Colleague (brightly): "Hi AJ!! What a great day!"
Me (mumbling): "Umm no, I had..."
Her (Cutting in): "what's the matter with your miserable face today?"
Me: "Umm you don't want to know. Its just ..."
Her (brightly cutting in again): "Too right I don't!! but you'll be turning the milk with that sour face. So chin up and smile!"
(AJ manages a weak smile - just about makes the corners of mouth rise - goes nowhere near the eyes)
Her: "Yeah, that's the ticket! Now, cup of tea?"
Woah there missy! Do you think this depression is something that's just going to go away just because you've told it to? Who do you think you are? My mood isn't just a toy! I told you last week that it was going to be a hard weekend and here we are - Monday morning (yuk!) And you're slapping me on the shoulder and telling me to cheer up - and my prize for that fake smile? A cup of tea?! Is that it? Is that the sum total of your support? When you can see how upset and sad I am?
Well actually: yes, it turned out that this was all the pep talk I needed that day.
This was a conversation I had with a colleague as I arrived at work the other week. It sounds like she's harsh but the reality is that she has put me back together more than once over the past year when this current bout of depression really kicked in.
It turned out that she was right, it was just the "mental slap" I needed at that time. I had arrived at work in a pit. I didn't feel like smiling, I felt like crying and having another wallow in the self pity swamp or at least being allowed to stare at the middle distance and mope.
But instead I got the "I know, life sucks at times - yes, I know that this is one of those times. But today staying down isn't an option - so change up and change your mood" pep talk. I thanked her for it when we met at lunchtime, and made her a cup of her favourite peppermint tea (which by the by is possibly the most yucky drink in the history of thirst!!)
So the next time, when my depression is giving me another self pity swamp wallow moment, I remember the pep talk and it brings a smile, and it helps: just enough.
A Moodscope member.