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It's OK Not To Be OK. Tuesday September 30, 2014

Just imagine for a moment that you have the perfect life. No, go on, close your eyes and just imagine. You have a strong and attractive body; you have enough money to do anything you like; you live in a beautiful home in any part(s) of the world you choose. Your handsome/beautiful partner is warm, generous, loving and kind and adores the ground you walk on. Your children (if you have children) are healthy, bright and doing well at school or careers and relationships. You have work which is worthwhile and satisfies you, and at which you are successful. (I know this may not be everyone's perfect life, but it's mine).

Given all that, do you think you might still get depressed from time to time?

Well, the evidence tends to suggest that the people who have (apparently) got it all, suffer depression in the exactly the same ratios as we (normal) people. Something to think on, isn't it.

Because we do seem to have this script in our heads that says "If I could just get these problems sorted out I'd feel better" and "I wouldn't feel this way if only..." oh, and don't forget the most insidious little voice of all; the one that says "I already do have the perfect life: I shouldn't be depressed".

That last one is a particularly nasty little beast. It specialises in post natal depression, but can turn up with anyone at any time. It hands you a spiked club and invites you to beat yourself up. It's amazing that a lot of us take on that invitation with alacrity!

A friend of mine calls this the "Shoudda, Wouldda, Coudda Butt-Stick; as in "I shouldn't feel this way, but"; "I would love to feel that way, but" and "I could have done the other, but" and she tells me to imagine myself hitting myself repeatedly on the bottom with this stick while at the same time trying to wriggle away from it.

Pretty silly, huh?

So yes, we might have done things/felt things differently. We didn't. Newsflash: we're not perfect! Even if we do have the perfect life, we are just ordinary fallible human beings. We need to be OK with that. We can be depressed in Paradise; we can be depressed in Milton Keynes (just the first town I thought of – don't take it personally, MK).

Sometimes we just need to get over ourselves and stop the drama. So, we've got depression. No biggie. It's a bore; we'd love to be well, but we're not. For goodness' sake let's not beat ourselves up about it, because that's not amusing for anyone.

And anyone who does find it amusing has got far more problems than we have!

A Moodscope member.

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Richard L Peacocke Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 6:35am

Well said, Mary.

I agree that people who find depression risible need reeducation at least.

I have found that my loving and supportive wife is my best therapist, helping me in the dark times and enjoying the good times together.

Well said, Mary, as I said. Sometimes thoughts need to be solidified for sharing.

Elizabeth Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 7:50am

I love this Mary, so beatiful and humorous.

Anonymous Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 8:01am

Spot on. Also, maybe the beating yourself up with the spiked club is also a part of natural existence, in which there is learning & maybe some weird benefit to us. Anyway , l too loved this account. Thanks

Anonymous Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 9:53am

Perfect!!! Couldn't have put it any better. Well done x

Anonymous Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 10:30am

...all of the above! Thank you, Mary. I particularly laughed thinking of a cartoon figure beating itself up with a spiked club....yup, that'll be me!

heather Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 4:17pm

Lovely amusing read. Thank you Mary And yes, it really is OK not to be OK and when the self inflicted pressure is off, we improve more quickly. Love from Heather xx

Anonymous Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 7:14pm

Especially loved yes we are depressed -- so what we would love to be better but we are biggie..well written and thought provoking...thank you Dave

Katie Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 10:31pm

Hear hear Mary very refreshing perspective; it is ok to not be ok that is going to my new mantra; as it happens I'm feeling ok this week, I felt ok last week too, and the one before that... but as my Irish colleague who always has a nice way of phrasing things says.. it's in the post. Thank you Katie ps. re. club LOL!!

Dawn Wed, Oct 1st 2014 @ 11:35pm

Thank you for this Mary. Recently I've been feeling guilty and ungrateful because despite my life being immeasurably better than it was years ago I still struggle. This has helped me to not be so harsh on myself. Best wishes to you.

Di Murphey Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 5:16am

Oh! Our dear Mary ~
It is delightful to read of being OK with not being Ok. Your post has added glee to my day and life. Thank you.
Di Murphey

Anonymous Sat, Oct 11th 2014 @ 7:06pm

Whilst i can see that it is relative and we can get caught up in our dramas, i felt your comment: "Sometimes we just need to get over ourselves and stop the drama. So, we've got depression. No biggie. It's a bore;" was insensitive.
I have battled with and managed numerous mental health diagnosis for many many years, mostly successfully, but at present, i am struggling with reccurent depression and mood swings, which are exaserbated by: poverty, social isolation (no family, friends - only aqauntances i can connect with when more well, physical disability, the threat of my benefit being cut, having had to stop my voluntary work due to health, worry about winter fuel bills etc...... I do not want to feel depressed, i am a natural optimist and consider myself a powerful, resourceful and determined woman but it seems that depression is sometimes an understandable response to life circumstances. I can just about meditate each day to keep my spirits up and my on-line community is a Godsend, for which i am very grateful. Brain chemisitry and depressive cycles, mood swings and emotionally intense or anxious reactions are not all able to be controlled by simply telling myself 'its a bore'. If it were that easy, we would not have an epidemic of mental ill health globally.
I do however, agree that it is 'ok not to be ok', (bringing greater compassion and kindness to myself works better than an attitude of denial or resisting - what we resist most persists)
So, whilst its ok not to be ok, i'm sick and fed up with it myself. The one thing that makes the biggest difference for me is taking action, almost anything i am doing with the intention of managing and improving my situation helps, reading this blog and responding to it is included in that as i'm really struggling today.

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