All Posts Tagged ‘depression

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Gratitude

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me

I suffered a deep depression while working in the newsroom of a newspaper. One of my coworkers, a great friend of mine, knew all about of my condition. When that all begun, I only could feel an enormous tiredness and I couldn’t stop crying. This was pretty embarrassing while I was in the newsroom full of people who could see me.

My friend always noticed that I had begun to cry before anyone else, and saying nothing she quietly, used to came to my desk and tell me: come with me. We then used to go out of the building, to the parking lot, to get some fresh air and she would comforted me and wouldn’t let me until I recomposed myself somehow, before coming back to continue working.

Eventually I went to the doctor and I had to stop working for a while. She was a great help for me in those dark days. I’m deeply grateful to her for had “rescued” me during those dreadful hours. She’s still my best friend.

Gratitude

in the picture, me, one of those years

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Phase

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This morning I’ve met with a group of old friends to have a coffee and chat a little about whatever was going on in our lives. But they only wanted to gossip about funerals, deceased people, illness and things like that. I tried to talk about other happier subjects, but they always came back to the gloomy topic of the dead and sick. I know I’m growing old. But I refuse to enter in that phase of the life in which the only horizon is the obituaries page of the newspaper and the funeral home. I know my mood is often gloomy because of my depression, and a conversation like the one we had this morning discourages me a lot. But I also know I’m still full of life. I don’t need meetings like today’s. I need seeing my younger friends, with interesting ideas to talk about. Fortunately when I was coming back home, I found my way cut by a cyclist race. I stayed for a while watching at the cyclists. I took some pictures, and my mood lifted.

Phase

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(bad) Dream

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I’ve worked many years as reporter on courts. I got to know everything about criminals. I remember once I attended a trial against a man who was clearly innocent and was dragged to the courts by the false testimony of an evil  woman and her daughter. She was the head of an organisation of smuggled immigrants. Fortunately his lawyer was able to expose evident inconsistencies between the testimonies of the two women and he was set free. I don’t know why, there were no charges against the two women. I remember I went home deeply impressed by that case, and that night I had a nightmare. In my dream the police arrested me and sent me to jail without telling me why. One, two, three, four, five heavy doors, had closed with a clang behind me. I was stripped of everything I had. Reduced to a number. If only I could be alone! But not. I had been thrown in a cell where another inmate was living. I’m used to live in the inner jail of my depression, I’m not scared of solitude. But being the whole time under the gaze of a stranger, when I was so scared and puzzled, was a torture. I looked up and saw two narrow windows with bars. The view: a concrete wall. I was trapped. The anguish was unbearable. I woke up in tears.

Dream

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Shadow

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tree-0330I’d never been so scared in my life. I had been in risk situations many times due to my job as a reporter, even in life threatening situations. But this was very different. For the first time in my life I found myself  with an internment in a psychiatric ward of a hospital to get treatment for a severe depression. I was scared because I’d had the experience of losing control of myself. the shadow of madness was haunting me and I was terrified. The admission had been very traumatic. They searched my belongings and took away many things with which I supposedly could hurt myself. They assumed that I was a danger for myself. I felt like in a prison. My mind was already a prison for me. From that moment I had two jails: an inner one in my brain and an external one in that hostile place. The light  colours in rooms and aisles, the smiling faces of doctors and nurses didn’t help me at all at the beginning. My world was dark. My soul was crying. With my imagination I ran away a thousand times to find a hiding place where nobody would find me. But in real life I had no strength to move an inch of my body without help. I would liked  spend days sitting under the shadow of the garden’s tree, immobile, my mind empty. I was longing for solitude. But with solitude came desperation. Fear of myself. I’d never been so scared in my life.

Shadow

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Nothing changes

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Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

It’s a piece of paper from a medical magazine with the headline: “Definitive Cure to Depression Discovered”. And follows: “Soon will begin the use in humans. The treatment has no side effects and in one week eliminates the acute and chronic symptoms even in the worst cases. People will be able to return to normal life after years of trying different medications and suffer frequent setbacks”.

I immediately call my doctor to ask him if that’s true or is a prank. He tells me it’s true. That it’s a new pill that in a week cures depression completely like a flu leaving no traces of the illness. And it works. It will be available in six months. That’s no time in comparison with so many years of incapacity because of the illness. Is it possible that I could go back to my old normal life?

I really want to go out from the dark tunnel. I’ve tried everything I possibly could. I’ve gone to the psychologist, I’ve taken regularly my pills, I’ve tried to do everything the psychologist and the psychiatrist have told me… and nothing. The illness stays glued to me and incapacitates me.

I’m sad and tired, so tired I can’t even explain how much. There is no lucky piece of paper. There is no miracle pill. I would like that my life would be filled again with lots of external joy, songs and laughers, like before I fell ill, but I know it’s impossible.

Everything Changes

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barometer body

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My body is like a barometer. Since I can remember, I have migraines associated to storms. I have the symptoms before the storm, so I could always predict them. When I was twelve or thirteen I suffered a serious operation in my tibia bone to remove a tumour and the doctors made and graft in the resultant hole with bone extracted from my hip. Since then, when the weather is going to change, my bones let know the forecast with a dull pain. Lately I have suffered from a deep depression. I couldn’t imagine how the weather could influence in my mood. Every change of season is a nightmare. I’m already use to that. But this autumn, particularly, has been specially tough. Nothing has happened to justify an abrupt worsening in my situation, but it happened.  And I had to go to my doctor in search for extra help.

