23 August, 2006

Beer, Anyone?

I was out of London for the weekend; it was great to have a break from the city and the pressures here. My fug lifted slightly which was great.

However, the weekend was also about catching up with some friends of mine who live out of London - friends I've had for a long time and who are incredibly dear to me.

Although the weekend was nice (good to see friends, get out of London, etc), there was a couple of moments that really confused me. One of my dear friends there (we'll call her Dear Friend - DF for the purpose of this post) seemed to be acting out of character quite a lot; she was quite aggressive (normally she is the most easy going, gentle woman around) and then withdrawn and quiet at other times.

Monday I was back at work (with a vengeance - we are working on a huge tender which is quite overwhelming) and I received a call from my friend (MofBAY) whose place we were all staying at for the weekend. It transpires that DF had broken down just after I left and told MofBAY (in between the sobs that lasted for over 3 hours) that she felt a 'useless mother' and that her children hated her; that she was on the verge of leaving it all and that she simply couldn't cope.

The call upset me greatly - mostly because this has obviously been going on for DF for some time but because of the 'taboo' surrounding mental health, DF simply didn't feel able to talk about it. Why is that?

It is fine for us to discuss with friends how we feel physically - but to talk about our psychological/emotional state is not as simple. Society feels nowhere near as comfortable with mental health as it does with physical health - and I believe we all suffer because of it.

In other news, I recently watched a film which was possibly the most bizarre (and beautiful) film I've ever seen - Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music in the World. Guy Maddin is a genius; I wonder how his mental health is?

18 comments:

Adam said...

Good point dude. You are, entirely, spot on.

DaBich said...

Ziggy, sweetie, you are so right. And this hits home as my best friend in real life has had 3 mental breakdowns. I was there for all of them, the most recent one only last month. I got a 2:45am phone call. ::sigh::
We need to pay more attention to each other, because sometimes, just someone to LISTEN is a huge help.

cuteCTguy said...

I think sometimes we panic - because society (and the media) expects us to be superhuman and perfect - the perfect Mum, perfect son, perfect worker...to wear perfect clothes, have wonderful holidays, look hot, have great jobs, hot partners and we cant always succeed... and so we end up feelinglike failures. The main thing is that it sounds like you have a good bunch of close friends that you can rely on.. to support each other. Good luck to your friend.. sounds like she needs you and you will be there for her. x

ziggystardust73 said...

Adam, welcome - and thank you! I like people who agree with me in these here parts! People who disagree with me are welcome also, as long as they don't mind being pummelled by my fists.

Dabich - you are SO right. I hope your friend is OK.

CuteCTguy - but we are superhuman and perfect, aren't we? ;-) Thanks for your typically lovely words.

Miz BoheMia said...

Very well put darloing Ziggy. Breakdowns, panic attacks (of which I was the QUEEN for years!) and the like are normal but for some reason, taboo to speak of them as it hints at weakness and well, no one wants to be seen as weak now, do they?

Although now I don't give a flying crap and freely talk about it all as there is no shame to it... but when you are stuck in it, it is a very dark place and to open up and ask for help are the hardest things to do. I am glad she told someone at least! May it be the first step towards much needed healing!

As for you, GLAD YOU ARE BACK! I MISSED YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH! DON'T DISAPPEAR ANYMORE!

DIOS MIO! ;-)

Many boho kisses flying your way!

DaBich said...

She's back to work, Zigster...all is going well again :) Thanks Hun!

J said...

hmmm, ziggy, it seems we are walking parallel paths these days as i also took a hiatus from the urban jungle, as you already saw on your blog. it also seems we were faced with interesting epiphanies.

i hope your friend recovers and finds peace from her pain.

~ good girl ~ said...

Ziggy Most Licious,

Firstly, I like hearing fug is lifting. Even if it lifts slowly, no matter. Secondly, London gets to you, I think. It's such an alive city and yet so often repressingly gloomy. It's one of those places where one can feel overly alone and overly occupied at one and the same time. I take London in small doses but have had plenty of friends pack their bags for Madrid and Nice.

Mental illness is a silent killer. And since depression is hard to diagnose by your everyday man, people often leave it till it's too late to seek help. It's often heartbreaking especially when you know things cld have been arrested much earlier if there were compassionate avenues of help and if society accepts it a little more. I have seen a couple of friends go through this and as it's deemed shameful in my myopic little chinese-cultured ctry, they were "lucky" to be deep enough in the pockets to take off for long sojourns abroad, doing not much more than catching a sunset, yoga by the beach or horseriding in the country.

Here's hoping DF finds her way "back".

Smooches,
GG xo

angel, jr. said...

Hi,I hope DF gets better.

Dale said...

Seeing as how Guy Maddin is Canadian and I haven't seen his film, I'm quite ready for the doorbell to ring and for them to strip my citizenship from me.

As for your friend, I hope she'll be okay. Everywhere mental health seems to be a taboo subject. Who among us doesn't need someone to talk to now and then? That's a form of therapy in and of itself. It's so strange that no matter how alone we sometimes feel, just the opposite is true. You need say one thing to the right person to know you're in the same boat and that makes things a bit easier.

running42k said...

Ziggy, that was very profound. I never thought of the fact that we talk about physical ailments more then mental. Also quite timely as I wrote today about my son's bout with anxiety.

Be there for your friend (which no doubt you will be as you are a great guy it seems).

Peace.

Beth said...

My heart goes out to DF. Why is it that we're afraid to be honest with our closest and dearests? I hope her friends will help her through this.

I've been dying to see The Saddest Music in the World; you've convinced me to rent it this weekend.

ziggystardust73 said...

Miz Boho - I'll try not to! Sometimes I just have to shut myself in my room and escape the world entirely, mostly when I'm having a mental health crisis!

thanks for those big old besos, keep em' coming, sister!

Dabich - that's brilliant - here's to her positive moments continuing!

J - escape is great sometimes, isn't it??

GG - silent killer - such a good term - I really think that we can get trapped with our demons in our heads and that can be so dangerous! I love your smooches ;-)

Thanks, Angel.

Dale - consider yourself a very bad, bad Canadian. So bad you're good in fact. Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no.

Running - thank you for your compliment! and I hope your son is OK. Anxiety can be so debilitating.

Beth - thank you - and we are there for her like you wouldn't believe! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE rent Saddest Music and then tell us what you thought! And then make Dale rent it! And make him tell us what he thought!

oh... and please hang around some more :-)

Jason said...

I completely agree with you. We even have ads here that have a guy on a table in a surgical room and it says, "Heart bypass? Come on, just pull yourself up by the bootstraps. You'll be fine"

Bluez628 said...

Ok, I'm taking your word for it that its a good movie and moved it to the top of my list. So far, you are 3 for 3 with "Happy Endings", "Belle deJour" and "The Opposite of Sex".

I do hope your friend learns to cope and finds some peace. We can all use a little "peace" of mind. :-)

Saviour Onassis said...

Mental Health... LOL!

ziggystardust73 said...

Jason - that ad sounds great !(albeit incredibly wrong!) I love your profile pic by the way - very sexy.

Bluez - I can't keep such a good hit rate, can I?? I hope this one pleases you as much as the others!

Saviour.... you know I understand what you're talking about. I really would like to give you a cuddle.

Dale said...

Ziggy, I made sure that they didn't boot me out of the country by watching Mr. Maddin's Opus this morning. It was really good as you said. It was unique and beautiful both and bonus for Eeesabella being in it. I'm worried about Guy Maddin now too!