Last week I received one of the most satisfying e-mails of my life. Funny thing is, I have no idea who sent it. But this person was “a friend of a friend” with a non-specific email address, and had just read my first blog about my depression. They commented that the blog was “uninspiring” until they read the comment “I have had several people tell me that I am the funniest person they have ever met.” That got them to thinking. To sum up what they said, they were also thought of as funny, but they had began to realize that most of the jokes were a mask to cover up the pain. They went on to ask me the following, “How do you deal with it? You can go to doctors and shrinks, and you can read books, but does it help you? I feel great when I am talking to my doctor, but I live alone. When Im alone I feel like killing myself. Not really though but when I am alone, I’m miserable.

This blog is for that person.

How do I deal with it? Like you, my depression hurts most when I am alone. Do whatever you can to talk to someone, or be with someone. I think that the most important thing you can do is TALK ABOUT IT. If you can find someone you can talk to, you will be a lot better off. Find someone you trust and confide in them. Show them your pain, and be honest about it, not only with them, but with yourself as well. Talking about your feelings makes them tangible, and only when they become real can you begin to deal with them. When you are alone and feel like crap and can’t find someone to talk to (or don’t want to), go for a walk, go to a movie. Do whatever you can to activate the positive in your head, and get yourself distracted. Don’t blame yourself and don’t blame others. Depression is a mental illness, a disease. No one is to blame for it.

I’ve actually found that learning about depression is actually, and ironically, very depressing. After my first session with a counselor, I felt like crap! After reading articles about it, or watching programs about depression I just want to cry, literally. But you have to! You can and will take something out of it, and you will learn to use it. You have to find the strength to fight through that pain and, once you do, it becomes easier. If you give into it, you will be in trouble.

Find things in yourself you are proud of, and that you are good at. When you feel the agony of depression coming on, focus on your positive points.

I had someone tell me once that “depression is a choice”. I no longer associate with that person. It’s not that they are a bad person or that they are wrong, it’s simply a case that they are not going to help you, and they are going to bring you down. If you can avoid people like that, do so!

The truth is, I can’t help you in a blog. I may not even be able to help you at all. But I will talk to you. You can e-mail me any time, and see what happens. klj3@telus.net.

Just make sure you continue to seek medical advice. I’ve learned that ‘depression’ is often a sign of bi-polar disorder, and you can’t always treat that the same as you treat depression. In my case, medication has helped a lot. Have you tried that? Talk therapy? Life style changes?

I want you to know that your email touched me in a way you may never understand. For me, and big part of my depression is just feeling completely useless. Knowing that I made one person think, and ask for a tiny little bit of help has done more to cheer me up than any other single thing has been able to do. Thank you for that! You’ve probably helped me more than I’ve helped you!

Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”
“Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques – visualization, association – it made a huge difference for me.”
“That’s great! What was the name of the clinic?”
Fred went blank. He thought and thought, but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that red flower with the long stem and thorns?”
“You mean a rose?”
“Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife. . .”Rose, what was the name of that clinic?”