R U OK?
September 15th 2011 was R U OK? Day
It's a day designated to raising awareness of depression and suicide,
trying to make it more acceptable for people to talk about these
issues openly, such that more people seek help before it's 'too
In the past a few friendships began when I asked someone if they
were OK. It is likely these friendships ended because I was less OK
or stable than the individuals I approached were.
I guess 'R U OK?' is meant to be relateable to the young and those
who text a lot, and it's a simple way of breaking the ice. Greater
awareness and reduced stigma are admirable goals, but I wonder how
easy it is for people with psychological difficulties to talk about
possibly complex emotions on the spot.
R U OK? What it makes me think of is that you either have to answer
in the affirmative, or be prepared that panicked individuals might
want to put things in the hands of 'professionals', not realizing
that you may have been through all that, and it either didn't help,
or actually contributed to further lack of trust in life and human
beings. Those who haven't 'been through all that' might be helped, if
their problems fit into certain easily definable categories, but even
while some people are aiming at greater awareness of issues, there is
still a very great stigma in society which hinders authentic
communication. I would guess that although most people don't realize
it, they consider depression a character issue, not a medical or
health issue. This affects how people with depression think and
communicate about themselves, as well as how they are
'Character', degree of difficulty, and even consciousness itself (and
the conscious control we have over our lives) are not things that can
be scientifically measured, but most people have hidden beliefs or
judgments regarding the people they meet, their first impressions,
and many believe they are good judges of character.
Anyway, no one asked me if I am OK on R U OK? Day. I've been saying
for years that I am not OK, so it is probably obvious by now that I'm
not. But, maybe not. I have been surprised again and again by the
comments of people who have somehow assumed I am doing better now.
I would (still) like to die now
. There are days in the whole
cycle when I feel desperate, like I am willing to try anything to
manage to die, but if I am just going to botch it it is better to
force myself to be realistic.
With my habits, is it really likely I will live to 90? Surely I must
be at least halfway out?
When I check out lists of resources, look at depression
questionnaires and all the rest, I feel left out right from the
start. My situation just doesn't seem to fit.
Sometimes I really wish I had someone to talk to, but it's kind of
pointless seeking it out when by now I can see the possible
directions a conversation can go in.
Occasionally I reread some of what I have written, and I guess I have
to concede that even my 'psychoanalysis', the most organized bit of
writing on my site, is a mess. It is maybe like what I wrote years
earlier, about not having enough energy to express myself well enough
to be understood. Or is it that I am understood, but no one really
cares? Or, maybe it seems to everyone that nothing can be
done, or that I am noncompliant.
It's not that I want to drag everyone down. I was just trying to
narrow the search, to possibly find others I could communicate with
and go further with, by giving enough relevant information, by
putting enough out there that others could find me. Because the
'normal' channels for accessing help are not likely to help me, I
have been trying in my own way to find ways to help myself. I have
some clue about boundaries and what is appropriate with particular
people. At times with some unconventional people I have pushed the
boundaries somewhat, but I do quickly become uncomfortable when I
realize I have gone too far. At the same time, I think I can hold my
own in conversation - it's really just a case of finding people with
compatible communication styles or enough of a common knowledge or
experience base. Or am I totally out of touch with reality?
I don't look at site statistics or logs. I do check total data
transfer, which gives me some indication that I am getting a large
amount of traffic to my site. And yet absolutely no one is saying
anything directly to me. Years ago, when my site was less extensive,
occasionally people wrote to give me feedback, and these emails
were much appreciated. Now, I have no idea what anyone who visits
thinks about what I put out there. I can't expect anything, I know,
but it seems at least a little unbalanced.
Note: It is rare that I would neglect to answer an email sent
to me. If anyone has sent me email I haven't responded to, the most
likely explanation is that I did not receive the email.
A few recent pictures: glace half
, real girl
I know, after all these years, I am still saying the same old things.
Even though I meant for this part of my site to contain more
organized, thoughtful articles, it has ended up being a continuation
of my diary. It's partly a way to pass time until I die. I think it's
also a way of answering the question: R U OK?