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My Hair Doesn’t Look Right. It’s So Depressing.

“Good morning Kimberly,” she said, jangling a few of my nerves.

I rolled onto my back and she climbed on top of my chest, squeezing every last bit of air out of my lungs. She reached for my face and forcefully put her cold hand over my mouth. She cackled as she took the sheer blanket and pulled it over my eyes.

I didn’t see her coming.

Outside of my car window, threatening clouds dragged their way across the horizon. I unrolled the window to breathe the smell of the impending rain. I grabbed loose receipts from gas stations and gum wrapping paper before they took off with the wind. The light turned red and I stopped a smidge over the crosswalk line. A man on his bike looked at me in irritation as he swerved his way around my bumper. I sighed as I looked ahead at the gym and decided that I didn’t want to workout that day. I pulled into a corner store lot and turned around.

“That was quick.” my mom said.

“I just didn’t feel like it.”

I put my fat pants on and my favourite sweater with the holes in the sleeve that I could put my fingers through. I turned off of the lights and slid my way into bed. When I woke up, I ate. I made plans that probably took me to the bars because that’s what 20 year olds do. I laughed with friends.

*Poof*

I felt better.

We’ve all had these days where we wake up on the wrong side of serenity; feeling downhearted about nothing in particular. We drag throughout our day with that proverbial gloomy cloud lingering over our heads and nothing seems to go right. Ever notice that? It’s as if the universe picks up on our negative mood and tries to make that day extra special.

The coffee shop runs out of your favourite sprinkled donut and the copier jams at work. Your pen explodes and you only notice when a co-worker says, “What’s on the corner of your lip? Is that ink?”. There is no toilet paper in the bathroom and there is no one home to fetch it for you.

Never fails eh?

Totally a bad day.

Totally a bad day.

On those days, we give into ourselves and find ways to pull us up and out. We may stop and get food that makes our arteries scream in revolt but our bellies fill with happy. We may loaf in front of the TV watching shows that need the least amount of our sanity to thoroughly enjoy.

When we lay our heads on our pillows for the night, we acknowledge that the day was shit and hope that tomorrow is better. 9 times out of 10, it is.

I just made up that statistic.  

Before my diagnosis of postpartum depression and bipolar disorder, I had no idea what a sad day was compared to a depressed one (which is not just a day, it is weeks, months, years). There is a very distinct difference.

Sad days; rather being sad, is a normal human emotion that is fleeting. Depression is so much more complex than that. She burrows itself into every crevice of your soul and takes control of your good sense. She is not confined to just your mind; she infects every bit of air around you.

She is colours that are too bright, sounds that are too loud. She is rage and apologies. She is empty and dark. She is isolation. She is thoughts of worthlessness and of death. She is standing in the middle of a crowded room with everyone you love and feeling utterly alone. She makes you believe that you’re the only one who carries your weight, and even if you tried to reach out, you’re just being a burden.

Depression is not just sad.

So when I am trying to scream as loud as I can under oppressive pain, “Please be my strength today,” please do not respond in a way that measures up depression to feeling sad.

“I know right. The sun hasn’t been out in days. It’s so depressing”.

“I’m so depressed that my hair doesn’t look good.”

“It’s so depressing that my show is postponed until after the Olympics.”

“I get sad too. I go for a walk. Maybe you should do it too?”

Because you know why?

You MINIMIZE our pain.

What do you think those statements do to a person who needs for you to just listen and acknowledge their pain?

You reinforce their irrational thought that they are weak and can’t handle life just like everyone else.

We aren’t worth the air you breathe.

 

Click on the above picture to take you to the most amazing blog that keeps depression real and relatable..in a hilarious way...depression isn't hilarious..but...whatever..go read. (I did not make this picture. She did. Don't sue me).

Click on the above picture to take you to the most amazing blog that keeps depression real and relatable..in a hilarious way…depression isn’t hilarious..but…whatever..go read.
(I did not make this picture. She did. Don’t sue me).

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44 comments to My Hair Doesn’t Look Right. It’s So Depressing.

  • You are worth the air you breathe.
    Love you. xo

    [Reply]

  • MJ

    Thank you for writing this. I needed to read it today.

    [Reply]

  • omg. I…get…this!
    I am amazed that some people truly don’t understand how i can be, “standing in the middle of a crowded room with everyone you love and feeling utterly alone.” I can’t even imagine saying that to them. But it happens all the time.
    Reading your words is so validating.
    Props for having the courage and style to write them. xoxo

    Also, best song ever – “Girl with the weight of the world in her hands” by God, I mean, the Indigo Girls.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Lyla Jackson, Do you ever feel so shit in a public place that you wish that a stranger would just come up to you and hold you? No? I’m weird.
    I’ll need to check it…the song :)

    [Reply]

  • thank you for writing this and making those of us that suffer feel a little bit validated.
    xo

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Leighann, You know it girl. xoxo

    [Reply]

  • I totally get this. It’s especially frustrating when they just don’t understand why you’re so sad. “You have nothing to be sad about.” Instant guilt trip, if I even care that day.

