I have an illness, have had for about 25 years. It goes into remission but recurs at the worst of times. The illness is depression with a side of anxiety. If you’ve experienced either of these, it’s my hope you find company, understanding, encouragement, maybe something to hold on to. If you love or are involved with someone who suffers from depression and/or anxiety, I’m trying to give you a glimpse into what it’s like to deal with them. I know from my husband and my best friend that if you haven’t had clinical depression, it’s very hard to relate. Perhaps walking with me for a while will improve your ability to empathize with and support your loved one more effectively.
As administrator of my site, it’s fine with me if you disagree with something I say. It’s not okay to call names, judge or bully (me or other readers), any of which will not be published.
I don’t begin to think I speak for anyone else who struggles with clinical depression or anxiety. I’m sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences, which may or may not resonate with others. Like I said, if no one reads it, I’ve still written it and gotten it out of my head.
Depression is just as much as illness as diabetes or heart disease. It requires treatment and lifestyle adjustments. It’s much more than a bad mood or a pity party. It affects me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
So where am I right now? As I write this, I’m under doctor’s orders to sleep as much as I can for two weeks, complete rest, because I came very close to taking my own life 10 days ago. I’m receiving professional help including medication and therapy. I’ve signed a contract agreeing I won’t hurt myself. I’m on a leave of absence from work with some time on my hands, so I’m documenting my experience as I move forward, wanting to memorialize this time in my life while the thoughts and feelings are fresh. I want to be real. I’m afraid I might give out too much information. I know I’m vulnerable right now, so I’m nervous. Because I’m choosing to share events and situations as closely as I can to how they play out, I’m not going to use the real names of my friends and family; they didn’t choose to be part of this.
For years, one of the things that has helped me maintain balance is having a purpose in life. My purpose is to weave love and compassion into the fabric of life, regardless of where I am, who I’m with, or what I’m doing. Recently, however, I found myself empty with nothing to give. This blog will be a way for me to sort out how I got here and how I work my way up and out, putting one foot in front of the other.
Some people may find topics I discuss disturbing, so this blog might not be for everyone.
I’m tired. Enough for now. I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote three days ago.
A paper cut out of a person
with nothing left inside.
The front and back still look the same
so it's not too hard to hide.
Keeping up appearances,
play acting on life's stage
is lonely and exhausting,
an effort to turn each page.
Meanwhile, cares and troubles trip along,
no break I get from juggling
until I cry, "Enough, enough,"
and admit that I am struggling.
Aware that I am more fortunate than many
with family, friends, and a good physician
who will help me on the path to healing,
there is hope on the horizon of my limited vision.