Musings, mutterings from the misguided.

If you sawed open my head, it would look like lumpy oatmeal.


“Are you enjoying your time off?” asks the uninformed.  A simple and kind query.  However, if you are suffering from depression and are not capable of getting dressed in the mornings, let alone function in the work place, it’s like fingernails on a blackboard.

I am currently on week 4 of leave from work due to clinical depression.  The first week, I slept, ate and drooled a lot thanks to an increase in my groovy medications.  The second week was marginally better, except when I wasn’t sleeping, I was crying or eating my body weight in junk food.  Last week was pretty good, I managed to get up and get dressed and actually see real live people (gasp!).  This week – well, it’s early yet.

I have a sign on my desk that says ‘I am a recovering people pleaser – is that okay?’ – in other words, I have to work very hard to not worry about what others think of me.  So, when someone asks me if I’m enjoying my time off, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and internally, I become very defensive, and, oddly enough – guilty.  Now, I’ve always been very open about my bouts of depression, so, very patiently I explain why I’m away from work and that I’m doing everything I can to get better.  Some people get it; others sort of give me the ‘stink eye’ – that look of scepticism that says ‘but you don’t SEEM sick’.  I told one person that it would be much easier for me to have a broken leg, because people could see that.  They can’t see my broken brain.



Mental illness is very real.  It is painful, it is inhibiting, it changes relationships and it can be the complete undoing of a soul.  I had a mother who suffered from depression, but she made it her identity; if she wasn’t depressed, then nobody would care for her.  Yikes.  I fight tooth and nail (and other bits) to ensure that I never wind up like that.

Now, I’m not one of those women who flings themselves dramatically onto a chaise lounge and declares loudly – ‘Oh, my I’m SO depressed, I just can’t STAND it.’  Nope, I’m more of the ‘Shit, my boss caught me crying under my desk, I guess I’d better come clean with him so he doesn’t think I’m a complete lunatic.’  Which is exactly what I did, and why I’m now sitting at home in my sweats, drinking too much coffee and watching daytime TV (that in itself, is depressing – seriously, how many times can Nikki and Victor get married on YNR?)

There is nothing specific that triggers depression (well, in my case).  It just IS.  It’s something that sneaks up on me like bad underwear and then one day – SNAP!  The elastic unravels and I find my granny panties down around my ankles for the world to see.  At the time, it’s humiliating, embarrassing and overwhelming.  It takes everything I can to gather up what’s left of my undies (and my pride) and safely ensconce myself at home.  My safe place.  A place where I’m not judged.  A place where I can just be me.


I should probably mention that I’m overweight.  Actually, according to the medical profession, I’m obese.  I’ve been fretting about my weight since I was six years old, when I was wearing a bikini bathing suit and running through the sprinklers in our front yard with my friends, when one of the neighbourhood boys called me ‘fatso’.  That was 40 years ago, and I still hear that voice.  My teen years, I was a healthy size 14, but I remember thinking that I was HIDEOUS.  I mean, really…a size 14?  I might as well have just shopped at Northwest Tent and Awning.  As I’m sure you all know, the teenage years can be particularly cruel – but looking back, the cruellest person of them all – was me.  “You’re ugly.” “You’re fat.”  “You’re disgusting.”  “No man is ever going to want you.”  Oh my GOD, that record has worn a permanent groove in my psyche.  It didn’t matter that my friends thought I was beautiful.  I didn’t believe a man when he told me I was beautiful.  I couldn’t believe those things from others, because I couldn’t believe them from me.

Welcome to the age of Facebook, where every second message is gooey, touchy feely and well sometimes, downright creepy.  You can repeat mantras until you’re blue in the face – but if you don’t believe them – they don’t work.  Well, they don’t for me, at least.  I have a lifetime of shame and self hatred to muddle through – chanting ‘YOU ARE AMAZING’ to myself in the mirror makes me feel like and idiot (and then I usually find a wayward eyebrow that’s sticking straight up like it belonged to Ernest Borgnine).ernest-borgnine-450x600

This is a journey.  I just have to find the proper place to start.  I have no idea where I’ll wind up or if I’ll find my way out, but step by step, day by day, mistake by mistake…hopefully I can learn to see what others see in me.


Author: cripsy13

A middle aged woman trying to find humour in the day to day challenges of living with depression.

4 thoughts on “If you sawed open my head, it would look like lumpy oatmeal.

  1. Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is when someone affirms the wonderful being of you.

    You are very brave Chris.

    And in the words of one of my favorite Christmas character Sometimes you “just put one foot in front of the other”

    Much love,

  2. 🙂 Just dropping a note to say I came by your blog. Thanks for the privilege of letting me into your world; I am so touched by your truth.


  3. Thank you for writing about your journey and struggle with depression and putting it out there. By you doing this you are helping others that are going through the same struggles. You have been through alot in your life and are stronger than you know. The truth will set you free. You are not running from it and facing it head on which takes more strength than denying and avoiding. It is your journey and know that if we don’t deal with our stuff it will only continue to pile up. So do what you have to do and continue honouring yourself by doing just that. Those that matter will be there for you. I heard something once that really stuck with me. People are all so caught up in themselves that my stuff wasn’t on their mind when I thought people would judge me. People really are so caught up in themselves, that I don’t have to give the “what do they think” a second thought about. We are all in need of some form of healing and my wish for you is that you continue to give yourself the time. Time doesn’t heal all, but it does help to reassess and do what ever steps you need to do or not do. I know you are going the traditional med route and don’t judge it or discredit it, but would love to spend time with you to discuss alternative things that help too. Big hug to you my friend. God Bless

  4. Thank you for sharing, Christine; I had no idea. Your fb posts are so funny and original…each day I sit down at my computer actually wondering “what will Christine post today?” I look forward to your posts. I’m so sorry you’re broken, and I know it’s as real as a broken leg. If only you could heal as quickly as a broken leg. Keep writing.

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