Each October, as Mama Nature paints our trees in perfect shades of orange, gold and red, I always recall October, 2000. That was the fall I colored my world after wiping away the gray. I’m not talking about my hair, but my life. In October 2010, I first wrote about my depression, and seriously, I’ve never had more feedback, comments and questions. It’s four years later and just like the Olympics (every four years whether you need them or not) it’s time to bring this topic up.

I told you how I got my joy back after beginning treatment, and that’s the truth. And while millions of people resort to medication, there are some of us who really need it. For others, I suspect, it’s a crutch or an escape from a dastardly situation, with which they can’t step up and be honest. Before my main point, please think of people on medication not as athletes on steroids, but rather, medication brings us up to normal, so that we may compete, work, live and play with the rest of you. I like that explanation. For years, I thought I was cheating as a professional speaker. I thought to myself, “Well, sure, it’s easy for me to find the humor in life and laugh at the little things. Heckfire! I’m on medication!” Well, so are most humorists and comedians. Laughter comes from pain, remember? I wonder, still, how my keynote of tips and tools resonates with attendees who are struggling through their own Olympics of depression. If someone is struggling, then perhaps they haven’t sought out help. There is help out there, whether you have insurance or not. Just do it.

New angle… Those of us under the cruel hand of depression are so wrapped up in our own muck, we forget about our loved ones who had to live WITH us. In my self-centeredness, I had no idea, until my husband shared his experience and that of our children, who I thought were oblivious at young ages. Were not. Jeff has reminded me more than once at what a bitch I was. Moi? Oui! How he didn’t know which mood was going to enter the door after work. He started dinner so many nights –bless that man- because he didn’t think I could handle it, kids homework, dog and house and and and. He was right. His blood ran like ice water, each time I ran errands and was out too long, for fear that I had finally gotten to the edge of some cliff. Reflecting back, I was never THAT close to the edge that I would end it all, but I did kind of wonder how I would survive the next twenty to thirty years feeling like crap. And truthfully, I nearly ALWAYS outrun my ETA with errands. Still do. I’m bad that way. Jeff still worries about relapses when I’m gone too long.
If you’ve lived with a depressed person, will you share your experience, from any perspective: spouse, child, parent, friend and etc? We all need some insight to get beyond our own pain. And please share this post if it moves you in some little way. Empathy gets the gold medal when we can understand the other person’s position. Jeff assures me they’re better people for having gone through this with me. Love you guys. Thanks. I’m sorry. Yuck to the muck. bw