Climate Control

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Falling in Fall

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Too worried with the present day

Fall is a strange season. Nature presents us its beautiful colours. I enjoy them. I like the wet streets’ scent after a rainy day. I like the warm feeling of the roasting chestnuts I just bought at a street stall and kept in my coat pocket. Yet I’m feeling awfully sad and gloomy. I hardly can fulfil my daily duties. But I must. I feel exhausted like one of the million leaves that fall from the trees these days. But I can’t fall. I have to keep going. Keep going… Keep going…

“Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other.”

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Selfish Death

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Who can tell it? Oh yeah! How selfish! The desire to die is so strong sometimes, when the life seems so unbearable that one only can think in disappear and rest. But that’s a passing feeling, that comes when I’m down in the hole of my deep depression. It will pass. I keep telling myself. Luckily I have strong beliefs and I repeat to my self that I want to go when God wants the way he wants. Not a moment before, not a moment after. I have a lot to do here. I had people who depend on me. I can’t fail them. Love makes wonders.

We are seeing everyday how millions of refugees clings to life against all odds in their endless journey from their countries in war to the desired and often denied liberty. They only think in a better life for their children, far away from hunger, bombs, and sieges. To reach their goal they endure unimaginable difficulties and even humiliations. How many of them are right now at the open air enduring the low temperatures and the bad weather without a roof to shelter them, waiting helplessly blocked by closed borders in their way to their promise land: Germany?

My own parents have been refugees of war. They were homeless and had nowhere to go, like these people. And they did it. Here we are in a new country with our comfortable lives. With what right would I get discouraged while having all what I possibly need? I have to be grateful and glad.

I feel guilty for being sad, paralysed and depressed. But I can’t help myself. And I wake up crying uncontrollably without any reason, feeling exhausted, miserable, worth for nothing. Unable to see things in their right dimension. Feeling guilty doesn’t help me at all. It’s a vicious circle. I know I have to take care of myself and wait until the storm abates. Be a little selfish. But I don’t like to be selfish in life nor in death.

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Quiet Green

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I’m completely down. Things have complicated lately. My doctor changed my medication and is not working. I’m dizzy and nervous. My mom has had a domestic accident and now we have to go every day to the doctor at the local health centre. It’s not easy to get there pushing the wheelchair. But we have to go there to cure a nasty wound in her leg that needs daily care. It’s infected. I’m worried, because is not getting better. In addition, our caregiver, has had an arson in her home and she’s not around these days, poor thing. So we are basically on our own. And it’s not easy. I have to appear happy and confident when I’m with my mom, and that also is difficult. When I’m alone I feel extremely tired and sad. I know I have to be strong and healthy to help her. I’ve been neglecting my blog. I have no strength nor the willing to write. In the middle of this situation, a friend of mine took me out last Sunday just for an hour to a village close to my city and I relaxed looking at the beautiful, quiet, green landscapes. It was just what I needed.

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Tired Lesson

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Getting up each morning was a heroic act. She wasn’t entirely conscious of what was going on. She felt terribly tired, and any effort seemed unbearable. But she had a family to take care of and a job to keep, so she dragged herself each morning to perform her duties. Days were long and dark like endless tunnels. She only wanted to disappear. She constantly was thinking that everything she was doing was wrong. That her life was not worthy. But the love for her family made her go on and on working and trying to disguise her tiredness. She didn’t know if her boss had noticed that she was falling into a deep depression. She didn’t want to recognise that it was a depression. Her best friend had noticed and had saved her from many tricky situations offering her help or taking her out of the office for a quick walk when she was about to burst in tears in public.

One day she had to give a lecture to a group of young students. She had her notes and her presentation careful prepared, as always. But she couldn’t resist any more. She gave the entire lecture perfectly, but tears were rolling down her cheeks constantly. She couldn’t help herself. There was dead silence in the classroom. everyone was hanging on her words. She cleared her voice and continued despite the tears, till the end of the presentation. Her lecture was brilliant. There was an ovation. The students were impressed by that unusual lesson. She couldn’t even smile at them. She was exhausted. She only wanted to find a hidden spot to cry alone with her weakness.

It was the end. Or the beginning. She finally asked for a leave of absence and accepted she needed professional help. She learned from that tired lesson she gave, that she couldn’t go on like that any more. It was for the good of her family. It was for her good.

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Sad Bicycle

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bicycle (1 of 1)

His first bicycle had been green, and he had had to share it with his three sisters. It was a Christmas present. The only gift of the year for all of them. It was really great. They usually had small toys as presents. But that year was different. They entered as always in the living room where they had the Christmas tree, in search for their presents, and found nothing but a nice card telling them that Santa had brought a gift so big it was impossible to put it under their modest tree, so it was waiting for them in the balcony. They went excited to open the balcony door and there it was, the green bicycle, with a big red bow. They immediately went down to the square to learn how to ride it. He was the oldest kid, so he learned fast and was the best of all. But his sisters also wanted to ride. He was the responsible one so he organised the turns to play with the new green bicycle.

Mike had to wait till he began to earn some money to have her own bicycle. Blacky. She was his faithful companion in his rides from home to school and later to the university. She was the silent witness of his firsts shy talks with his girlfriend and she saw from the shadows of a nearby tree his first kiss.

They ran thru the streets of the city tirelessly when Mike found a job as a local reporter. Blacky always waited down at the street patiently while he was taking photos around.
Sometimes Mike took risks to capture good images. Those years, the neighbourhood was pretty dangerous. Street violence was booming. It was a big social problem and he reported about it almost daily.

