Cheer Up?

I hate being told to “cheer up”. I just saw that written somewhere, and it irked me. Maybe some people’s problems are trivial and all they need to do is cheer up, but others have major problems and being told to “cheer up” trivalizes them and brushes off the true nature of what’s going on in their lives.

Would you walk up to a cancer patient and say, “cheer up’? or would you understand that maybe at that moment it was hard, or impossible to cheer up.

People have great sympathy for physical illnesses, but physical illnesses are not the only things that can get you down so low that you cannot cheer up. You may try and fail, and then having someone walk by and glibly say, “cheer up” makes you feel that much worse, like you’re failed them by being sad or overwhelmed or worried.

Don’t assume everyone you meet can express the wonderful cheerful emotions you exude. Many can’t, and your inability to see that is hurtful.



Depression or Reality?

I am not a doctor. I am a senior citizen who is writing about my personal viewpoints. They have not been tested as to their validity, so please do not assume I’m right. I’m just sharing my personal thoughts about what seems to be a common “problem”.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed . . . Feeling sad or having a depressed mood.”

I’ve had problems with depression frequently in my life. Looking back on different situations, I can see that I had every right to feel sad and to lose interest in activities once enjoyed. I’ve been “treated” for depression and it helped, but it also hurt. The talk therapy helped me get through the week, but the medication affected me very badly. In my Blindman book, which is a memoir, I talk about how that medication caused me problems. I won’t go into that here.

I just woke up this morning thinking I feel depressed. I often feel depressed. What I am dealing with right now is an old (16 years old) dog who is suffering the problems of old age, although my vet says for her age, she’s in “remarkable health”. What would she be like if she wasn’t in remarkable health? That makes me sad to think that other dogs are worse off than she is, when I see her stumble from time to time with arthritis. She pants frequently and he says her blood test shows that is from “seasonal allergies”. How much longer will this “season” last? I do have a good vet. He has seen my cat through heart failure and she actually came out of it. She may regress, but for now she has been able to stop the meds. She is old too.

I see many things every day that cause me to feel depressed. I could list them, but then you’d be depressed, and chances are, you might already be that way, if you’re reading this.

What I want to say about depression is that often it’s a valid response to current events. I’ve had a very hard life. My children have had hard lives. When you think back on a hard life that has had few and far between moments of joy, I would assume being depressed was a normal response.

Everything doesn’t need a pill thrown at it. Some pills cause more harm than good. Some doctors cause more harm than good. I suffer from two conditons that were caused by the ineptness of doctors. That’s why I don’t like doctors, for the most part. That’s common sense. If something hurts you and you can escape, you don’t stay there and get hurt again. Being hurt by something causes feelings of depression. People need to deal with what’s depressing them and not act like it’s an illness. (Remember, this is my opinion, not a tested fact.)

The fact that homosexuatlity was a psychiatric disorder at one time, but isn’t now, makes me think that everything pyschiatrists and medical doctors tell you is not necessarily the truth, and nothing but the truth.

If you are depressed, think about what is going on in your life right now. If nothing bad is going on, maybe it is a “disorder”. If something bad is going on, maybe you need to figure out how to change it? Can you fix it, or do you just need to suffer through how you’re feeling until the situation changes?

Depression, for me, has been an emotional response to a terrible situation. That’s it. Normal response to how anyone would feel in the same situation. How is that a “disorder”?



Absence Makes the Heart Hurt

My youngest son flew home in August, 2015 to stay with me awhile. At that time, my health was in bad shape, and I think everyone expected me to die.

We enjoyed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and winter days and weather. It was wonderful having him here, and he seemed to enjoy being here. He was born late in life for me, and he’s always been entertaining and knows how to make me laugh.

Now he’s gone. He loves Asia and he’s gone back. He doesn’t know how long he’ll be there, but one time that he went, he was gone for two and a half years. I always assume the worse, and I guess he’ll be gone a long time again.

I told him I was still sick. He said I was much healthier than when he came home in August 2015.

I can understand why a twenty-something would not want to be trapped in a small town with a boring mother.

I was very grateful to have him here last March when I spent six days in the hospital. I have pets and he stayed here and took care of them. He came to see me a couple times. The first few days he was very worried, and I imagined him hiding under his bed in fear of what might happen to me. Finally the third or fourth day, he came in with his oldest brother. He brought me a singing flower. It played “You Are My Sunshine”. I loved it!

I wondered what might happen myself in that hospital, because a man, who resembled an undertaker, kept coming in wanting me to sign a Do Not Resusitate Order. I finally tore it up, and he didn’t come back. My oldest son came to see me every day. I told that undertaker looking guy that if they needed to know what to do, whether to resusitate or not, to ask my oldest son.

I asked my youngest and his oldest brother to bring me some underwear and nightgowns. Neither of them wanted to do that. Finally the youngest one showed up with a plastic bag full of clothes. He proudly announced that he had put a glove on his hand, closed his eyes and reached into my underwear drawer and taken out a handful and stuffed them in the bag. He did the same thing with my pajama/nightgown drawer. I ended up with pajama tops and bikini underwear . . . He said at least he tried! His brother wouldn’t even try! I asked the nurse couldn’t I please go home yet????

Less than a week after I got out of the hospital, a pitbull came into my yard and attacked me and my 15 year old dog. My youngest son finally realized I was screaming – he had on headphones and was on his computer- but my youngest dog hit the window that my son had up a little and she shoved it to the top as far as it would go. Then she tried to jump through the screen. My son closed the window and ran outside to help. In the process he got bitten by the pit bull and broke a bone in his foot.

We went to a library book sale shortly before he left. I had an old car that my middle son had lent me. We didn’t go far from home in it.

The same day my youngest son left, I bought a nice used car that I do plan to travel in. I wish he were still here.

I tried to talk to him a  couple hours ago. He said it was the middle of the night over there. Well, whose fault is that?

My youngest dog also was sad when he left. She’s perked up a lot in the last few days. I’m going to add the picture of how she looked the first 24 hours he was gone. I still feel the way she looks, but all I can do is write about him. I really, really miss him.