    Thanks for this reminder, too. Sometimes I think I know what’s best for people without really understanding what’s going on with them. I need to get outside my own mind and see their point of view (listen, and try to understand). Great post!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Jessica, I totally get that. It’s hard to find the right things to say to someone who is struggling. I’ve been there too. I find that the best comfort that I get when I’m reaching out to someone is silence…and when they hand me a beer…kidding…maybe…

    [Reply]

  • Janet

    Thank you for writing this!

    My sister does the “minimizing pain” thing with panic attacks, which I have suffered from on-and-off for most of my life. She’ll say, “I’m so anxious about going to the dentist…I’m having a panic attack”. She thinks “generic” anxiety is the same as a panic attack.

    You’re the first person I’ve ever encountered who wrote about how colors can be too bright and about sensitivity to sound when you are depressed! I thought I was in the minority (of people with depression) who had this problem.

    Janet
    xoxox

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Janet, Right?! The entire environment changes and everything is too much. My husband thinks I’m nuts (bad choice of word) when I walk around with my head in a hoodie. It’s to tone down what is going on around me. And it keeps me warm :)
    I find that the panic attacks are the hardest thing for people to grasp. They don’t understand that we can have one without having a reason. “Why are you shaking. That’s ridiculous.”…sigh…
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  • Kim

    First, I want to say I’m sorry because I’m sure there have been times when I have done this very thing without even thinking or realizing what I was doing.
    I know that even on days when the winter snow and cold has me bummed out I don’t have any right to complain.
    And, I’m super sorry that you have to live with this kind of pain ever!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kim, Oh I totally get that. I know that it is really hard to find words to comfort someone who is sinking. I was on the other side too and scrambling for the right words. It’s just the ones that fluff it off like nothing is really wrong ya know? It’s like telling someone with cancer who is having bone pain and can’t control it, that you stubbed your toe and that really hurt. ok, that might be a bad example.
    And I totally disagree with you in saying that you don’t have the right to complain. Anything that bums you out sucks and you have the right to reach out and say “You know what? I feel like shit. Send me a cookie.” We all have our own “level” of suckness. Mine won’t be like yours and yours won’t be like mine but they are hell in our own respective ways. Did that make sense? I’m out of coffee. LOL

    [Reply]

  • Depression can be so freakin’ debilitating can’t it, Kim? Been there. I must be in a low biorhythm cycle or the planets are out of alignment or something lately. I agree sometimes a day is just what it is…yuck. Though I do recognize my blessings in those days always, too! The best over the counter meds I have is a Golden Retriever and his tennis ball. Seriously. Btw…poor Chunky! Epic costume-wearing meltdown. Loved this post as always :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Mike, I can’t remember why he had a giant blow out of emotions. Oh wait…yes I do…as we were taking pictures of him, the dog went and ate the pumpkin. No lie. Ate. The. Pumpkin. Ask me how bad our house smelled afterwards if you know what I mean. It was a traumatic event.
    :)

    [Reply]

  • I think my anxiety isn’t as big of a bitch as your depression, but she’s still an air-sucking, soul-sucking, color-draining, loneliness-inducing, nightmare dark cloud on an otherwise clear day.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Tamara, Anxiety is a whore. Anything that makes you feel like you’ve lost control is hell. My hell might be your rosy coloured garden and you’s might be poop stuck in those little gripper things on the bottom of my shoe….in other words, it sucks no matter how much or how little you’re feeling it. Send coffee and earmuffs.

    [Reply]

  • Thank you Kim. Just, THANK YOU.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Roxanne, xoxo how are you babe?

    [Reply]

    Roxanne Reply:

    @Kimberly, Hanging in there. Made myself get out to enjoy some sunshine with T today. Xoxo

    [Reply]

  • I understand. And I thank you for this. I think we all need to feel validated when we start to feel the bottom drop out. For the record, you are worth–and more importantly, deserving–of all of the air, my friend.

    XOXO

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Charlotte, I want to give people the benefit of the doubt because I know it’s hard to respond to someone who is crying for help. But at the same time, they should be mindful of what they’re trying to compare it to to make us “feel better”

    [Reply]

  • When people say things like that, it is extremely isolating. But you aren’t going there. You are writing about what you are going through, sharing it with the world and connecting. And, of course, as always, writing about it (and the experience of so many others) so beautifully. Your description of depression was heartbreaking and incisive. I felt myself shudder a bit. I would like for you to share your description with Miss My Hair is Out of Place, but that’s just because I’m mad at her right now.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Rachel, See I have this thing called passive aggressiveness and will probably only write angry responses here. I need to grow some man balls.

