Archives for February, 2013


With depression, opposites do not attract

For those of us with depression, opposites do not attract.

We are not drawn to happy, upbeat, positive people and they are not drawn to us. In fact, we repel those who dare crack a smile at us. Occasionally a happy person tries to help us but inevitably we push them away. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to hang around someone with depression. I don't even want to hang around myself when I'm depressed.

In fact, happy, upbeat people are really annoying when you have depression. "Can't you see how much pain I am in? Don't you realize that I have no interest in you? Would you please just get your happy ass out of here?"

But years of therapy, sobriety and watching Forrest Gump a few dozen times has taught me that just as "stupid is as stupid does" -  "happy is as happy does." In other words, happiness is not going to come knock me upside the head. I have to do the work. I have to seek it out and that means seeking out people who have the kind of happiness I want.

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Teaching creativity to people with bipolar: Puh-leez

Last week my employer held an "Innovation Retreat" to help us become more creative. They taught us how to do something called "Design Thinking." It started with us ripping up our business cards and throwing them up in the air. Then we were allowed to shoot styrofoam finger rockets at the boss.

They divided us into teams and gave us an assignment - a problem to solve - and told us the steps we should use to come up with ideas and channel our creativity. We used poster boards, pipe cleaners,  magic markers and smiley face stickers to create our project. At one point, I got a couple of steps ahead of the "design thinking" process and was told to go back.

We watched some videos and learned about IDEO, the design firm and Stanford's d Center -the epicenters of design thinking. I have no doubt that for many businesses and people, design thinking is a great way to solve problems. However, it totally torqued my creative process.

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