Friday, January 27, 2017

Free Shipping Fridays: Diving into Depression

Dear Readers,

So I finally posted on social media about my struggles with depression. I've been open about it in real life, if not necessarily adamant nor vocal, but I certainly hadn't gone into it on a platform like Twitter or Facebook. I think I reached a point where I thought, "Pretty much all of my 'dirty laundry' has been aired on social media, so why not this?" And then after I posted, I thought, "Oh dear. I remember the answer to 'why not this?' Because people on the internet can be really horrible."

But I was pleasantly surprised. It was amazing that no trolls showed up to do their hateful, trollish things, and more importantly, community showed up. I was honored and humbled by the number of people who sent their love and prayers. And I was blown away by the number of people who said, "Me, too. I'm there with you." It was beautiful solidarity.

And I also realized, this isn't just dirty laundry to be shamefully avoided. No, depression is real, and actually fairly common, and it doesn't care whether we have time or not for it. Sharing about my struggles isn't airing my dirty laundry, and I'm tired of thinking it is.

So today, for your metaphorical consumption, is a box on your doorstep of clean laundry. Shiny new packages of socks, crisply folded shirts. And some of it yes, is "unmentionables," because sharing about mental illness is vulnerable. It's not showing off a new hat or fabulous shoes. It's revealing, and scary, and I know this analogy has taken a slightly creepy turn. Let me get it back (hopefully) by saying, here's a nice box of new, clean clothes. Let's air them out. Dirty laundry doesn't need to be aired out, it needs to be washed. New clothes need to be aired out, to get rid of that factory smell.

Yeah, I tried to reclaim the analogy, but it appears to have taken a life all it's own. Perhaps I should give up the "Free (pretend) Shipping" schtick, but I'm a sucker for word play and analogy. It's like that one time that I

You know, it may be me that's actually the problem, not the analogy. Which reminds me of

THE POINT IS, I refuse to be ashamed because I'm mentioning things which society deems to be "unmentionables." And I hope the links below will help those who struggle and help those who love them.

A witty, ironic tee shirt for you--a comic artist who illustrates her struggles with depression and anxiety and it's painfully hilarious:

Socks. Multicolored, multi-patterned socks. Practical yet ridiculous--an amazing podcast which will make you laugh, cry, and curse, all in the same 40 minutes:

A pair of comfy jeans that don't even need to be broken in--a website/community with great information and encouragement:

And finally, some underthings. What we all need to put on, and not be ashamed of--go to counseling. It is life-changing, and sometimes life-saving. And if you aren't sure where to start with counseling, please ask. Ask me, ask a friend, heck--this WebMD page might be the one time it actually does more  good than harm:

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