Gobbledygook

Communication is key when healing from mental illness.

Help those who know understand what and how you are feeling.

Gobbledygook is an American English word that means:

“Language that is meaningless or is made unintelligible by excessive use of technical terms.”


My depression is named Larry. (As I described in my last post… Feel free to read for a further explanation. I don’t want you to be confuzzled!) Larry’s existence was to define my depression, separate him from myself and the means to communicate how I was feeling. It was my gobbledygook for those in the know of what was going on. It was super helpful on my mission.

I didn’t want to announce to the whole world that I was dealing with hard core depression let alone felt horrible 93.72% of the time. I was doing my best with what I had been given. I was terrified that people to look at me differently and or worry about if I could handle it. I didn’t want people constantly ask me if I was okay or tell me: “just snap out of it and be happy”.

My companion at the time was a genius. (She still is. That never changed.) She kept a close eye on me, gauging what I could handle and how hard I could work. She never asked me if I was okay. (I will be eternally grateful for that.) She would simply ask, “Where is Larry?” Brilliant.

All I would have to reply was “he is knocking on the door” or “he is jumping on the couch”. Solely from my description she could determine a manageable work pace for me. Other times she’d say “Enough is enough, let’s take a break”.

She’d usually took me to a playground so I could swing on the swings. (I love swinging on swings. I still pretend to be dramatic when jumping off. In another life I was a stunt person.) I swung on swings the rest of my mission when everything was too much. It was a simple way that kept me a part of the outside world. She didn’t let me go back and sit in the apartment, cooped up becoming weaker at Larry’s mercy.

Her question of, “Where is Larry?” was a technique for her to check in without other people knowing. From an outside perspective, I thought it sounded kind of funny because it would sound like:

“Where’s Larry?”

“Oh you know. He is sitting on the couch eating the day away.”

How could a person guess we were talking about depression of all things! (Now that the secret is out, I will have think of something else…) I giggle when thinking about how it could sound because I tried to sound as nonchalant as possible. (Throw them off even further! As if they weren’t already confused!)

I had a method to accurately explain how strong the depression was in the moment. This gobbledygook helped me feel comfortable and safe from unwanted attention. I didn’t want to feel like a burden. It helped me not focus on it, keep me going about my day and feel as normal as possible. I was having hard enough time as it was and I didn’t need a 100 people keeping their eye on me. (Too many eyes meant too many opinions of what my “okay” was.)

How you view your depression is a personal choice. As I have worked through all of this I have realized that talking about it really does help. Not just talking to anybody about it, but with people you trust. People who won’t use it against you. Let them help you understand your Larry because he is hefty cargo to carry all the time. (With a never ending bag of chips.)

Teach those you trust your gobbledygook so they can understand where you’re coming from. It’s amazing how people can know what they don’t feel. Also gobbledygook is just fun to say don’t you agree? Not to spell, that’s for sure. (Thank goodness for “copy” and “paste”.)


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