I haven’t posted in a few days. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to. It’s because I’ve been posting a lot about snow and cold lately, and I thought things might be getting a little boring.
But I live in New England, which means my world has been little else but snow and cold for the past three weeks. And according to the weather forecast, there’s no immediate end in sight. So, forgive me for posting again about cold and snow, but it sure is on my mind. I’m starting to forget what grass looks like.
There aren’t many, but I do think there are some upsides to living in a “giant snow farm.” I’m sick and tired of this winter, but I know damn well I’m not the only one. I know that because everyone I know who lives here will tell you how sick and tired they are of it, too. Like so many others with depression and anxiety, I tend to think that I’m the only one feeling so frustrated when I’m in a deep funk. In an odd way, this collective frustration is kind of comforting. I swear, the only people in Boston who are happy right now are skiers and roofing contractors.
I also take comfort in humor, and thanks to Facebook, I’ve seen a lot of snow memes that have made me smile. Several friends — most of whom live in the warm South — put them right on my timeline. I’m glad they do. These memes are helping me keep what little sanity I still have right now. Here are some of my favorites.
Yesterday, I posted a Facebook meme alluding to how most people only saw laughter when they saw Robin Williams, even though he was very open about his depression. Just a few hours later, I found these videos from Stand Up for Mental Health. Here are stand up comics who have been diagnosed with some form (and in some cases, several forms) of mental illness. In almost all cases, their humor stems from their relations to people and the world around them.
It’s hard to pick a favorite here. I can relate to just about all of these comics. I hope you enjoy these videos. We could all use a good laugh–even when we want to cry.
I saw this on Facebook today and I had to share it. I call my blog Not Always Smiling. It’s an ironic homage to the stupidest piece of “advice” I ever got about my depression. I was once told that if I only smiled more, my depression would be cured. Yeah, right.
I’m sure Robin Williams had to put up with a lot of idiotic comments, too. I don’t know of anyone with a mental illness who hasn’t. Me? I’m tired of having to “fake” my feelings just on the off-chance that I’ll be understood. It takes up so much damn energy.
Robin Williams had a beautiful smile. And one hell of a sense of humor. He was actually quite open about his depression. But mostly, people just wanted the laughs and the smiles. Maybe he was too funny. Maybe he smiled too much. The sad thing is, no one will ever know.
Here’s some Friday afternoon humor. Can you imagine anyone saying this about physical illnesses? Neither can I. Kudos to Robot Hugs for creating this.
Wayne Brady is known for his humor and his outgoing personality onstage. Here, he opens up and tells us that his life offstage has been much different. I identify a lot with what Wayne says here. But to me, the most revealing part deals with how his depression cut him off from his family and friends. As his depression deepened, he became more stand-offish. As he says, “when you think you’re going crazy, you don’t want to reveal too much of the crazy.”
It’s a defense mechanism, but it often backfires. As his friend says here, “I just thought you were being a jerk.” That really hit me because I’ve been told that I am aloof and stand-offish. If I am that way, it’s because I, too, am very cautious about revealing my true self. At times, that true self isn’t fun or pretty.
But here’s a great example of the power of opening up — for someone with depression, and for a friend of someone with depression. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: you’re only as sick as your secrets.
Meet The Digustings – a pair of jaded gay men who hate just about everyone and everything. It’s dark, it’s crass — and when I watched it, I couldn’t stop laughing.
Why? Because, in watching these two complain incessantly, I saw just a little of myself. Well, maybe more than I little. It’s not just because I’m a gay man who has been known to be somewhat jaded. As someone who has both depression and social anxiety disorder, I would say that both these men are prime candidates to become members of these tribes, if they’re not already. I’ll admit that when I’m in one of my moods, I’m not fun to be around. Watching these two, I can actually understand that from a different perspective.
The video has become a viral hit, and there’s talk of it becoming a feature film – or at least a video series. If it does, I’ll be watching. So far, I love The Disgustings. I guess I don’t hate everything after all.