Let’s’ Talk About Depression

My view from the Hill has certainly changed in the past three years.

Depression is such a debilitating, mysterious, “depressing” disease! For years I have known many people – friends and family” who were said to suffer from depression. But ashamedly, I didn’t understand it and just shrugged it off. Now, I know better. It really does wipe you out.
Whenever I heard that someone didn’t want to get out of bed , I thought to myself, “they’re just lazy”. Now I know better. I have always been a very energetic person, eager to get up and get the day going. Now, most mornings, I just lie in bed and think about all the things I “should” be doing but don’t have the energy to do. When I finally drag myself out of bed and force myself to get dressed, I lack the energy, motivation, or desire to do anything else.
Fortunately, my primary care doctor had the wisdom to order some home health care for me to try to help me with the problems associated with Vertigo. The visits from the Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist have been a real blessing. Not only have I learned some techniques for dealing with Vertigo, their visits pulled me out of my depression for a few hours each day.
My training as a Stephen Minister has enabled me to recognize my own symptoms and to deal more intelligently with them. I am truly blessed in that regard. I owe apologies to all who I shrugged off in the past. I realize now how real their feelings were.
As the dark cloud begins to lift, I am beginning to look forward to a future I had given up on. My dark journey began three years ago when my husband, my best friend and companion of nearly 50 years, died after a short illness. I suddenly realized he had been my rock, my anchor, my purpose for living and once I took care of the necessary duties surrounding a death, I felt there was nothing left for me. My family surrounded me with love but I began to feel smothered. It has been quite an adjustment on all sides, each of us trying to maintain our own identity while sharing our space and our lives with each other. But taking lessons from the three cats and one dog, we are learning.
Today I have decided to get myself re-organized, and back on track. I am determined to use the skills I learned from the Therapists and overcome as much of the Vertigo as possible and stop using it as a crutch. My advice to others suffering from depression is to take stock of your strengths and become more active. Look forward instead of backward!

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