I’m tired or am I depressed…

I’m tired. If I had a penny for all the times I have said that in my life. I would be able to pay my medical bills. Sometimes I say it when people ask if I’m okay and I don’t want to say I’m depressed. Sometimes I say it because I’m depressed and that makes me feel tired

It is always good to get to know the signs of depression. It’s especially important to know your signs of depression. For me I know that when I find myself saying I’m tired a lot that is a good sign I’m depressed.

I stop and assess myself. Really think about what I am feeling. Am I eating? Am I losing interest in normal things I like to do? Am I sleeping too much or not enough? Is the negative thinking worse then normal?

Once I know if I’m depressed I need to determine which kind of depression it is. Is it situational or chemical? If I know what type it is I will know the best way to handle it.

It may make me sound even crazier then I already am, but I find talking to myself helps when its chemical depression. When it is situational a funny movie or some kind of distraction helps. But with chemical depression there is not much you can do. Talking to myself helps.

What do I say? I remind myself that it is just a depression episode. It won’t last forever. It may feel like the end of the world, but it isn’t. I remind myself I have gone through this before and I was fine. If the thoughts go too dark and I start thinking I want to die (we have all been there) I remind myself that if I kill myself it will hurt the people I love. That it is selfish. It may end my pain, but everyone who loves me will be in pain. Guilt has always been a big motivator for me. (Family stuff I’m working on in therapy)

It’s not easy to do, but I listen to myself more then I listen to other people. I’m really stubborn and get defensive when people try to help me. That might be why I started talking myself down. Those are somethings that help me. What are somethings that help you when you are depressed?

Walk of Hope

Two blogs in one night!!

I was already planning to do the blog I just posted, but I wanted to talk about this too. Last Sunday I did the Walk of Hope. For the last 30 years in the city of Raleigh they do a 5 K for charity. What cause is it you ask, mental illness. The company my Dad works for has been one of the sponsors for years. He said it never occurred to him to actually sign up before. My excuse is I didn’t know anything about it. This year he signed us both up.

It was held at a very popular restaurant here in Raleigh, North Carolina. The place has a lot of room for booths, games for kids, and food. The booths were different places like NAMI and psychiatric places. One was the places was where I go to get my medication. There was also a mental health man that is the creepiest superhero ever. He gave me a lollipop that I didn’t eat. People could eat and play games while they waited for the 5 K to start.

Exercise is not my thing, but I have always liked walking. It clears your head you know. It was two of my favorite things walking and hanging out with my Dad. We walked all 5 miles. I am so proud of us. They said we could turn back anytime we wanted to. There were cars that would pick people up. My Dad asked me a few times if I wanted to turn around, but I wanted to do the whole thing.

I put on my Walk for Hope t-shirt and proudly walked those 5 miles. It was for a good cause. One I truly believe doesn’t get enough attention. The money went to help people with mental illness and our walk was on the news. People saw us standing up and saying people with mental illness need help. No more shame and whispers! Let’s talk about mental illness. We are not helping anyone by not talking about it.

I swear my jaw dropped a couple of weeks ago. A former coworker of mine had gone on the news to talk about suicide because her husband committed suicide this past year. She wanted to talk about it so she could help other people. I only know that she did this because another coworker brought it up. “She wanted to talk about what happened to her husband.” Her words. One of the new girls asked what happened to him. I said he committed suicide. My coworker telling the story says ‘shh don’t talk about that’. Jaw drop. WTF! Is that not the point of you telling us this. She wants to talk about her husbands suicide to help others. Not talking about it doesn’t help anyone.

Not talking about it makes people feel ashamed. If they feel like they have something to be ashamed of they won’t go and get the help they need. We should talk about it. She had no idea her husband was suicidal because he didn’t talk to her about it. Her husband is gone and her daughter doesn’t have a Father because he didn’t feel like he could talk to someone about his pain.

The Walk of Hope is a good way for people to start to talk about it. This is 2018 we aren’t locking the mentally ill in attics, prisons, and horrible hospitals anymore. We have so much more knowledge then we used to. We have medications that work. What we don’t have is an open dialogue about it. We have people who need help, but don’t know how to get it. They can’t ask because we aren’t allowed to talk about it.

All the people who came for the Walk of Hope gave me hope that things are changing for the better.