"Shoulding" on myself

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Sasta Anois
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 11/10/2010 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
"Don't should on yourself"  was a phrase often repeated while I was in the hospital and during outpatient group therapy.  I'm struggling with that today. 
 
I went to the break room for a soda.  There were a few women at a table chatting. We exchanged "hellos" and I turned to plink money into the machine.  [Few important notes for context:  I am fairly well known and seem to be well liked at my office.  The women at the table were people I consider nice and friendly.  None of them know that I struggle with depression, ocd....etc and certainly do not know that less than 6 months ago I was hospitalized fearing I'd kill myself.  They only know the chatty, bubbly me since when I am not well, I withdraw and hide.]  Before I could pick up my soda, and walk the 15 feet out of the room, their conversation had gone back to I suppose what it had been when I walked in and everyone stopped to greet me. 
 
"Well, people like that you can't help."  "He killed himself. How selfish!"  "You can't help them if they don't want it."  "What's wrong with people like that.  Get over it."  
 
Here were these women, who I've done charity events with, who've hugged me when my husband cheated, who would never say anything to hurt my feelings (at least not in front of me), speaking about someone who lost the battle with depression with scorn and .....disgust.   I sliently went back to my office. I closed the door.  I set the soda down and cried into my hands. 
 
I cried not only because of what they said.  I cried because of what I didn't say.   It was a golden opportunity to teach those women about a life threatening illness that may one day threaten the life of someone they love, not just like.  I can't help but feel that I should have said something. 
 
Thoughts?
 
 
 
 
 
 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 11/10/2010 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes you should and sometimes it is better to have things left unsaid. By the sound of it, they don't understand depression. And you might not have been able to teach them. They may have taken it the wrong way. Now you have the oppertunity (if you choose to) to take them aside one at a time and discuss it with them. To non chalantly bring the subject up and say your point of view. I think maybe your emotions would have gotten the best of you in this situation.

In some cases, you can't help others. Some do have to help themselves. I think we all struggle with that ourselves. We had to be the one to help ourselves get better. And from past experiences, I have learned, sadly that if somebody is going to commit suicide, there is nothing in this world you can do to stop them. I have lost some very close people and relatives to depression. And it really hurt. I thought one was selfish because he left his two daughters. But I know that he felt hopeless with his situation. There are a lot of people that believe that suicide is selfish and that living is harder than dieing. Sometimes it is. So take what was said with a grain of salt. If the situation is really important to you, you can still talk to these ladies at your leisure. I have found that living is hard. But I also found it can be very wonderful. Even with the hard stuff.

Keep the faith.

Hugs, Karen
 
PS  I wanted to add that I understand what you mean about the word "should".  I use to use it a lot.  I try not to.  It is hard though...
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Post Edited (getting by) : 11/10/2010 3:05:42 PM (GMT-7)


Sad & Angry
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 11/11/2010 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Sasta I understand what you are going through. When I too felt like commiting suicide and couldn't go to work because of the hospitalization, I went to work and told my manager and the director of care what I was going though. Still, my manager, sent me an email the next day firing me.

That shocked me. I tried to go to labour courts, but was told I haven't been that long in the company to sue. So I feel a total loser.

It is not easy to tell someone what you are going though. And specially when they look down on you, when you are hurting and in pain, is more awful. It was not easy to tell my manager how I felt, but when she fired me by just sending an email, that really made me wonder, what type of an mentality she has?

Margaret
Anxiety and depression

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 11/11/2010 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Margaret,

I am so sorry that happened to you. I guess you have to look at it from a managers point of view, but to me it was a terrible thing to do to you. It shows that she is callous and doen't think of other peoples feelings. I hope that you find another job. I hope that you are seeing a counselor at this point too.

Keep on keeping on.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

awty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 11/11/2010 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Sasta, that breaks my heart you heard that.

I think when people learn that someone has followed this choice, they don't know what to say, and so they say something that is the supposed "normal' response.

To have the right answer for this, you have to either have studied the subject matter, or, have walked in those shoes before.

This is also often the reason, so many stay silient, and don't reach out for help from work colleauges, friends, etc.

When I hear this 'brush off response'. it really hurts my Soul - I remind myself, that what is said in ignorance, can be a blessing to the person that has said it, and I remind myself, that they are lucky to not get it. For them to get it, they would have had to live through either loosing family this way, or experienced the pain themselves.

I acknowledge they do not get it, and bring myself full cycle to, I am pleased they don't get it, I am pleased they do not know such pain, I am happy for them.

