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.