The Loss of Robin Williams, and the Reality of Depression

latebloomlisa:

Kat touches on what so many of us suffering from mental illness face every day.

Originally posted on A Kat Galaxy Blog:

TO BE MY OWN MASTER. SUCH A THING WOULD BE GREATER THAN ALL THE MAGIC AND ALL THE TREASURES IN ALL THE WORLD. BUT WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT? LET’S GET REAL HERE, THAT’S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. GENIE, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE HUMMUS.” -GENIE IN ALADDIN


 

My husband I were on the couch, television muted, listening to music.

A red banner announcing Robin Williams’s death flashed on the screen.

He was only 63. We immediately thought suicide, or overdose.

We shut the music off and turned the volume back on the TV.

Indeed, he took his own life, reportedly by asphyxiation. 

A dear friend from high school died that way a year after we graduated.

A shocking announcement.

This morning, as I turn on the news and start my day, it’s palpable.


 

Yesterday, my husband argued with me as I phoned him on the way home from…

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Sucker Punch

It had been a good day, a really good day, actually. Work was a good pace, not too busy and not too slow. I felt that I really connected with a patient who was emotionally pained, and we prayed together. My coworkers and I all got along and laughed. The sun was out and I had a healthy and satisfying meal. As is my usual custom, I turned on Pandora and then a song came on that hit me like a sucker punch.

Had this song not been recorded prior to my relationship with my former fiancee, I would swear it was about us. The pain I thought I was past came rushing back. I wonder if this is a hurt that will never truly heal, if I will be haunted by these ghosts forever.

Jinxed

So apparently I jinxed myself with posting about maintaining mood during a vacation. I am sure part of my current dilemma stems from normal post vacation letdown, but it’s becoming more clear I am in the midst of a mixed episode. It started with me feeling a bit blue. That wasn’t so surprising as on vacation I visited a place that holds a lot of powerful memories for me, both good and bad. And while I had a great time, it was impossible to avoid some less than happy memories. I’ve healed a lot but in some respects, it was a bit like pulling off a scab and making the wound fresh again. The last several days have found me sorting through the residual emotions, making sense of things and getting back into my regular routine. 

Today found me irritable and longing for solitude following quite a few days of feeling “less than”. If I could get over my bad habit of comparing myself to people who (seem to) have the life I want this would be less of a problem. I know I’m not alone in this problem, studies have shown that thanks to social media, we’re all less satisfied and more depressed. 

But the most troubling thing is that I cut a few days ago. I hadn’t done it in months but after allowing social media to get in my head and reaffirm the messages of “I am Not Good Enough” “He Didn’t Want You” and “You are Mentally Ill And Alone”, I did it to ease the pain. And I remembered why I used it as a coping mechanism- instant relief, followed a while later by shame. I’ve been able to keep from cutting anymore, and it’s definitely something I need to discuss with my psychiatrist. So for now, I’m trying to avoid comparing myself to anyone, reminding myself I don’t know their whole story/struggles/thoughts. I continue to try to focus on positives, to reach out to God for help. 

I keep remembering being on the outskirts of a forest fire back when I lived in Montana. There was just enough smoke to make it hard to breathe, to cloud your vision. The smoke made things far less comfortable and reminded you of the danger that lay behind it. Mixed episodes remind me of that forest fire, of that smoke. I am praying for safe delivery from the danger. 

Images

The last two weeks have been busy! I’m feeling a little low the past couple of days so I took some time to observe things more graciously and simply to lift my mood. Here’s some highlights:

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My veggies are growing! They’re holding up well to the heat and I look forward to fresh salads and snacks soon! Great to see my work paying off!

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These gorgeous copper earrings were a gift from my sister. It’s nice to get little care packages from her, though she could send an empty envelope and I’d be thrilled.

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Off to find a new coffee shop in my neighborhood this week. We all know I love coffee but I especially love buying local and supporting small business. Hoping I find a new great place to enjoy.

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Love this mug! This depression that is coming in like a fog has darkened the joy I felt following vacation. Sometimes a simple reminder, like the one on this mug, can put a smile back on my face.

I’ve been reading on so many blogs about simplifying and appreciating what you have and what is. It’s something that is on my mind a lot lately and I expect to be writing more about that soon. Until then, take a little time every day to be still and be present!

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