Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Are You Depressed?

"Gayle, are you depressed?" my best friend asked me last week. "Depressed, no. Well, maybe a little." Then as I thought about what I had just told her - how I spent all day Wednesday deciding whether or not to go to the grocery store. I answered, "Yeah, I am depressed."
Why is it so hard to see it and admit it? I have figured for years that I have a little seasonal affective disorder. In October I am ready to hibernate and emerge in the spring. But this year, it seems to have gotten a little worse lately. I called my friend up the next day. "Gee, thanks, Vic. I may have been depressed, but I wasn't sad until you pointed it out."
For me, the red flag is decision-making. I remember going on vacation with our toddler and baby in 1990. I was supposed to be packed and ready to go when my husband,John, came home from work. He found me crying in the living room, surrounded by empty suitcases and piles of clothes. Since it was October, I couldn't decide whether to take summer clothes or sweaters to North Carolina. My dear husband said, "Well, we are driving a truck. Pack them all." And we did. While we were on vacation, I realized I probably had postpartum depression. That was my first experience with depression.
What am I going to do? Go on a daily treasure hunt for joy, happiness, grace, and love. I'm going to sit in the sun and read a good book. Go for walks with friends. Laugh and play with my grandbaby and drink in her baby smell. Take pictures of baby calves. Sing songs and play the guitar. Set up the hammered dulcimer and play it again. I am going to the mountains with my love and ride 4-wheelers. Camp with my family. Sing around the campfire. Go bowling at Bass Pro with family and friends. Read the Bible and pray. Watch The Voice with Barry and Victoria. Eat taco salad and visit with our kids. I am doing most of those things now, but I'm going to savor them, drink them in as though they are life-giving, which they are.

What am I not going to do? Worry about what I am not doing or getting done. Think I have to be doing something, anything so I can be someone or anyone. And when I am ready, I will know what is essential to my life.
(I first posted this on my Facebook profile on April 6, 2015.)

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