For most of my adult life, I have fought depression: not knowing what it was early on, not wanting to acknowledge it as Dave and I made a life together, trying to treat it with natural remedies, and finally, when things became very serious and I didn't even really fear for my life, accepting medication for which I'm more grateful than I could say.
I'm not depressed because of any thing or person or action in my life. In fact I have a caring family and friends and my circumstances are enviable in many ways. However, even with the medication, sometimes I can't face answering the phone, reading email, driving a car or walking down the street. It doesn't really last long, although while I'm in the midst of it, it seems impossible that I can pull myself through and go back to the woman I know I am. Still, knowing that I have ridden it out before gives me no confidence that I can do it again.
I remember that first time I saw the commercial that shows how depression has an effect on everyone with whom the depressed person interacts. For a person who throws a cloak of guilt on with incredible speed when something goes wrong, this was almost unbearable.
Dave, the kids and I worked hard to understand each other, make concessions or build fair procedures and took pride in having worked through the kinds of issues families face.
I got counselling, medication, compassion from friends, family and co-workers and figured out how to spread my energy over a work week or a holiday.
Still, in my black days, I can look back and see every mistake, near mistake or possible mistake I could have made, and agonize accordingly.
I know I'm not alone in this, but I also know that I have reached a place where I can talk about it, hope people understand when I don't return their calls or like their Facebook pages, and perhaps, offer an insight that might help them to better understand someone in their lives whose moods seem unreasonable.
And while I'm at it, and not in a black place, thank you if you've been one of the many understanding and generous people in my life.