again for stopping by the Cabbage Patch <3 :).