As I sit down to write
The words just flow.
I seem to have no words.
At least not about gardening.
This week I want to tell you my story.
It’s an old story
Over 30 years ago.
But it’s an important one to me
And my life.
And it’s timely
With the devastating news
Of last week’s suicides.
I am among the millions of people
Who have suffered from clinical depression.
Most of my friends will be surprised by that.
I’ve never kept it a secret
But neither have I advertised it.
And frankly it was so long ago
Some of you may have simply forgotten.
I have not.
It was a very tough time.
I had had a miscarriage
The year before Elliott was born
So suffice it to say that I was a prime candidate
Mine would likely be categorized
As postpartum depression
All the same.
I fought it for a long time.
By the time Elliott turned two
It became obvious
That I had to deal with it.
I distinctly remember where I was
When I told John I had to get help.
He was supportive from the beginning.
It wasn’t easy for either of us,
But he was there.
Fortunately for me a local therapist
Had recently spoken to the Stephen’s Ministry class
I was taking at church
And I liked her.
I knew where I could go for help.
I spent 6 months in one on one therapy
Took the anti-depressants the doctors prescribed.
And was involved with a therapy group for another 6 months.
Bit by bit
I got better.
She saved my life.
I have long felt
That therapy is the best gift
I’ve ever given myself.
Over the ensuing decades
I’ve gone back to therapy
For a tune up
As life has thrown me a few curve balls.
Why am I telling you this?
Most of the people who read this are friends.
But it’s going out there into cyber space
And that means people who don’t know me
Now know something very personal.
But that’s the point.
Those of us who have been there.
Have to tell our stories
Openly and honestly.
We are the very people
Who can make a huge difference in people’s lives.
We know the pain
And we know how help changed,
Really saved our lives.
If you can
Tell your story.
It may help someone
To get help.
And listen to people.
Really listen to them.
Ask them if they need help.
Then help them find it
If they need it.
Think of all of the life
I and so many more
Would have missed.
21 responses to “NO WORDS”
Gail, you are not alone. I too do not advertise it, but do not hide that I have struggled with depression for 25 years. I still go to a counselor so that I can be “normal” in a difficult world. Every day is a struggle but thus far I am ahead of the depression. Take nothing for granted. You never know where anyone is in their struggles.
Lynn, Your words are so true. We just don’t know what’s going on in anyone’s life. Glad you have gotten good help. It makes a world of difference.
You, my friend, may remember the beginning of my depression in the hospital. You were such a help to me during this time.
I can never thank you enough.
You, my neighbor, my friend, came into my life for a reason. Over and over the reasons seem to turn from one, to two, to three, to dozens. My life is always blessed by your presence and words of experience and advice. I am one lucky Eastern Oklahoma girl who happened to gain an incredible Western Oklahoma mentor. Thank you for your privacy and your openness, two characteristics which I cherish. Thank you for speaking out loud, we all need to do more of it!
Thank you Torry. I am thankful for the random act of real estate kindness that made us neighbors!
So sad to hear about your struggles with depression but thankfully you got and more importantly received help. I wish it daily for my sister but do realize in light of the heartbreaking suicides this week some wonderful people are just on their own journey to heaven…thank you for a sweet heartfelt post ❤️
Thank you, Ann. I think often of your family.
Thank you for sharing Gail. It does make a difference as we share our struggles and triumphs. God puts us in the path of others for a purpose. My sincere prayers is that I be a kind listener….may we all feel safe enough to be transparent in the joys and struggles along the paths of life. (I always admire you, did not know this about you and continue to admire you.)
Thank you, Beth. I think you are a kind listener and you make such a difference in so many lives. There is safety in a kind listening ear.
To be so alone, even when surrounded by friendships and loved ones is hard to understand or comprehend. You, Gail, have made such a positive impact on so many people’s lives, young and old. Thank you, friend. Linda
Thank you, Linda. We all do a little in helping. Your help in getting all the tutoring kids to camp is so important to me.
It gives me a break in the summer so that I can go back to the program in the fall refreshed. I thank you for that.
Wonderfully said. I, too have battled with depression off and on most of my adult life. I had the idea that if I only tried hard enough, I could “get over it”. I was told, as a Christian, there must be something wrong with my relationship with God. Nothing like more guilt for an already depressed person. I finally was so miserable, I sought counseling. It saved multiple relationships of mine AND my sanity! Stop being shamed about mental illness, depression, etc. Speak out and get help! You are important enough and are worthy enough!
Mendy, I am thankful you have gotten help. As you know depression is not something you just “get over” or because of anything you have or haven’t done. We do need to find a way to let our stories be told. I believe it does help everyone.
We are so use to judging people by their physical traits – tall, short, beautiful, average, blue eyes, brown eyes, funny, sarcastic. We forget that the real story is underneath and at some time we all need help. Some of us get that help or soldier on, but some can’t bear the weight. This past week was sobering because of the celebrity status of those suffering, but I can only imagine the statistics for those dealing with similar issues who don’t make the news. Thanks for sharing in order to shine the light.
Judy, you are right. The statistics are sobering – more suicides than traffic deaths. Good help will save lives and removing the stigma so that people can get help is a good place to start.
I know that talking about this publicly is a reach for you. Thanks for doing it. We are complicated beings, aren’t we?
We are very complicated beings. So talking out of our comfort zones
about our lives is something we must share.
I wonder if in reality there is anyone anywhere who hasn’t felt the pull of depression. If asked the question, I’d certainly have to raise my hand. It is a good thing that there are options available today that we can take advantage of if we can find the strength to do so, and I’d certainly think it was a privilege to help someone if they reached out to me. Thank you for sharing. I hope if someone is reading this that needs help that they can step outside their comfort zone and seek assistance so they can enjoy each day that they are given.
I do too, Judy. Getting help is the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself.
It completely altered the course of my life to the good.
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