Bell Let's Talk Day Is Coming January 29th!
A Little Story
My name is Greg Gnyp. I have lived an awesome life with a great family, amazing friends, I have a job I love and I have been blessed with so many incredible adventures. And I sometimes don’t always appreciate it. You see, sometimes I have to battle this thing called depression. Now I am one of the lucky ones, I have never wanted to kill myself, nor have I ever tried but I have spent months not really wanting to live. It’s the strangest thing to be watching all this happy, life and love and you just feel “grey”. I have always described it like a big slate box over my head. I tend to live in a grey world when I am going through these periods.
Right after the holidays is always the worst. I have always hated that time right after the New Year. It isn’t Seasonal Affective Disorder, it isn’t because I didn’t get enough presents, It wasn’t because I had to go back to school…..it was just a profound blankness. I never told anyone about it because I just figured it was something you live with and you just push through it and keep your chin up. As I have gotten older, I can almost tell you the moment it hits. It’s just this feeling of wanting to stay home, to stay on the couch with the TV on but not really watching. Listening to music but not really sure what you are listening to and living your normal life but not really caring what you are doing.
For the past decade, I have had to add in a feeling of guilt. I haven’t been able to wish my father a Merry Christmas for 15 years and I still sometime get ready to call my mother on New Year’s Eve but she has been gone for 12 years. Why do I have guilt? It is because sometimes I am jealous of my friends who are still celebrating the holidays with their parents and that makes me feel terrible. I am so happy that they are still enjoying the holidays with parents but I feel guilty when the “envy” kicks in. And when the guilt kicks in, I know the grey box is coming as well. No one can tell what I am feeling because I can smile through anything and I can cover up my “sadness” to make sure that it doesn’t affect anyone else. I have done this all my life, so why would I stop now? I had a boss who said to me once “I still can’t believe you have to deal with this because you are always so happy at work!”
The biggest reason why I am writing this is I just want to remind people that no one who suffers with depression has ever wanted it. It’s the exact same as any other disease. No one wants it but shit happens and it is something you have to deal with. Please don’t tell us to “Just smile!” because I do that all the time and I still feel like I am living in a fog. You can’t turn it on and off like a light switch. It does not work that way. Don’t you think that if we could “Just Smile It Away”, we would? I don’t think anyone would choose the sad state over the happy times. Unless you are Morrissey but that it a completely different music story! I am just kidding! Honestly, smiling sometimes is the biggest lie we tell others because if we smile, no one knows the real story. How can the guy or girl smiling so broadly have any issues? They can! They do! But that smile sure fooled the world! Please, please, please, don't ever think a smile is the sign of a clear mind. Many who suffer from depression are as good of liars as is depression itself!
My other favour to ask is….. don’t get upset with us if we don’t follow your advice on how to deal with our issues. We know that you mean well but trust us…..sometimes we don’t know what we are feeling. Of course it would be great to put it into words and be able to explain it away but how do you explain a “grey box, blank slate, don’t hear the music and the couch is my friend” to someone who has no idea what that means to your brain? Most of the time, we don’t know what it means to our brain so that makes it even harder to explain to others. Whatever you do, please don’t take it personally if we don’t ask for help at times and don’t take it personally if we don’t accept your help. It’s not that we don’t want to but many times it is we don’t know how to. There are times you want to describe what is going on but it is just easier to stay quiet. Just be there for the times when we are ready to tell the story. Remember, it’s our story and we have to do it in our own time. People mean well but they want to fix it in a few moments but you can’t overnight or with one conversation. I have been lucky to have found a great therapist who I have used at times but like I said I am fortunate to not to have to battle this regularly. It’s always there but it usually lies just under the surface waiting to rear its ugly little grey head.
Please be kind to each other. Please love each other. Please accept each other. Please just be nice to each other.
We don’t have much time on this planet and the greatest part of our lives will always be the memories we make with those who love us! Much love to all of you and thank you for being a part of my little world!