One day, he left her chained to the door of an abandoned shop and never came back. The time passed and there were no news about him. Hours became days, and then weeks, and months… The rain rusted her chains and gears. An unscrupulous mutilated her. Took one of her wheels and her handlebar. Nobody came to pick her up.

She remained at the very spot where Mike had left her. Again a silent witness remembering the absence of her master. Something bad had happened to him that ominous day when he went with his camera in search for news and disappeared. In fact it was all over the news. A piece of paper had flown and landed under her wheels that very night: “Reporter killed in a riot”. But Blacky was just a bicycle. She couldn’t read.

 

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New York State of Mind

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A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.

I would like to be in a “New York State of Mind”. Instead I’m absolutely down, overwhelmed by the situation in what I’m living these days. In fact, when I arrived to New York many years ago, by my own, I was deeply depressed, as I am feeling today. But the city awakened me, somehow. I felt free, wandering in its streets, surviving in a city where nobody knew me, and everything was new for me, waiting for an exciting discovery each moment. Yes, those were good days. I would like to come back.

Always Something There to Remind Me.

New York-

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Painful

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Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?

This is a painful theme for me. I think I’m a quiet person not prone to rage. Of course there are things that make me angry, but I usually stay silent until I can’t resist anymore. And then I explode . I try to explode when I’m by myself. Because I think one have to show self-control in front of others especially when things get ugly. And rage is everything except self-control. I had plenty of reasons to get mad, like everybody else. I had a very stressful job and I had to argue a lot with my bosses trying to stay calm to achieve what I believed it was the right thing to do.
Why is this theme painful for me? Because it reminds me the worst moments of my illness when I began to fear I was losing control over my mind. I could pass from a strong, blind rage, to a deep, paralysing apathy in a matter of seconds. Surely the rage and the apathy were the consequence of the same desperation. I had fallen in a deep depression. Since then my life have changed completely. Now I’m much better But I’ll always associate rage to my illness.

Mad as a Hatter.

 

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Never give up

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Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?

Never give up. I’m about to. But I can’t . There are people who depend on me. I’m too depressed today to elaborate an answer. I’m grateful to have people who needs me. That makes me get up every morning and gives me strength to carry on. These last days have been pretty hard. My illness has been stronger than me. I’ve been overwhelmed. I’ve made stupid things. I needed help. It’s funny that when I need most desperately help I tend to hide myself. Thanks God I have people who loves me and knows me well. They noticed and helped me. They won’t let me slip into the black hole again.

Tagline.

 

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Depressing

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Write your obituary.

Recently they were asking for my last words. Now, they ask me to write my own obit. This prompt business is not only a boring repetition of old themes, but it’s becoming also in something highly depressing. I’m in a somber mood. I don’t need prompts to push me deeper into the dark tunnel of discouragement from which is so hard to get out. I’m writing in the dusk. No strength nor will to turn the lights on.

The noises from the streets are pounding on my aching head. Today, for the first time in weeks is not raining. Outside, children laugh, giggle and scream, playing in the little park. Their parents talk loudly. It’s a sharp contrast with what’s going on in my mind .

I need silence. I feel tired. So tired that I would like to simply disappear. But I can’t. I have to overcome this, and go to take care of my mom who needs me. It’s good to have her. She keeps busy and makes me forget about my problems for a while. But I’m so tired! I wonder what I’m doing, writing this post, struggling with my English, and telling nonsense . I want to participate, and have some chats and comments tonight with my friends online. About my obit. I don’t want one. Just let me rest in peace.

In Loving Memory.

 

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Cut Off

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When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?

The doctor at the ER stopped asking questions and told me I should stay hospitalized at the psychiatric unit immediately. I was in a middle of a big crisis of my deep depression. I had no strength to fight against what they were deciding over me. I was like a puppet without strings. collapsed. I barely said goodby to my concerned sister. They took me to the unit, closed with keys. Once there they checked my purse and my clothes in search of anything with which I could harm myself. They put away my phone. Then they showed me my room. When the door closed behind me, I felt really lonely, cut off from the outside world.

Cut Off.

 

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Street musicians

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Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated gratitude.

Rush hour. The subway station in Lexington Ave. with 86th street. I have to take a train to go to  a meeting with some journalists at the Rockefeller Center. But I haven’t realized how affected am I by my depression. Once in the station I feel totally incapable to move and fight my way to enter the car. So I stay behind. when the train goes arises the sound of a street musician playing beautifully the violin from the opposite platform. The acoustic in the station is good. The sound fills everything for a moment. And the melody is delicate and sweet. He is a young Asian guy. A good musician. Soon, people arrive and the sound of the music fades. A second train comes but I’m incapable of coming in, again. The strength abandons me. I have my head empty, my heart heavy, my eyes tearful. And above all I feel awfully tired. Only the music prevent me from a total collapse. I don’t know how much time I pass there listening to the street violinist. Maybe hours. Obviously I lost my appointment, but at least I was able to come back home calmed after such a crisis. I never thanked the musician his help because he was on the opposite platform, but it was a big deal.

Being in San Francisco I had a similar experience with a black guy playing his saxophone in one of the perpendiculars of the Market street where he had found a perfect acoustic. I was particularly down that day. Again discouraged and terribly tired. He gave me a Jazz concert for me . Once again the music calmed me down. In that case I could thank him with a tip, but no with words.

 

Never Too Late.

