I’m in that hurry up and wait stage of dealing with a government bureaucracy. The sun is trying to shine and it has certainly warmed up. Has been raining buckets (as I write that two of the local high school kids on their way home in shorts…how wimpy am I) but not to bad today. So while I sit here waiting for my request to percolate its way through a filter of god knows how many vacant positions before anybody actually makes a decision it’s time to put some words paper.
This grey misty weather condition can have a depressive effect on a wide variety of individuals. Some days it gets to me but not today. I find the moments of sunshine breaking through the clouds is uplifting but I also dumped a big anger this morning, one I had been carrying around for a long time and it felt good.
Regardless of how well today worked out for me (or has been working out, the day isn’t over) the are many who are just beginning their first major rollercoaster decent of the year. Between the depressing weather, the inauguration on Friday and, the thousands of little things that make life what it is, you need to remember the #LetsTalk day Jan 25.
Depression is not a weakness, depression is a communication, a non-verbal one but communication all the same. Many of us don’t know how to talk that way.
I worked in an environment for fifteen years where we spend a lot of time discussing “getting in touch with your feelings”. That was psychiatry in Calgary. My job was to understand feelings while looking for meaning in them. To many it later became “psycho-babble” but to my peers it was communication.
We took courses, attended workshops, conferences and we’d share what we had learned at coffee breaks. I spend more time behind the mirror observing a session than I did combing my hair in front of the mirror. The truth was when I left work and went out with as bunch of trucker friends of mine, getting in touch with their feelings meant getting laid. That was forty years ago.
The brain, like any muscle, retains its own muscle-memory. This ability to understand psychobabble is second nature to me. I usually don’t even realize I used it until I analyze the discussion later. However it is an aspect of my communication style that I had assume other understood but that was a mistake. The first rule of effective communication is to never assume and I blew it. Communication is more than just words, it’s power. When you know how to communicate effectively, not just talk but “communicate” you maintain your own power. Don’t let depression strip you of your power. On Jan 25 join the conversation and Lets Talk.
Let me leave you with a little wheelchair wisdom, while still working in psychiatry I spend a couple of years in out-patient cognitive therapy, a process I still embrace. We are only as strong as our beliefs. Leave the illusion that says depression is weakness, quit living the pain and talk. I know I am.
The two biggest cognitive distortions of depression:
- All or nothing thinking – you see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure;
- Overgeneralization – you see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
Talk Jan 25…