Reporting as fact that I have depression. Not proud but not going to be ashamed of something that I really do put in the same category as my arthritis. Some days I have to walk with a stick and some days it’s a couple of tokes before traffic. Some days I accidentally post personal shit online because, as an artist, that was all I had. Now I get to pretend it’s actually a moral crusade and get the reader on my side in the heroic quest. I’m hoping for a movie deal with Oprah.
I test fairly high on the PTSD scale (no, you don’t get the story). There is that wonderful combination of tight as a rattlesnake and living the Matchbox Blues that I like to refer to as “fine”. My favorite martial art is forcing my monsters back into the closet without getting sucked in behind them and losing a couple of days or a week. At these times it is actually helpful when friends say stupid shit to cheer me up.
No, really. It’s fine. The fact that you would go to the trouble of actively trying to cheer me up helps. Most of the advice, not so much. You said something from your heart and I need that. You may capitalize “Need” in the instance. I go out of my way to say something nice and/or encouraging to my friends who express feelings of depression. It is also important to remind friends having difficulties that there is a difference between having depression and being surrounded by assholes.
Humans are social animals. That is how we evolved. Wilhelm Reich showed that we, as living beings, carry an active electro-magnetic field that works best when recharged by interacting with other fields. This explains Disco and Pets. Some times we just say “Howdy!” on the Internet. It costs me nothing to be nice and I need to practice my typing. I also practice smiling at everyone.
Smiling can be practiced as a martial art. When done well a smile can give total strangers little tiny orgasms. Involving the neural pathways of the cortex that create the smiling expression also engage the pathways that control the release of oxytocin. A fully involved smile stretches the cheek muscles and helps open the sinuses and eustation ducts. Your friends deserve it and it will drive your enemies crazy.
When you see me smiling know that I’m trying to give you a good and honest smile. If there is a country song playing somewhere that nobody can hear, let’s wait till we start drinking and you can go first. It’ll be a fine time.