Getting through Depression Together
It is hard to not get, be or stay depressed with what is happening in our world today like domestic terrorism, black men, women and children being murdered by cops and Donald Trump as the new President of The United States.
There is never a good time to talk about depression, but no time is a bad time to address it. Life is short but it is also very long and the constant war between our egos and our true selves is quiet exhausting to say the least. I think the aforementioned mixed with a gallon of childhood, a cup of social media and a teaspoon of loss is a recipe for depression. We have all had childhoods, been through loss and get in our own way because of our egos. That is why it is good to talk about depression, because we all go through it. Some more severely than others. It is always a bad time to talk about depression because of the stigma society has put around that word for as long as it’s been around. There are millions of men and women, rich and poor, educated and not, suffering from depression. I don’t think we can get to know ourselves truly unless we get to know what and where our depression is.
Sinead O’Conner the super famous and amazing Irish singer posted this video to her Facebook during a time of pain and sever depression. She confesses she has mental illnesses, she opens up about being alone, dying, how hard it all is but most importantly, that she is only #OneInAMillon people who are feeling this way.
You can call it heart-breaking, annoying, TMI, or CRAZY even but I think this is what raw pain from the inside out looks like. We can ALL recognize some or all parts of what and how Sinead shared her thoughts with us.
A while ago, I asked a good friend who works for herself about how she deals with the lack of self-esteem in her life when the work and opportunities are scares; when there might be no work coming in, no photo-shoots, and no clients. She explained that she has periods of what she likes to call the Womp and the Swamp. During the Swamp times, things are really good and there is a lot of amazing work and opportunities coming her way. One is SWAMPED, BUSY and HAPPY. During the Womp times, no work is coming in, giving up becomes easy, fear sleeps with you and doubt sits on your couch. I remember thinking how much this applies to life and depression. I realized that if we recognize the Womp times in our lives, if we are aware of them, we automatically (and without much work at all) recognize and truly believe that a Swamp period must be right around the corner.
Since we can’t talk about depression and not talk about social media…
Welcome to today’s world where, scientifically proven, millennial’s get colds and fevers that derive from FOMO, (the Fear of Missing Out) and social media is the vehicle. We envy each other and compare ourselves and our lifestyles to those of others tirelessly hour after hour and day after day, scroll after scroll. On Instagram, inspiration is flying everywhere and it appears that all the people you follow live their lives in color, so beautifully, and so perfectly, especially the stars and public figures. While it is beautiful and true, it is not real. IT IS TRUE what you see on social media happened and is happening but IT IS NOT REAL. The difference is big and I think if we learn to use social media to ACTUALLY connect with one another, share our art, collaborate, start conversations about real life shit – if we simply start to use social media with just a touch of awareness and woke-ness, your (and therefore our) perspectives would change forever and for the better. (We’ll keep talking about this).
On Facebook, those who over share details about their lives are mocked for “sharing TMI (too much information)” or “posting things we ain’t tryna read.” I have read and heard so many complaints about how “everyone is getting married and having babies on Facebook”, traveling the world, graduating, taking new medication, mourning, eating well and spending quality time with their families, etc. Some folks are highly bothered by reading about people’s moods and what they had for lunch but have we stopped to think that maybe this is what life is about? TMI. Sharing. Family and future. Real emotions. Some of us hide and some of us want to tell our business to everyone, maybe to not feel so alone. What’s wrong with that?
Essentially, no matter how perfect other people’s lives seem, we as humans, should know that all relationships have their own issues, travels comes with some sacrifices, a cute, new baby can cause depression, sleepless nights or put lives on hold, promotions come with hard work, family is never easy to deal with, etc. No matter how beautifully straight or curly our hair is or how well we did our makeup or how big the smile is in a selfie, we are all full of doubt, fear, questions, confusions and pain. We can help each other simply by seeing one another with compassion and attention. With some awareness, meditation, sweat, tears, netflix, food, our beds and our friends we can get through some of our pain and depression.
Something to leave with...
Can we learn to love ourselves so that we can know how love others? We seem to be good at support and navigation through a tough world, how hard can it be to connect with someone who breaths like you and has a warm heart like you while still minding and handling your own business?
I know it is easier said than done but these are the steps necessary to start our journey back up the spiral.
There is a whole world out there, lets go and get it, together.
Sinead… power and love to you! I’ll keep you in my good graces. Work with yourself to believe that a Swamp period is around the corner because NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU!
P.S. making fun of your own depression can be comforting because you've identified it:
cover photo by amanda saviñón