Saturday, February 26, 2011

I ask the same Question!!!!

It has been a rough month for me. We have money to spend. We have a full house of groceries. We have pretty much anything we could desire. Hmmmmm? Rough??? Doesn't sound like anything should be rough on this end? Exactly!!!!!! The very reason I am writing today. My words will reach out and grab a few of you as you read this. You may find yourself whispering to yourself, "Hey, that sounds an awful lot like Me."
 I have a good life. I am a man that has been blessed more times in this life than any one man, especially THIS man ever deserved to be blessed. So why in the world would I be depressed? Again, the reason I write today. Depression and the added Bipolar and a little Tourettes tossed in to make for an interesting "salad" of life, certainly open up a world of sad. Yet still I ask myself, what do I have to be depressed about. Family members that simply refuse to believe that there is anything wrong with me. Those that think I can and really should just "get the hell over it!" I am very aware of all that I have. At the same time, I am extremely aware that I see myself as a total failure and that I have truly accomplished Nothing in my life.
 Depression IS an illness. It is brought on by imbalances in the brain that I do NOT have any control over. It is so easy to sit on the fence and scream all the things I Could be or Should be doing to make this all go away. To waltz through life, never seeing yourself as others see you tears the heart to pieces. To never believe that anything you have done in your life was ever worthy of appreciation or praise is not an easy row to hoe. The sadness and guilt and feeling of being completely disconnected and alone in this world can and do over-whelm the mind and soul. It wears a physical body out and leaves one feeling totally drain from the inside out.
 You, the ones that know me and love me and still look at me with disgust in your eyes, have no idea how many times I have looked in the mirror and saw that exact look coming from my own self. Over and over I ask myself why i am this way. I wonder daily what brought me to this point. I pray and think and ask again what makes me the man that I am? I know, the Past. Hmmm? Isn't the past exactly that? Isn't it Past? Not for all of us. Sometimes, there are those that retain and relive and struggle with the past daily, sometimes even by the minute. We rise every day and tell ourselves we need to be here. We create the reasons and try our best to process them so that we can make it through another day. And still we ask, why am I so sad inside?
 I think that perhaps that very question keeps us captive to our sorrows and guilt. We tell ourselves we have no reason to be depressed and in doing so, we cause our selves to become more sad because we can not find a reason for our feelings. We try so hard to beat these feelings. The battle that rages within wears us down and tires the soul and so... we slip deeper into a world of darkness and the feelings of have no worth or purpose. The accomplishments that other see become failures because though we "wrote a novel" or "made a CD" or "raised a family", all accomplishments in any one else's eyes, we didn't reach the top. We didn't become number one best selling authors or music moguls. We only did these half-assed or part of the way. We Never became "Anyone!"
 Why are we this way? What makes a person see them-selves through "tunneled" eyes? Depression is a terrible illness. It effects nearly half the people in the world in some stage or another. Toss in a few other issues like the Bipolar and Tourrettes and you have a real mess to walk through every single day of your life. And for those that don't believe or find themselves disgusted with someone like me, please be kind. I see myself the same way you do. I do not need you to tell me what I look like to others. A kind word or sign of love will go so much further. Remember this, you never know how close to the "edge" of life someone is standing. You may be the very means to either push that person over or bring them back to a little safer distance from that edge.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Virtual card, a Facebook note... does it mean the same?

  February is a full Birthday month for my family. A sister and my two daughters and my brother and cousin all have birthdays this month. Also included in February was Sheila{my wife of 24 years} and her mother. Going to the store to pick out cards was an hour or better long process. Reading each card until you found just the right one for the person you were buying for. It was time consuming but to see the look on the receivers face as they read your card was priceless. Sometimes it was a phone call to say Thank you for the card they had received. No matter how it was given, the thank you was always nice to hear. It made you glad that you had taken the time to choose the card you did. The thank you was given with much heart because everyone respected the fact that each of our lives were busy and the thought that someone had taken the time to go out and search and find and send a card meant so much.
 Time has passed and technology came along. Real, physical cards were slowly replaced by virtual cards. Not such a bad thing, the "virtual" card made it possible for people that simply could not find the time to go out and buy a card to send one via "E-mail." This meant that people that might have just by-passed the sending of any kind of birthday or holiday card would still send a card through their e-mail. Beautiful cards, exactly like what you would find in a store were found and sent to friends and loved ones.  Most were free and could be personalized to say exactly what you wanted to say. Some said things you could not find in your own words to say. Still hugely used by so many, the "virtual" card sites have flourished and grown. The cards have evolved into "flash" and the scenes have become life-like and Beautiful. I myself have sent more than I can remember.
 Today, as my daughter celebrated her birthday, I was reading the newest way to say "Happy Birthday" or "I love you." It is becoming more excepted but I think my thoughts were no more than the same thoughts many have, only silently. As I read the "Happy Birthday's" that my daughter had received on Facebook, I heard her say a bit under her breath, "I better get a phone call or card from so and so." Social networks and writing on your status a message of endearment seems to be alright to many.
 That made me think about the time I had spent, opening, reading, listening to so many cards in Wal-Mart, searching for just the right card to give to her. The joy and the smiles that came with looking were part of the very reason I was there. There was such a difference in handing her the card, watching her read it and listening to her laughter than what would have come from her seeing a "happy birthday, daughter" on line. 
 I also wondered what she would have felt if for some reason she could not get on-line today? Would she wondered if anyone remembered her birthday? How sad a thought is THAT???? I am not saying that the on-line happy birthdays were not appreciated. They do make one smile. But the truth is, it can NOT replace the feeling inside of knowing someone cared enough to take time out of what is a very busy world and find a card... even a "virtual" card, and send it to you. I think that the "Net" has the potential to make us "lazy" in our sending of special cards for special moments. It is easier to just put a quick note up and say "There, now I have sent them a greeting." It just doesn't seem the same to me as taking the time to find a card that says you care.
 Do I think it means the same to put up "happy birthday" or "best wishes in your new life" on a social site, for all the world to see as it does to send something personal? Absolutely not. Something seems to get lost in the quick write or the extremely impersonal sending of a greeting that is sent not just to the person it is meant for, but sent for all the world to see. Impersonal begets impersonal and suddenly people you have never met in your life are sending the greeting because they saw it posted by their friend, you. It sort of puts your own greeting in the same place. Impersonal.
 Evolution is wonderful and today's technology has brought worlds together. But sometimes, now and then, we need to make things personal again. We need to let our friend or loved one know that they are special. One in a million not one OF a million. To group them with a million unknown people doesn't really do that to me. Just a thought I was thinking.     

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