Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Big Kid.

Here in Philadelphia we have a catastrophe that eclipses anything that is going on with that guy named Brett Favre. We have an offensive lineman who has stayed away from training camp because he is depressed.
It's funny (in a strange way) to hear commentators and read journalists grasp at straws trying to explain his illness and how it affects him and the team. It's funny because they really have no idea what they're talking about, which doesn't stop them from talking about it.
Shawn Andrews would be better off in society's eyes if he was an alcoholic or battling drug abuse. As it is, he's battling something as severe yet not nearly as understood. Some people in the media think he is faking it in order to get out of the heat and stress of training camp. Others think maybe ... just maybe ... he really is depressed but by their tone you can tell that they have doubts and figure that there's just a little faking involved, mostly because they haven't a clue.
The big issue isn't whether or not Shawn is telling the truth. The big issue is that people don't understand or have much sympathy for someone who is depressed and feeling badly about their life. They figure (some of them) that he should just suck it up and report to camp because some of them have to go to work every day and why shouldn't he? Shawn is 6'-4" and weighs (at least) 325 pounds. Big football players aren't supposed to act like "regular people" and when they do, it casts a pall on their bigness and makes them look (egad) like the rest of us.
It's been decided that a man who is 25 years old, can bench press 425 pounds and makes millions of dollars isn't supposed to feel badly about his life. He makes enough money that he is supposed to get out and do his job no matter how he (supposedly) feels. If you want depressed, look around. People are struggling to pay their bills, raise their kids and feed themselves. He makes more money than them and he's a high-profile athlete. Surely he has the inner drive to overcome such a silly disease as depression.
That's what you hear and it only serves to show the ignorance of the general public. Whenever you need to show the ignorance of the general public, try telling them that you're lonely, sad or depressed and watch the stupid comments fly. They'll tell you the things that they think they're supposed to tell you and make you think that there is something wrong with you, instead of what they should be doing, which is being supportive and understanding. The reason they can't do that is because they have no idea what is going on, which never stops the ignorant general public from having an opinion.
They'll run out a lot of cliché’s and talk about how they think he's faking it or wonder how a guy with "so much going for him" can be so down. Shawn would be better off if he was holding out for more money. That, they could understand.
What goes on inside someone's mind is completely outside the realm of their understanding, because they aren't deep enough to understand. They make jokes, ridicule and doubt because that is what they know best. They can't see anything unless it's on the surface.
If it isn't obvious they're oblivious.


kimmyk said...

i'll take mental health over money anyday.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Oh me too Kimmy.

I really dislike the phrase, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps." Which is all well and good if you have boots!! And depression and other mental health struggles take away your boots.

kimmyk said...

if i could be certifiably crazy for one day and then like go back to my normal (? normal..whaaa?) self the next day and remember everything that i had said or done the day before-i would love that.

i've always said i would love to sit and chat with a completely bonked out person just once. i love how the mind works. or doesn't work. either or. that would be fun.

Anthony said...

Send me an e-mail. I'll give you my phone number.