• Facing The Truth About Depression

Facing The Truth About Depression

By Michael John Sullivan

 

I want to be completely honest with you. I’ve failed. I’ve failed often.

I’ve been miserable, more than you would ever believe.

I’ve had frequent bouts of depression. Sometimes they are severe.

After the first week my first novel Necessary Heartbreak was published, an executive at Simon & Schuster told me it was dead. I stayed in my bedroom all week trying to recover, hiding from the world.

After the first few negative reviews came out, I cried and grieved as if someone close to me had died. Yes, a grown man cried over a few lousy reviews. I felt ashamed for a while after feeling this way.

There are times I look in the mirror and think why am I so awful to have the feelings I do?

There are many solitary moments when I think of the mistakes I’ve made in life, whether they were  trivial or not, and say out loud, “I hate me.”

There are many mornings I don’t want to get out of bed for fear if I take another chance it will end up in another failure. I keep the blinds closed and covers over my head. Only the hum of the fan comforts me.

I’ve stumbled often over the past few years in some of my relationships. I wonder if I’m really a good friend or a good man or even a decent human being.

I worry about not giving my writing friends enough support. I try to cheer on their victories. I feel sad when I see them struggle. When I feel I don’t help them enough, guilt overwhelms me. I know I haven’t done enough.

I fear Facebook. I fear the sadness and anger I see often on it. People who I once respected make me feel now like hiding in a corner, putting my hands over my ears and closing my eyes.

I don’t sleep well. I’m up three or four times a night, thinking and worrying about what is ahead.

I’m happier when I’m alone.

I find comfort sitting in a movie theater by myself. No one can hurt me. I can’t see or read about some stranger making fun of a writing friend’s work.

I feel terrible about asking friends to buy my books.

I feel awful if I have to badger them to do it.

I’m easily let down by the simplest things people say they will do for me and don’t.

I wonder if this depression will ever go away. I try to deny I have it. I know I do. But strong people don’t admit it.

Hemingway killed himself. Why should I admire him? Why do I admire him? We do bleed though. Every one of us, whether we are writers or not. Depression touches every part of life.

Robin Williams killed himself. He seemed so happy to be doing the work he did. He was so successful! Maybe work isn’t what keeps us happy? I thought it did.

Whether we are writers or not, successful in work or not, rich or poor, black or white, lover of God or not, depression is a serious issue. It’s something we should be discussing more often. I’ve been told it takes a lot of courage to present it in a public forum. So here is my little bit of courage.

Those who are depressed are not looking for pity. They’re looking for hope and support.

I am certainly not looking for pity. I’m here to help.

I look around and know I am blessed. I have a loving family, a roof over my head, a chance to write during the day, moments to make with people close to me, and I have the gift of today.

I have that gift right now and it’s good.

Some people will tell me I have it all.

I know I have it all.

But I do suffer from depression. We’re not weak to admit or acknowledge it.

If you do suffer from depression, here are some places to seek help. Remember, you’re not alone:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-with-depression.htm

http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/help-yourself-out-of-depression

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/01/18/9-ways-to-take-care-of-yourself-when-you-have-depression/

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “Facing The Truth About Depression

  1. kyrianlyndon@kyrianlyndon.com'Kyrian

    It will, and you are always a light and comfort to others. You do not fail. We stumble. We learn. We grow. You are doing an amazing job of that.

    Reply
  2. tamicko2020@yahoo.com'Tamicko O'Neal

    Dear Michael,

    I was blessed to read your article. So, many people go through depression or some for of issues now days. There is more education, openness, afflictions. Our modern lives present so many more troubles and Problems as things afford more exposure, supposed benefits and luxuries. Truth is, some of our reactions are “normal” and understandable even some level of depression. The frequency, unfortunately, increases with our frequency Of , hmmm, “issues.” Some times there is severity and frequency. What I love is that Jesus took this captive with his life and death and blood. So, confessed Christians-ESPECIALLY- have hope, help and change. Our manifestations may show fast or gradual but we “fight” for what is ours in prayer and effort. We do wake up . We do get up. We do face the world. (Even if ,at times, We don’t). This is a Christian walk and a race not given to the swift but to those that endure. Be Blessed. You are already a Blessing and encouragement .Remember, too, many are glad just to know you and share life with you. I will pray for you- pray your strength…your happiness. Jesus has already done so.

    Reply
  3. tamicko2020@yahoo.com'Tamicko O'Neal

    By the way, I am all for people getting medicine (as needed-if needed) while they pray when illness seems chronic, overwhelming and life altering (especially if stifling or dangerous to any one).

