Saturday, 16 January 2016

Tips to Help a Strange Sad Person

I ran away from home today. It lasted all of ten minutes. I needed sugar and we had none, and I can't have a cup of tea without sugar, and cups of tea cure my headaches. Well, most of the time. I left the house after miserably mumbling to my mother that I was going out. I bought the sugar from the shop five minutes from our house, and then walked home. I tried to stay out longer to make them worry but it was cold and I was drained.

So, why did I want to run away? When I'm sad or down or depressed or whatever the hell you want to call it, I seem to forget that the world outside my house exists. I lie in bed and wallow in my misery. It's easier for my sister - if she's upset, etc., the world stops spinning until we can make her feel better. Me? Not so much. I don't want the attention. More on that momentarily, though - basically I convinced myself, after twenty minutes of umming and ahhing, to go and get sugar and when I got back everything would be okay. And it's better, but I'm still sitting alone watching The Little Mermaid in my room.

For a long time before Christmas I was happy. A few months, at least. And that's a record for me. Most of the time my moods are very low. But since New Year's I've been down again. And today it reached a new low. I'm not going to share the grim deatails.

Basically, no one except for three people know how to treat me when I'm like this: one is a workmate, who I don't like to tell my problems to, one is my daddy, who's an exceptional hugger and the other is my mum, who is down a lot herself so I don't want to burden her. So, for anyone with a friend or relative similar to me, I've decided to write a guide to reading/helping said people.

Signs I'm depressed or down:

  • I fall silent - this is  because I don't like talking about why I'm upset. I don't like crying in front of people, because when I cry, boy do I cry. I don't want your sympathy or your hugs. That's a social anxiety thing.
  • I throw things - this is something that only happens at home with my mum and sister. Sometimes I find it difficult to put my feelings across, so they don't always know what's going on with me. But then, because I'm strange and messed up, I get angry that they're happy as Larry and not caring what the hell I'm doing and I just have to fling a chair and leave the room. That'll teach 'em!
  • I disappear - my bed is my safe place. If I'm too upset to do anything, I'm likely to go upstairs and cry about it alone.

What to do when I'm showing these signs:

  • Make me laugh - as stated above, acknowledging my low mood or hugging me will make me uncomfortable. I don't want to cry and snot all over you. Distraction is key, and putting on a funny show (You've Been Framed always makes me laugh) or telling me a funny story may help as an alternative. My work friend is especially good with this one.
  • Don't ignore me - I may not want to talk to you, but shrugging your shoulders and going off doing your own thing hurts me. It makes me feel like I don't matter. Just be patient with me. If I'm laughing at a show or acknowledge that you're trying to talk to me, it's likely I'm feeling a bit better and then you can suggest we watch a movie or what have you.
  • Don't get angry with me - I'm sorry I can't talk when I'm sad. It's not my fault. Just be understanding and don't be a dick.
  • Sit with me - even if I'm still not feeling okay, talking to me and treating me normally while you're watching TV or whatever sometimes helps. For example, sometimes when I'm sad, Mum and my sister are in the room with me watching TV, and Mum laughs at something or says something to me, and although I don't respond, I cannot put into words how grateful it makes me that she's making an effort.

I hope this helps. I know my family do their best, but even after 22 years I know they wonder what the hell is going on in my head when my mood is low. I want nothing more than to be normal and interact with people like a normal person would. Writing this, I do wonder if Mum feels similar to me - I remember times when she's come home from a shitty day at work and I've just gone upstairs and blown it off. I wish I could be affectionate without doubting myself, and I wish I could tell her how much I love her and how much I wish I could help her. Next time I promise I'll stay with her all night until she's at least a little happier.

My sister finds it easier to express how she feels because she doesn't care what people think. I know I've always been crap at making her feel better but I try to do my best. Sometimes I know I fail, but I hate it so much when she's upset. 

The Little Mermaid is half over and I've paid, like, no attention. So with this weight lifted off my shoulders and feeling a little better, I'm going to call it a night. Thanks for letting me rant.

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