Guys, I’m not sure #BellLetsTalk is cutting it this year.
Yes, like that one annoying co-worker who sticks motivational posters in the lunchroom, we get to hang in there baby for another year of corporate marketing masquerading under the guise of meaningful change.
But hey, if this is what we have to work with, let’s really sit down and talk. This is Generation Zoomer, right? All about the Zooms (seriously though, who knew that would become so perfect in 2020)?
Trapped in little boxes of isolation, we should find ways to connect, be it through Skype, Google Meet, or even sea shanties on TikTok.
Still, even as we’re joining in a rousing rendition of Barrett’s Privateers (does anyone REALLY want to be in Sherbrooke now?) we struggle with sorting our mental baggage, like the worst United Airlines handlers.
So let me talk to you about what I’m feeling. You can feel free to talk back, though I admit unless you’re planning on applying for one of our amazing job openings it may be a bit of a one-sided conversation (as with Scarface, the motto for media is first you get da application, then you get da interview, then you get da COLUMN).
I’ve been dealing with depression for pretty much my entire adult life. I think?
I personally find it a bit hard to pin down.
Depression, to me, makes sense when things are depressing. When things around me are sad, I feel sad. So is that Depression? Capital D?
Let me emphasize right away before I attract some Very Serious Comments on Facebook: this is just my personal experience, and in no way am I here to tell you what’s right or wrong (but in this situation I, the proud owner of the dingiest soapbox, am 100 per cent right).
So in that personal experience, I find my depression is a lower-case d when I get down about the state of the world, and, well, the state of the world is pretty bad. It’s like “this depression, right here? This is logical depression. Lower-d.”
It’s Depression with a capital D when things around me are going stellar, and yet I see a red door and I want it painted black BAM BAM CHIKKA— That’s the pure stuff. Depression in the face of your optimism, screw you Obama, NO WE CAN’T AND WE WON’T.
That’s my personal delineation. Scales of depression, if you will.
I can also put it to the movie test:
Scenario A: I watch The Thin Red Line. I feel sad. That’s depression.
Scenario B: I watch Peewee’s Big Adventure. I feel sad. That’s Depression.
Scenario C: I watch Cats. I feel sad. That’s Absolutely Legit, for other reasons.
My point is, the type of depression we’re likely all feeling, on some scale right now, is not the type that’s going to be hard to pinpoint for a root cause.
Like if you go to the doctor right now and say “Doc, I’m just feeling down, you know” you’re going to see him smoking a joint rolled out of a prescription pad and the front page of the New York Times and packed with ground-up lollipops and xanax, eye-balling you and screaming “YA THINK?”
All of which is to say: do we really think the problem with mental health, on a global scale, is “awareness?”
Is there a distinct lack of awareness about how things in the world are just a tad shit right now? Are we in need of keenly honing our shittyness detectors, like perhaps we really just have to get right in there, plumb the depths of the shit with our deep-diving-shituation-sonar, just to really, truly, properly confirm that YES, THINGS ARE A BIT SHIT?
Then maybe we DON’T need another year of #BellLetsTalk.
Maybe what we really need is something like, oh, I don’t know… #BellLetsProperlyFundSocialAndMentalHealthSupportsAndDoSomethingReallyWildLikeTreatEachOtherAsHumanBeingsInsteadOfDigitalAvatarsProducingAMinimumAmountOfCapital
Sorry. It could be that I’m Depressed. Maybe I just need a Twitter break.
I’ll see you all on TikTok. Let’s see if we can find The Northwest Passage.
Folks, corporate marketing and my personal anxiety can be funny, but suicide and self-harm are no joke. If you or someone you know needs help, call the B.C. Crisis Centre Distress Line number at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433.
Welcome to Ford on Fridays: a weekly column where Victoria Buzz staff writer Tim Ford offers his thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of the perfect joke.
This column is for comedic purposes only. Please feel free to send feedback, thoughts, and [constructive] criticisms to firstname.lastname@example.org.