Friday, December 17, 2010

Depression as a Part of the Family

Sometimes it feels like Depression is another member of our family.  I've seen him walk with various other members.  He has been around for so long, he doesn't seem like a visitor anymore.

At times he will hang out in the background, examining things, taking it all in.  Other times he will invade our lives like a child having a tantrum.

It's tough to be sad about it.  It's part of who we are.  To wish it away would be to wish away all we've learned from our walks with him.  It would mean we weren't as strong or understanding.  It would mean we were a little more hollow.

I mention this because today I re-read a post my daughter wrote about it last year, while at college (which you should go read).  It is such a part of her as well.  Kind of a travelling companion.  Like taking a friend with you wherever you go. 

I know it sounds strange when I describe depression this way.  Like a friend.  Like a family member.  But if you've experienced it then it probably makes total sense.  It can be a comfort.  It can help you understand who you are.  It can give you strength when you have none.  And like friends and family, it can be very trying.

Learning to understand Depression for the part he plays in our family helps.  It's part of why we understand each other, enjoy each other, even while we kind of freak other people out.

Just think of Depression as the crazy cousin who got drunk and passed out on the couch.  Yes, he's tough to deal with but he's still family.


MaggieJo said...

I do understand. I just wish Chad could. How do you make it easier on loved ones who watch this torment they can't see or understand and sometimes don't believe? btw, Jess's post is absolutely beautiful.

Bonnie said...

I have a different perspective on the depression with which I have walked all my life. It is the pain that makes me stronger, it is the wound that forced me to live my life differently and grow differently in the process. It had no value separate from that. It is like the germ that strengthens my immunity but makes me sick if it multiplies too freely. I keep it in check. I fight it. I grow strong by fighting it but I do not embrace it. I embrace what I am because of it, but I watch vigilantly. I never invite it to spend the night on the couch. It is a demon and while it makes me more careful, move more slowly, be more compassionate, it is still a demon. I understand your view, but if I had that view, I would be consumed. I wish you well for the drunk relation sleeping on your couch.

Cheryl D. said...

I have never heard it described that way!

Kelly Latour said...

Such a beautiful post, you have a way with words. I am printing this for my friend who has problems with his depression. I will let you know what he says after reading it.
Your daughter's blog is beautiful too! I can tell where she gets it from!

Lisa said...

I wish I could show you my "drafts" because I wrote a post almost exactly like this. Well, yours is much better. But in it, I classified depression and its counterparts as people. I hope you don't think I am copying when I eventually get around to posting it. Thanks for sharing your words.

Anonymous said...

I definitely get it. What a different way of approaching depression. How very optimistic. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful post...=)
Exactly what I needed right now.
thank you.


Stephi said...

Hi Miss Robin,

I know how you feel to, me often it feels like depression is a separate entity that is either following me around or sitting on my chest. It doesn't define me, but it has shaped who I am. Even though it's devastated my life there have been a few hidden blessings that have emerged because of it.

I loved this post because you have regconised that every silver lining has a cloud (turn of phrase!) our experiences, both good and bad shape us. We just have to decide how the bad experiences can shape us.

I read your daughters post too- what an amazingly talented girl you have! She has a gift with words.

Thanks for a great post Miss Robin!