A friend of mine on Face book posed the question, “Have you ever known someone who started taking themselves too seriously? And why do people change that way?The simple question startled me, as I know quite well that I am taking myself and my issues far too seriously. It's because the answer is simple as well. I am suffering from depression—the familial kind that is sparked and rekindled by situations that seem too hard to handle.
Lots of people answered her question with widely differing views. One man said that she described the majority of doctor he had encountered in life, except that he suspected that they were that way before he met them. Another man suggested it was driven by false pride. I just continued to read the thread, waiting to see what others said, knowing all along why life is far to serious a load for me to handle now. But I didn’t want to go into detail as to why.
One jokester said, “I don’t have time to answer your petty questions.” I think he was trying to reflect wit for an answer to this far from witless question. My friend answered that she liked his profile picture. What else was there to say? Moments later, a wise woman said, “I think it’s a mental health issue.” How much smarter could she get? Of course it was a mental health problem. I’m living it.
This was followed by a young man who said, “It was soon after 9/11 and during the reign of G.W. Bush that my older sister apparently fell asleep near a giant seed pod and woke one morning all strict, humorless and pious.” I guess he was fantasizing about aliens who stole his sister’s humor.Don’t think that’s what happened to me. It would take more than aliens to take me down, and it did--lots more.
Rather than explain all the reasons I kept quiet until then.Then I interjected on the thread, “It’s called depression.”There was a long lapse in the thread until my friend posted a note to me saying, “Linda, that is fascinating. You are so perceptive."
Fascinating? I don’t think so. Perceptive, probably. That’s because it’s true, that’s all. I understand what has torn me apart and what I am working on to piece myself together. I know why I can’t write what I planned to do and had already begun, and why I didn’t want to blog until now. It’s because of depression and my inability to move between that rock and the hard place. I’m inert. I’m sad. I’m ready for change that hasn’t touched me yet.
Then another man posted, "For me, it can be an insecurity thing... I think, sometimes, when people tap into something that they're REALLY passionate about that they go through a phase of ‘self-importance’ as a way of securing and protecting/defending what they're passionate about. This can be a pattern, especially, when it's alternative, out-of-the-box passions that get tapped into (whether it's 12-step, Landmark, Tantra, or what) because people tend to over-protect in preparation for some perceived attack or backlash. Basically, ‘if you're not going to take this seriously, then I'm going to take it twice as seriously.’ This phase usually passes once they integrate and become more secure with themselves and their ‘new thing’ or new part of themselves/their self-expression.”
What? This lengthy comment amounted to a lot of words over something I read as a tiresome rant. And I decided not to answer this on the thread. I decided, instead, to write this blog—the first one I have written in weeks—because I know why people appear to take themselves too seriously. I’d love to see life with more frivolity and ease. But that’s not the case now. I’m frustrated and downtrodden by so much that it’s not easy to laugh, much less smile. I have an appointment to see a well-regarded therapist next week whom I hope will help me turn the corner on this problem. But I know it will take time. All things that matter take time to resolve.
So I’ll let you know when life does not seem all that serious anymore. I’ll let you know when life’s innuendos and stark realities are worthy of a blog. I’ll let you know when depression—the illness—is under control. It’s not going to happen today, but it will happen. I am ready for medical treatment and I believe it will help.
You’ll hear from me again--about something else entirely—when something worthy of comment comes to mind.