One Woman’s Story (not mine)

I was cruising through different channels on my Roku the other night and I came across “My Depression: The up and down and up of it. It was a musical cartoon voiced by Sigourney Weaver as Elizabeth Swados and Steve Buscemi as Suicidal Thoughts. This is based on Elizabeth Swados’ memoir My Depression: A Picture Book. Its less than 30 minutes long and it’s cute, humorous and at times a mirror to my own experience. The main difference is she sees her depression as a dark overhanging cloud whereas I see myself as the cloud. I looked Elizabeth Swados up in Wikipedia and was shocked to see she had passed away. I quickly looked for the cause and was relieved (I know that’s a bad choice of words) to see she died from complications of surgery, not suicide. The movie is bitterly truthful about the hold negativity exerts on the tired soul of a depressed person and the absolute hopelessness which keeps you mired in your own emotional detritus. Suicidal Thoughts took her on a wild ride ostensibly over a cliff but she got out before the ride came to a sudden stop. Sortta hit home.

But she WON!! Perhaps viewing depression as a competition to “win” is a little too simplistic for those of us who are on a constant teeter-totter between medication and life reorientation. Keeping the bats out of the belfry and working to see life without the discoloration of depression isn’t black/white as win/lose but every shade of gray, red, yellow and blue in the rainbow. “Winning”, also, has its own negative connotations thanks to other celebrities and their mental musings in media. I realize It’s easy for me to be flippant on this side of the void. My story is here for the reading and I’m posting the link to Youtube below so if you want to watch the 29:58 minute video you can.

The movie premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was received very well.

The New York Times described the film “as charming and whimsical a discussion of depression as you’re likely to find… it’s honest and forthright as it talks about a condition often misunderstood and misrepresented.”[3] BroadwayWorld commented, “Simultaneously heartfelt and entertaining, My Depression illuminates the symptoms, emotions and side effects of the disorder through witty animation, comedy and unique musical numbers.

Wikipedia

Depression was accepted as an illness at the time of the movie but it was still said in hushed tones and only really spoken aloud among the afflicted. TV commercials were prevalent and horrifying with their sotto voce side effects droned over people miraculously returning to their old perfect lives after a single dose. I’ve found the best amelioration is knowing although each experience is unique to the person, we are not alone. And we need to tell our stories to each other by voice, by blog, by email or in film. It’s a reverse communicable disease, we get better by sharing.

My Depression: The Up And Down And Up Of It

Reading the Past

I just finished my job searching for today. I’m trying not to apply for everything all at once so I will have something to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday, and Saturdays are set aside to look for a gig job. So, I’m ensconced in my room surfing the job boards and I decided to update my last post I Do Declare with a new question they are using to flush out the weak from the heard of resumes and I started to look back through my posts.

Some basic facts I’ve gleaned:

  • 128 posts in all (129 with this one)
  • Started in May 2011
  • I was a very angry woman when I started
  • I’m well on my way out and away from the void at this stage of the game

Writing has always been my salvation. My journal a raft which has sustained me while adrift in the darkest of times. This blog is like a journal. I’ve used it as a repository for the emotions, the feelings (real and imagined) over the years when I didn’t have time, space or energy to do more than to name it. Naming the unknown steals its power. Additionally, making a joke about it takes a lot of the scary out of it. BLOGGING FROM THE VOID has helped me in more way than just being a vomitorium in times of need, it has been a window into the world where I can see my words are going out and might help someone else or just make them smile.

I am gratified by the voice I have developed through my writing. Though I dont always consider what I do here creative writing, more creative opening a vein, but my words are more mine and not the idelizations of a misplaced childhood. Life isn’t supposed to be easy, but the lessons are worth it, even if the lessons are seasoned with anti-depressant salts. The work is hard getting out of the void, exhausting even, but the work is worth while.

I said in the page about the blogger:

I’m currently unemployed, completely out of money, and am surviving by the grace of God, charity from the church and my family.

I’m going through another bout of  severe depression with severe anxiety with just a touch of OCD.

I’m determined to get for myself the tools to build a bridge out of this void so I don’t get sucked back in….ever again.

The Blogger, Blogging From The Void

I’m unemployed again but I am employable. I was then too, but I didn’t believe I was with anything because I was constantly being let go. I am, I hope, almost finished with the bridge with my tools to end this acute situation I am building a shed to house them in so it doesn’t happen again.

By no account is this a goodby for this blog. I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the work I’ve done, here and in my life and to thank the readers by virtue of just reading, have made me feel like I’m not in this alone. Thank you to all that have reached out in comfort and shared your experiences with me as well. The goals going forward is to read and review the books on my list, to continue to share my successes and near successes until I can say I am wholly and completely out of the void.

I Do Declare

Now that I’ve moved, still whole and fairly well settled I have started the process of looking for a job. At the end of my four hour slot each day of searching I just want to crawl back to my old job (but in a new city) and go back to what I know, after all the devil you know…. I try to research and apply for five jobs a day, which doesn’t sound like much but phlebotomy and EKG tech jobs aren’t as ubiquitous as one would think. One company is waiting to move over their hiring platform onto another and after thanking me for submitting my application they would prefer I do it again on the 19th. So, I’m waiting for the days to tick away.

At the end of these arduous application processes they have self declaration pages. Am I a veteran: No. Am I of any color: No. Am I binary or non: Binary. Do I have a disability…..Do I? I asked Dr. W once if I could go on disability for the major depression and anxiety disorder he diagnosed me with but he said he wouldn’t. Not because I didn’t qualify but because he felt it wouldn’t be good for me. I don’t feel like I’m depressed any longer, I feel like my problem is more trying to learn the basic human skills I should have gotten from a normal dysfunctional childhood to navigate the world around me. My mood still goes up and I come back down but, then again, everyone does. I’m still on medication but I’m on blood pressure medication as well to keep that on an even keel, not because of an acute problem. I don’t want to be disabled. I understand they have requirements to hire people who are challenged by life one way or another and there is a little voice in my head that wants to abuse every option to get a job, but I don’t want to be disabled. If the site doesn’t have specific things that qualify me as disabled, I check refuse to identify. If there is a list and depression and anxiety are on it I check yes, but I’m not specific. I feel my answers should be consistent but this is as consistent as I can get.

How am I supposed to handle this? Is there anyone out there that can give me advise or share how they handled this in the past? Or am I just sticking my head in the proverbial sand hoping I can convince the world I’m perfectly healthy, nothing to look at here and just keep moving along. Sigh.

UPDATE:

Now they’re getting crafty. They ask “Do you have a disability OR a history of a disability.”. Its like they read my mind…..or my blog…..and are requiring me to declare whether I want to or not. Grrrrr.