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How hidden triggers help validate…

I’m triggered.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul...what do you see?
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul…what do you see?


I wasn’t expecting such an emotional response from the passing of one of the greatest comics & actors of my time.




I’ve told my husband that I’m busy processing emotions that up until now, were only fleeting and stark, at best…hidden and suppressed, at worst.


In the news.


And, I’ve been reading blog posts and news articles and comments on social media…and I’ve been triggered. Yes, I’ve certainly had suicidal thoughts in my battle with depression. Multiple times. Because depression is an asshat and likes to come back to play every now and again, especially when you’ve just gotten your shit together.

I wrote “Candid Conversation” about some of those emotions. Some of the most comments on a blog post I’ve had to date.

But that’s not just what has gotten triggered.

It’s been the response.

“Let’s end the stigma.” “Let’s talk about it.”

Sweet mother of YES, does this need to happen…and often.

BUT…I’ve noticed a glaring omission from the conversation: Strategy.

How. When. Why.

Logical and factual information that will benefit the emotionally distraught AND the people who valiantly put themselves out there to listen, help and support.

Tell me (you…them) about the brain chemicals that are snafu’d. Tell me (you…them) the process of owning one’s shit, and how it helps those brain chemicals.

Honestly? I don’t want to feckin’ talk about it. As an example, if my passionate pleas for Lupus Walk donations get hidden from newsfeeds…if my successes get scrolled through (or prompts gossip & rumour) for the sake of looking at kittens, or being a troll on more exciting threads…why in the flying feck of nature do you think I want to talk to you about my deepest, darkest thoughts?

Food for thought.

I do what I can to own my shit and undertake the responsibility to seek out psychological and/or pharmaceutical assistance. I believe people need the “empowerment” versus “enabling” that comes with Mr. Asshat Depression.

People need to be given the empowerment & “control” they so desperately feel they lack in life…to make choices to allow them to best set goals, acknowledge limits and be successful in depression management.

Three years ago I had a most devastating conversation with my GP.

“Given the current levels of _______* and congenital _______*, and the processes of how your organs  ________*…I am so sorry. I believe we’ll be looking at five years before the progression of the systemic lupus causes your kidneys to fail and your heart to have irreparable damage. Is there someone, anyone, you would feel comfortable with to help you make sure all of your affairs would be in order by then? Um, well…anyone you will tell?”

*I prefer to have some information on my direct condition still kept to myself

And you don’t, for one millisecond, believe that I would like to have the control and discretion to cease all cellular activity on my own terms?

Third year of five.

But I don’t.

But I want to. I can’t fathom my upcoming challenges and how much of a toll this kind of daily pain will inflict upon my very soul.

But I don’t.


In the meantime, I’ve found an escape through #gladitude. I’ve found an escape through the Cosmos…I mean, if billions of years of planetary pummeling produced my Go, Go SpazzyAss …that’s a pretty feckin’ special kind of thing, eh?

I’m owning my shit. I acknowledge that I should talk when I should, or take medications when I should…

But, I really, really hope those who support us during our darkest thoughts have a conversation within an article about a comment-strewn-about-on-social-media …that will provide to us more than a passing (yet thoroughly honest) “I’m here to listen.”…because dollars to donuts, people are still embarrassed and tied in stigma to just initiate that conversation.

There is a strategy in dealing with the human psyche.

Not all of that strategy comes from books and degrees.

The challenge is to make it voiced, without invalidating someone’s believe-it-to-be-true crisis.

Take my hand…

I *hear* you.

Carpe the shit out of your diem.



  1. Can't Say

    I get triggered by the “Speak Out” encouragement. So triggered. Because it means, “Yes, go speak out, everyone except me.” Speaking out about having depression gets you judged as an incompetent parent. It may not be a “weakness”, but it is certainly not safe space, to admit that sometimes it’s a struggle, and sometimes it’s hard to just keep yourself putting one foot in front of the other. Immediately you are considered by everyone around you as a danger, a dark thing, a risk. Your family is stigmatized, you risk losing your children or your partner. Speaking out is for everyone else. And gods, I resent that so fucking much.

    • Brynn

      I believe you raise an exceptionally important issue: managing depression as a parent…a serious stigma is attached to that issue. Maybe that’s what helps me in my postings, the raw ones, like this one. This shit is real, folks…life ain’t no dress rehearsal, and we’re doing the best that we can with what we’ve been given…parent or not…managing this darkness. While absolutely sincere, I find the “Let’s Talk” often so…wishy-washy. It doesn’t encompass the reality. Thank you for sharing, Can’t Say…because by even defining yourself as such, should serve to illuminate the harsh reality to others. I *hear* you. I can only hope that might just help in some kind of itty-bitty way <3 Love and light on the winds to you and yours...

  2. Me

    Everytime I look at my pill organizer, I’m reminded of my own mortality. And that it’s looming. Every day I try to enjoy life on my terms. It’s all I can do. I’m not alone per se, but this battle is mine to fight. I offer a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen and eyes to read. I cannot however fight for you. But I will, with you.

