Saturday, 11 July 2015


I am a lucky bitch, cos whilst I have had a couple of bouts of cancer, I don't have depression.
When you have an ailment that people can see, that they somehow understand and find acceptable or terribly sad or that can make 'em feel good about themselves as they commiserate or make up some soup to pop in your freezer, you can feel loved and cared for.
I'm happy to admit that I found the soulful puppy dog face people get when you mention cancer more than a little off putting. We Elliotts have a generational habit of making fun of everything especially if the thing is shitful, cos I suppose we just reckon it's better if you can have a giggle rather than a cry. My darling Dad and I could often be found in the Chemo ward doing stand up as we waved our arms around like windmills trying to get a vein to behave and giving odds on how many digs the nurse would need to get a good jab. Patients laughed - their visitors perhaps with less gusto. I have made many perhaps inappropriate comments about slices of boob or tastes of chemo or recipes replacing puff pastry with stewed burn irradiated skin. Yeh gross I know, but anything to avoid those hang dog faces. And the shock value usually leaves me pretty unscathed, unless you count the announcement last time when a complete stranger thought it ok to give me a cuddle and a slobbery tonguey, odd enough if it was a bloke, but this came from an old woman who wanted me to remember that whatever happened I would still be a woman. Oh Dear! She wasn't laughing and neither was I as I wiped her saliva from my chin....Ohhhh yukky.
But none of this jovial silliness is possible with an 'I've got  Depression' announcement. Firstly cos if it is you who is making the announcement, you are probably not making an announcement and are definitely not up for making small talk let alone a joke, and secondly, cos the audience generally doesn't want to hear that cos they don't know how to react. There is no hang-dog look for the Depression announcement.
Depression is debilitating and lonely and almost impossible to describe or explain. It is recognisable to those on the outside looking in, but only if they know what they are looking at. Symptoms are probably as varied as the folk suffering through the shit.
I feel helpless when faced with someone's dive into the abyss. I worry and of course that is of absolutely no fucking good to 'em at all. This week courtesy of KERRI SACKVILLE I found this little flier which just might be helpful. If in the midst of depression you can manage just one or 2 of these things a day, then you can feel like a winner.
For those of us lucky enough NOT to suffer from depression then this list might look ridiculous, but I would say to the nonsufferer scoffers, 'Think how far down the hole would YOU be, if any of these activities seemed as impossible as a size 22 woman trying to shoe horn herself into a size 4 pair of skinny jeans.'
I really hope that this little list up on the fridge can give hope to our friends who are in that dark place.
If I thought it would help I would build a kissing booth and stick the tongue in, but I fear that would just add to the tension.

Chris K, I am very very sorry for your loss this week. xx

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