What You See Is Not Always What Is Real

FINE Depression post

There have been a lot of reports in the news within the last year or so regarding Depression and people from young children to successful people in the prime of their lives committing suicide. A recent CDC report states that the rate of suicide has risen nearly 30 percent since 1999 (link to CBS news clip) and this report comes in the wake of the two most recent high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. These two people in particular were people who everyone around them, thought was happy and who, on the surface, appeared to have it all.

They wore the required smiles and they exuded joy and gratefulness for all that life had afforded them. Yet still, they felt that whatever pain they were feeling deep down inside was just too much to bear and perhaps they even thought the world would somehow be better off without them. Now people who knew and loved them are left behind to try and make sense of it all. They’re trying to figure out how they missed the signs and why they didn’t see how much pain they were in or the perpetual dark cloud that was looming over them.

The truth is that if people are suffering through depression and they don’t want you to know it then you won’t know it. Not until they are ready for someone to pull them out of it. They strategize and practice ways to hide their sadness and when they can’t hide it they simply hide themselves. I’ve talked on here before about my many bouts with depression and the thing is only the people who are closest to me, as close as family, ever knew that even the tiniest thing was wrong with me and that was only if I had decided that I wanted to open that window just a sliver. The darkness that I felt was just so dark and the sadness was so deep that I just didn’t see a way out. At least that is how it feels when I am in that state.

I have this running joke with people when I am in the midst of a state of depression. When they would tell me that I was always happy and smiling I would respond by telling them “then that means the act is working” and they would take it as a joke but I was never really joking. Over the years I had developed defense mechanisms that kept people at a distance and fell back on my solitude as a writer to explain the isolation. Since I’ve started going back to church a couple of years ago I haven’t really found myself in that deep state of depression anymore. I still have my days where some sadness creeps in but I’ve gotten better at not allowing it to linger too long. Therapy is good but I like the added sense of joy and peace that being in the house of God has brought me and it truly gives me strength that I didn’t realize I had before.

I am so thankful that I haven’t felt that deep darkness in a long while but the thing about having a mental illness like Depression is that you’re never really cured from it. At any given time that wave of sadness can hit you like a ton of bricks and it could happen literally out of nowhere. My hope is that people with depression find a way to talk about it before it gets to the point where they feel so overwhelmed by it that they just can’t speak about it. Don’t treat it as if it is something to be ashamed of and fearful to talk about because not talking about it is how it turns into the growing problem that it has become.

You can’t always wait for the signs that you could be missing. People who suffer from depression are just too good at hiding it for anyone who’s not paying attention to notice. Don’t wait for them to cry out for help. You have to hear the words that aren’t being said, distinguish the nervous giggle from the actual laughter, and be able to see the frowns that are hidden behind the smiles. If you have a friend who is drowning then reach in and grab them out of it kicking and screaming if you have to. Odds are they don’t know how to tell you that they are sinking.

**If you find yourself feeling like you are in a dark place and you are having thoughts of suicide please, please, please get help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 any time of day or night.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Now That the Fog Has Lifted… Back to the Business of Writing!

 

Fog lifted

It’s been so long since I’ve written to you all! My hiatus was definitely not something that I had planned on but nevertheless I am back now. I suffer from random bouts of depression. I get in this funk and sometimes it takes a longer period of time than others to pull myself out of it. I should probably seek out a therapist but I hate the idea of talking to some random stranger who doesn’t know me or anything that I’ve been through in my life sitting there judging me and writing notes about me. It’s not that I don’t believe that they would be capable of doing their job, I just have a thing about telling total strangers extremely personal things about me which is probably what makes the bouts of depression last longer than they should.

Ordinarily writing would help with that but part of the depression was that my writing career wasn’t exactly going the way that I had envisioned it going. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis and realizing that what I had mapped out for my life many, many, many years ago was totally off track and I couldn’t see a way to get it back on track. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel that I was in. This depression that I was in led me to an unintentional hiatus seeing as though one of the issues I was having was a lack of confidence in my writing. That’s hard for me to admit to because that’s the one thing over the course of my life that I have never had a lack of confidence in was my writing. I’ve always known that no matter what no one could take that away from me but over this last year and a half I’ve been feeling like maybe my writing just isn’t good enough.

Of course now that I can feel the fog lifting and I have recently felt a sense of peace even in the midst of the storms in my life I am starting to regain that confidence in my writing that I once had. I’ve been recently planning out my writing goals again and submitting novels to agents, outlining new novel ideas, planning new content for the Magazine, planning out new posts for this blog, and even mapping out an idea for a television pilot I want to write, and the more that I focus on those writing goals I have, the more I start to get some of my writing confidence back. I’m starting to feel like myself again and I love feeling like me because it took a long time for me to love the person that I have become. Writing is a sort of therapy for me and I hope I never lose that.

Any-who, I’m back and I hope you’ve missed me because I sure have missed writing for you. Here’s to new ideas, new opportunities, and many more words that hold purpose and power!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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Trapped Inside My Own Head

Trapped inside my head 1

Knowing is not always half the battle. I know that’s the saying that people like to quote when people admit their flaws and faults. As if to provide comfort and some optimism in the fact that somehow you knowing where you fall short at should propel you into making choices that will progress you as you move forward. Generally I believe that if you don’t know or admit the problem or the flaw that you can’t fix it, however, there are instances where just knowing where you fall short at doesn’t actually help you move forward.

