Friday, February 27, 2015

Depression Hurts

I've been writing a lot, but I haven't been writing a lot on this blog. I've been concentrated my writing on my writing blog, and as a consequence I feel like my baby blogger has been neglected. I've been updating this blog for over three years now.

I came to blogger in a dark time, that I didn't realize was dark. I had people telling me they thought I was depressed. I had people telling me they would be depressed too if they had lost all of their hair. I didn't believe them even as the swirling vortex of depression was sweeping me away.

Looking back on that time, years ago. I realize I came back into writing for cathartic purposes. At first, I didn't have a goal. I had a lot of boredom. I spent much of my time reading, escaping into a book, and pushing family away. I made some great friends, and that was what I needed at that time-- outside influences.  It's funny how we can't see what is happening to us until we take a step back. For me that step back was three years later: NOW. I look back at that time of my life, and I see someone who was suffering and didn't know where to turn. I was having trouble in my marriage, my hair fell out, my kids were all little bitty and depended on me for so much, my oldest son was having emotional problems of his own, and for me the easiest thing to do was escape.

I did escape in a productive way. I started taking Tae Kwon Do. I made friends through Tae Kwon Do, who told me I was beautiful even if I was bald. Some of those friends even encouraged my writing, and I have them to thank for how far I've come since then. I learned discipline, and I realized how much exercise helped me to relax and to find a direction for the hopeless boredom I felt on the inside. Because for me that's what depression does. It makes me feel bored and unsettled. It makes me flit from one thing to another like a toddler. When I'm depressed, satisfaction is elusive, like that vague term happiness.  

Finding direction is hard, and now I see my son suffering the same symptoms, although he suffers in a different way than me. He has this crazy energy, and he has this need to direct it. Unfortunately when you have so much energy, so much drive, and a mind that won't stop turning, the dark cloud sometimes threatens to rain on you. You sometimes feel like nothing works for you and nothing will fill up that empty place inside.

I have felt like that so much. I still feel like that some days. So my heart aches so much for my son, when I see that he has so many of these same symptoms. My heart aches for him when he struggles with his frustration and anger. I hope he finds his purpose, and I hope his friends understand his struggles--at least a little bit. And until then, Hubby and I are going to help him through.

People who are mentally ill, don't always know when they are spiraling downward until they have landed at the bottom or even until they are climbing out.  Our mental health system in the U.S. is broken. Just ask me. I have to shell out tons of money every year, because my insurance (a reputable agency) will only support ONE psychiatrist (and they just went out of business) in my city of 250k people. ONE. So for people who are suffering or who have children suffering, like me, they often have to dole out dollars they can't afford to part with, but must for their own good or for the sake of their children.

We need to break this stigma. We need to get people the help they need. And more than that, we don't need to be afraid to talk about. Because when we're afraid to talk about it the people who are suffering or who have loved ones who are suffering feel more isolated and more alone.  People need to realize there is no normal.  We are all flawed and broken creatures, but there is help out there.

 I've found my purpose, and having goals and pushing myself every day to achieve has given me more of a sense of who I am and it helps to keep the restless boredom from claiming my life.

You can read more about mental illness here and the different types of disorders that affect 1 in 4 Americans :

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