NO WORDS

Most weeks

As I sit down to write

The words just flow.

This week

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

For depression.

Mine would likely be categorized

As postpartum depression

It’s 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.

Encourage them.

Ask them if they need help.

Then help them find it

If they need it.

Without help

Think of all of the life

I and so many more

Would have missed.

Gail

 

 

 

17 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

17 responses to “NO WORDS

  1. Lynn Biddle

    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.

  2. Robert Young

    Thank you!

  3. Torry Turnbow

    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!

  4. Ann Pettus

    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 ❤️

  5. Beth

    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.)

  6. wholelotmoore

    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

    >

  7. Mendy Tbomas

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Cheri Ezzell

    I know that talking about this publicly is a reach for you. Thanks for doing it. We are complicated beings, aren’t we?

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