 

 

 

 

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Out of Breath

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We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

I don’t know about the craziest day in the past decade. There have been several. But my craziest day had taken place earlier, 14 or 15 years ago, when after a frantic month my boss gave me three assignments for the same day. I warned him that I was too tired and It was too much, but he insisted. I did the work he asked and finished at midnight but at the end I collapsed. I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with a deep depression.

Later I went back to my old job in the newsroom.  Every day I had to edit two or three pages of international news which was a frantic run against the clock starting at 4 pm till 11 pm or later. When the time came to do the book of the year, I had to write too reports about what had happened during the year and keep at the same time editing my three pages a day. Those days my schedule was expanded to four more hours in the morning to check the archives, choose the pictures and write.

And I had to find time to tend my family.

I guess any working woman can tell similar stories. So there is nothing special in my busy days in the last decade.

Now I’m similarly busy, taking care of my mom. Above all when we have to go out to see the doctor. She needs help for everything. There is no moment of rest. Only when she’s sleeping. But she doesn’t sleep very well lately.

I remember the days we had to do endless paperwork in order to get some social security help for my mom. My sister and I couldn’t leave her alone, and at the same time we had to go from office to office to achieve something. Really busy and stressful days.

Out of Breath.

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Unequal Terms

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Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?

When I was a young reporter seeking for a good job, I worked for a while without contract for a newspaper hoping they would hire me. After two years there was a job opening in the newsroom perfect for my profile. We were two candidates. The boss called me one day and explained me plainly that they were not going to hire me, in spite I was better and had more merits than the other one, because I was a woman. He said the newsroom had too many women (four) and they needed more men. So I lost a job opportunity simply because I was a woman. Later I got a job in another newspaper. In my new newsroom being a woman was no problem to work hard, but for some reason there was almost no way of promotion. Only one of us made her way up to the top. Nothing for the rest. All the other bosses were men.
When I was first diagnosed with a deep depression and I had to take a leave of absence, my boss didn’t understand it, and asked me, annoyed, how the doctors would know for how long I would be unable to work. I’m sure that if I had had a broken leg, there would be no questions.

Unequal Terms.

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Sanity

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“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg

Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

Never heard before of such an advice. How would I follow it?

It seems that Ginsberg thinks we are all mad and we need to unleash our madness somehow to be happy.

I think one can be perfectly happy in sanity.

Of course we all have our oddities and peculiarities. I have them, and as long as they don’t annoy or harm others, I don’t mind. They are part of me. Take it or leave it.

I’ve been a night owl most of my life, because of my work as a reporter, but I think I’ve never howled to the moon. I was too tired and eager to get home to rest. Very unpoetic, But true.

Since I fell ill with a deep depression, my worst nightmare has been precisely to lose my mind. This is why I don’t like to talk about madness. It’s a too serious matter to me. Brings me back bad memories from dark days without hope and plenty of fear. I prefer to consider the wonders od sanity.

 

Howl at the Moon.

 

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Cry and laugh

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Are you a good judge of other people’s happiness? Tell us about a time you were spot on despite external hints to the contrary (or, alternatively, about a time you were dead wrong).

My mom was crying and I was looking at her helplessly, heart-broken. I had no idea what to do to console her. She seemed depressed. Nothing particular had happened. Simply too much suffering accumulated for too long. Seeing herself so limited and dependant of others, with her paralysis, she got discouraged.

I decided to show her some pictures I had done and I had stored in my iPad, some of them of a travel we did to Croatia together several years ago when she was healthy. We began to remember those wonderful days we spent visiting beautiful places full of meaning and remembrances for her. She stopped crying and began to smile at first and finally to laugh openly while we remembered what we did during our vacations. We had a great time and she was reliving every bit of that travel.

She even began to tell me old amazing stories of her adventures in Dubrovnik after WWII.

In a few moments, she forgot about her illness and went back to her good-humor mood and her usual happiness.

What I thought it was gonna be impossible, turned rather easy, because she is a happy woman despite her difficulties and her occasional discouragements.
Happy Radars.

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Lacrimosa

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Do movies, songs, or other forms of artistic expression easily make you cry? Tell us about a recent tear-jerking experience!


Music moves me to tears. I can’t listen to the Mozart’s Requiem above all its “Lacrimosa”, without crying. Maybe because it’s a prayer for the dead and reminds me to all my departed loved ones with a sense of hope and sweetness, far from any bitterness.
Other masterpieces have had the same effect on me. Above all vocal music. Great singers made moved me to tears more than once.
Ugly, strident, noisy “music” makes me cry, but out of desperation.
I’m suffering from a depression, so I can cry easily. But I remember a film I had to stop watching because I was crying so much it was impossible to go further: Marvin’s Room. Is the story of a woman who is taking care of his father, incapacitated and bed-ridden because of a stroke. After years of caring for him she discovers she’s got leukemia and she has to convince her uncooperative sister to help. I was then taking care of my father and the situations depicted in the movie so vividly were too close to home, except that I was not sick as the main character and my sisters are very close and helpful.
Anyway. I was depressed, the story took me by surprise and I couldn’t stand it.

Moved to Tears.

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No reason

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What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

Last time I had a good laugh I was laughing at myself. I was trying to say something but I got tongue-tied and was unable to start a sentence. I emitted a strange unintelligible sound that my mom found it very funny. She began to laugh out loud. She is very sick. A smile is a little triumph. A laugh is wonderful. Seen her so happy I began to laugh too. We couldn’t stop for a while. We both laughed till tears. It was a nice surprise.