That's my process, but in order to get there, I first feel the pain, acknowledge it, then work through the emotion and shift to the objective, logical part.

Not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me, but basically, I so very much understand what you are feeling.

It is really hard for me to not pass judgement on those people, and not take it personally, BUT I work at it. They do not know how many I have lost this way, and the love I lost when they left this way........just as your colleauges don't know.

HUGE HUGZ to you

Sad & Angry
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 11/11/2010 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
getting by said...
Margaret,

I am so sorry that happened to you. I guess you have to look at it from a managers point of view, but to me it was a terrible thing to do to you. It shows that she is callous and doen't think of other peoples feelings. I hope that you find another job. I hope that you are seeing a counselor at this point too.

Keep on keeping on.

Hugs, Karen
Thank you Karen. Yes I am seeing a Counselor and going in for therapy. When I told the manager and the DoC together, the DoC assured me that they would not fire me because I am sick! But she was wrong. The next day I got the email from the manager saying I was not needed. That hurt me a lot.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 11/11/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I imagine that it did, it would me too. You were being honest with your feelings and they took advantage of that. I don't even know what they did was legal. Maybe you could ask around and find out. I think it is discrimination. But not sure. It wasn't fair and it wasn't the right thing for them to do.

Seek information on this one.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

moonlessdark
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/12/2010 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Sasta!

I'm a little new at this forum, but in reading your post, I felt I should share. I'm a self-starter; I'm motivated and goal driven. I rely on myself to get things done. So, until I got depression, I had a similar mindset that these ladies apparently shared. I thought, well, people are sad- it's up to them to fix it. It's just a bad day, or a string of bad days. They have to fix it. Then I had a best friend kill himself (this was about 9 years ago), and my life completely changed- and so did my mindset.

Now, hopefully none of these women will have to face either of our tragedies to understand that depression is a disease. There, however, is nothing wrong with a little knowledge. Once ignorance is taken out of someone's system, they have no choice but to face the truth as it is.

It took me getting this disease (or realizing it was there, whichever came first) to see that depression is not just a bad day. People have a will to survive, so they don't simply attempt suicide because they are weak or 'selfish'. I agree with the moderator, in this case- your emotions probably would have gotten in the way of you reaching these women because of what you'd gone through. Perhaps, though, it would be good to say something to these women when you have a chance to cool off and step away from the situation for a bit- just remember to be as open and non-judgmental as you can muster when you talk to them (as close to I was to these problems, I understand how passionate people are about fixing depression rather than chiding it). It sounds like they are truly just unaware of the reality of depression and suicide. Good luck with this situation!

~A

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 11/12/2010 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Sasta,
In my own humble opinion, you did the right thing. I believe in advocating for depression & suicide prevention. I volunteer every year with my local Out of the Darkness walk. But the workplace can be a tough place to advocate. I wanted to keep my own hospitalization secret, but a co-worker who attended the same church I did took it upon herself to tell my co-workers, to try to educate them & to ask them to support and encourage me. It wasn't what I wanted, but she thought it would be helpful.
As it turned out, no one changed their mind about depression. Instead, they changed their minds about me. I became the topic of office gossip & it turned my workplace in to an extraordinary stressful environment. I ended up back in the hospital b/c I was so upset by hearing people who used to be cordial & kind to me, whispering gossip about me around the water cooler.
Only you know what the right decision is for yourself, but just realize that you have a choice as to when, where & with whom to advocate. And if it is a "hot button" issue that makes you upset, I would encourage you to avoid discussing it in the workplace. As Karen pointed out, instead of people becoming more understanding, sometimes they just argue their point more strongly. On the other hand, if you are okay with the possibility that your co-workers could take your advocacy efforts the wrong way, or could politely disagree, or could turn around & talk about you the way they were talking about the gentleman who took his life, then know you have our support. Advocacy is a good cause & if that's your choice, you can still choose to say something. We will support you no matter your choice or the outcome.

blessings,
frances

Sad & Angry
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 11/13/2010 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Karen,

I applied for the Labour board, but my counselor said since I was not there for very long, (4 weeks) that I might not have a case. And she did try to discourage me from going for the labour board. I didn't go to call and ask from the Human Rights if I had a case or not, but now I have given up on the whole thing, as that too was causing some anxiety for me.
Anxiety and depression

Trying to Understand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 11/13/2010 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Sad & Angry, I don't understand how they could fire you with no other grounds than that you told them you had a problem with depression and were hospitalized, in the past. I would have expected someone like that to then watch you like a hawk and start documenting things so they could get rid of you ASAP, callously protecting themselves. Are you getting unemployment? If they fire you without good reason, didn't issue warnings, so ? Four weeks or more, if you were an employee in good standing that sounds too bizarre. There has to be someone at the labor board to talk to, not that you will get the job back, but to get benefits. The nerve of them ! Oh, just had a thought, maybe because you were still in a probationary period, but still, check it out. Go for the money Honey. Aside from that, you don't need your counselor's blessing to go to the labor board. I'm disappo9inted in her that she has taken that stance. I would not involve myself in a lengthy lawsuit, just check out the legality of what they did.

