*Please note, there’s no sex in this post, just mild profanity. If you’re offended by profanity, you’ve come to the wrong blog (I swear like a sailor. In fact, sometimes I swear like a ship full of sailors). If you’re looking for graphic sex, you should look for the other Grey book…or the adult bookshop.
** This post was prompted by Robin’s Williams birthday. He would have been 64.
“Well, here we are, halfway through July, more than halfway through the year, and what do you have to show for it? You’re a little older, a little fatter and your house is still a mess…..”
And there you have it, the EIC is in fine form this morning. I’ve talked about him, more than once, but I don’t think I’ve talked about his girlfriend – she’s a soggy, wet, warm, mildew-y wool blanket. She’s heavy and smelly and ruins everything she touches. She’s also a self-centered diva, demanding all your attention, then tsk-tsking sadly and insinuating that your best effort is not quite good enough, but suggesting that closing the blinds might help. I call her BFC, but she’s known by many names, including The Blues and Depression.
The two of them rarely travel alone, preferring the company of their friends Anxiety Disorder and Self-Hatred. These asshats are the founding members of The Sneaky Bastards. I have battled TSB for years, with varying degrees of success. I recently came across some letters from my mother which showed me that she fought the same battle. I had long suspected that she self-medicated for depression. The letters are my proof. The letters made me sad – not because they were depressing (they weren’t. In fact, they were funny, and provided me with a lovely trip down memory lane), but because she thought she was alone. She wasn’t. Our family tree has an entire branch of women who were self-medicators.
My personal battles have been mostly victories. I have the blues, usually powered by hormones, but nothing that some chocolate and a glass of wine couldn’t fix (yay for self-medication!). I suppose I was due for a loss.
A series of losses, including health (my own and others), employment (not my own), and life (again, not my own) knocked me down. I struggled to get up, but a car crash threw me to the bottom of the deepest, darkest well. Figuratively, that is. My car got a dent. The other car got a flat tire. Nobody was hurt. Not physically, at least. We managed to drive away, but I was crushed beyond repair, and found myself sobbing uncontrollably on the floor of my car.
The good news is that hitting bottom (or close to it) gave me the incentive I needed to look for help. More importantly, it gave me the incentive to ASK for help. MOST importantly, I learned to accept help when it was offered, whether or not I’d asked for it. Now I responded to the offer with a “Yes, thank you” instead of a fake smile and a “Gosh, thanks, I’m FINE***, but thanks again for offering.”
I knew that I was not the only one battling the EIC and BFC and all their friends, but I used to think that it was a battle which needed to be fought alone, in silence, with the tools I had on hand. Now I know that I was wr…wr….mistaken (yeah, I have a hard time admitting to being incorrect. I’ll deal with that issue…soon).
This is not a personal battle. 1 in 8 women are affected by depression, and anxiety and depression affects twice as many women as men, but it is not a “Woman’s issue” either. I am tired of seeing The Sneaky Bastards win. They tell us that we are alone, that we deserve to stay in the dark. They lie.
The first step is asking for help. Yes, it’s a four letter word, but it’s a good one. Then again, so is hope.