I don’t laugh too much. I would like to. I envy people who can do it. When my father was alive we laughed a lot. Later I fell in a deep depression and laugh become a difficult task. I’m simply not in the mood. Things that made me laugh before, now leave me indifferent or make me sad. It’s if like a gloomy coat were covering my feelings making them impossible to show up freely. Yes, my feelings live jailed by sadness. But I enjoy seeing people happy. And in my inner thoughts I feel happy for them.

Roaring Laughter.

 

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Guilt

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What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?

I don’t feel guilty now. Why should I? Besides I have a problem. Long years suffering from depression eliminates from your life the sense of pleasure in normal things you used to enjoy. So when I find pleasure in something it’s usually a good sign.

The problem appears when your illness looks for a substitutive for the satisfactions you’re loosing in something bad. I must confess that for a while found an enormous pleasure in buying things. It was not normal. I guess I was a compulsive buyer. Having in my power something completely new was an incomparable feeling for me.

Thanks God I had no money to spend and I found help at home so I’m OK now. But I suffered a lot those awful days, buying things I didn’t need, hiding them like treasures until I confessed all, and then having to go returning them to recover the money. It was a big struggle. A source of a lot of suffering and, yes, I felt guilty. Nothing could drop that feeling because what I was doing was so wrong.

 

No Apologies.

 

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Loneliness

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We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

When I feel down there is nothing that can possibly lift me up. I’ve tried everything: music, relaxation, exercise, think in positive. All the advices doctors and psychologists have given me to fight my depression. No results. When you’re deeply depressed there is no way to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Think in positive! I wonder how can possibly a person drowned in deep depression think in positive.

When I’m down I feel worthless, paralysed, immensely sad, without the energy to react. I only want to be alone. I hate people around me giving me advices or, worst, lecturing me. Even a silent company is unbearable. Loneliness is the best friend. Not recommended by the specialists.

Being alone I can cry without any apparent reason and I don’t have to give explanations to others. I hate bothering my friends or my family with my unexplainable sadness. Above all I hate being watched by strangers when I’m overwhelmed by sorrow. But loneliness is not always possible. Above all when you have people who loves you. And that’s good, but its also difficult. So I have to share my sadness with my loved ones and see how they get worried about me, which makes me saddest.

Usually depression leaves you so weak and exhausted that you can’t escape to be alone having a walk or a run. If I could move I would go to have a walk on the beach, to pour my sadness into the immensity of the sea. Stop thinking and begin to focus in feeling the breeze, listening to the sound of the waves crashing into the shore while contemplating the sunset. Leave the time pass smoothly, like water through my fingers. But that’s not possible, and I only can pray, take my medication and wait for the crisis to pass.

via Daily Prompt: Singing the Blues.

 

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Too late

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Tell us about the time you threw down the gauntlet and drew the proverbial line in the sand by giving someone an ultimatum. If you’ve never handed out an ultimatum but secretly wanted to, describe the scene and what you would say to put an end (one way or another) to an untenable situation.

I’d been investigating a political corruption scandal. An exhausting job. I had to endure a lot of pressures and spend endless hours looking for information and evidences. But my bosses at the newsroom didn’t allow me to devote myself full-time to that, and kept asking me to do reports about other topics on top of it. I was really tired. One day when all the political scandal was public, two of the politicians involved already in jail, and I was still investigating about other possible culprits, my boss asked me to do for the next day a report and an interview not related with the matter. I told him clearly: “I can’t do all at the same time. I’m exhausted. If I do all that you’re asking to me I don’t know If I’ll resist any more.” He thought I was exaggerating and refused to negotiate. I obeyed. I didn’t want to lose my job.

But the facts proved that I was right. And that it was too late. I collapsed that day. I finished writing and I couldn’t move a muscle any more. I was unable to speak, to think, to decide the next step to take. I was dizzy, short of breath, crying, paralysed. Next day I was in a hospital diagnosed with a deep depression. I should have said “no” long time before that awful day, but I didn’t realise how serious my situation was. I was too focused in my work, in my investigation, in publishing my exclusive news. And everybody kept telling me I was exaggerating, that everybody get tired in a job like mine. I was a little tired, that was all. Now I know that when I get aware of my extremely tiredness I waited too much to speak clearly with my boss. It was a terrible mistake. I did draw a line in the sand. But it was useless. And it was too late.

Daily Prompt: With or Without You.

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No secrets

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Tell us about a conversation you couldn’t help but overhear and wish you hadn’t.

I don’t listen to other people private conversations. I’m a private person and I try to do to others as I would have them do to me. Besides I’m too absentminded to pay attention.

I heard a lot of noises from my neighbours. I remember when I was living in an apartment on top of a busy coffee bar. As a journalist I used to work late and arrive home after midnight. But the people at the coffee bar arrived at 5 am each morning when I was fast asleep and used to turn on the radio very loud to listen the same news I was working on the night before. What a nightmare! I try to negotiate with them but was no use. No matter how late I worked, the wake up called at 5 am with the news. Of course I looked for a new apartment.

I only remember once I overheard a conversation between two of my bosses talking about one of my coworkers, because the door was open and I was waiting outside the office. I immediately made a noise to signal my presence. They called me in for my meeting making no reference to the previous conversation. But that was the exception.

I usually have had the opposite problem. People keeping secrets from me or unwanted people knowing too much about me, all related with my job.

