[Noisebridge-discuss] Please reach out

jim jim at systemateka.com
Mon Nov 21 16:50:48 UTC 2011

    Great points you've made, particularly the idea of 
the value of listening and being listened to. 

    in my family we have a great granma and granpa, both 
in their 80s, both somewhat disabled and feeble. they 
are both usually bored to tears, and we've learned that 
one of the most valuable things we can do for them is to 
show up and let them talk to us. 

    the relationship between my father and me, beginning 
at the time of my puberty, got worse and worse. 
    in my thirties, he was in his seventies and plenty 
sick. one day i showed up at his place to find him 
sitting in a big, plush chair, covered with several 
blankets, shivering cold. when he saw me walk in, he got 
pissed (his standard response to seeing me or thinking 
about me). 
    he started ranting at me about how bad i was and 
would forever be, and as he developed his thoughts, he 
grew more energetic, literally warming to the job. within 
a few minutes he was removing blankets until all the 
blankets were on the floor and he was on his chair in 
his shirt and underpants. 
    i was used to his polemics and had learned to let 
them wash over me. there he was, practically naked and 
all warmed up. immune to the abuse, i laughed. 
    that caught him. he could only shut up. i'm still 

    and i learned: one of the most important things any 
of us do is talk to others, it's an essential part of 
feeling connected and alive. therefore, one of the most 
generous and helpful things we can do for others is to 
let them talk to us, to let them feel listened to. 

    one of the many beautiful aspects of noisebridge is 
the variety of people and their interests. it's probably 
good in a few ways to be a it aggressive in barging in 
to others' "spaces" to find out what they're up to as a 
matter of curiosity and to provide an opportunity, if 
they wish it, for them to talk. 
    i tiptoe away at the slightest indication of their 
disinterest, which is probably a bit too thin-skinned, 
but has an element of courtesy. 

    Mitch, thanks much for beginning this thread. it's 
nice to be able to express these feelings. 

On Mon, 2011-11-21 at 08:07 -0800, Erik Schneider wrote:
> Yes to all of this.
> I did not know Ilya, but any suicide, especially within communities to
> which I belong, is always a point of sorrow and, unfortunately,
> identification for me. I have struggled with severe depression for
> over forty years, and although there are many suggested remedies, it
> can be a tenacious, energy and will-sapping beast. Actually, to call
> it a beast is to insult beasts.
> Listening to people who have experienced this themselves may be one of
> the most important and useful things that others can do. Most of us
> are very aware of the commonly-prescribed treatments for depression
> and have tried, depressingly, many of them to varying results. I do
> not mean to be snotty or arrogant when I say this; I simply mean to
> say that those who have been there are likely sources of the most
> accurate information regarding what works and what does not, and that
> depression is often a self-perpetuating condition that resists even
> the best attempts to get out more, see friends, eat healthily,
> exercise, and so on.
> When your own brain is telling you that you are worthless, stupid,
> ugly, and hateful, it can be a herculean task simply to brush your
> teeth.
> For myself, I can say that one of the most helpful things that one can
> do for friends is to let them know that you care and that you are open
> to conversation about things that might not be easy or fun or
> lighthearted. Whether or not you are aware someone is experiencing
> depression, this is one of the best preventatives in my experience:
> being there, being available, and being explicit about that
> availability. Often it is assumed that if a friend were in distress
> they would tell us, but this is, as I'm sure most of us realize, not
> the case at all. Depression tells you that nobody cares, and it does
> so with an alarming rate of success.
> It is also true that many of us who deal with mood or mental disorders
> have experienced, more than once, the cooling of relationships that
> sometimes occurs when we are open about our conditions. This is one
> reason why it is so important to let your friends know that you will
> not walk away if they speak openly with you.
> Many of us have experienced rejection from family as well--some of us
> since very early in life. To overcome the fear of alienating another
> loved one can be quite difficult.
> I appreciate that this is being talked about on the Noisebridge list.
> I don't know many of you, although I have been to Noisebridge many
> times. Like many people with depression, I keep to myself as a very
> old and, sometimes, tired defense. It heartens me to know I am at
> least tenuously connected to a community that wants to reach out to
> people like myself.
> Thank you.
> Erik
> On Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 19:15, Brian Morris <cymraegish at gmail.com> wrote:
> > There is an art of self defense in regards to depression. Often for many
> > people ignore it and it will go away is initially effective in the short
> > term - because normal activity is so important.
> >
> > Some people really swear by exercise. It doesn't have to be extreme at all
> > but it has to be aerobic 30-40 minutes continuously 3-4 X weekly.
> >
> > Omega - 3 treatment may be really helpful but it is ESSENTIAL to get an
> > adequate therapeutic dose which is impossible with the standard capsules.
> > But a 3.5 oz can of sardines daily is good (= about 10 standard capsules).
> >
> > Psychologically, the 12 step slogan Think ... Think ... Think is extremely
> > helpful. It is the middle think = think about what you are thinking that is
> > crucial. It is really a shame that this is not taught in health classes in
> > school. Anyway it is based on dealing with negativity. Generally, watch out
> > for generalizing. Helps to clearly distinguish feelings and thoughts about
> > them and to recognize feelings as they are (tricky).
> >
> > Meds and Therapy can really suck sometimes but they can also really help
> > sometimes.
> >
> > -------
> >
> > All the above my opinion / experience personal and with friends + family +
> > discussions with professionals + reading + writing (not as a professional
> > mental health worker !)
> >
> > Unfortunately some people do crash and burn. Very unfortunately. But
> > sometimes a crisis is required for someone to get serious about taking care
> > of themselves.
> >
> > Results vary, as do effective therapies.
> >
> > I believe that, even in chronic cases, effective pain management is possible
> > - suffering is not required.  But I cannot see inside others' heads.
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> >
> >

More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list