Thursday, January 31, 2008


Now, here's an odd situation to be in. I've been thinking about what I want to write today, and I can't settle on anything. Not the wintry weather we're supposed to get this evening and tomorrow, not the cool things I found on eBay last night that are just a little out of my budget right now, not even how utterly bored I am at work today and I can't seem to stay focused on my job.

I was talking with a coworker this morning, and thought about something to write, but then I realized that what I would be writing in relation to that conversation is on the down side of happy feelings, and I'm just not feeling that today. I'm as bright and sunny as it is outside! (I think this is the calm before the incoming winter storm!)

Anyway, my conversation did bring up some interesting points. And though I'm at an emotional high point right now, I want to mention some of them. If you, gentle readers, ever where or ever knew or currently know someone who was clinically depressed, this might help you to keep in mind.

If someone doesn't seem completely ecstatic or even just a little happy about a gift you've given them or want to give them, it's not because they don't want it, or don't like it, or don't like you. It's probably because they feel unworthy of your gift. Unhappy people, and genuinely ill people, tend to feel a lot of worthlessness. This is one of those cases where "it's not you, it's me" is actually true. It's hard to recover from feeling worthless, even on the good days. But if this has ever happened to you, you can be assured (and so can my coworker who is not reading this) that they probably realized how their reaction came across, came to regret it, and can't think of a way to approach you so you know what was really going on when it happened. The only thing I can advise is to press on anyway and not take it personally.

If you happen to know one of these people who do start telling you about their perception of their own worth, I think you'll also find that no amount of convincing from you is going to change their mind, but it's worth it to try. I think a lot of it is seeking. The person is searching for validation; they want to tell you that they are worthless because they need to hear you say it isn't so. The problem is that usually isn't enough, so it really backfires. And I'm still trying to figure out why it isn't enough, so I can't offer you, or my coworker, any insight in that regard.

My coworker was planning something rather nice for his fiancé for V-day, but told me she didn't seem very happy with his plans. They sounded nice to me (and I loath V-day)! So I got it out of him that she hasn't been in the best of spirits lately and we figured this is probably what is happening. I told him he could try to press on, because she might find herself on an upswing and realize what a good idea he actually had.

The mind is quite an odd place to be, sometimes. It can cause us to hurt the people we care about even though we're not trying to do that. What's really happening is that we can't understand why they bother. And I think what we forget is that it's not your place to say who cares about you. You decide who is worth something to you, and they decide for them. That may not always be mutual, but that's also not what's important.

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