This blog is about depression.
Mainly, my depression.
It is about me sharing my story and everything I have learned along the way...
...besides, what would all of the struggle and private pain of the past few years have meant if I never shared it with others? What's the point? Did I really go through this for nothing?
Depression happened to me just as it happens to millions of people.
Depression. Happened. And sometimes, it still happens.
So, let's talk about it.
It is about my struggle to understand depression as it applies to my life and the lives of those around me...
...because depression often leaves us feeling like we are outside of ourselves, indifferently watching our own lives pass us by. It also leaves our friends and loved ones wondering, "who is she? Where did she go?"
So, let's talk about this, too.
It is about my gradual, pain-stakingly slow yet humble acceptance of this disease...
...however, after months and months of trying to figure out what the hell was going on, it hit me:
I am not this disease.
And neither are the millions of other people who live with depression or other forms of mental illness.
This is something we should all be talking about. [To see how other people around the country are not only talking about it, but doing something about it, visit www.walktowashington.org.]
And finally, the creation of this blog is a symbol of my healing process...
...because out of everything I now know about my depression, one thing is for sure:
I must remain pro-active about this disease while I am feeling good. Having a series of symptom-free days, weeks, or even months does not mean I will never have to face it again. As one DBSA leader put it, "You can't wait until you feel better to do things. You have to do things to feel better." [For information on the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), see www.dbsalliance.org.]
As I write this, I have been symptom-free for nearly a month. This may not seem like much, but it is the longest stretch of time within the past year or so that I have felt good - like myself.
Will it last?
I don't know.
What if it comes back?
This time, I'll know better what to do. I'll know that the depression isn't me; it's only the disease itself. I'll know it's okay to reach out, to seek help. Recently, I've had a deep desire to make sure that EVERYONE knows this.
So, it's okay.
Talk about it - don't wait. There are people in your life and in your community that want to help you.
You'll be glad you did.
To our health,