When Depression Comes Knocking


Depression:
NONE of us can count on immunity
when life kicks us down

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
A Mental Health Awareness Month Post

Today, the first Thursday of October, is National Depression Screening Day.

I have written relatively little about my own struggles, and don’t intend to focus there. Nor do I consider myself a poet; I rarely share my amateur attempts. However, a brave post by writer Christoph Fischer touched me in a manner that an informational article would not have. I decided to risk pulling back the curtain on a bit of the struggle in my own life for just a moment, hoping that it will touch someone else in a similar manner and encourage them to reach out. 

We are more alike under the skin than we realize.  NONE of us are really alone.

Nethersides of Bell Jars

I have been wrestling with PTSD along with struggles sleeping when it is dark out since a friend and I were gang mugged at gunpoint between Christmas and New Years Day, 2013 – only a few steps from the house where I rented an apartment.

My friend was pistol-whipped and almost abducted. After they robbed her, they turned their attention to me.

Among other things, my brand new iPhone, keys, datebook, all bank cards, checking account, and the locks on my van each had to be replaced – and everything else that entails.

Since the hoodlums smashed my dominant hand, I had to do it all encased in a cumbersome cast, one-handed for three months.  I wasn’t able to drive – or even wash my face, hands or dishes very well.  Zippers and can openers were beyond me.

Practically the moment my cast came off, I was informed that my landlord wanted her apartment back.  Apartment hunting, packing, moving and unpacking with a hand that was still healing – along with retrofitting inadequate closets, building shelves to accommodate my library and my no-storage kitchen, arranging for internet access and all the other details involved in a move  – took every single ounce of energy I could summon.  Eventually, I hit the wall.

Unpacking and turning a pre-war apartment into a home remains unfinished still.

In the past 2-1/2 years I’ve dipped in and out of periods of depression so debilitating that, many days, the only thing that got me up off the couch where I had taken to sleeping away much of the day was empathy for my puppy.

He needs food, water, love and attention, grooming, and several trips outside each day – and he just started blogging himself.

I’ve frequently had the thought that taking care of him probably saved my sanity – maybe even my life, but many days it took everything I had to take care of him, as the isolation in this town made everything worse.

The words below

I’m sharing the words I wrote the day the psychopharm I have visited since my move to Cincinnati decided not to treat me anymore.  When I called for an appointment, her receptionist delivered the news as a fait accompli, sans explanation.

  • It might make sense to be refused treatment if I attempted to obtain medication too often.
  • The truth is that, for quite some time, I hadn’t been able to manage the scheduling details that would allow me to visit her at all — even though that was the only way to obtain the stimulant medication that makes it possible for me to drive my brain, much less anything else that might give me a leg up and out of depression’s black hole.
  • I would have expected any mental health professional to recognize and understand depression’s struggle. I hoped that she would be willing to help once I contacted her again. Nope!

One more thing I must jump through hoops to replace, costly and time consuming.

Related Post: Repair Deficit

And so, the words below, written upon awakening the day after I was turned away . . .

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>


The Netherside of the Bell Jar

Confined to one couch, exiled from another,
I’ve lived straining – arms outstretched
holding back dawn and praying for sleep,
shoulders aching.

I walk alone, companionship scripted on a screen,
theme music announcing the arrivals, shrieking over endless echoes
as day turns to night turns to daylight and darkness.
Dry eyes droop in sunlight, welcomed darkness in day’s exhaustion.

Day-dwellers here look past me as they stop for a moment to play with my pooch.

Unanswered cries of a night-keeper transcribed into notebooks,
documenting professional disinclination to offer aid
to those who can’t be scheduled.
Calls for help rattle the walls, amplified unanswered.

Many of life’s mistakes can be rectified
but emotion’s reverberations can’t be rewound.
No understanding.
No help. No hope.


It can happen to ANYONE

Yep!  NONE of us can count on immunity from depression when life kicks us down repeatedly – even when our lives look privileged from the outside.

Check out Patrick Kennedy’s CNN interview about what he and his family went through – while stigma kept them soldiering on in silence, as items like drug addiction and PTSD complicated the picture.

CNN Podcast: David Axelrod interviews Patrick Kennedy on Mental Health: a Public Crises
(a bit slow moving, so clean or straighten while you listen)

Fight BACK

We don’t need to give in to depression, however – or any other mental health challenge. We don’t have to let them win, keeping mental health forever in stigma’s shadow.

We need to do whatever we can to engage with life in any way we can manage until, inch by inch, we find our way again. Isolation can be a killer, and I can promise you that focusing on the struggles of someone else is very healing.

I write, pay attention to my puppy and reach out to help others – online and over the phone.

What do YOU do to keep on keepin’ on when life gets dark?

