The curious thing about depression is, when I have so much to be grateful for, why I can get so miserably unhappy. But that is depression. There are arguments for chemical imbalance, who wouldn’t that effect? Or environmental factors, genetics or maybe life just sucks, and I repeat, who wouldn’t that effect? But no matter the cause, depression is debilitating. It makes you non-functional. You can’t think or you think too much and worry over everything and see no light at the end of the tunnel, no silver lining and no clever metaphors about anything.
In 1993, was in a Clarke County library in Henderson NV, perusing bookshelves, when I happened, kismetly, upon books about depression and women and depression. I read 10 books that week, finding recognition of my mother’s life and my own. At 38 years old, knowing medication and therapy were not choices for me, one for millions of reasons and one for lack of money, I decided something. I decided if I was unhappy, I would change everything about my life, that I possibly could, that was making me unhappy.
I started the list. I had no control over my finances. I loved a man who did not love me back. I had no personal passion for anything other than my children. My family sharing a home with my brother’s family while our house was vacant in UT. My house in UT did not have hot running water and was heated by a wood/coal stove. It was old and had been empty for 10 years before us. We had to replace rotted floors and I did so many things to try to make that house an acceptable place for my children to live to no avail. As I recognized the symptoms of depression in myself and that my mother had suffered from it, I thought of my children.
Starting at the top of the list, there was Jason. Jason at 15 refused to share a room with any of his younger brothers and made a closet into his sleeping space. It had no light and he put his bed in there, hung a few black posters and called it good. He was so surly, I put a poster on the outside of his door that read, ‘Some mornings I wake up grouchy and some mornings I let him sleep in.’ In anticipation of my children falling down the depression domino path, I had greater resolve to stop the sadness madness. (More to come…)