depression : field notes

i’m on month #3 since admitting that i struggle with depression. im on a string of really good days, so i figure while i’m in a place of strength i’ll share some observations

ACT I

gonna just say this right off the bat if you think you’re depressed you need to tell somebody RIGHT NOW. u don’t think theyll understand? give them the benefit of the doubt. THEY DONT HAVE TO even if they dont get it its equally important to you that u tell someone whether u realize that or not. and lets be honest, we often dont even understand what we’re going through ourselves, so do we have any right to assume someone else wont?

& STATISTICALLY, theres a dece chance whoever u tell has had some brush with mental health woes themselves, and is there anything better than that moment where one of you says “O S**T YOU TOO? I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE” ? ? its a win/win all around

DO NOT EVER SAY THAT UR NOT SAD ENOUGH TO ACT. I WASTED A DAMN LONG TIME BELIEVING THAT MY FEELINGS WERENT VALID UNLESS I HAD A ZOLOFT PRESCRIPTION. I STILL SECOND GUESS MYSELF & THAT IS PERFECTIONIST TRIPE THAT HELPS NOBODY. some people need that stuff and others do not and thats fine. on that note, please

DO NOT EVER EVER COMPARE YOUR DEPRESSION TO SOMEONE ELSE’S. i guarantee some ppl have a worse case of it than u. SO YOU’RE NOT FEELING THAT CATEGORY 5 ERNEST HEMINGWAY DEPRESSION. GUESS WHAT? HE DIDNT EVEN THINK HE WAS SAD ENOUGH TO GET HELP UNTIL IT KILLED HIM. focus on you & remember that

addressing your sadness DOES NOT MEAN u r stealing attention/recourses from people who have worse depression than you. there is not a global shortage of resources for mental illness. THERE IS PLENTY TO GO AROUND AND WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO IT. IM NOT TRYING TO SOUND LIKE A BILLBOARD BUT IT IS THERE FOR YOU LIKE SO MANY UNCLAIMED UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS

ACT II

when u admit/scream/skywrite that you’re depressed, life wont start being nice to you. typically, its life that got u into this mess but it will not get you out. BUT U CAN BE NICE TO YOURSELF. self-hates been a big perpetuator of my depression and that of many others and a big step for me was starting to say U KNO WHAT JON UR NOT HALF BAD. YOURE ALRIGHT. it is not narcissistic to give urself a pat on the back for existing. you done good kid, and a good way to do that is

make a list of things you’ve done right. dig deep. you can find something. THERE IS NOBODY I DONT KNOW THAT HASNT HELD A DOOR FOR SOMEBODY B4 & THATS STILL A RLLY NICE THING TO DO. HERES ANOTHER NICE THING TO DO, GO

BUY A PLANT AND WATER THAT THING EVERYDAY. pick a time, and go do that. U HAVE THE POWER TO KEEP ANOTHER ORGANISM ALIVE FOR PRACTICALLY ZERO DOLLARS AND THATS PRETTY REMARKABLE WHEN U THINK ABOUT IT. HOWEVER,

if ur not into that hippe stuff, go for a run. 10 minutes or 2 hours. pick a time and go every day. treat yourself to a time of the day WHERE YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF WHATS HAPPENING and you are doing something that is not destructive to urself. BONUS: A CRAPTON OF ENDORPHINS &

SUNLIGHT. go outside and get some of that sweet vitamin D in your body STAT. if u live in uk/seattle/vancouver you can purchase it in capsule form for like 8 bucks

LOVE YOUR STRUGGLE (note: “love” does not equal “wallow in”) if nothing else, depression is granting you a perspective that many do not have. a lot of the ppl who help me most have struggled (or still struggle) with the same thing. i sometime need to remind myself that my struggle has equipped me to be that help for someone else. you’ve been equipped too & thats special

in some sick/twisted/backwards way, thats a perk

whats cool about all these things i just said is that they are (99%) free (if u cant afford a plant, steal 1 from someones garden or maybe a park). i find a lot of people (myself included) put up money as a barrier between them and help. ya, some help costs money (rightly so, social workers gotta eat too, man) & sometimes that is the help u need. but theres a lot of it that doesnt cost a dime

i call these field notes because my expedition isnt over. this isnt some nobel prize winning breakthrough, it’s chicken scratch on a notepad. i dont always follow these steps. quite often i dont, in fact. depression is tricky that way. but i know that they help. science still hasnt figured out mental health, but wats cool is that in a way, we get to be part of the exploration.

we’re pretty much our own bummed-out lab rats

j

ps: S/O TO NIC + NICOLE CARNEY. CONGRATULATIONS, your wedding was a beatiful thing and you are two beautiful souls. love u long time

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