I can admit that I am a person that may at times be too tapped into my emotions, so much so that when I screw up an opportunity or I get down about things not going the direction I want or think they should be I completely shut down creatively. That is actually one of my major flaws that I recognize about myself. I get depressed too quickly when things go in the wrong direction and it takes me far too long to come out of that depression and during the time that I am depressed, quite frankly, I don’t feel creative and I don’t feel much like writing. It’s pretty much the opposite of the typical stereotype of writers, that depression makes writers write masterpieces. I know this about me and I know that it’s something that I need to correct but I’m not sure how.

It’s completely frustrating because I’m in this funk and I can feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into it but on the flip side of that there are all of these ideas that I have and these plans that I want to get accomplished and when it comes down to it, I simply can’t get it done. I always thought that writer’s block was the worst thing that a writer could go through but it’s so much more frustrating to not be blocked as far as ideas and material but yet still not be able to produce anything.

I refuse to give up but it’s tough to see other writers around me coming up with beautiful pieces of work and being successful at their craft and meanwhile I’m too much in an emotional funk to actually produce anything. I want out of this phase but I don’t know how to get out. I don’t know how to just set aside my emotional issues and take these ideas I have building up in my head and just put them on paper. I need to figure this out or else all of my opportunities are just going to slip right through my fingers and I won’t have anyone else to blame but myself.

So if anyone who reads my blog has any suggestions on how I can pull myself out of this funk, this gloomy phase and get out of my own head to finish these projects that I really need to get done, don’t hesitate to suggest something. Everyone needs help at times and oftentimes it’s the help from people who don’t know you personally that could make all the difference. I don’t want to waste this purpose that God has given me so how do I get out of my own head?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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When Having It All Can No Longer Masks the Pain

hiding behind a smile

The passing of Robin Williams on Tuesday has understandably left the world shocked and speechless. I personally felt like the world lost a little part of its magic because he was such a funny human being that brought so much joy into people’s lives. Obviously I never met him so I can’t speak to who he was with first-hand knowledge but he was one of those people that you always felt, in watching him, that you could relate to him. He was inspiring to watch and on the days when I just didn’t feel like much of anything he made me laugh.

One of the things that I am hearing most is how it could be possible that someone who made everyone around him laugh so much wasn’t happy himself. If anything good comes from his tragic death it is the open forum that it leaves for us to really take a look at what depression is. I find it striking just how many creative people, writers, comedians, actors and actresses, singers, dancers’, just creative types in general, struggle with depression. What’s even more alarming is that the majority of comedians in particular are said to be masking the reality of their inner pain with the outward satisfaction of making others pain go away with a moment’s laughter.

People don’t talk about depression, as if it is something to be ashamed of. And then there are some who just don’t take depression seriously because it is a disease that you can’t see. I know that I personally suffer from bouts of depression and feelings of hopelessness. A lot of my writing serves as my own brand of therapy to cope and sometimes it helps and others it doesn’t. There were many times in my teens and my early twenties that I just didn’t want to be here on this earth anymore and there were attempts made that weren’t successful (obviously) but it’s just never been something to talk about with people. I am only recently starting to talk to my closest friends about the depression that I suffered and that I sometimes still feel creep up inside of me when things seem to not be going right.

Talking about depression doesn’t make it go away but it certainly does help people who are dealing with it feel less alone. In talking with others you sometimes realize that you aren’t the only one who is suffering with this disease. More importantly we need to open up a discussion about it because it doesn’t just strike in adults, it oftentimes starts when you are a child. Children today are going through so much more than people realize from being bullied, to domestic violence in the home, to feeling like you just are not quite good enough. We need to stop being afraid to talk about this disease or feeling stigmatized by it.

Depression hides behind those smiles that you see on your loved one’s faces and it can be covered up with excuses of being tired or purely exhausted, or even in their loss of appetite or on the flip side that sudden urge to devour every item of food in sight because food doesn’t judge you. Depression does not just jump out at you and shout that it’s there and a lot of times the person struggling through it may not even realize that that is in fact what they are struggling with. So pay attention to your loved ones and don’t just downplay a developing pattern of behavior simply because you’re too busy to pay attention to what may really be going on.

I think that Robins Williams’ death shows us that even the most successful and seemingly happy people can have pain inside them that they can’t see their way past. Depression doesn’t just take place in a certain class, culture, or area. It is everywhere and can strike anyone. For those out there that envy the lifestyle of a celebrity (and I am guilty of this too), you should be reminded that you could be the person that seems to have it all, to have everything that would make almost anyone happy, but that does not mean that you are truly happy and that you don’t suffer. No one has to suffer from this alone. If you know someone who you think could be suffering from depression, don’t try and wait for the right moment to do something about it, there isn’t one. And if you are that person, don’t wait until it’s too late to talk to someone about it. Talking really does help.

 

R.I.P. Robin Williams

Robin Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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Published in: on August 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM  Leave a Comment  
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