Saturday, July 9, 2011

In support of a friend, and my own constant conpanion

 This post is in support of my friend Wendy and her post today.
She is SOOO NOT alone in this.

Depression is something I have been living with since the great loss of bones etc, in my wrist--but it is mostly of the loss of work, of a career, that was extremely HARD to build. An extremely RIGOROUS university program, SACRIFICE on the part of my husband and family, as because of the toughness of the program I had to live in Philadelphia on campus for 2 years. I came home on weekends, more often  e/o weekend. Approx 46K in student loans(of which I am now in default of...and I do not think my GP doc is going to fill out the forms needed to apply to the Dept. of Education for pardon of those loans) I was only out of university 5 years when that on-the-job-injury changed my life forever.  it wasn't until late Sept. 2008, that I finally got on anti-depressants. I started on anti-anxiety meds before that.

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Lately my depression has been fairly under control, but I watch over my shoulder, ever vigilant as it is usually only a step or 2 behind me.  Having my son's dog here as a companion as made a difference as he makes me laugh and smile everyday. However he is not a FULL ballast to my life, my lack of a life, my missing my children and family, my ever-more grouchy husband. It would be wrong of me to expect him to, just as I can not expect anyone else to either. I would love to have some of the above be a bit different, as it would help with the depression. I know I can not change the behavior of others, but when you are depressed it is also harder than the non-depressed person to "change yourself".

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.  ~Leo Tolstoy

Wendy speaks of the "battles" and that is what they are. I think every person has "battles" with something. Some of us have a bunch of battles, that are all small to medium in the scheme of things. I also know there are people out in the world that fight HUGE Battles daily.

Depression, as well as chronic pain are my constant companions, more constant, than my "pretty" or the grand dog, more constant than my husband. MORE RELIABLE than anyone in my family. I know I can RELY on pain to be with me daily, usually for all of the day, in at least one area of my body!
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And Often people that have one battle, have others BECAUSE when something happens or affects one member of a family, it affects all members living in the same house. So if one member of the family battles with an addiction, it becomes the whole family's battle. The same with any emotional or mental issue. Neurological and/or physical issues also give the whole family battles to deal with.

Depression is one of those things that affects everyone in the house.  I have said my depression is somewhat under control. What i haven't said is that some days I sleep all day...a lot of it is is fatigue and/or my pain and/or my meds, sometimes, it is because it is all I want to do, is hide from the world, hide from myself.  Sometimes I am trying to hide from some crap that is going on in my family at the time, or the behavior of my husband. Sometimes it is because I recently read something or watched something on TV, that leaves me WANTING, leaves me JEALOUS, leaves me asking WHY CAN'T I HAVE THAT?
**Pictures below do not belong to me, they are NOT my family.

Why can't the affectionate man I fell in love with 27 years ago
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still be affectionate and warm, and loving??
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WHY can't my family all still be close and get along like we used to??
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WHY can't we have a nice vacation or go on a cruise??
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WHY can't I have a nice organized craft room???? (we have a HUGE house)
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I don't get dressed half the time, my reasoning...WHY BOTHER, I'm not going anywhere, and no one is coming over. then I find I also rationalize it with being frugal...less laundry is less gas and detergent etc.
In that respect depression is similar to an addiction; there's a lot of rationalizations happening!

There is a line in this song, that soooo speaks to me, not just because of being depressed but also because it is true! please really pay attention to this video AND the words to the song.

If you deal with DEPRESSION, post about it today, let's spread the support for each other!

Depression facts:

Of the estimated 17.5 million Americans who are affected by some form of depression, 9.2 million have major or clinical depression
Two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek necessary treatment
80% of all people with clinical depression who have received treatment significantly improve their lives
The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated
Women experience depression about twice as often as men
By the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in the United States in 1996
Major Depression is 1.5-3.0 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population



Toriz said...

I became a bit depressed when I first fully lost my sight. I was lucky though in that I was helped to pull myself out of it before itt became full on depression.

*Hugs to you, your friend, and anyone else suffering*

Anonymous said...

I read Wendy's post (commented over there) and now yours as well. I'm so sorry for this never ending battle. I'm not here to offer advice or to say I've been there because as I said to Wendy, I haven't. Your depression is yours and mine is mine. I have cyclothymia which is a cycle of depression, mania and mixed state....sometimes I actually feel good and not crazy.

What I can empathize with is the fact that it affects the entire family living with me. When I am depressed it only makes me feel worse when I can't get the energy to even sit outside while my son plays. When I'm a raging manic maniac yelling and screaming I see the look in my husbands eyes telling me "who the hell are you and why are you like this", even though he would never say it.

Peace and Love my friend. This too shall pass.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hugs to you, Susan! Depression is a terrible illness and exacts a heavy toll. May your face always be turned to the sunlight.

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

Hug for your Susan!

Depression is tough. I've dealt with it on and off the past 6-7 years. Thanks to a lot of bloggy friends I've learned to always look for the positive, to care about myself and my appearance (that one just in the last year or so) and things aren't exactly better (I have student loans out the wazoo also and can't get employment to save my life) but I'm looking at them better.

I hope hope things improve for you.

Sara said...

Hi Susan
I can so relate. I suffer with depression too. I have phases of good spells and then something triggers off the depression. I never know what it is. I have found that journalling helps me. I hope you feel a lot better soon. Hugs Sara

In the Light of the Moon said...

Blessings to you on this difficult journey Susan.You have opened my eyes to Depression.Warmest Regards,Cat

Wendy S. said...

Wow, Susan...what an amazing post. Both from the perspective of being such a loyal and loving friend, as well as your own experience with the "black dog" the effects and the research..

I'm really touched, honored and inspired by your honesty. You're such a good writer as well as being one of the most courageous women I know. And of course gotta love the "House" Video...

Big hugs to you my friend and sister.