Random Thoughts: Kicking Depression’s Ass

Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.
Chuck Palahniuk

My relationship with depression has been the longest term relationship that I’ve ever had.

I think we’ve been together for 20 years almost. Wow, isn’t that like, the Prozac anniversary?

This cut out would be awesome for hangover days or days where you’d just like to go shopping/fishing. who’s with me?

We commune and argue and separate and return predictably to each other like co-dependent lovers:
Toxic, but intertwined at the cellular level.

I will never be one of those people who decides that because “I’m feeling well, I’m quitting my meds.”
It’s too predictable and precarious a thought to entertain….for me. I’ve seen that train derail enough through family members.

Depression is a constant, albeit unwanted familiar but it reminds me of strength and fortitude.

Because I’ve worked to never let it stop me, I feel that this is a triumph of sorts.

I refuse to give in to the idea that giving up is somehow an option. That’s a ridiculous thought to me.

I’m in a bout right now, so I’m reading poetry and literature, going for walks, talking to my wife, the stuff that’s helpful for me.

Wishing you all good things in your journey, monkiss

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.”

Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.
Warren G. Bennis

I am very lucky to have my boss. He is a rarity from all the jobs I’ve had.

He called me yesterday and told me, because of my weekend ahead and my currenty flu, I have an extra day off.
“I covered it,” he said.

It’s one of many, many examples of caring he’s offered me this past year we’ve worked together and when it comes time for me to leave, I will miss this relationship alot.

I am lucky.

Aaaand down we go

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the doctor and yesterday I got the letter containing the date of my MRI appointment.

*sigh*

Back to reality.

My general practitioner is a great woman – excellent bedside manner, efficient and takes my concerns seriously. I still worry about what the labwork says that she wants to talk about.

I still worry the bone in my foot is not healing properly/quickly enough. I’m reconciling that one of the meds is getting a dose increase.

There is still pain, lots of pain, my feet, knees and back.

My upper body strength has increased exponentially in 3 months, I can get myself up using my arms and hands no problem, and I’m not a waif by any stretch at 5’10 with a tummy.

All these restrictions and painful reminders…down goes my mood, the ever-present depression swoops in like a bird of prey, taking the opportunity of my moment of emotional weakness.

Ah well…we’ll see tomorrow I guess.

 

Sometimes whenI…

Sometimes when I wake up, it’s weird, for a few moments, a few hours, I ‘forget’ the illness.

I feel normal and centred and then, it’s like a muscle memory – you move a certain way;

think a certain thought.

Snap, ouch, that’s right, that pain….you’re still there.

shit.

It is no wonder so many people with mental illnesses are substance abusers.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a vacation from yourself for a few hours, an evening, a few days if you dare?

I don’t dare…been there, done it, not going to go back, chilling with meditation, saying my chants and being mindful is harder, but there’s no hangover/coming down feeling to make you feel shittier.

Find your “thing” that makes life worth it…for an hour at a time.

Be kind whenever possible 

 

Compassion and Betrayal

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” – Henry Ward Beecher

I got an email today from someone I once loved dearly, admired and respected and I’m having a hard time.

The ‘once’ is in there because this person whom I shall call DU, hurt someone else I love dearly who will be called LM.

At first, we thought illness and disability was the reason for the implosion of the relationship and since it is between them and there are two sides to every story, I continued to love and support them equally, as best I could. They were both like family to me.

LM had cared for me when I was a child, had loved me and lived with my immediate family for a number of years before meeting DU. When DU was welcomed into the circle of friends and family, we felt a sense of completion, love and delight, it was a perfect match.

Then a shocking revelation emerged, slowly, over time, through other friends and family members.

DU had been committing grievous betrayals that became evident once enough time and distance was placed between them. This news divided dear family and friends who were once people I enjoyed seeing at family gatherings. They became silent strangers over night.

I witnessed the initial betrayal increase exponentially and split apart several families, children and loved ones.

I am still very hurt.

I was one of many people who talked LM through tears, grief and anguish, watched how LM was affected, financially, emotionally, left to an empty house of memories they built together for decades…all gone in a phone call.

It’s been several years since the initial bomb dropped and the fall out is only now contained, barely. LM is still scarred and reeling and will probably never, fully heal.

Now this email, probably written during a chilly and lonely night, arrives in my inbox from DU, after almost a year since we spoke, asking where we stand.

I cannot. My loyalty is to LM and while I still feel compassion for DU, we can no longer be in each other’s lives. It makes me sad but I wasn’t the one who pulled the plug on our family circle.

Sadness is all I feel.

 

 

Women, Art and Illness

“I am not sick. I am broken and as long as I can paint I am happy to be alive.”

– Frida Kahlo

A couple of weeks ago, I pressed my face against mortality after collapsing in my bathroom at 6 in the morning. Chaos ensued.

I was not cognizant of the urgency of my wife screaming, my mother-in-law, the nurse, telling her what to do while dialing 911. When someone who is otherwise healthy loses consciousness, it is cause for alarm.

Needless to say, I survived.

Although not without some injuries.

On my way to the floor, my body crumpled in on itself like a skyscraper on demolition day. I broke one foot and damaged ligaments in the opposite leg. I still have bruises. Luckily, I did not have what was widely suspected, a seizure disorder.

But this post is not about me, necessarily.

Frida Kahlo, artist-family and friends and the writer I am linking to below are inspirations to me.

http://beautifulwreck1.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/beautiful-wreck-the-book/

Stephanie Schroeder is another blogger and writer I have gotten to know through her magazine writing and columns. She is based in Brooklyn, NY and I invite you to take a look at her work and her very personal experience as a person with Bipolar Disorder.

It is often through illness and struggle that women have found art to express their strength. As I sit at home, unable to go to a job I love or be the active and energetic woman I am, writing this blog and knowing someone is reading and perhaps relating to my posts has kept me going.

My gratitude dear reader, for being such a part of my healing and recovery.

Ciaran