Thursday, September 20, 2007

All They Hear Is "Blah Blah Blah"

My eight year old once upon a time © Douglas CooteySometimes explaining our troubles can sound like whining to people who do not share our burdens.

Moments before my friend whisked me away to a night of distraction two weekends ago, I jotted down some quick notes. My weekend had been hard. I recorded and produced an album for nine hours on that Saturday, then began ticking early the next day. The ticking lasted for over thirty six hours. In addition to that, my hard drive had burped and lost 195 gigabytes of data a few days before. No utilities I ran could resurrect the data. It was gone. A weekend of deep digging yielded no results. Bad Block City had rezoned my drive. With the last attempt a colossal failure, I could officially sink into blackness. Depression was settling in. Not just because I lost data, but because I was drained and lacking the energy to fight it off. Then again, I could go catch an action adventure flick with lots of mindless explosions and violence instead of sinking into despair. Guess which option won out? Nothing kicks Depression in the fanny like a good Bruce Willis flick.

So, what does this have to do with whining? Well, I had a bad weekend. It was hard. I had to fight off Depression. It was really hard. My computer was mean to me. Did I mention I had a hard time? And do you care? Let's be honest. You probably don't. You have your own problems, and if you don't suffer from Depression you can't quite understand why seemingly insignificant events can trigger a battle with deep sadness. Obviously, losing 195 gigabytes of data is by no means insignificant, but should it usher in crushing Depression? It's a bummer to be sure, but it's not the end of the world.

There was a time when I would write about my bad luck. Oh, I tried to be funny about it, but it just sounded like whining in the end. Maybe the experiences were too close to my heart. Maybe the wounds were still open and raw. I couldn't step back far enough to skewer them with wit. There is also the possibility that we cannot complain about injustice without sounding a bit whiny to those who couldn't care less about our personal turmoil. I have found that others experience this same problem.

I've been getting a lot of hits lately from a blog called Beyond Blue over at Beliefnet. The articles are frequent, well written, and I'm terribly jealous of the author. How does she find the time to write so much? And look at all the comments. Her approach to Depression is similar to mine with a fair amount of cognitive behavior therapy, though she embraces meds - a path that is not open for me. She sings the comforting song that sometimes there's nothing you can do about Depression. It just hurts. And people love her. Then I read this blog of hers on how people "just don't get it."

When I finished her blog I said to myself, "Whine, whine, whine. That's all non-depressives hear when we try to explain our burden." I was amazed. She sounded like she was whining. I sounded like I was whining. And there was nothing we could do about it because we cannot force people to care. Some will simply never get it, and frankly, we should be thankful for that. Depression is a terrible burden and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Well, maybe I'd wish it on them for a weekend or two. I feel the same way about my other disabilities. Only those who have them truly understand them.

This is why I changed the focus of my blog from writing about the problems I had to writing about the strategies I use to cope with them. It is a policy that has worked well for me and has reached more people, though those who wallow in their misery lost interest in me. Regardless, not only have I met many wonderful people through this blog, I have become a better and more well-minded individual. Although some people have accused me of not really having Depression or AD/HD because my life is not a medication filled blackened cesspit like theirs, I just laugh at them now. If only they knew what a mess my world really was because of these disabilities, but if I went into too much detail you might think I was whining.

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