    [Reply]

  • I get this, I remembered, I know. I feel it too. Thank you for writing this. Love ya, lady!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Maureen, Makes you feel like trash eh? I wish that I could just say the first thing that came to my mind…but then I’d get arrested.

    [Reply]

  • This is why I love you. Because you write like fucking (fill in famous author’s name) and I completely get it all.

    Xo

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @John Mayer’s girlfriend, like Robert Muncsh?

    [Reply]

  • xoxoxo

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Nicole, xoxox I promise that I’m going to visit your neck of the frostbitten parts soon! Miss you and your sassy butt in black yoga pants and furry boots.

    [Reply]

  • *huggles* I do adore you and your utter honesty and your way of somehow still making it beautiful with words.

    Was it you that put me onto this? Regardless, you should check it out and consider it (apologies if I’m linking you to a thing you already know of) http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

    *those* days. The only days I wish it would rain so that inside and outside match up, and the sun hurts my heart.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Considerer, I never heard of that before. That’s awesome. It’s actually hard to find bloggers who write about mental health in a raw way. I want to take people on my ride. A crazy train if you will :(
    Dude, you don’t know how much I hate sunny days when I’m depressed because then I feel like shit for feeling like shit and not happy.

    [Reply]

    Considerer Reply:

    @Kimberly, Yeah I can’t remember how I found it but it’s DEFINITELY one I want to contribute to at some point. Seems like an amazing initiative and ohhh we SO NEED more light (ironicaly) shone on mental health issues. Hugely badly.

    And your writing is so beautiful and descriptive and it makes SENSE of it. It needs to be read more, by more people, so that these taboos become fewer and the hesitation and confusion that ‘normal people’ have about mental health issues are reduced.

    Hmm. I wonder if I can link up an old post to that hop. Cos the poem I wrote after I visited my friend in the psych hospital could be perfect. *thinking hard now*

    Anyway…KEEP TAKING PEOPLE ON THAT RIDE. I can’t tell you enough how important I think it is, and how much I admire your commitment to honesty and sharing the truth – not just the more palatable bits, but the ALL OF IT.

    And re: sun. I know. I know. Then I feel worse like something’s properly wrong with me because I hate the sunshine so much and who the fuck hates sunshine? Bad people, that’s who.

    [Reply]

  • This is so perfectly put. I have sad days. I try to remind myself that that is all they are, just sad days that will pass. Unless it becomes more than that.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Shell, Yes we all have them and I’m glad that you can keep that mantra when you’re experiencing them. It will pass. It’s easy to forget.

    [Reply]

  • Yes. Those are minimizations.

    You are worth the air that is breathed…and so much more.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Tracie, People don’t realize it eh? I think that sometimes…key word…sometimes they try to make it better by making it seem less than what it is…ok, maybe they’re just assholes with ugly hair…who knows

    [Reply]

  • I love that Hyperbole and a Half too, but I didn’t think she had blogged since her book came out.

    You are so right Kimberly, my friend. Depression is so much more than sadness. May you be hemmed in by people who understand your pain, but who can still reach in to tickle your funny bone.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Lady Jennie, I think that was her last piece or second last. I miss her so much.
    I love that last line. Put it on a shirt. I’m for real. You get it, I hate that you do though.

    [Reply]

  • It’s so hard. You’re so right. I don’t want to yell and be mean, my sister and my mom always tell me I’m so mean to my husband. Who actually wants to be mean? They don’t understand that I can’t control it. That in moments of sunshine I tell him I’m sorry. I try not to snap at the boy. That’s the worst. Stupid depression and it’s stupid sneaky ways. And stupid meds that work one day and not the next. What’s up with that?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @JenKehl, Oh they do not understand the control that we don’t have in the moment. I do believe though that those moments we are still accountable for and I’m glad that you apologise. Someone in my family never did and the hurt that came after the hurt (if that makes sense) was really intense.
    Lets make our own drug that is made up of compressed unicorn farts, rainbows, cookie dough, baby giggles, and pretty underwear…don’t question the last one xoxo

    [Reply]

  • You’re brilliant and amazing, my brave and wonderful friend. I love how you compared the sad to the depressing and that depression is so much deeper than having a crappy day. You’re helping people. We are worth the air. All of us. xoxo

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kristi Campbell, We sure are. I just hate though when they make our pain into nothing which makes us not worth the time…air…you get it. Stupid hair. xox

    [Reply]

  • Thank you for being brave enough to share this! xxx

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Sandy, It’s so important that we talk about our struggles so that we can break down stigma. It’s a shame that we have to deal with ignorance.

    [Reply]

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