Saturday Stats

"Ten percent of all children suffer a [depressive] episode before age twelve, and 20 percent of the elderly report depressive symptoms." – Dr. Richard O’Connor, Undoing Depression

Being Brave

I don't usually post poetry and I don't want this to become some teenage angst-like blog, but this time, I couldn't help myself:

Please stab me in the heart to keep me from completely falling apart
I can't take this life anymore; my wounds are bruised and hurt, I am too sore
My arteries crumble; they fall to pieces
I'm alone in my mind, going crazy believing
That maybe things will change, they won't stay the same
But I can't point fingers – I'm only to blame

It's been a long time coming
A long, long time
That the dark parts would fall
Into the light
It's an abysmal uncovering,
An unwanted side
To see the dark rear its ugly head
The one that I call suicide.

People say it's cowardice;
I think it's brave
To jump into the dark –
To dig your own grave
People say your hurt others
But what about yourself?
How can you continue appeasing others
When you can't please yourself?

I'm tired of living
And trying to meet expectations
I'm constantly disappointing
And delaying gratification
So I'll quit while I'm ahead
And stop upsetting
I'm tired of worrying
And tired of fretting

I've tried to die many times
All unsuccessfully
But this time I'll plan it out
Oh so carefully
I'll purchase a gun
Without my husband's consent
And once I've gone and pulled the trigger
He'll only have me to resent

Suicide is a selfish act,
That's what people say
I wouldn't disagree or
Argue it any other way
But maybe it's about time I was selfish
Did something for myself for a change
Instead of harboring anger, angst
And pity toward myself always

I won't worry about work,
Plays or fame
I won't worry about family,
Friends or playing games
I'll simply be dead,
Rotting in my grave
Suicide isn't cowardice –
It's simply being brave

I've finally come to admit
I can't handle what I can't face
And even though I'm not God
I think this world isn't my place
I'd rather be unconscious
Unable to breathe
Trapped in my own building
Collapsing down on me

It's been a long time coming
A long, long time
To see the dark rear its ugly head
The part that I call suicide
I have much to say
And there's much I haven't done
But what does it matter
When death's got all the fun?

Male depression

I’ve learned something quite refreshing: my husband suffers from depression.

He pooh-poohs his depression, says it’s not as "severe" as mine but hearing some of the things he told me, it makes me wonder whether his is severe also – severe depression doesn’t necessarily need to lead to suicide although he was suicidal at one point.

Learning that my husband suffers from depression has sheed light on an important but sad fact: Male depression is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

My husband sees himself as "lazy and forgetful." I’m not exactly a person with a great memory either – hence, my addiction to Forgetfulness is a part of life, however, in depression, it becomes a vice – a negative quality to hold against ourselves. As for my husband being "azy." I have to respectfully disagree with him. The hubby appreciates and values his downtime away from work. He spends his time doing what he likes – sitting on the couch either watching a movie, TV or playing Xbox. I am not content to sit in one place for a long period of time so I’m almost always busy: with a project, a novel, reading, researching, acting, singing, taking voice lessons, being in a play, heading a startup organization. For me, it’s not enough to just "be" – for me, I must "do." Not "be"ing or "do"ing too much may just be our problem.

Catholic guilt, loneliness and fear

Since I used to be Catholic, the idea of Catholic guilt has been spinning in my head for a few days now. I’m not quite sure how to explain Catholic guilt.

The best way for me to describe Catholic guilt is to explain that you’ve, oh say, lied to your mother about being in a relationship. You know you’ve lied and so you need to confess to your priest. But it’s been months later, you’re still thinking about your "little white lie" and you haven’t confessed – Catholic guilt. Wikipedia does half-decent job of explaining what I mean.

I feel isolated in my own bubble. I wish I had a counselor on speed dial for moments like this – when I’m feeling so low that nothing but advice from a professional will do. I don’t want an ear today. I want advice. I want someone to tell me what to do. I’m already at the "I hate myself" point right now. I guess I have no real reasons to. I just do.

I am sick to my stomach with myself. I am so unhappy with things in my mind that I want to vomit. Many of my reasons are superficial.

It seems that when I have things together in one area, my brain needs to nitpick at something else so I can fall apart. It performs a pretty good job.

I was at work last week and made little profess on a document I was working on. I want to say that it’s not my fault but I’m plagued with Catholic guilt.

I make myself sick to my stomach. I’ve been exercising and praying but nothing ever seems to be good enough.

My depression stems from not getting enough approval from others. I want to be accepted and I want to be right. I want to be loved and needed. Not just by my husband but from everyone in my life. But no one beyond him truly needs me. And I can’t comprehend why my husband isn’t enough. Why do I need more?

Can you imagine me with kids trying to fly the coop? I’d never let them go.

I’m lonely and depressed. I just need a good cry. But it’ll all bottle up inside until I go crazy and can’t take it anymore. That’s how I am. (shakes head) Geez… women.

Too Much Stress?

I usually get rid of the newsletters from my credit union because I find they don’t provide me with anything particularly helpful. There was one article that I found so helpful, though, that I had to clip it. Here it is:

Stress can be brought on by a sudden or major change in your life, your job, too much to do, or unexpected events. Ask yourself what fators are causing you stress and how you are currently dealing with it.

Here are ways to help relieve stress:

  • Peforming physical activity or writing can release tension and emotions
  • Talking about your feelings with a confidant may get to the root of your stress
  • Laugh and cry it out so it doesn’t build up
  • Manage your time more effectively
  • Massage your neck and shoulder to help relax the muscles
  • Do yoga or meditation
  • Engaging in muisc or humor therapy can brighten your mood

Remember to try and remain healthy by eating and drinking sensibly in times of stress. Having a strong social support system, managing your time, having an activity to release stress, and altering your thinking will consistently help to reduce and relieve stress.

No life-shattering advice there, but the same things to relieve stress can also help alleviate mild to moderate depression.