When you say nothing at all: Depression and Stigma

Sometimes I think it’s easier to deal with your own mental illness when you say nothing at all. That’s only sometimes when I think this way. Like today.

For a little while now, I’ve been noticing my mood do some funny things. Both hubby and I are always on the prowl when it comes to any peculiar things I want to do, or say or feel. The past while it’s been really difficult trying to manage everything – especially with grace. I think I allowed the hustle and bustle to unsettle me, a little. (Un)fortunately I went UP first. We noticed the increased energy- but pinned it as me-coming-into-my-own. I didn’t sleep much, I’ve been researching and blogging and reblogging and connecting and reading memoirs and writing short stories (yes more than one) and cooking and dieting and NOT exercising (that counts as something bad) and driving and attending chiropractor appointments and spending money all over the place and justifying everything I do. Hubby asked if I won the lotto. I’m spending money I don’t have. Then my birthday came.

I bought stuff to look pretty. I was so anxious leading up to the day. I told one of my friends, ” I was worried who was going to wish me, who wasn’t, what the quality of the messages were going to be like, if my hair will be okay, if the food wil be okay, if anyone will spoil the day, (there’s a long list of if’s, but my laptop may run out of ink). I had my first suicidal thought in months today. It came so swiftly.”

She was experiencing the same ‘down’, so she knew exactly what I was going through. She is so wonderful.

Anyway, if I had to tell my friends and family how I feel, some would either feel totally sorry for me or say the wrong stuff. Exhibit A: Yvette: I feel so worried about [anything and everything]. Person: No, you shouldn’t feel worried.

That doesn’t help. I have an anxiety disorder. I also don’t need pity, it patronizing. I’m just sick. Like someone with diabetes or Cancer.

I went to see my pdoc and told her wonderful it is to write, but I don’t always get time. It’s all stolen moments here and there, not a second to edit, or analyse or rethink. But it’s a way for me to exhale.

I have come to realize that I am very sensitive to “noise”, whether it’s a change in routine, to change in diet to change in mind. I do however, find the resilient Yvette pushes through and deals with the (daily) tasks that need to be completed. The sensitive, more vulnerable Yvette rocks back and forth underneath- through the noise, waiting for the opportune moment to shine. She’s that brilliant one. It’s the other Yvette though, that world needs.

Speaking about mental illness is particularly difficult for me. Many know me as “The one who did this or that”. People like associating and dealing with greatness, perfection, able-bodied, the non-flawed. They enjoy the opposite too, like race and poor people and politicians, and physical disabilities. They do not like speaking about the intricacies of mental illness, the practicalities of interacting with a mentally ill person, let alone the stigma and blatant discrimination.

People want to deal with issues they can handle, like race and physical disabilities. Because that is called transformation. Dealing with mental illness is uncomfortable.

So today I realize I am weak. I hurt.

But at least I am not uncomfortable with the issue of mental illness, in society, and in the workplace.

At least I have meds to deal with my illness.

What excuse do you have?


3 thoughts on “When you say nothing at all: Depression and Stigma

  1. Eddie Guild says:

    The sad thing of course is that it should not be uncomfortable to talk about, its a bit like sex bring either subject up at a dinner party and nothing will clear the table quicker. People just don’t want to hear about it let alone deal with it. I do my best to try and educate other but sometimes it feels like a losing battle. A friend of mine who I love dearly once said to me “your only normal because you have not been diagnosed yet!” She is horribly close to the truth I think. Hope your day goes well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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