by Jay Johnson
These are tough times for depressives. The struggle to see the glass half full is needed now more that ever, but it has also never been more difficult. Even when things are great, depressives have a difficult time converting that energy into happiness. That is the disorder. Like a diabetic who can not physically process sugar, a depressive can not physically process happiness. If we could process happiness like others do, we would not be depressives. It is a struggle when times are good,When times are rough… it is almost impossible for a depressive to be “happy” or even neutral. In this emotionally divided country, no matter what side of the political divide you inhabit, these are not normal times. The tone of the news is divisive and upsetting. Those who do not have such issues with depression don’t understand, These are tough times for depressives.
Unfortunately most people don’t know how to interact with a depressive. With other disorders there is some sort of a protocol. When some one sneezes you say “God Bless you”. When faced with the specter of depression most do not know how to act or what to say.
“Just be happy”, “Get over it”, or my favorite phrase proclaimed by the uninformed, “What do you have to be sad about…. look at your life.”
Yes, look at my life. There is nothing I have to be sad about. There is no disagreement that I am extremely blessed. A list of my credits and experiences should be the penultimate of a persons life and career. Unfortunately these wonderful experiences are very much like a Snickers bar to a diabetic; I do not process it in the same way as a “normal” depressive neutral person would. Pointing out the abnormality of a person’s depressed emotion is not helpful. To exasperate the problem, in theTrump era normally happy people are stressing out. These are tough times for depressives.
It is not a perfect synonym but happiness and hopefulness are connected in the depressive mind. A depressive can feel unhappiness for any reason because of their mental disorder, but if there is a way to hang on to hope, there is a chance of happiness. Hopeful times are helpful times to depressives. But, because we have an Executive branch of government composed of lawlessness, lying, corrupt individuals who seem to defy convention and law, there is no hope for the depressive. Equality, morality and ethics do not seem to be part of the Trump administration. There is no accountability to the truth, the law or even human courtesy and decency. We are being told that what we see and know is not the truth, and because they seem to be getting away with it, truth becomes irrelevant. There is no hope that wrong will be unsuccessful nor punished. To the depressive we are being shown that there is in reality no way out of our unhappiness. There is no hope.
The unfortunate thing is, I have no solution. I know of no way that depressives like myself can find peace and harmony in this “era”. Politically I would love to see Trump brought down and humbled for his complete lack of humanity, lawlessness and selfishness. My depression tells me that this event might bring me happiness and a relief of depression.
These are tough times for depressives,
As you were,
Jay Johnson is a ventriloquist and actor, best known for his role on the television show Soap. He played Chuck Campbell, a ventriloquist who believed his puppet Bob was real and demanded everyone treat Bob as human. He has also appeared extensively on television as a ventriloquist, actor and celebrity guest on game shows. He hosted two series of his own, So You Think You Got Troubles (1983) and Celebrity Charades (1979).
Jay Johnson: The Two & Only! written and performed by Jay Johnson, opened on Broadway to rave reviews at the Helen Hayes Theatre on September 28, 2006. The show earlier had an acclaimed off-Broadway runs in New York and was also performed in Cambridge, MA, and in Los Angeles. It can now be streamed on Amazon Prime.
The Massachusetts performance garnered the New England Critics Award, and in Los Angeles Johnson received the 2006 Ovation Award for Best Solo Performance. Jay Johnson: The Two & Only! deconstructs and demonstrates Johnson’s lifelong obsession with the art of ventriloquism. The show is a Valentine, not only to the art, but also to his mentor and friend Arthur Sieving, who created Johnson’s first professional puppet. The show is aided and abetted by a cast of ventriloquated characters, including his Soap alter ego, Bob. Johnson won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for the show. He is the only ventriloquist to ever be nominated and win an American Theatre Wing Tony Award or an Ovation Award. The show is available on DVD HERE. This article is from his blog The World is a Stage. He also has a lot of videos on You Tube.