Totally Inappropriate Salted Humour Day: Introducing The bahLOONatic, A Toy Totally In Need Of A Recall PLUS A Dick Joke

“Billy’s Balloon”; ‘Don Hertzfeldt’

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“The theory of learned helplessness was then extended to human behavior, providing a model for explaining depression, a state characterized by a lack of affect and feeling. Depressed people became that way because they learned to be helpless. Depressed people learned that whatever they did, is futile. During the course of their lives, depressed people apparently learned that they have no control.
“Learned Helplessness“, Duen Hsi Yen (1998)
[print this out and nail it to your wall]

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“Although we experience the world in bits and pieces, the sequence in which we experience them flows together and we feel the world around us in a continuous panorama. When we try to communicate about it, we have to break it down into bits and pieces. Perhaps a large part of our trouble starts there.”
“Communications: The Transfer of Meaning”, Don Fabun (1968)

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Our Depressions are not always caused by… depressing stuff. Most of our depressions are caused by the Disease. They may feel hopeless, they may feel unrecoverable they may even feel real, but they’re not — there are no reasons necessary for us to be depressed. You have to tell yourself they will not last forever, it will stop, you will get better. You can take away a lot of their power by simply repeating “this isn’t real, this level of depression is totally unwarranted for the situation”… or just “fuck off”.

To prevent them from happening or, at the very least, to decrease their intensity you must use your moments of lucidity to seek and find help. That means finding a professional. If you live in a region where it’s difficult or impossible to just walk into a psychiatrists office and get an appointment — which is pretty much every region — there are always local governmental or non-governmental mental health offices where you can get started in the system.

Even in recovery and receiving treatment, we will continue to have depressions forced on us by the disease. I’m three years into my recovery and I had one just a few months ago, but three years ago I was having ten of them before breakfast. Even this late into a recovery the rare depressive episode can act as a trigger to a “why bother” moment where discarding the pills, or dropping out of treatment, or even considering suicide will seem like options out of a misguided belief the treatments aren’t working if you’re still getting depressed.

Thinking, believing nothing will get better and nothing good will ever happen to you is not new, and it’s not surprising to feel that way. When we look backwards and see nothing but failure and look forward and see nothing but… well, nothing, those depressing visualizations are part of the learned behaviour forced on us by the disease. You’ve been sitting around for twenty years visualizing your death, the death of your friends, your pets, your God, your plants, the poor and devastated people in Rwanda/Somalia/Iraq/Northern China/Finland… well, fuck, try thinking about things you’ve succeeded in. That brunette with the killer smile and little tits you totally banged five freaking times in one day, the diploma, getting to the store last night just before it closed.

Listen, no one really sits around dreaming about their future but because we sit around planning our death for so long we assume dreaming about their futures is something people without the disease do, then we get depressed because when we start our recovery Dreams Of The Future aren’t granted to us by the Get Well Fairy. We have to move one day at a time, this is a long process and we have to concentrate on each step. Just because the journey’s slow doesn’t mean it’s not happening or not worth taking.

And now, a dick joke: my dick is so big, it was overthrown by a military coup. It’s now known as the Democratic Republic of My Dick. I love that one. This one’s pretty good as well: My dick is so big, it has its own dick. And even my dick’s dick is bigger than your dick.

*Some or all of this may have been stolen from a response I left on Experimental Chimps blog sometime around 2am, August 31, 2007. But, in my defence, I was totally hammered on 2% milk and imitation crab meat.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, crazy people with no pants, Depression, Health, Humor, Humour, Inappropriate Humour Day, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Totally Inappropriate Salted Humour Day: Introducing The bahLOONatic, A Toy Totally In Need Of A Recall PLUS A Dick Joke

  1. thordora says:

    Fuck off has been working quite well for me the last few days. But thank you for the reminders.

    I bet the get well fairy and the fuck up fairy trade work days to screw with bipolar people.

  2. Bryan says:

    Dude.. I will never be able to listen to 99 luftballoons in the same light ever again. That was some really cool shit there.

    I’ve used the whole fuck off thing with depression before, sometime it works and sometimes the depression just turns around and says, “Fuck you” and I have to piss and moan and just muddle my way through it until it passes.

    Do I feel helpless to it? Maybe at one time but that’s been quite a while back. For the most part I just accept it as a genetic fuck up that I don’t have a great deal of control over and learn to deal with it the best way that I can. You know the drill… Meds, Pdoc, therapist, positive thinking, enjoying my family or just taking time out for my self and trying to find something to meditate on. Be it taking pictures, going for a walk or just paling a video game to escape for a little while.

    I usually find though that figuring out a way to look at the thing that has me depressed in a different light seems to work pretty well for the most part and taking time to really think things through doesn’t hurt either.

    For me I find that I usually get depressed when I have neglected some area that might have something to do with just taking care of myself. Once I fix that glitch I can usually make my way through the mess. It’s just figuring out where I’m lacking in that area is sometime the challenge.

  3. Gabriel... says:

    I never even thought of 99 luftballoons… it took me forever to think of a headline for this thing, a Nena reference would have been awesome.

    Accepting the realities of the disease is an important step… mostly because as you accept that there’s not much you can do to control it the more likely you are to accept that you need help to control it. I think you’ve got it down pretty good.

    I’ve been going through a mini-major depression over the past couple of days. I’ve said it before but being able to watch the depression work, through the fence of the medications and the tools I’ve learned in therapy, is just… awesome and horrifying.

    I’m having a hard time getting out of the apartment, and speaking to people has been pretty near impossible, but I’m not in any danger of harming myself. But I almost feel like I should be… I actually can feel that part of the process as being missing. It’s a lot like having a nicotine fit after six months of not smoking. I’m reaching for the pack, but it’s not there and then I remember “hey… that’s right, I don’t do that anymore.”

  4. UM says:

    Hi SL Well, I did. I came by to visit. And, I like your blog. We could trade links on our blogrolls if you’d like. TPB

    This was a very good post….honest details and descriptions from both you and the people who commented. As my granny would say to you all, “God bless your little hearts. Now, let’s have a drink!”

    http://www.trailerparkbarbie.wordpress.com

    I also write another blog about bipolar and depression with a couple of other bipolar chicks

    It is

    http://seemedlikeagoodideathetime.wordpress.com

    We’d be really happy if any of you wanted to stop by. Between all of us who write on that blog, we have a gazillion years of experience in being bipolar and depressed. No kidding!

  5. Gabriel... says:

    I like your Granny. Thanks for coming through… I’ll put your other site into the blogroll but your TPB’s already in there.

  6. Ha. Could you imagine all of those balloons inside the house at a kids birthday party?! Mayhem, I tell you, mayhem!

    And I used to just rub them on my head and stick to them to the wall with the static electricity.

    I swear, though–nothing worse than a balloon popping to trigger my startle response. Eek!

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