It happened a long time ago and then was very hard to me but I don’t care any more. I was covering a political corruption scandal as a Journalist in my city. High profile. I followed and investigated the news for a year. A lot of stress. Obstacles in the way. All the politician, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, knew me. And then, when the case was going to go to trial I fell sick with a severe depression and I had to left. Disappear from the scene. So all of them got the news that I had depression. I got confused, afraid, ashamed. At that moment I hadn’t accepted my illness. I couldn’t stand so many people knowing about it. It was so public, so embarrassing I thought I would never be back again facing them. Fortunately I was wrong. With time and treatment I learned to accept my illness, I got better and went back to work.

Daily Prompt: Hear No Evil.
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Subway

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Luke is a journalist, 36 years old, 6 feet 5”, fit, dark hair, dark eyebrows, black eyes, charming smile. Handsome.

He would make a good TV anchor but he is working as a foreign correspondent for a News Agency from Europe and is always behind the cameras. And his accent would be awkward in TV. He comes  from Zagreb, Croatia. Loves casual clothing and sports. Plays violin. Lives alone in an apartment in Manhattan where he has his home office.

He is a perfectionist and that brings him a lot of problems at his job. His boss, based in Germany, wants fast reports. But he’s always spending time editing and editing until he sees perfection in his writing to his boss desperation. Because his reports are good he’s keeping his job.

He has little social life. He works alone, spends too much time working and uses to run alone or play his violin in his free time. He has a good friend, Mike, another journalist, an American, who is trying to introduce him to other people and some girls but without success.

Luke is longing to know somebody, the perfect woman, have a serious relationship, get married and have a family.

Too much time alone is not good and Luke is getting depressed little by little without noticing it.

Today he is going to meet his friend Mike who works Downtown, so he is taking the subway. It’s a rush hour. The station is full. The train arrives. He suddenly feels unable to push his way to the door and stays back. The train parts without him.

A young man is playing violin. The sound fills the tunnel for a while. New people arrive. The music fades. The noise of a new train and people invades everything. Luke tries to enter the train but fails again. The violin comes back. He sits down in a bench and left a third train pass by making no effort this time.

He suddenly feels so tired he cannot move a muscle. When his cell phone rings he realises, embarrassed, that he’s in tears. It’s Mike. He’s concerned. He want’s to know where his friend is. Trapped in a subway station. Paralysed. Listening to a street violin player. Defeated. Broken. No strength left. How to explain? No need. Mike is coming to the rescue. He noticed. He’s really a good friend.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You.

Character posts by other bloggers on the next page:

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No willpower

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Tell us about the harshest, most difficult to hear — but accurate — criticism you’e ever gotten. Does it still apply?

You have no willpower, a friend told me once. I got so angry I was unable to answer. I just left crying. I thought I showed a lot of determination and persistence in my life to prove her wrong. My job, having to deal with a lot of difficulties, my taking care of my family… all that required a lot of willpower.

A year after that conversation I was diagnosed with a severe depression. She was right. She didn’t know but I was already sick. I wouldn’t admit it. Nor when she told me, neither when the doctor diagnosed me. That couldn’t happen to me. I was strong. I always have been strong. A lot of time of denying the harsh reality worsened my situation. It was difficult to help me because I couldn’t admit I was sick. Even today, when there is no doubt  it’s  not easy. Oh! how difficult it is living with this invisible disease, looking as if nothing is wrong with you when everything inside is so dark and hard. I’m sorry. The prompt asked for harsh times.

Daily Prompt: Sad But True.

Critic posts by other bloggers on the net page:

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I really don’t care

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How important are clothes to you? Describe your style, if you have one, and tell us how appearance impacts how you feel about yourself.

Right now I really don’t care. I’m so tired! I can’t even bear the burden to choose every day what to wear. I pick just what I think would be comfortable or what is easy to find in my closet. Some would say I have a sporting, easy-going style. I’ll say I have no style at all. I’m just overwhelmed. Too much effort spent to get up an begin to live to worry about clothing and style. I feel miserable. I don’t need clothing to tell me about my depressing feelings.

Dressing like a princess won’t change it a bit how I feel. Maybe I would feel worst because of the contrast between the festive appearance and my sad state of mind. It happened to me more than once when I had to go to some public celebration. Pretending you’re in a mood to celebrate something! Pretending is the worst you can do. It’s so stressful! A sure recipe for disaster.

So I end wearing what I have at hand among things chosen to please my loved ones, because this is something I want to do. I don’t have to pretend doing that. Not a very good show of personality, I have to admit.  But as I said I really don’t care. I have enough gathering strength to get up and begin living each day without letting my loved ones down.

Maybe I’m wrong. Psychologists say if you look good you’ll feel better. My experience is when I’m down nothing can fix it. A festive clothing and a careful make up makes me feel in disguise, miserable. But then, you cannot abandon yourself totally. You have to struggle to keep living to please your loved ones, to give them back the love they gave you. Don’t worry them without need. I have to take care of my aged and sick mom and she loves to see looking good. And she knows about dressing believe me!  Because she doesn’t complain any more I guess I finally found a practical – neutral style at least or she understood I can’t do any better.

Daily Prompt: The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.

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Unfit to write

7 comments
Tear by Shakira120

Tear by Shakira120

Why do I think everything I do is wrong? Because it is. And there is no hope. All my choices are wrong. I feel I don’t deserve to live, but I’m alive. Thanks God surrounded by people who love me. But I have no right to make them miserable with my sad existence. And I feel guilty for that.