    Thanks for letting me “speak”

    -Tamicko O’Neal, depression survivor -Victorious in Christ 🙂

    Reply
  4. CR8SMILES@live.com'CR

    Isn’t it true that those who “CR8Smiles” are the ones crying inside. Today is a bad day. Before logging on to FB I googled, “I want to die”… and read for about 3 hours, before that I was watching Robin Williams clips, now I see this. There are no coincidences in life, and many of us feel pain. Sometimes, like today it seems like it will never end. Admitting this is hard. Thank you for your courage. Someday maybe I will have some.

    Reply
  5. livelaughloveromance@gmail.com'Laurie Kozlowski

    “Those who are depressed are not looking for pity. They’re looking for hope and support.”
    You nailed it, Mike. Thank you for sharing your heart and courage. So many of us know, even when you are unable to see it, how courageous you truly are. I, too, have felt these things and have accepted it is just part of who I am. When it becomes overwhelming, I choose not to view it as weakness, but as a reminder that it is time to re-prioritize my focus and thoughts. Sometimes simply enjoying the quiet, but most often pushing myself after I do regain the energy, to be around others. Just today, I did not want to get out of bed and write. But I got up and went through the motions. When I sat down at the library, a sweet older lady was journaling (that is how I start my day), and I thought to myself “that will be me in forty years.” That thought warmed my heart and brightened my day. A complete stranger, just scribbling beside me! But only because I got up and tried again today <3 Thanks for being a wonderful and encouraging friend. Wishing for you many 'trying' days ahead, my friend. x

    Laurie Kozlowski

    Reply
  6. fluffy26218@yahoo.com'Barbara Mooney Wilson

    Thanks Michael for the blog…I’m sure a lot of people are going through some kind of depresson…I ,myself have been through a lot of depresson ,especially the last 7 yrs…..It’s nothing to be ashamed about ….With Gods help we can over come this horrible feeling that tries to destroy….GBY my friend…

    Reply
  7. livelaughloveromance@gmail.com'Laurie Kozlowski

    You’re welcome, Mike. Yes, the quiet is important (especially as an introvert, it helps me re-charge), and also getting comfortable with knowing after I re-charge, I must make an effort and habit of going out and seeking others with my interests not related to writing. Too much solitude can become harmful, if not monitored. The thing is, most don’t monitor their emotions or measure their mental health, daily (this is why I do quick journals throughout the day-and yes, I do still fail, at times, but keep the journal positive and celebrate what I have accomplished, no matter how small.) But many people write it off as ‘just a stressful situation’ or ‘it will work itself out’…and continue to hole up in their own little world of solitude. That is never a good thing. Especially when they are aware depression is an issue. I’m not an expert, but maybe these could help someone…

    Emotions Anonymous and EA world directory:
    http://www.emotionsanonymous.org/
    http://allone.com/12/ea/

    Worksheets and other resources and materials:
    http://www.get.gg/

    Simple Gaming Apps Centered on Life Progress and Balance through Self-Care:
    http://www.mindbloom.com/
    https://tree.mindbloom.com/

    Directories to Find Assistance For Mental Healthcare, nationwide:
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml
    http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
    http://www.nami.org/

    ~~ Laurie Kozlowski

    Reply
  8. Michael john Sullivan Post author

    Thanks Barbara for taking the time to read the blog. The great news about this subject is there are ways to help oneself. There are links provided. We aren’t experts here. We’re just regular people trying to help one another if possible. Obviously, there are experts out there that can help.

    Reply
  9. emilyafrancis@gmail.com'Emily Francis

    You make me remember why I ever wrote about anxiety in the first place. We need other people to know they are not alone. I used to be of service in that way about being really open and honest and how hard life had become. I self published two books about it-then they were used against me in my husbands court battle to keep his children in state. After that, I hid from it all. I had never imagined my being so honest in order to help others would be used in such a horrid way that I would feel ashamed of the years of work and honesty I’d put in. Then I got the two books put into one and got a small publisher. I broke the contract-he wasn’t the right one. Then it made it all the way to the top of one of my dream publishers-I had filled out the authors forms, the schedules, the different avenues of where my book would be around the world, and then at the contract meeting, they decided since I wasn’t a professional therapist they wouldn’t proceed. Now the book sits to the side for another day, and another time. Maybe my reading your honesty sparked something in me-but it makes me remember why it is so important to share our story. We aren’t meant to go through these fears and sadnesses alone-none of us are. So, at the very least let me say two things: 1) Thank You for reminding me we aren’t alone and 2) thank you for making me remember why I wrote such honest words and used to not be afraid of them.
    Maybe it’s high time that my book Anxiety Sucks make its final and full debut back out into the world again!
    Thanks,
    Emily

    Reply

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