When Real Life And Reality TV Collide

You’ll learn as we go along that my TV tastes hover mostly in the world of dramatic (some might say “trashy”) reality or true crime. This week, my real life collided with what I was watching play out on Vanderpump Rules.

For those not familiar, Vanderpump Rules (or “Pump Rules” as it’s better known in the hashtag realm of Twitter) is a reality show on Bravo. It’s centered around a group of friends who work for restaurateur and philanthropist Lisa Vanderpump. They work primarily at SUR, but since the inception of the show she and her husband Ken Todd have created other venues included on the show, such as Pump and TomTom.

Over the past eight seasons we’ve witnessed the dramatic relationships between the cast including cheating scandals, birthday meltdowns, couplings and conscious uncouplings, and a veritable river of alcohol flowing throughout. Up until now my viewing has been from entirely voyeuristic perspective into lives I found completely dissimilar, albeit entertaining, to my own.

That changed this week when Ariana Madix discussed her history of depression with Lisa Vanderpump. As Ariana spoke of her experiences, her words resonated with every core of my being. Despite not always being a fan of hers, I discovered a new kinship and was happy to see the real life struggle being tackled on what had previously been a fairly innocuous platform.

The next morning I signed on to Twitter with the excitement of a child blessed with a snow day, anxious to capitalize on the moment and to continue a much needed dialogue. Imagine my surprise and dejection when the first tweets I stumbled across were ones mocking Ariana’s experience or dismissing it as fake. I was gutted.

Twitter can be cruel in general, with the ability to say pretty much whatever you want without consequence whether it’s fact-based or not. This seemed especially cruel to me, likely because my brain translated it into a personal attack.

When I received my diagnosis I was advised by my doctor to share it with everyone in my world. He told me that too many stay silent because of the stigma of mental illness. I took his advice and was flabbergasted by some of the responses I received by people I loved, who I knew loved me in return. They varied from “That can’t be right, you’re one of the happiest people I know,” to “you just need more sleep.” It was then that I became aware of how truly misunderstood depression is.

My first responses to the tweets of the arm chair psychologists were outrage and a renewed sense of shame. Those quickly fell by the wayside and I chose instead to focus my energy on educating those who lack the experience to know of what they speak.

When people who haven’t experienced it hear the word, they almost immediately associate it with sadness or the inability to be happy. It does manifest as sadness with some, but it can also display itself as irritability, a tendency to withdraw, anxiety, sleeping too much or too little, and even physical aches and pains. Increases or decreases in appetite and energy are also manifestations.

Most doctors will start you on some form of SSRI medication that increases seratonin levels which in turn increases the transmission of messages between neurons. SSRIs don’t work for everyone, however, and there’s no concrete evidence to show how or why the imbalance occurs. Basically it’s a trial and error method of treatment that can take several tries to be effective for some.

I’m not an M.D., I’m a housewife and run of the mill human who is learning to deal with my new normal. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t take my word for it…consult a professional. There is hope to be had and the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t have to be an oncoming train.

The Adventure Begins

Whisperings of @HWsWhisperer

Welcome, my friends, to the blog that never ends. I’m so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside.

I appreciate you stopping by. I’m about to start a blogging journey into the world of reality TV, coping with depression, life as a real-life housewife, and occasional images that I capture as a hobbyist nature photographer. If that sounds eclectic and all over the place…welcome to my mind.

I hope you’ll join me on this adventure, even if it’s only for the topics that interest you personally. Grateful, to be honest, that you found your way here and were willing to take the time to see what it’s about.

Stay tuned for updates, or better yet, subscribe so they come directly to you! Wishing you a blessed day!

A little bit about me..

In real life I’m a total introvert. Online I’m a does-she-ever-stop-typing-or-shut-up extrovert.

I’m a full time housewife, part time blogger, mom, grandma, hobbyist photographer, and reality TV obsessed hermit. I started recapping reality TV years ago with an audience of one…my best friend Fairy. She encouraged me to share my thoughts on a message board we both frequented and it was fun while the show lasted.

Cut to a decade and a half later and she dragged me kicking and screaming into the world of Twitter. I owed it to her as recompense for my similar act of dragging her into the world of Real Housewives when RHOC first aired.

Little did she nor I know what monster was in the making. I fell in love with Twitter and the chance to interact with fellow reality TV fans. My hermit-like life was now filled with friends from across the globe.

About 4 months into my Twitter journey a new, more personal journey arose. After three years of helping my husband through various medical issues, I was diagnosed with depression brought on by caretaker fatigue. My interactions on Twitter now included fellow sufferers and how we could help each other through.

As my follower count rose, I was also blessed to meet Brianna and Jordan, hosts of the Kiki & Kibbitz podcast. They blessed me with the opportunity to be a guest on their podcast and also to blog for their growing social media company.

This gave me a chance to get back into my passion for writing, and to share my thoughts and perspectives in a format that worked with my tendency to use eleven words when the same message could be conveyed in three. The lack of character restraints was liberating, but I wanted the ability to discuss real life issues as well as the drama of reality television. Hence this blog.

I hope it brings you some sort of joy, be it laughter, insight, or even just a momentary distraction from a busy day. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I hope to do you proud and keep you coming back for more.