I would like to live hidden from everybody. That way I wouldn’t hurt others especially the ones I love. But I can’t. The only way would be disappearing. I already had to disappear from work. I couldn’t keep my job being so trapped in this cave of depression. I’m useless.

But I can’t disappear from life. Sometimes I would like to. I get anxious and I hurt myself. Is the only way I can calm down. That scares me a lot. I pray to God every day. That keeps me alive. Gives me strength. And I sure need that strength to face each day. I feel like chained in a dark cell. Unable to move. Unable to escape.

It came unnoticed as a burglar and step by step stole my entire life. I was a successful woman at work and at home. I had a lot of problems, that’s true, but who doesn’t? Too much work for me to handle. I’m sure it was my fault. Suddenly I felt weak and useless because I couldn’t deal with, until then, ordinary things. One day I simply crashed. I thought I was extremely tired, but the doctor told me it was a depression I have suffered for a long time without noticing it. I refused to believe it at the beginning.  That couldn’t be happening to me.  That was not an illness. I was simply tired, so tired… It took me a long time to convince myself that I was sick, very sick.

I continued working for fourteen years in a very demanding environment with depression under medical treatment. It was a nightmare I don’t want to remember. I loved my job and I enjoyed to see it done as perfectly as possible. But it was too much. I was crying all the time, hurting myself secretly,  gaining and losing weight without control, losing strength. Finally, after several hospitalizations, I had to quit. Job plus illness was a combination that was destroying me. It was a shock. I’m still under the effects. Sad, disoriented, insecure.

At least now I know who are my real friends. the ones who are still with me after all this ordeal. I’m so grateful to them. And of course to my family, always so supportive in the worst moments.

Although I still chained in my dark cell, I’m peering to the outside world through the little window of my blogs. They say depression triggers creativity. Inspires writers and artists. If that’s true I would be writing lots of wonderful stories. But something is wrong here like everything about me. Either depression doesn’t inspire writers or I’m not writer at all.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to Write.

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Dear Healthy Friend:

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Write an anonymous letter to someone you’re jealous of.

ce2f4ddfe66953769b391f263fcb077eDear healthy friend:

I hope you know what you have and take good care of it. Your health is a precious treasure you enjoy every moment, don’t dilapidated it.

I envy you. You can do a lot of things I would like to do and I can’t.  You can command over your mind and your body without the pain, the tiredness that paralyzed you when you live chained to a sickness. You can easily get up in the morning and face a new day with strength and even hope.

Maybe you take all that little everyday things for granted. Well, don’t. Take care of yourself and your health. And please, try to understand the weak, the sick people. Don’t despise them as unworthy on the first try. Maybe they are only suffering, unable to do more.

Being sick is a disgrace but gives us experience and an ability for understanding other people sufferings. Enough to discover when a person is struggling with a handicap in this society of fiery competition. Maybe you, from your healthy point of view cannot see that. Don’t think the world is only a place for you and your pals. We also have a place. And we have a lot of things to contribute to enrich our society. We are doing so in silence.

That doesn’t change the fact I envy you for your health. I would like being like you, but with the experience and the understanding about suffering acquired in all this years.

And remember, take care

Sincerely:

Life is Great

Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster.

More jealous letters in the next page:

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No discussions, please

1 comment

When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.

file0002142617802I avoid discussions. I can’t stand them. At the moment the conversation becomes a discussion I feel I’m going to burst in tears. It’s sure because of my depression. To avoid the embarrassment and knowing I can’t make a point in that condition I walk away always. I prefer to come back when all is quiet and you can talk without stress, or write an answer, because I express myself better writing than talking.

I remember though once, after a meeting with my coworkers in which we were talking about salaries. Somebody went to my boss and told him I said that we all should have the same salary, something It wasn’t accurate, and they presented me as a sort of communist infiltrated in the company. He call me to his office immediately and began to yell at me. I told him what I really said during the meeting, but he wouldn’t listen. I asked the help of God and he must helped me, because I didn’t cry in front of him, but I told him very calmly that if he was willing to believe the account of the other person better than mine about my own words I couldn’t do anything more. Then I asked also very calmly if he was firing me. He said a furious NO!

The moment I left the office I burst in tears and I couldn’t stop, as always. But I saved my job and my dignity that day, thanks God.

Daily Prompt: Drawing a Blank.

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A good headline and people’s kindness

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61e8a9906b5f6fd80b784b9d7132a889Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

A good, simple headline and people’s kindness.

Since my “Come in!” post was the most successful I guess the invitation was the key, because the post was very brief and simple, explaining why I  couldn’t think about a person I know from whom I would keep my blog secret. The third most popular was “Getting to know you” about being a stranger in a stranger land. I used an old song from the musical “The King and I” to express in a happy way how I like to know new places my way. “No one” is the fourth one, about who would I like to write my biography. The headline already answered the question, so I’m surprised so many people took the pain to read the post.

The second place in my rank of hits is “A jail without windows”. I don’t remember about what was the prompt, but I described my experience with depression. The same topic appears in the fifth place “Depression and party not a good company”. In this two posts I guess the amount of hits is due to kindness and understanding from bloggers who know what’s like living with depression or with people depressed. I received supportive messages from totally unknown people, very helpful. I’m so thankful.

I experienced a feeling that I belong to a sort of community of people who help each other some way when necessary with a word of encouragement, a good advice, or a simple “like” I appreciate so much.  And  of course, I experience the help from all of you with your posts about the same topic written from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different points of view, which is a great enrichment I enjoy every day. Thank you.

