Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Just keep talking, just keep talking

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Although mental health awareness shouldn’t be limited to one month per year, please take some time this month to learn, understand, or talk with someone who suffers from a mental illness. Understanding, education, and empathy are the only ways to break the stigma. 

My depression manifests itself in a number of ways but, in a bizarre twist of events, the hallmark is my silence. I stop texting, emailing, commenting, blogging or writing, and mostly just talking in general. I’m not an overly chatty person (most of the time) but when the depression is bad, I go my version of radio silent (is that expression still a thing? It should still be a thing).

I do it because the depression quiets my voice.

It tells me I have nothing of value to say.

It tells me I have nothing add to a conversation.

It tells me I’m boring.

It tells me what I have to say doesn’t matter.

It tells me I’m stupid and uninformed. 

It tells me I’m an impostor. 

It tells me to shut up.

It tells me no one cares. 

In case I haven’t said it before, depression is a lying asshole. 

On my good days, I know this is all bullshit (for the most part. I’m admittedly pretty boring sometimes) but in the thick of it, it’s as true as the fact that I’m short. And on those days, all I want is for someone to let me know that:

I’m not boring. 

I’m not stupid.

I’m not an impostor. 

People do care. 

And that’s what I’m saying to you, even if you don’t have depression. Because maybe you’ll have a bad day and you’ll need it. 

You matter.

Keep using your voice. Even if it feels uncomfortable and like you’re talking into the void, I assure you, someone is listening. 

You never know who you’re impacting with even the most mundane comment.

Just keep talking. 

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  1. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    the fact that i’m predisposed to depression scares the balls off me; i never want to go through what i went through again which is why i exercise like fuck (keep them good-feeling endorphins flowing), go to regular acupuncture treatments (to keep me balanced and that whole yin/yang thing stable), eat clean and live life to the fullest.

  2. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    MFD goes silent too, and I have a tendency to back off because I used to have a tendency to hover. It’s not easy to strike a balance. I love you. You matter. I miss you when you go silent.

  3. Rebecca Jo

    I just had this conversation with a friend – because I’m so outgoing & people tend to look at me for the ‘entertainment’ of the group, when my depression hits, it totally manifests through silence or quiet & it just makes everyone uncomfortable. When I just need someone to ask me how I am instead of feeling awkward around me.

  4. Nadine

    Depression is such a tricky bastard. While I don’t think I have ever fully suffered from depression, I have felt down and on the slide into a funk several times and I tend to go silent then too. I think we could all use a reminder that we don’t suck. I would like to remind you that you aren’t boring. You most certainly are not stupid. And you most assuredly matter!
    Nadine recently posted…CurrentlyMy Profile

  5. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Nailed it, Jana. I go radio silent too. It’s also how I recognize when I’m depressed versus just in a “mood”. It’s made worse because I live alone and work alone that I am also not forced to speak and can wallow in my depression. And people don’t know something is wrong because they can’t see the difference to even ask. I believe the lies and become paralyzed. I do nothing because I feel unworthy. I don’t seek new opportunities because I’m no good. And then I stress over money which just makes things worse. It’s an ugly, ugly cycle but talking about it, acknowledging it is so important. You are a beautiful, witty, passionate, intelligent, capable and strong person who has a powerful voice that has made me laugh, think, get angry (but not at you) and take action. Like I said in Tuesday’s comment, you’re good people.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…5 Tips to Help You Overcome Blogger BurnoutMy Profile

  6. Audrey

    I go silent, too. The monster in my brain tells me that I’m too stupid, fat, annoying, irrational, uninformed, crazy, weird to have a voice. I believe that people don’t want to talk to me or hear my thoughts- I should barely exist, let alone make any noise.
    I also tend to sleep- hibernate, actually. And I stop eating regularly.
    I had my worst waves of depression and anxiety when I was in high school, but stress triggers it now off and on. But it was worse in high school- and I had friends that noticed but were too self-absorbed (as teens often are) to do or say anything. They had their own issues and some how I felt responsible for that, too.
    My husband is very good at noticing. My grandma is also pretty good at reading my silence. They both tend to check in on me and bring me back when they feel like I’ve left a (figurative) door open for them to help pull myself out of it.
    Having a support system in your life is truly depression’s worst enemy.
    Audrey recently posted…Goodbye, AprilMy Profile

  7. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    I can’t even imagine what you’re going through with everything. I know that it’s tough to remember sometimes, but you are important, and your opinion matters. That’s why I love coming to read your blog all the time!

  8. Heather

    I work in a mental health environment so I am really loving all of the awareness that this month (in particular) brings. I enjoy your perspective in this post and agree with the above comments that you are none of those things BUT the fact that you have those feelings needs to be acknowledged too and I know you are dealing with it. This has really opened my eyes about needing to reach out to people who have become silent because maybe they just need to know that I miss them or am thinking of them.
    I’m going to share this post with a few people I think would love to read it.
    Heather recently posted…April RecapMy Profile

  9. Ali A

    <3 – all i want to say.

  10. Christina

    I’m so glad you continue to write about this! And well, everything. Depression is so misunderstood and we all need to be aware of it all the time.

  11. Kristin Darhower

    It’s important to understand that people who have depression have highs and lows..you’re not always “depressed”, you know? Hugs <3

  12. texerinsydney

    You know these posts of yours resonate with me more than I can say.
    You matter. I miss your voice when I’m not reading it. I feel grateful and honored I’ve connected with you through this wacky world of the web.

  13. Lauren

    I was thinking the other day that I missed you popping up in various internet places and assumed it was because of social media algorithims/not reading blogs for a week combo but really, you were silent. Thank you for your posts. I feel many of these ways and always have. A lot of it was definitely ingrained from my mother, who has flawed ideas about mental health, and as an adult, I am seeing the way her thinking continues to affect how I see myself. I think it’s time to talk to someone just to make sure I’m being my best self. I may be fine, but sometimes, I may not be.

  14. Carly

    I’m so thankful you wrote this post. I can relate in so many ways and it’s so true that depression tricks us into thinking isolation is the only option. Thank you for speaking up <3

  15. Kimmi

    This is literally how I have been feeling for weeks. My whole being has gone silent except that bitch in my head that only tells lies. I know they are lies but it takes forever to get back to good again.


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