What we hide

On January 2nd, the Bloggess posted this little gem of a blog post about depression, both with a bang and a whimper.

It’s about depression, about how people struggle with it silently, but survive. It’s about how when folks overcome depression, they feel they can’t celebrate because they’re too ashamed they were depressed in the first place.

I celebrate you everyday, Jenny. You’re my goddamned hero, which is so much better than being a regular hero. You put yourself out there , and you’re funny. Among the trolls of the internet who do anything they can to bring someone down, you have the balls to get out there and tell jokes, to lead a war on William Shatner and to net a giant metal chicken a gazillion facebook followers.

The fact that you can admit something you’re ashamed of can only make me love you more. And I know you know, now more than ever, that you’re not alone, but I’ll say it again. You’re not alone. Never will be. I for one will stalk you forever. Comforting, huh?

And to everyone else, no matter what secret battles you’re fighting, you’re not alone either. Even if I don’t share your personal pain, there is someone out there who does. You’re all my heroes, the silent masses who struggle with depression, with self-harming, with eating disorders, or with what I went through when I finally admitted to myself that I find women just as attractive as men. (That may come as a surprise to some of you, or not, but I’ll just throw it out there. If it means you don’t want to be my friend anymore, we probably should never have been friends in the first place.) <–See? That's what I'm talking about when I'm talking about shame.

It all comes down to shame. We don't let our pain out because we're afraid of what people will think. When I finally admitted both the above struggle and my issues with food, I was amazed at how wonderful and supportive my husband is. If you don't have a support team, I support you. I'm with you. And if you do have a support team in place, I'm with you still, one more voice helping out. One more voice telling you that you're not alone. I see you. I hear you. I am you.

We're all gonna get through this together.


16 thoughts on “What we hide

  1. Just snagged this link from your twitter and I said it there, but I’ll say it again “GO YOU!” Seriously. I’ve been there years ago and remember how hard and sometimes just plain awkward it was to deal with the whole “coming out” issue only to realize that hey, people were usually totally open and welcoming and usually really didn’t treat me any differently. So go you! You show them. ❤

  2. 🙂 Let me add to the “Go you!” posts. This is a lovely, supportive post. Thank you for sharing your feelings and your experience with all of us who have secret battles.

  3. Barbara,
    So much of the journey of our being human is finding the courage to be authentic. To not self-censor, and to embrace ourselves for who we truly are. Congratulations on your coming out as YOU! That’s something to celebrate!!!

  4. I’ve always liked this quote (and I’ll paraphrase because I don’t remember it exactly): Be nice to everyone because you don’t know what they might be battling that day.

    Kinda sums it up.

    My standby is this: The only person I have to be accountable to is my husband. Everyone else can take me or leave me as I am.

  5. Who are we if we can’t be ourselves? Anyone who won’t take us as we are, struggles and all, can walk away. They’re not worthy to be in our lives anyway. Every person deserves to be respected as a human being, equal to the next person, regardless of our differences and regardless of the struggles we face. I’ve had my share of people who “don’t get” my mental & physical health issues, but I treasure those who have accepted and supported me, no questions asked… and I do my best to support them in return, in whatever they’re going through. As the great Canadian icon Red Green says, “I’m rootin’ for ya… we’re all in this together.” 🙂

  6. It constantly bemuses me that someone can say, “I saw combat in [name-a-country]” and they get mostly treated with respect. (Not by me, but that’s another story.) Someone says, “I’m bisexual” and suddenly parents are covering their children’s eyes and herding them away. On the one hand, we have people who have been trained to KILL human beings; on the other, we have someone being honest about how they view intimacy. Isn’t it just a tad fucked up that most people’s reactions are exactly opposite of what they SHOULD be?

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