Related Post: You’ll Get Through This – a book for tough times

© 2016, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”


As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)


You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)

Related Articles ’round the net

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

Save

Save

Save

Save

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with Executive Functioning struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

49 Responses to When Depression Comes Knocking

  1. Pingback: April 2017: Mental Health Awareness | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. L. M. B. says:

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually check links before I approve them but, since it’s YOU, I know it will be worthwhile and appropriate. THANKS! Approving now – looking in a bit.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. M. B. says:

        I am honoured … please do whatever you need to do or find appropriate … the responsibility of “other peoples lives is in your hands … you have the power to tilt the scales … be sure it tilts onto the SAFE side. Strength and Honour my dearest Madelyn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No worries about your links – as long as you keep it to one “live” link per comment you won’t be auto-spammed and I will approve as soon as I see it. (multiple comments are okay if you have more).

          NOW, my new friend, *you* have the lives of others in your hands. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • L. M. B. says:

            Every day when I get into the car to drive to work … I pray … not long … just a sign of the cross and sometimes the “Our Father” reflecting on the part … forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us. So there WE ask God … Let us start afresh … forgiving and starting a new day from scratch. To “live” … is not to be taken lightly, our life is like a candle in the wind … if it blows out … thats it! No coming back … so we have to protect it and keep it burning.

            Liked by 1 person

            • It’s helpful to have a strong faith in something bigger than yourself, isn’t it? I’m big on gratitude lists too.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • L. M. B. says:

              Religions put a wedge between people … Faith unites them. Belief is personal.

              Like

            • WONDERFUL distinction. I’ll bet you’d like a post from 2013, “The Link between Leadership and Spirituality
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

          • L. M. B. says:

            Id rather believe … and be proven wrong! … Then in any way … I WIN ! https://youtu.be/ipXBy1ZAbh4

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hedging your bets, huh? We don’t have to “believe” in air to be able to breathe.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  3. L. M. B. says:

    You left me with tears in my eyes … a lump in my throat and a a feeling like ther’s a stick of dynamite in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are a natural empath, as am I. We “feel” the feelings around us – a double-edged sword, right?

      People like us need to develop ways to clear our own energy so we can remain open and positive. Can’t help a soul if we don’t do that.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. M. B. says:

        One last thing … please! See this film caption and instead of head think … heart! Glass splitters in my heart. But don’t loose time on me … Im ok! Its just its all so SAD! Too little good and so much bad. Ther’s not enough people like you. Live long and prosper ! _/\_ …

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have no choice – heart is always first. Head comes in to help me make sense of what I feel.

          Ironically, there are quite a few people like me in the mental health and chronic illness community circles (those who suffer — the ones who make a living supposedly “helping,” not so much, sadly)

          Those who have little, share much. It seems that many of those who have much hoard.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

          • L. M. B. says:

            My wife Sandra works in an old folks home … and is just a good soul as anybody can be! I don’t know how you all manage! Angels? On earth!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sandra most certainly is, that’s for sure! It takes a special soul to walk with those at the end of life’s journey.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • L. M. B. says:

              I was once visited an old man … who I often entertain? Exchange words? … anyway my wife saw me and whilst struggling putting an older bed bound lady … from a wheelchair into her bed … Sandra ( my wife ) asked me to give her a hand … ???? How ? Where do I hold her how do I lift her? It was a nightmare! And they do that DAILY ! Cleaning them up after having not been able to “contain themselves? Its DEFFINETLY NOT within everybody’s capability … and my wife is small ( beatyful … but max 1.70 cm ? … + or – ! ) How do they manage if not with the help of God?

              Liked by 1 person

            • I think you answered your own question about how they manage. Mother Teresa was not very big wither, and look what she managed to do – even into her later years.
              xx
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  4. L. M. B. says:

    You leave me speechless! I agree with you in all points, I guess it would be a different world if all the members of “Our Communities” would respect ALL of the others, but that would be “utopia”? To think otherwise?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heaven on earth, yes? Even when we don’t share their experience, I find it difficult to understand those who can’t empathize and offer supportive comments ONLY. My early attraction to theatre (my first career as well) was based in my belief that good theatre was our best shot at teaching empathy.

      I’m really enjoying getting to know you a bit, btw.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. M. B. says:

        Empathy … what a wonderful word … it means so much 7 vocabules that mean brotherhood … love and togetherness.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Indeed. Plus, it feels good to touch the heart of another – even when that heart is troubled.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  5. L. M. B. says:

    All I can say at this point … is WOW! ( for many a reason .) A+++

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry you had such a tough time and with the additional lack of empathy from your landlady!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I share, hoping that maybe it might allow people to understand the importance of empathy to those who are struggling – and to allow my readers to understand that I do not blog from a place without personal experience of some of what they struggle with as well.

