Author Topic: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....  (Read 4845 times)

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Calypso

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I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« on: June 17, 2014, 01:40:01 AM »
So, I have depression which is more or less managed with meds. The worst thing about it, I think, is sometimes I go through periods of being very unproductive ---- this time around, for many months, I've just been able to do minimal stuff, like errand help for two of my dear relatives, and many other things have fallen by the wayside. One of these is answering email (and fugeddabout keeping up on Facebook  :o )

I want to start hacking through the literally hundreds of unanswered emails. When it's something from someone I care about (I'd say "from a friend," but what kind of friend doesn't answer an email for months? I'm a sucky friend)
how can I politely explain why I've been so remiss about keeping in contact? I don't like to use depression as an excuse ---- many people with mental illness function just fine day to day, so it sounds pretty flaky to say "I never got back to you about the invitation to your party in February because I was too out of it to read my email." And besides, I don't normally share details about my mental state with people. I've noticed that many eHellions are more comfortable being open about their mental illnesses, but traditionally I have tried to be pretty private about it.

Is there an acceptable, truthful, discreet and polite way to explain to people why I've "been away" for a while?

gmatoy

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 03:19:40 AM »
If I didn't want people to know that it was mental health issues, I would just say "Health issues."

Stricken_Halo

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 05:39:12 AM »
Agreed, you could say "I am really sorry I never got back to you, but I haven't been feeling very well. Nothing serious, I'm better now." If they press for details, say you'd rather not discuss it.

Please don't beat yourself up for being "a sucky friend." You wouldn't think of yourself this way if you were laid up with a physical illness. I'm also thinking your friends should have called to see if you were OK.

nayberry

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 08:10:23 AM »
from one depressed person to another, you are not a sucky friend!!!

depression is horrid and debilitating.  i'm 2 and a bit years in and whilst the meds help, i'm still not "me". 
i have some friends who are understanding and who actually get that i can't do everything i used too, and then there are the ones who have a go at me because i can't go to an event.

the latter are unlikely to remain "friends" which is a shame as its been a long time, but i don't need that sort of nastiness in my life.

lowspark

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 09:15:21 AM »
I like the phrase, "health issues". It doesn't bother me too much if people drop out of communication for a while but it is very annoying to me if they can't be bothered to respond to a party invitation. However, if they come back later and explain why, and yes, "health issues" is a perfectly good explanation, I can easily let go of the frustration.

I will say, though, that I'd respond to your email with something like, "I hope everything is ok now. Please let me know if there's anything I can do!" Not so much trying to figure out what happened or delve into your personal business but just to let you know I care. So don't be offended at those type of responses.

Celany

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014, 11:07:20 AM »
People do frequently not answer emails from friends for months, or not at all, because...hey life. I mean, you've never had someone do this to you before? And suddenly email back & apologize for not responding sooner?

My friends & I do this regularly. And everybody has been on both ends of this (and also done the dreaded "oh crap, I didn't answer Sally's email, but now I've run into her in public 2 months later & I feel like a heel" situation), so nobody gets offended unless someone serially ignores them for something like a year.

So I think you could always write back and say "I got your lovely email, and I'm so sorry I didn't respond earlier! But it's been crazy, and I've been sick, and it just got lost in shuffle in my inbox. But it's been on my mind & now I finally have the time to catch up, so how are you? How did that go with your purple finklemeister? Do you want to meet up for drinks soon and hang out?" And so on.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

lowspark

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 11:21:35 AM »
Quote
Do you want to meet up for drinks soon and hang out?

Ah yes! I meant to touch on this in my previous post.
As the person who sent the original email with no response, I'd definitely appreciate the late reply with explanation and I'd reply as I said above. But I probably wouldn't initiate any kind of other reconnection such as inviting you to meet for drinks, etc. I'd feel like the ball was in your court.

