Below is a link to a blog I followed for a short time at the suggestion of my daughter. It was witty and fun with kookie drawings. But suddenly it took a dark turn. The author told us she was suffering from severe depression. She tried making a few posts, but then she went away completely--for 19 months. She had a big following and many were worried at the extended silence. And then finally this week, she entered two new blog posts. The second explained about the 19-month absence.
Hyperbole and a Half
It's so honest and painful, yet a good read. I really recommend it. For one thing, it helps so much in understanding how a depressed person feels and what they need from their friends.
I have often wondered about depression and where sadness leaves off and depression begins. I think the lines are blurred. I've had so much sadness in the past few years and I've made myself deal with it and be strong. I function. But when I'm alone, the old sadness can be overwhelming. And I'm alone a lot. But I do get stuff done. Just consider the major construction projects I've done during this time and the changes I've made in my yard. And I'm always, ALWAYS there for my children and grandchildren. My own feelings be damned if one of them needs me. So I think I'm just feeling some long-term effects of trauma in my life.
However, sometime about a year ago I stopped playing or listening to music. I love my piano and guitar. I have a broad range of musical interests. But all the things I loved no longer had the same appeal. I could sit down to the piano and barely make it through a tune or two. It's not that I lack the desire, it's just unexplainable, I can't do it. Oh, I post videos on Facebook and watch those posted by others. But this inability or lack of desire, or whatever it is, with my personal music has started troubling me. After reading the blog post I linked above, I recognized a sign of depression.
But I function. I am very busy taking care of grandchildren. I have so much to do around house and yard. Although I realize I'm slacking off in those areas, too. I have so much responsibility. I sometimes just think I'm tired--I can fall asleep instantly almost anytime anywhere.
But I put on a happy face. I laugh at jokes. I celebrate holidays. I visit friends who call--though I'm less and less likely to make a call myself. And I get out in the outdoors and watch the birds. This last is the most
enjoyable thing I do.
Am I depressed? Maybe a little. Am I sad? Sometimes, yes. Am I happy, too? Yes, most of the time. I ask myself these questions because if I seriously feel I'm in trouble, I'll call a therapist I have had in the past.
I think we all go through periods of life where we struggle as I am. And I believe there are degrees in the seriousness of the condition--worse for some than for others. Maybe the single factor that keeps me in there fighting is my kids and grandkids.
As I said in another post: It's not easy doing a life.
"When you judge other people remember one overriding axiom: 'Everybody is having a hard time'. Everyone is insecure. Everyone is hassled. Everyone is tired - we all need more sleep. Everyone wishes he had more courage, more money and better social skills. Everyone wants more glamour in his life, and we all desperately need more laughter. Few can figure out how they ended up living the life they lead. Don't be misled by flippant talk; it's a battle for everyone... Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life." Joshua Halberstam