FU (which I recently found out means FOLLOW UP)

FU (which I recently found out means FOLLOW UP)

That was a funny day, learning there’s more than one meaning to FU. Who knew? Corporate America, that’s who.

After my last post on anxiety, I realized I had a few more general nuggets (which is maybe what Mickey D’s should rename their classic menu item of questionable origin) to share.

– Sometimes, it is totally, 100%, absolutely ok for things to just suck. I repeat, sometimes things just suck. And they can suck for a day or two. But things cannot suck forever. Not even a Dyson, and those things are, like, world-renowned for sucking. It might FEEL like things will suck forever, but they won’t. Promise.

– Tears happen. A good cry is powerful. It can be cathartic. But other times, it’s just uncontrollable and totally annoying. You’re doing stuff, or not doing stuff, and BAM!, saltwater is pouring out of your face. So…you know…sorry about that. Give it a minute. It’ll (probably) pass.

– So many people try to offer up “helpful” advice, and while the intentions are great, if you’ve never experienced depression and/or anxiety, sometimes it’s just so far off base that it can actually hurt. It’s upsetting at times for people to, perhaps unknowingly, minimize the very real struggle that stems from things I cannot control (hello, chemical imbalance, I’m looking at you) by saying stuff like:

“Just try to be happy.” WTF do you think I’m trying to do over here??

“We control our own happiness.” There is truth in this statement, but the reality is, depression is powerful and can be all-consuming. I already feel powerless over it some days, and when I read motivational crap about how I should take back my power, I want to powerfully punch faces.

“It’s all in your head.” No shit, Sherlock. IT’S FUCKING DEPRESSION. HOW IS THIS STATEMENT HELPFUL AT FUCKING ALL? It’s not. Never say this to someone with mental health issues.

“You can’t watch Jurassic Park every time it’s on TV.” You bet your sorry husband ass I can. AND I WILL.

Here are things that I find helpful or reassuring:

“I know things feel awful/overwhelming/scary right now, and I’m sorry for that.” Acknowledgement is powerful. You’re not saying things ARE awful, but instead recognizing that they just FEEL that way to me, and being sympathetic. I don’t want anyone’s pity, but legitimizing that my feelings feel real makes me feel less crazy. Perception is reality, at least in the moment. Don’t discount the power of perception.

“I’m here for you.” I have a lot of friends who have reached out to me and told me this, and I cannot adequately put words to how much it has helped, even when I was drowning in sadness. Mostly, it’s just verification that you care without being pushy, but there have been very dark moments in my life where this meant I had to be alive because otherwise it would cause a lot of people sadness. I can honestly say that if I was just living for myself, I doubt I’d be here today, but knowing I had others who needed me to be alive? That’s powerful.

“Do you want to talk about it?” There’s a 99.9999997% chance I will never take you up on this, because I don’t want to impose on anyone or bring my sadness into their light, but knowing you would genuinely listen, for even a few minutes, means the world to me. And you never know…you just might be the voice to turn the tides.

“Want to watch Jurassic Park?” Okay, I’m mostly joking because Tim told me once we cannot watch it every single time it’s on TV and I never let things die…but offering to stay in and watch TV together is actually really comforting. It doesn’t require public or strangers or talking or moving…but it also provides company and a level of warmth you may not even realize. You can be lonely in a room filled with people, but you can also feel supported by a friend quietly sitting next to you.

And one more thing…thanks. You rock. <3

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