Weird that “lowdown” as a noun means “true facts” and as an adjective it means “rotten and unfair”. I’m pretty sure there is some irony in there but I’m not about to dig into that one right now.
I’ve been at a standstill for the past year as I avoided my blog. I just wondered what the point was in sharing my thoughts and personal life. I mean, really, does the world need one more voice out there on the internet? I’m not profound like Brené Brown or Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m not George Takei, making you laugh as I throw a dose of heartfelt wisdom at you. Like most people, I fear the haters and I fear my own negative voice telling me I have no right to share anything.
So, poop on that, I’m going to start blogging again. And I’m going to start sentences with “poop on that”.
Life is to short to live someone else’s idea of how life should be lived. Ponder that tongue twister.
Right now I need to finish up a kit I’m designing for Pixels and Company, the digital scrapbook shop where I sell my digital designs. I mean, I REALLY should be on photoshop, not WordPress. REALLY. Sometimes, I think it is better to empty your mind in order to refill it with inspiration. I’m writing in hopes that I will share some of my thoughts to make space for new ideas. There, I’ve totally just rationalized my behaviour.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is how, ultimately, I make the rules. I’m one of those people who likes order when it comes to safety and well-being. I get infuriated when people dirt bike or skidoo through our park, or when drivers pull crazy stunts and endanger lives. My heart breaks when people are cruel to others. I’ve always wondered how they could want to break the rules and not lose any sleep over it. Maybe it’s just not that important to them. Then I wonder how they keep getting away with it. How is it that so many rapists, murderers, racists, and really rich developers with a hankering for politics manage to keep getting away with their behaviour? Why isn’t the “boss” (police, government, authority) stopping them? Why are rules seen by so many as merely suggestions? Why am I driving myself crazy trying to do everything the way the rules have been written?
So, I’m going to be a little more selective about the rules I follow. Just the ones that aren’t important to me: being apologetic for not living up to standards set by everyone but me.
Like hiding my depression and anxiety. Actually I’m pretty upfront about the anxiety. It’s the depression I feel shameful about. You would think that after 20+ years of suffering from mild-moderate depressive episodes and earning a BA in Psychology, I’d have the good sense to accept my depression for what it is. An illness. You’d think that. No. Despite all the books, articles, memes, and conversations I’ve read and heard, I still feel any depression I suffer from is all my own doing. My fault. My weakness. My failure.
I can be flippant and light hearted about it on a blog but really, this is a deep wound that I need to heal. I don’t talk about it enough because there are real risks associated with sharing experiences of mental illness. Sure, commercials and memes all encourage us to share our stories but really, there is a risk of losing everything: insurance, reputation, promotions, love… and who knows what else. So, let’s say I share that I have depression. The people who have suffered nod in silent understanding. The people who don’t understand do what? Some are probably sympathetic. Some are probably rolling their eyes? Some are judging. “Maybe if you weren’t so lazy”, “maybe if you didn’t sleep so much”, “maybe if you changed your diet”, “maybe if you weren’t such a loser”. Maybe if I just wasn’t me.
The risk of denying my depression is that the depression deepens and I continue to believe the illness is actually my own inherent flaws. I’m lazy. I sleep too much. I’m pathetic. I’m a loser. I can’t do anything right. I’m a waste of time and space. I’m unloveable.
I am angry at myself for falling into this trap of thinking. I wonder why I’m depressed. I know I have a genetic disposition. I’m not supposed to talk about it but there is a line of my family tree where people have suffered and some have ended their own misery. I’ve asked for details but I can’t get much of the story. Perhaps it is feared I will succumb to my genes? This angers me. I think knowing who and where I come from and knowing what my ancestors have suffered (no fault of their own), I might actually be able to overcome it if I can understand it. It would also lessen my guilt of wrongly believing my depression is all my fault. (Why can’t I convince myself of that without needing the validation?) As Brené Brown says, I want to “own my history”. I can’t control the genetic conditions I pass on to my kids but I can hopefully give them the knowledge and tools they need to live their lives as fully as possible. Not to mention I want to to model good behaviour for them and I’m pretty sure they can see through the veneer of my attempts to cover up my self-loathing.
So, I’m breaking this rule. I’m depressed. I come from a long line of people who have struggled with it. It’s not going away by denying it or by blaming myself for it. I’m talking about it. Deal with it.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT! (No, REALLY, it ISN’T!!!) Stop the blame!
See you soon for posts about quilting, cute unicorn pens, and my newest Tupperware pickle container acquisition.