Daily Prompt: The Stat Connection.

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Depression and party not a good company

19 comments
By Heku

By Heku

After spending time with a group of people, do you feel energized and ready for anything or do you want to hide in the corner with a good book?

Depression makes very difficult to spend time with a group of people. The last thing you want to do is to go out to a party. Or to go out at all. It is hard enough to find strength to start your day, to do the basic things of everyday life. You don’t want anybody to witness your weakness,  that chain that paralyzes you. Spending time with a group of people is an enormous effort that leaves you exhausted. And after that you only want to disappear. To hide in the corner with a good book? maybe. Sometimes there’s no strength to make the effort to read. To hide? definitely.

Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?).

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A jail without windows

11 comments

file000845471725

Dear enemy,

I would like to watch you leave for ever from my life, but I have to live with you fighting every day, every moment, as a prisoner in a jail. Yes, you’re my jail. A jail plenty of darkness and lies and chains and locks. A jail without windows, without light from the outside world.

You put chains in my wrists and my legs so it’s very difficult to get up in the morning and say hello to a new day.

You are telling lies to me about the life all the time . You say life is a complete disaster for me and I am a complete disaster for life. That I don’t deserve anything from anyone. That I’m a burden for my loved ones. You are telling me to avoid the company of other people, be alone. I know there are all lies but I can’t help myself. You make me sad, so sad I can’t move out of sadness.

I have to gather a lot of strength to face each moment, each day and win battles against you to keep living. And sometimes I can’t. You win. Sometimes I manage to sneak out and see if there is some light out of your jail. Sometimes I think I’m learning to live with you, my enemy, my depression. But I know, the fall will come again, you will open the jail’s door to push me inside and I will not have the strength to resist until the next time I put out a fight against you, my everyday enemy.

Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out.

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  1. Everyone Shape Up or Ship Out | Geek Ergo Sum
  2. Dear Insecurity | Taking time, making time
  3. To the Unknown Cheerleader | Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | likereadingontrains
  4. Daily Prompt: Ugly | Postcards from
  5. Everything is going to be okay… | Hope* the happy hugger
  6. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out – show us UGLY. | masadiso79’s Blog
  7. Shape up or ship out sugar cravings | Now Have At It!
  8. Dear Mr. Fearful [Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out] | unknowinglee
  9. Who’s In Charge Here??? | Spirit Lights The Way
  10. A Letter To An Indecisive Employee | The Jittery Goat
  11. These Words for YOU | floatingsheep
  12. The Toothpaste Again | Lewis Cave
  13. Daily Prompt: Shape Up Or Ship Out, Mr. Anger | Creative Mysteries
  14. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you | I Didn’t Just Wake Up This Morning with a Craving
  15. Daily Prompt; Shape Up or Ship Out | terry1954
  16. Daily Prompt: Ugly | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
  17. Shape Up or Ship Out | The Nameless One
  18. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out « Mama Bear Musings
  19. Daily Prompt: There’s the door, now leave! | Thriving Pessimist…
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  21. Daily Prompt: Just Ship Out! | Musings&Rants
  22. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | writinglikeastoner
  23. Dear Depression | Random Obsession
  24. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Exploring Utah with MS and Apples
  25. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | The Educated Illiterates
  26. a letter to myself (in a way) | thematticuskingdom
  27. It’s better to feel pain. | BORNTOBEAFAN
  28. Catherine B.’s Blog | Dear Doubt | Daily Prompt | Shape up or Ship Out
  29. Daily Prompt: Dear John Letter | My Daily Prompt Blog
  30. Mugshots are ugly |
  31. An End to Needless Worry | Required Writing
  32. Anxiety… | Haiku By Ku
  33. Shape up or ship out | Nanuschka’s Blog
  34. A Letter To My Inner Critic | Self-Help for Creatively Deprived
  35. Dear Mr.Impulsive | Everyday Adventures
  36. “What??” | Relax…
  37. It’s time to say farewell my friend Intensity | tornin2’s Blog
  38. Who is that? | That Socially Anxious Atheist Paranoid Gay
  39. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  40. Me, Ugly | clarior e tenebris
  41. Dear Laziness | Random, Assorted and Miscellaneous Thoughts
  42. Daily Prompt: Letter to CLIG (Can’t Let It Go) | Iam Who Iam
  43. When I freestyle, I lose … confidence (There’s a picture of New York) | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
  44. Internal memorandum to fear | A beetle with earrings
  45. Daily Prompt: Dear Impatience… | One Starving Activist
  46. Shape Up or Ship Out: Who Are We Today Then? | Khana’s Web
  47. Phonophobia, pick up all ready, will you?
  48. Letter to Stubborness (A Daily Post Response) | Maggie’s Writing
  49. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | I Work for a Jerk
  50. Act 3, Scene 1: Scent | Romance Without Words
  51. A jail without windows | Vivir, que no es poco
  52. The DAILY POST daily prompt: Temper, temper | a seriously writing woman
  53. Devil | The Optimist
  54. The Summer Ninjas are Coming, Little Lupie! | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  55. Sorry, I couldn’t understand… | Seven Lines
  56. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Lines by Linda
  57. Dear Anxiety | mobibrad
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  59. Dear Laziness. « kiyudesu
  60. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship out | BLUE BEAD PUBLICATIONS
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Dear insecurity

Everything is going to be OK

Who’s in charge here???

Shape up or ship out, Mr Anger

There’s the door, now leave!

Dear depression