SHELLSHOCKED

I remember the first time I saw this picture. I couldn’t stop staring at the eyes of the soldier in one of those awful WW1 trenches. I had been looking for a picture to describe without words what it feels like to live your life with an anxiety disorder, (like me) or the feeling of a really good panic attack. Then I started thinking of the stigma that still accompanies mental illness today, and how much worse it was back when this picture was taken. Those of you that watch “Downton Abbey” might remember when Mrs. Patmore, (the head cook) finds out that her nephew was executed for cowardice at the Front line. Like this gentleman he was probably suffering from PTSD and combat fatigue, so he was executed for not having the ability to go back up to the Front and ‘fight like a man.’ Thank God we no longer execute our soldiers, but it’s only recently that we’ve started to respect that not all wounds are external. But has the stigma gone away? I think not. If you looked in to the eyes of a man or woman on the street and saw that expression how would you react? With sympathy and empathy? Derision and ridicule? Would you offer a kind word and ask if you could help in some way? I’ll bet you would walk away as quickly as you could muttering about Pasadena letting all these crazy people live on the street. Or jump in your car and lock all the doors and tear out of the parking lot.

Perhaps if you could just remember this soldier’s eyes and what they had seen and that his “mental illness” wasn’t by any means a personal choice. It takes one person at a time to care enough to understand and help end the STIGMA — PLEASE!

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Trending on Twitter “The worst thing about Depression”

I have treatment resistant depression. The worst part is doing all the healthy things you can to get better and waking up to find you have to climb another mountain to get through the day. My days often feel like I’m in the middle of trench warfare during WW1. I have the added blessing of uncontrollable anxiety which sometimes prevents me from leaving the house, answering the phone terrified that I will run in to a roommate and have to act “normal.” When what I want to do is scream and say I think I’m going to beat my head against the wall or climb out of my skin. But instead I slink into my bedroom, fold myself into the smallest piece of humanity possible and take really shallow breaths so no one will know I exist.

I don’t want to share this because of the stigma and:

  1. Sometimes I pretend I’m okay because I don’t want to annoy people with my problems.
  2. Who wants to hire a person hiding such a large and uncontrollable flaw?

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” Robin Williams

2009-02-02-depressed

Depressed drowning

WHY ANOTHER BLOG?

I want to see if I can establish myself through words in this era of blossoming communication between varying peoples and countries. To reach out and touch someone in another land with my thoughts and feelings and have them do the same.

I think I am a good writer and this experience will help me become better at writing for the needs of now and the future. I am taking a “Writing for the Web” class and I’m hoping I might find my passion through these interconnected classes and freelance writing experiences.

An artist and her inspiration.

An artist and her inspiration.

Blog, blog, blog…

When do you know the word “blog” has been in your mind too much in too little time?

  1. When you’re taking an online class about writing for the web and references to blogs and blogging are everywhere.
  2. When you try to work on this, your personal “blog” and you forgot everything you thought you knew about blogs and blogging, (which wasn’t much.)
  3. When you seriously question your ability to ever have an intellectually and visually inspiring blog that people will flock to, or at least want to read occasionally.
  4. When you’re sick to death of the subject, like right now, but a little voice says “just google blog and see what comes to the surface.”
  5. When you go to google anyway like a well-trained human of the 21st Century and see that there is even a jigsaw puzzle blog and jigsaw puzzles are your one way to zone out on-line.
  6. When you steal from a blogging site the simplistic meaning behind having a blog in the first place just so you can see the forest for the trees: A blog is your best bet for a voice among the online crowd. It’s a personal website, packed with features, as easy to use as your e-mail.