    • Brynn

      And I, with you. Thank you, friend…ownership of one’s own shit is enlightening to hear…to find things to enjoy in one’s own life because, ultimately, each one of us matters not to anyone else but ourselves.

  3. Wendy Kool

    Hi… With my training as a support group facilitator, there are many times we don’t have any answers and often don’t know the depth of individual tchallenges… but as another Lupie… I send you huge hugs and committment to keep “supporting” in any way I can. Enjoy reading your blog and it inspires me to keep trying harder.

    • Brynn

      That means a lot, Wendy! I admire your dedication to the group and is something I strive to help with, myself, health permitting, in the future.

      I think it’s also important to tell people, vocalize, when there is no answer. I believe it o be better to hear than the haphazardly (though honest) thrown out “required response.” Sometimes, actions & deeds need to match the words we hear.

  4. Handylady

    Brynn, The death of Robin Williams via suicide brought forth a reminder of Christmas Eve, over 2 years ago, when I returned home from a cruise to find many voicemails on my phone stating that I needed to call family asap. I learned that my husband had attempted suicide and was still in the ICU. Not his first time, but the first time that he came so close to succeeding and the first time that he did it to end the emotional pain, not just the physical pain. I was scared, full of guilt for having been away on holidays, upset that I hadn’t recognized the signs before I left, and I felt selfish for leaving him under other people’s responsibility. I wished that I could take away his pain. He had been seeing a therapist weekly, taking anti-depressants, and had family around most of the time. Yet, it wasn’t enough to keep away the pain he was feeling. I still couldn’t seem to get through to him that talking about it or just letting us know that he is feeling down would help us be there for him, but he is getting better at it. What I could not understand was when people would say that he was being selfish, potentially leaving the family to mourn should his attempt be successful – that’s bull. My husband is not, and never has been selfish – he was just trying to stop the pain. Those people are just ignorant to the disease of depression and do not really understand how difficult it can be when one is clinically depressed. My husband is getting better at letting me know when he is having a bad day and tells me when he just wants me near him. I am thankful that my husband is still with me but I am no longer living in fear of coming home to live alone. I am living my life and am spending quality time with my husband. Should that dreadful day come, I know that it is not because he was not thinking of his family, not due to selfishness but rather, due to the pain he has been living with for years.

    • Brynn

      What an incredible partnership, to be able to value the complexity of the disease and the choice to live life as it comes…together. I am so very triggered when I hear words like “selfish” and “what a waste”…if people naught but took one moment to consider the absolute thought that would be this kind of decision. It insults the person afflicted by assuming they cannot anticipate those kinds of emotions in those they leave behind. What we *can* do, is make a choice. I’m thankful to hear your husband is making choices each day to continue, to find some value and comfort to his life, and I’m sure as shit glad it includes someone as wonderful as you. You both have my love and thoughts xox

  5. Phil MacC

    Hey Brynn,
    It was great getting to know you a little at KG and I knew a bit about your health from Nat but…..WOW. It takes a very strong and brave person to share these problems and struggles with the world hoping that in some way that it helps…emotionally, psychologically or that it garners you some other listeners and supporters. You can now count me amongst them. If my little Mélanie has half the strength you show she’ll handle her condition with strength, pride and dignity.

    • Brynn

      I watched the wee Miss Mélanie while she played…and I thought to myself, “You go take over the world, youngling…show them.” And, I got a lil’ misty in my ocular orbs. Sometimes we’re called to set upon a new path than we’d expected. This certainly is not what I ever wanted, but, clearly, is quite necessary. I’m still in the journey of figuring out who, exactly, it is for. All of us? Who knows. I take many risks sharing all that I do, and your support is so very appreciated 🙂 HUGS

  6. tired

    I’ve been reading that people are sending nasty email to Robins daughter.. I don’t get it.. I’ve read that we should stop saying he is free. that he is not free. But they don’t get it. The only version of any afterlife where he is not free of the depression is the christian one where you get punished for being even slightly flawed in any way.. bs if you ask me.. The lady above complains about family saying her husband was selfish.. I agree with her.. Who is more selfish.. The person trying to escape the pain.. Or the family that just doesn’t want to let go. Funerals are after all for the living. Not the dead.. I’ve worked at enough funerals.. The dead are long gone.. The whole dragging life out as long as possible even when brain dead.. Sorry Tangent.. I’m bad for that.. I’ve thought about it many times myself.. been asked about it many times.. I used to call myself a pessimist.. Until I realised something just wouldn’t let me give up completely.. and I don’t know why.. I’ve certainly had enough reason many times over my life.. and many times in my life hardly anyone would have noticed.. But I’ve never tried.. I never understood the trying.. It’s so simple.. But then i think differently than most people… But I’m working on it. Someone I have to get out of my life. and a psych that is helping a lot.. Not sure I’ll ever be happy but will be ok.. slowly .
    Though is one more person says
    “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
    I might just punch them…

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