we are not alone in the cabbage patch

Monday was World Mental Health Day, a day devoted to bringing global attention to mental health education, awareness and advocacy. I was going to write a post about it given how I had equated my depression with stinky elephant poop two posts ago but my head was full of cobwebs and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t clear my mind of them. Since there doesn’t seem to be as many cobwebs stuck to my brain today, I thought I would try again. Think of it as me arriving fashionably late to the mental health party.

After coming out of my depression ‘elephant poop-filled’ cabbage patch, I was overwhelmed by the comments and many words of support I received from you, my Cabbage Patchsters. Pressing the publish button for that post was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I am truly glad that I did. It sparked a conversation about the effects of mental illness not only on my life but on yours or on someone you know. By sharing personal stories, words of encouragement and by sending me a multitude of cyber hugs, you taught me three very important lessons: (1) It’s okay to not be okay; (2) I am not alone; and, (3) Talking and writing about it has untold benefits. 

And, for that I cannot thank you enough. Each and everyone of you is like a great big ole bottle of Febreeze air freshener spraying your goodness on that great big ole pile of depression poop.

In the spirit of your inspiring and uplifting words, I decided to put all the comments in one place so that I would not only have them to read on those days when I feel like the elephant poop is piling up around me (like today) and because there may be another person out there drowning in their own elephant poop who needs to know that it’s okay to not be okay and that they are truly not alone.

  • “I’m just here and sending encouragement.” ~ Reprobate Typewriter 
  • “Thanks so much. Every time we talk about mental health, I think it helps: those who are suffering, and those who can’t entirely understand.” ~ KennedyStreet
  • “Amen. I feel like I need to spend the entire weekend alternating between the couch and my bed in order to battle the mental and emotional fatigue that accompany my anxiety.” ~ Steph 
  • “You have managed to sum up exactly what I feel and go through with my daily struggles of depression, fribromyalgia and Tourette Syndrome. Hate that you and so many others are in this horrible group of ours but nice to know I’m not alone or crazy for how I manage my chronic illnesses. Bless you.” ~ Janet 
  • “Linda, aside from having a terrible illness, you have been blessed with a remarkable talent. Everyone needs (whether they admit it or not) a cabbage patch where they can go when needed. You have the unique ability of making us feel we have such a place by sharing yours with us. Stay well because we need the next chapter…no pressure tho, just whenever.” ~ Patricia 
  • “What Patricia said … sending lots of love your way.” ~ Bonnie 
  • “Much love.” ~ Lauren 
  • “I’m so glad you shared this with us. I love your blog, and you always make me laugh. Your sense of humour is a gift! Depression can be a real bitch, but know you’re not alone.” ~ Sheila 
  • “Great post! I just back-linked it to my Depression Screening Day post, “When Depression Comes Knocking.” Love the light way you are able to manage your conditions (especially depression, about which it is tough to maintain any sort of sense of humour).” ~ Madelyn 
  • “I can’t think of anything useful to say except that I send my good wishes and my admiration that you’re making jokes anyway. That’s a hell of a lot to deal with.” ~ Ellen 
  • “Glad you’re back – keep ‘em coming. Poo and all!” ~prettyflyforawhitemom 
  • “Keep writing. I will keep reading. Depression lies as you now – try to tune out the lies and hear the truth. And when that feels an insurmountable task, we’ll wait for you here xoxo.” ~ Wendy
  • “So much of that is something that I could have written – especially the part about writing a humour blog to focus on all of life’s positives instead of negatives. But, of course, you’ve written it much better than I ever could. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one.” ~ mydangblog 
  • “I know what you mean about the ups and downs where sometimes ‘humour’ and the ‘I’m fine, thanks’ wears thin and you acknowledge how you are really feeling. So, my friend, there are many who can identify and empathize with you.” ~ Diane 
  • “I love your honesty. I do not have either condition but I know people who do and it is not easy for them. Keep writing … it is great therapy. If nothing else you get to say the word poop. Keep up the great blogging and just keep telling it is like it is. Life is not always fun and it does help people to know they are not alone in this journey called life.” ~ thechickengrandma 
  • “I like the humour in your writing. Not sure if I should say ‘get well soon’;). Just kidding. Any way, I can definitely say that you are not alone, dear friend.” ~settleinelpaso 
  • “I just want to say how proud I am of you for talking to so openly! And I hope your readers will show their love to your true talent with words … whether you clown around or are dang serious. Love * love * love.” ~ Cyranny 
  • “I know about depression but not MS. Depression was debilitating to me until the right drug was found. I learned that if I talk about depression, it frees others to be honest and talk about it in their lives. Thanks for sharing.” ~ that little voice 
  • “Great honesty – you put exactly into words how it is and how depression just makes you feel so lifeless inside … wonderful post.” ~samanthamurdochblog 
  • “Love you dear. You are not alone. Us sufferers have to remember: depression is a liar.” ~dSavannah 
  • “Thanks for putting all of that out there. I’ve suffered from depression at moments in my life, so I know how you feel. It’s a hard thing to shake. I bet your writing helps, though. Keep on doing it. It’s a great blog.” ~ Lisa 
  • “I love your honesty and sending hugs.” ~Eugenia
  • “As a fellow depression sufferer, depression sucks ass. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was 10 years old and there are days when it just DRAINS me … I’ve found it’s really hard to really GET anxiety and depression unless you either (A) have it yourself or (B) are intimately familiar with somebody who does.” ~ mommatrek 
  • “This is your best blog yet, Kiddo … you never cease to amaze me even after all these years. I admit this brought a tear to my eye not just because of your honesty but because as someone who is supposed to be your friend, I underestimated what a struggle you were dealing with … for that I am truly sorry. Don’t every quit writing … it is your calling … plus I am still waiting on my 10%!” ~ Sandie

And my personal favourite because it’s absolutely the best analogy EVER comes from Laura:

  • “Linda, have you ever heard of Black Ivory Coffee? Reading your blog about the elephant poop made me think about it. It seems that someone managed to find out that when elephants consumed the beans, what comes out the other end is less bitter and better tasting and is worth $50.00 a cup. Honestly, Google it! So the next time you feel weighted down from all the poop just think of it going through the process from being chewed and swallowed, then meandering its way through the stomach and into the intestines to finally emerge from the other end less bitter and worth so much more to yourself, your family and friends. Love your blog.”

I am so blessed knowing that “I” am not alone in this journey and that “We” are in it together and, because of that, I will never give up. If you know of someone who could benefit from reading the above comments, please do share with them. Let them know that they are not alone and that “we” can help them on their journey towards wellness which, according to elephant poop coffee, is worth an astounding $50.00 a cup.

P.S.:  Go Jays Go!