I’m depressed. Is that politically incorrect to share? I’m sorry.
Would you rather I post puppy photos or an inspirationally uplifting poster on Facebook? Would that not offend your sense of well being as much as having to deal with my momentarily dreary reality? You know, Facebook, where everyone is either celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary or thoroughly delighted with their total acceptance of the solitude and peace that they’ve attained in their non-relationship life?
Am I the only person willing to publicly share a less than stellar moment of my life? Well, if I’m not the only I’m certainly among a dwindling minority. Depression, or circumstances that lead to it, is one of the last truly taboo subjects. You can come out of the closet and beat your chest while proudly proclaiming you are one of the 61 “gender” possibilities that Facebook lists but you better not say you’re in a slump.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not always like this. In fact, I teach motivation and inspiration. Its just that in the real world, not the fake worlds of social media or virtual reality, people get depressed, sad, even dare I say, angry. Not being able to speak to this fact just makes it all the more difficult. In fact, it makes people feel isolated, alone and as if there is something wrong with them that others do not have similar periodic misfortunes.
Everyone suffers…we just all do it differently. Some suffer silently and others cry out like a coyote at full moon. But suffer we do. So where’s the shame? In fact, a society that makes someone feel shame for having a slump and daring to share is has lost its compassion. I think we’re there and I blame two things: the absence of God and abundance of technology.
Every generation has its challenges and difficulties with the upcoming generation and the technological advances biting at its heels. But in the past, what was true that is no longer is that change occurred within a framework of basis principles and values that were commonly held and time tested: God, family, friendship, neighborhood, charity, compassion and national pride. Think about those. They’re all gone or so grotesquely distorted as to be unrecognizable.
Now, when I or anyone else comes upon a rough patch, there is no real world embrace to hold us. We can have 580 friends on Facebook but, in a pinch, none of them can hug us. We can’t even be sure any of them would if they were close enough to be given the chance. So aloneness has become an emotional, as well as physical, fact of life.
As if my personal challenges were not enough (a recently damaged nerve in my ankle that kept me sofa-bound and on crutches for a month…oh, sorry, was that more “negativity” than you wanted?) there is North Korea, Democrats and Republicans at each other’s throats, black lives hating white lives, sanctuary cities, a government in denial about unemployment and inflation the middle class is suffering, measles outbreaks in U.S. Syrian immigrant communities and…and…and…
So, I’m having a bad week or two. I know all the positive, self-help things I can say or do to deny how I feel. I know how to practice Transcendental Meditation. I know how to listen to my daughter when she tells me “Mom, go do laps and swim it off.”
I simply choose not to.
I am a real person and real life has its ups and downs. Fake life…Facebook, Instagram, e-harmony and all the others do not. But that’s it, isn’t it. They’re not real. You and I are. So, if you’re having a bad day, month or year you’re not alone. I’m here.