It is always risky to share these things, you can never tell where it is going to go. If people really want to, they can try and understand and be supportive. If they don't give a hoot about you to begin with, look out. You are setting yourself up for a heartache. If you get in this situation again, or even if someone is just probing into your "life", don't succomb to it, just say, I don't really want to talk about it. Thats kind of personal, if you don't mind. And clam up.

And to Sasta Anois, don't beat yourself up over this one. It would have been far worse if you HAD started talking about it, and broken down. Its too fresh for you to go on a community education program. You could start thinking of one sentence answers you can make, or lines you can drop, in the future that won't get you in too deep. Like "I've done some reading on suicide. Its not that people are being selfish, its that their pain is so great, they feel so useless, hopeless, and really believe everyone would be better off without them." or "Suicide isn't easy, its the result of much soul searching, gut wrenching, and hitting dead ends. Its physically very difficult to pull off, too." If they ask you why you read about suicide, shrug it off and say, oh just a little project.

People say these things because they are self-preserving. They think they would never do it to solve their problems, right! Cause you're not emotionally/psychologically challenged.!
Sandy
BP II
Severe depression

"Do something everyday to make tomorrow better."

"One good change creates another."

Sasta Anois
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 11/18/2010 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your support and what you've all shared. I have taken alot from these. To be happy for them that they didn't know really hadn't occurred to me, though it had with members of my family. My brother (in law&heart), though very caring, doesn't really get it from some comments he has made. Neither did one of my sisters, that is until Mother called her to come with me to check into the hospital. I wondered why she didn't visit me with everyone the first time. Later I found out it was because she felt so badly about her reaction to the call that she hadn't stopped crying. I'd just ended my marriage, and she'd thought my 'melt down' was soley over a man. She later said, as we laughed and cried, "I had full intention to come over there and grab you by the arms and shake you! I'd never abandon you and if you were being a drama queen, I'd still have taken you to the hospital ...if the shaking didn't snap you out of it....Then when I walked in and saw the face of one of the strongest women I've ever known...sniff...sniff...I knew this was something I'd never seen before. It didn't look like you and I realized in that moment you needed to go to the hospital even if you hadn't wanted to." Note, I NEVER picked up any of the attitude "get over it" from her. I have thought before that even if he never really understands, I hope my brother never has to see me like that.

The points about advocacy at work are good. I feel I'm "out of the woods" but not "back to town" yet. I'm still on the path and think it would be harder to walk worrying about people looking over my shoulder. =) I do intend to come out of the padded closet openly, honestly, publicly, at times loudly, and share my story in hopes it will help others and lessen the stigma towards people with mental illness. I believe that when I get to a place without shame...well, I will make a difference. HA! I must be doing better. I mean, look at that horn tooting! lol.

On a serious note, I do have some experience with speaking out about a touchy subject. My mother is a survivor of years of emotional abuse and domestic violence. It took me a long time to be able to say that without shame, in fact with pride since the most important word is survivor and be able to deal with the negative reactions towards her, and me, that sometimes do happen. Is there still a stigma about DV? Yes. Is it less than when I was a child? YES!! I've found a great deal of healing working with women's shelters, V-Day, etc. and feel that had my family and others not gotten to a place where we could talk about it, that stigma would be as strong today as it was years ago.

Again, thank you all so much. For now, I'm glad I waited to say anything.

Sasta Anois
Sometimes a day is too much to take at one time so instead of telling myself "Have a great day!", I say "When you can dahlin, have a happy now." I wish us all more happy nows.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 11/18/2010 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Sasta Anois,

You really give us a lot to think about. I know how it is to come from an abusive family. My mother had been in the mental institution when I was little. It can be very hard to live down. And we shouldn't have to. People can be very ignorant. They don't understand. Some may never understand. It is sad.

Sad and Angry,

Sometimes things just aren't worth the anxiety that they cause. I understand how you feel. Sometimes we have to give ourselves a break and just chill.

It is so nice to see everybody posting.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies
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