Depression is it’s own flavor of cheese.
‘Turophile’ is irregular from Greek ‘tyros’ cheese + English –phile. It was first known in 1938 and it means:
“A connoisseur of cheese: a cheese fancier”
We all make mistakes and we all pretend. When we listen to people, we all nod and smile saying: “ah ha” to make it seem we know what they are talking about! I know that I have done that a hundred times. (Great now I have ratted myself out…)
When I was living in the Netherlands, I was working really hard on learning Dutch. It’s a hard language, but once you get that feel guttural G, you feel pretty good about yourself. But if there is one thing to know about the Netherlands is that they are turophiles. They love their cheese and let me tell you, it’s good.
Here is a little Dutch 101. The word for children is “kinderen” and the word for cheese is “kaas.” Both words start with K so you could see how they could be messed up.
One time a friend and I were waiting for someone while speaking English. It was in front of this tall apartment building and to get in you hit a button and the person living there has to buzz you in.
An elementary school aged kid came riding on his bike. He hit the button and called his mom over the intercom. There was no answer so he was forced to wait outside too.
I noticed that he was concentrating really hard, listening to us speaking English. He must have started learning English in school. No better way of learning a language than to listen to native speakers.
I heard him mumble to himself. A mixture of Dutch and the little English he had learned. I remember making eye contact and smiling at him. It was his moment to shine and he knew it.
He said, “kaas betekent children.” “Kinderen betekent cheese.” (For non-dutch speakers, betekent means “means/defines.”)
This is just a simple example, but it has always stuck with me. We often think things are what they are not. I know that you do. I have thought so negatively of myself that I convinced myself that “kaas” means children and “kinderen” means cheese. No matter how wrong it is, if said enough times could be believed as truth.
I have thought of myself as a person who is unfriendly, shy, and ugly. I have told myself these things so much that I just came to except that “kinderen” was the nastiest cheese I had ever eaten. Bitter and vile and something that makes mold look good.
But just like the little boy… If he checked his book or his vocab list from his teacher he would see that “kinderen” means children and “kaas” means cheese. Throughout our lives we need a little correcting and remember that we can be whoever we want.
I find that revelation of “I can be who I want” gave me an edge over that shadow that followed me everywhere. (I am the opposite of Peter Pan. He was trying to get his shadow back where I’m trying to drop it like a hot potato.)
I might have mental illness, but I can choose to live the life I want. Sure it’s going to be hard and people are going to misunderstand. People are going to throw around the word “depression” like they throw around ordinary words like peanut butter.
Depression and mental illness have their own definition. Depression doesn’t mean sad it means there are chemical imbalances in your brain which causes side effects of sadness, negativity, and the overall chronic “blah.” It is not a blue day, but a blue year. It is not one night of bad sleep. It is a months in a row of bad sleep.
Depression is a medical condition. I am not going around saying “Ugh, I am feeling cancer today.” Nobody says that. Nor should someone say “Ugh, I am feeling depressed today.” Unless they say “Ugh I am feeling so depressed today, but I can fight for a better tomorrow. Because I am me and not a piece of “kaas” which means cheese and not me.
Having a mental illness is like having any other ailment. One must take time to learn about the nature of the condition and heal. Everyone has their own fight and battle and the beautiful thing is that everyone can win. You don’t have to be that person who just nods and smiles to fake it. You can give a genuine reply because you know what you are about, who you are, and what kind of cheese you prefer.
Become the turophile of mental wellness.
YouTube Episode Available — Click to Watch : 20. TUROPHILE- Depression has its own Definition
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