Response-ability

Do you often feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you have to do in any given day?  I suspect that is probably normal for many people.  Too many commitments, too much wanting, too many expectations.

I took the word responsibility and split it into two parts, and created a new meaning.  “The ability to respond.”

We often take on more than we can handle because we think we should.  If you said “no” to things that don’t belong to you or you don’t feel good about, what are the consequences?  Sometimes you have to say no to people, because if you don’t , they will never learn a much-needed lesson.  The world is full of overworked and overcommitted people.

But what about the people that can’t respond?

I’m going back to the subject of depression, because it is very difficult to understand what is going on.  I have experienced times of depression.  Fortunately, they have been minimal.  I tend to go more the other way, as I have anxiety disorder.  Anxious people are usually the overcommitted, because having control over things keeps your environment manageable if not calm.  Anxious people look for sh*t on the horizon and plot and plan to keep it shoveled away.  I have worked (there’s that word again!) very hard to keep the horizon sh*tpile from blocking my view.

Depression doesn’t even let you see the sh*tpile on the horizon.  Depression says the sh*tpile is inside you.  Depression turns your brain chemicals to sh*t and sends your energy down the toilet.  Depressed people struggle with getting out of bed, much less changing out of their pajamas.  There is no hope.  And they can’t help it.

I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t profess to know all the ins and outs of this debilitating disease.  I have studied it and have experienced a level of it.  Meds don’t always help and many people don’t like to take them because they often create a “foggy” brain.  Many years ago, I took meds for anxiety.  They took away the anxiety, but they also took away my “red flag” filter and I married an alcoholic while I was on them.  Not too many months into the marriage, I weaned off the meds and woke up to the reality of life with a nasty person.  I suffered through it for 7 years, at a great cost to my self-esteem.  In the final years of the marriage, I sometimes went to sleep at night wishing I wouldn’t wake up.  That is what depression will do to you.  (Obviously I got through it or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  The blog has served as a healing platform.)

I’m sharing this because of the recent celebrity suicides and all the “whys?” surfacing all over social media.  The “whys” are because THEY CANNOT FIND THEIR WAY UP.  Family, friends, money, fame, social status, good physical health. . .cannot fix what is happening to the soup in their brains.  They cover it up and medicate themselves with some sort of substance abuse or addiction, which sends them further out of control. The lucky few respond to outreach, or rescued attempt, and live on to maintain, thrive and even be a spokesperson for help.  But too many, like Kate and Anthony and people you love, absolutely believe that the only way out. . . is Out.

If you know someone who struggles with depression, first do not condemn them.  THEY CANNOT HELP IT.  Find a way to offer your support.  Wrap them in love.  Hold the vision that love is literally pouring into their body and filling them up.  Gently poke and prod them to keep going.  Be the sunshine in their life as they can’t see their own.

And remember, that you too, deserve love and caring and someone to hold your hand.

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