I'd feel like that for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is, I don't want to assume you're ready to get back full swing into the social life. I don't want to be pushy, but I also don't want to put myself back in the position of being rejected/ignored. Not that what you did was either of those, rejection or ignoring. What I mean is that if I write back and say, "glad everything's ok! let's get together for lunch next week" and then you decline or don't answer because you're still feeling overwhelmed or not quite ready to get out or whatever, I'm going to feel even worse. That's me of course.

So whenever you're ready, whether it's now or later, take the first step to initiate some social meetings with folks you haven't seen in a while.

VorFemme

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 01:59:51 PM »
Hypothyroid - one of the symptoms IS depression - but it took years to go from a diagnosis of depression (burst into tears in the exam room) to finally getting extra blood tests for thyroid antibodies to get the hypothyroid diagnosed.  If two aunts - one maternal & one paternal - had ever mentioned that they took thyroid supplements - the maternal aunt has the same condition, it might have been sorted out more quickly...then, again, since the doctors kept telling me that I had "low-normal" thyroid ranges, maybe not...

Depression sucks, quite literally.  It sucks your energy.  It sucks your ambition.  It sucks your motivation to even try to figure out why you feel like "this" instead of the way that you remember feeling in the past, whether the recent past or years earlier...

The first thing to do is mention that you've been feeling a bit "off" the last few weeks/months but are starting to feel a bit better.  Then make plans to get with the person - whether it's a phone chat or Skype, sending them a written letter to "catch up" on some of the news between you (email might work, depending on their age as well as yours), and generally getting back into the "swing of things", even if it is a bit at a time. 

Family & very long term friends get more explanation than casual acquaintances...
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Calypso

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 05:51:09 PM »
Thank y'all ----- these are good suggestions. Also many many thanks for the kind words.

I just realized the thread title might be offensive to some unless you know it's a Matchbox 20 reference.

mandycorn

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2014, 06:21:43 PM »
This was the first thread I read this morning and I had to pop back in and mention I've actually been humming that song all day. I'm not sure if I should thank you or not for that ;)
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

TootsNYC

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 06:48:37 PM »
People do frequently not answer emails from friends for months, or not at all, because...hey life. I mean, you've never had someone do this to you before? And suddenly email back & apologize for not responding sooner?

My friends & I do this regularly. And everybody has been on both ends of this (and also done the dreaded "oh crap, I didn't answer Sally's email, but now I've run into her in public 2 months later & I feel like a heel" situation), so nobody gets offended unless someone serially ignores them for something like a year.

So I think you could always write back and say "I got your lovely email, and I'm so sorry I didn't respond earlier! But it's been crazy, and I've been sick, and it just got lost in shuffle in my inbox. But it's been on my mind & now I finally have the time to catch up, so how are you? How did that go with your purple finklemeister? Do you want to meet up for drinks soon and hang out?" And so on.


I'm w/ Celany.

Though I'll also say, as someone who suffered from depression, I've made it my mission to make depression something people just talk about. My choice--and it was easier once my recovery was better. But I have decided not to hide it.
   My choice may not work for everybody. But if someday people find it less risky to mention depression, I'll consider it something I contributed to.

I'll also say that I have received great responses from people. Mostly, I've received "Oh" kind of responses, and then we move on. I don't dwell on it, I just mention it when it's appropriate to the conversation.

(Which mean, I probably wouldn't lead with it, actually. At least not to more casual friends.)

MorgnsGrl

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 07:06:48 PM »
I recognized the lyrics right away.  :)

VorFemme

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 09:21:37 PM »
I've got the song stuck in MY head, as well.

I'm not crazy...I'm just humming along!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

jackie jormp jomp

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 12:01:43 AM »

IF WE TREATED PHYSICAL ILLNESS LIKE WE TREAT MENTAL ILLNESS:

Just wanted to share this with you.

You are not obliged to disclose anything nor feel guilty about your very valid health issues.  You're doing your best.  Focus on how good it feels to tackle these things!

LeveeWoman

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Re: I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell....
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2014, 12:44:56 AM »
I love that cartoon!