I was reading a scrapbooking magazine today and saw a layout titled, “I’m good now.” The journaling was about how she had battled depression, and might battle it again, but she was good now. I’ve been thinking that, too. Even though I am coming off of one of the worst periods of depression that I’ve ever suffered…I think that I’m good now. Strong. If not strong, definitely stronger than I was just a few weeks ago. Is it possible? Could I be “in remission”?
When I began seeing a counselor, I was hopeful. Just having someone to talk to that was not emotionally involved with me was a great relief. I could be perfectly honest and forthright, and I knew that she would be, also. Having a total stranger tell you that you are a good person is a lot different than your mother telling you that you are a good person, if you know what I mean! Don’t get me wrong…Moms should still tell us that we are good, and that they are proud of us, though.
The first week, I poured out my issues, and she told me that it was perfectly natural to be depressed in my situation. She wasn’t s hocked that after 6 months, I wasn’t well, that I hadn’t beaten back the demons. That in and of itself was the lifting of a burden. Just having someone who can see my life through unbiased eyes!
I didn’t realize how very far I had fallen, until I talked about it one night with my husband. I had gotten to the point where I was paralyzed with fear. I was afraid to approach a potential employer. Afraid to try to do any job, for fear of failure. I had even transferred these feelings to my personal life, and felt ill at ease in public. I was sure that everyone was staring at me, knowing what a failure I was. Knowing that I had nothing to offer anyone. Knowing that I was less than perfect. I avoided public at all costs. Church was even uncomfortable, as I avoided personal contact with people just because I was so broken inside. I had stopped trying, I no longer did things that I enjoyed, nor did I attempt to really accomplish anything. My house was clean. I felt that if I was unemployed, I should have a perfect house. But other than that, I was just scared.
I couldn’t see any way out. I would always be a failure, I would never be able to be a functioning member of society again. I no longer made a difference for anyone. I would think of going to school, or going back to work, or even entering a social situation and cringe.
Since meeting with my counselor, I have come so far! I am confident as I work towards jobs again. I know that I have skills that can be utilized. I have hope that some day, I’ll find just the right job, and until then, I will be fine.
I am stepping out of my shell, also. I gave blood today at a local church, and after I left, I realized that I had gone in with my head held high. I had talked with folks. I had laughed, I had really and truly been THERE. It was very, very exciting!!! I hadn’t even noticed that change coming. As I drove home, radiant from my grand accomplishment, I realized that I was reaching out more and more, and folks have been reaching back. I have been laughing and talking with an old group of friends that have been reunited in graduation plans for our sons. I have been on Facebook. I’ve been honestly trying to be the old me again.
We had also had a family argument this week. It happens! My teenagers were bickering and it was driving me insane. We had the argument, and we were able to end it with a good talk. It wasn’t perfect, but afterwards, I didn’t sink. I didn’t panic. I didn’t second guess myself. I felt like we had made some progress and perhaps they understood where I was coming from a bit more. I know that my oldest is struggling a bit now, too, so I worry about him. I want to reach out to him. I want him to know that I’ve seen the dark places, and I’m not afraid of them anymore…that I’ll go into them with him, and shine light in all of the corners.
I can’t believe that there has been this much of a change in so little time! Not that I’m complaining! I am thrilled to be at this point. I’m just hoping that it’s a long term thing, and not a brief respite. I have come to realize that depression is what it is, and like other diseases that weaken our physical body, it may be with us for life. But we can manage it, and we can overcome those times when it feels like you are about to go down for the last time.
I ran across this picture of daisies that I had taken a few years ago. I love daisies, because they are so bright and cheerful…simple, yet beautiful. And they last forever. I mean, really, have you ever had cut daisies in a vase? They last longer than any flower that I’ve ever cut. My dad gave me daisies when I graduated from High School. My grandpa sent me daisies when I competed at the State Junior Miss program. They lasted for more than a week or so beyond any of the other flowers. For this and for the sentimental value that they now hold, I love daisies.
I want to be a daisy…resilient, able to grow in even diverse conditions. Long lasting even when they are cut from their roots. And cheerful. I want to be cheerful.
I also noticed, as I looked through photos taken years ago, that I am not the same photographer. When I took this photo, it was a major accomplishment for me. Very artistic! The rest of my photos from that time period are a mix of blurred shots, bad composition, or terrible lighting. I hadn’t realized that I had improved in this area, either! Made me feel pretty good about where I am today in many respects.
As the scrapbooker says, I’m good now. Hopefully for a long time…just like a daisy.