      I appreciate the message of empathy and support from a colleague.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure.It is so important to sometimes be transparent in our own struggles. It indeed helps our readers connect with us more, as none of us are immune to mental illness. xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • And, although each of us is certain that, because we struggle in our own ways, we struggle alone, it is never really true. Community is healing – and telling our stories lifts the veil a bit. EVEN for professionals.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

  7. Wendy says:

    Thank you for being strong enough to share your experience, I know how tough it is on you.

    Your account of being mugged is horrific. The story of trying to get your life back together is heart breaking. Your struggles with the mental health professionals is abysmal. Unfortunately your experience with your mental health provider is not unusual. That appalls me. I’ve seen it first hand.

    What do I do when the darkness hits? The same as you. I write, I reach out to friends both on line and texts. I lose myself in TV and books….that may not be the healthiest I’m not sure, often the books are on mindfulness. I take a bath, it’s better for anxiety. I cuddle with my dog, then she’ll want to play, and play is the best thing for depression. 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was very brave.
    xo
    w

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your ongoing support, Wendy – especially for this article. You deal with so much more than I do – and have been for so much longer. And your experience with so many health “professionals” has been beyond appalling.

      It’s not surprising to hear that you do much the same as I in your attempts to recenter when things are most difficult. After all, I read your most excellent blog and see your comments on the blogs of others. You are an angel on earth.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Wendy says:

        You see much more in me than I think is there, but I’m glad.
        It’s comments like yours that keep me going.
        Thank you my friend.
        xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        • I doubt I see half of what’s there.
          xx, mgh

          Like

          • Wendy says:

            You see the good half. 🙂

            Like

            • HALF? Oh my darling, you are far too hard on yourself. (Human frailties are not the “bad” part, either.)
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  8. Jo says:

    Reblogged this on Jo the tumbleweed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for reblogging this, Jo. I think your readers will understand only too well – sadly.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo says:

        You are right 😦

        Liked by 2 people

  9. badfish says:

    Well, this is a very profound and well-written account. But…just so depressing what some humans do to others, and for what reason? Kicks? Brave of you to share this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for visiting, reading, and for your kind words. Time will tell whether I was brave or foolish. Supportive comments like yours make me glad I took the chance.

      I don’t understand cruelty either. Robbery is at least understandable on some level – though more damaging than they know in cases like mine. It leaves scars. But cruelty? Drugs, probably.

      Almost worse, in my mind, was my landlady’s lack of empathy – forcing me to move suddenly and before my hand was fully healed. The only logic I can come up with is that, since she had not replaced the walkway lights and we were mugged in the darkest part of an already dark street, she was afraid I might sue and wanted me too busy to handle the details.

      Lack of kindness is “under the radar” cruelty — and far more pervasive and puzzling. In any case, it’s done now, and I must continue to take steps to get my life back. Onward and upward.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • badfish says:

        if anyone can do it…it’s you I’m thinking, and yeah…what’s up with all the lack of kindness in the world?

        Liked by 1 person

        • From your lips to God’s ears! I do not know about all the cruelty, etc. Is it the same in the countries you visit?
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • badfish says:

            For the most part when I travel, I see the good in people, but yeah, people are people everywhere. Here in Abu Dhabi, it is very safe, low crime rate, very little violent crime.
            I still get a page of script when I hit that polldaddy link…am I supposed to get a page?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Repeat comment (we seem to be commenting at the same time):

              WordPress adds a blue a”polldaddy dot com / rating dot js” deal at the bottom of comments clicked on from drop-down menu (the little graphic on the up right of your site). Only garbage when you click.

              I’m guessing that it’s supposed to be invisible – and I think it’s what drives the like, approve, trash, spam stuff underneath the comment box itself.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  10. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m of two minds on this reblog, Kate. One is extremely grateful, wanting to let EVERYONE know that depression can even hit professionals; the other is the one that almost didn’t hit publish.

      Thanks always for your support.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure it was very difficult for you Madelyn. It’s a difficult subject especially when you have first hand experience. But I think your wanting to help others subconsciously made you press the ‘send’ button. This is not a selfish or whining post – it’s to help other people by saying ‘this happened to me, it can happen to anyone and this is what I did to help me. It could work for you.
        You’re a very brave, unselfish woman Madelyn.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you, you DEAR woman. As you might guess, many of my colleagues recommend hiding their own struggles – calling it “professional” behavior, probablly afraid that it will effect their client base if anyone suspected they were “broken.”

          This was a very caring reply, and it makes me feel A LOT better.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Aww Madelyn!! If I made you feel better in any way I am glad. You are a good person to whom bad things have unfortunately happened. But you reach out to others to help them instead of closing yourself off in a dark place. You are a person ‘of the light’ as they say. Long may you shine :):

            Liked by 1 person

            • What a wonderful ‘light’ you have shone on my experiences in the past few years. Thank you – more than I can say.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: