I don’t write about this often, not out of shame or fear but mainly because I am not a professional in this area. There are a lot of people spewing advice about mental health that have no place doing so. Maybe it does some people good but I am all too aware of how it can also do harm. So, just for the record, the following is not advice, it is simply me waving a flag or shining a light for anyone out in the dark looking for a beacon. While this imay be posted to the public, it is really meant for the people around me. This is a personal post.
I have a significant amount of people around me who suffer from depression, as have I. I am really glad to know that it is happening because it means at some point they have shared a part of them and I am lucky to be surrounded by people who are open and willing to share. This openness has gotten me out of dark times and it has also enlightened me into the complex struggles of others. The more I listen, the more i feel and the more I feel the more I learn – about the person talking but also about me. Listening does help the listener too. I truly believe that empathy is the most important teacher.
I often say that sad songs are the best. Because they are! But sad people are also, often the best. Let me clarify…sad people tend to lean heavy on the empathetic side of things. They are sensitive, they listen well and they feel strongly both within themselves and for others and they just care, maybe a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, I dont want them to be sad, I just respect the deep, muddy waters in which they tread. I realize happy people can be empathetic too and I do like happy songs…but that’s not what I am talking about here.
Anyways, I brought up sad songs for a reason. There is a phrase that is used to describe the fear or guilt that comes along with repeatedly sharing your depression or anxieties with another person – we don’t want to “sound like a broken record.” This has been said to me at times by the people I love the most. People who have shared their troubles once or many times and just feel like if they share it again, then their burden will become mine. And being the empathetic souls that they are, this will weigh even heavier on them, compounding the problem. I am not sure if I have ever said it myself but I have definitely thought it. Sometimes even one time feels like it is too much. So I get it. And if you simply don’t want to hear yourself say it again, or in that moment, you can’t find the words, then no problem, it’s okay. But here is the thing – and I am really only speaking for myself here – I want to hear that sad song every single time.
Do you know how many times I have put a song on repeat for days on end? Pretty much every week for the last, um, forever. And the song isn’t even a friend, family member or girfriend, its just a silly song. I don’t have a lot of friends, not close ones, so If you are in my circle then I love you. I don’t hang out with people all willy nilly, So know that I have your back. Forever. If there is any chance that us talking about / or just me listening to what you are feeling will ease your mind, then I want to hear it. And I hope you would do the same for me. Your words, even if they are exactly the same as the last time hold more weight and meaning than anything I could listen to or read, because they are yours and we are in this together.
The thoughts that make me sad are often related to the fleetingness of life, the inability to hold on to a moment and the fear of losing everything…for eternity. I become hyper aware of every passing minute and not being able to live it again and maybe do it a bit better. I can obsess over not having done something to my best ability and it can bring me down and I will retreat into my own head. But I usually come around to realizing or remembering how lucky I am to be alive at the same time as all the wonderful people in my life. That being here with you guys around is so amazing and that I am only sad because I am in love with it all, and sometimes it is a lot. Of course there are other reasons I feel sad but the deep depression is always connected to the abyss. But anyways, this post is not about me and just for the record, I am doing alright. I just wanted to share a bit.
We may be connected to a lot more people these days but a lot of it is shallow, and in my experience it has magnified the relationships that really mean something to me. Sometimes we push away the people who mean everything to find new ‘ears’ who will listen so as not to burden our close friends. If that works for you then do it. But just know that there is someone that wants to hear it that already loves you and understands you (or is trying to understand you). I do think it is good to speak to as many people as you can, to get new insights and just find outlets so that you can work through emotions that are garbling up your thoughts. But if you are like me and you have a bit of a hard time divulging information to just anyone, then go back to the people you trust and love. If I am one of those people, then I want to hear everything you have to dsay. If you don’t have someone like this in your life than I truly hope you can find one, be they a professional or a friend (here is a list of resources and crisis lines in case that is where you are at).
That’s really all I want to say. I want to stear clear of giving advice. All of our troubles are unique and require careful thought and consideration. Their may be approaches to healing depression in general but the tools that wprk best seem to look different for each person. So telling you to journal would be a fairly empty suggestion.
If you are in need of advice, I may not be able to help you concretley, but I can share to you what has worked for me. If you do not have a professional to talk to and you are reading this, then you are probably in my circle, which means I am all yours, any time you want. The record is only broken when it stops playing music, if its skipping, it just needs a nudge to get the song out. If this is the nudge you needed, you know how to find me.