So… I actually considered just rolling over in bed this morning and going back to sleep and not writing a blog post. It has been that kind of week.
We had a forest fire up here that was three miles away and consumed 50 acres before they got it contained. Scary! ( Thank you to all of the fire people and forest service who battled this fire.) One of our own beloved team members had a seizure at work which was also scary and challenging. She is fine now!! And then my heart and thoughts have been heavy around the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and all of us who battle with depression and mental illness. So…I changed my mind got out of bed, grabbed my laptop, made a cup of tea and here I am ready to share some thoughts on depression based on my own experience as a mental health care worker and a person who has lived with depression in my life. I have a scar on my wrist that is a constant reminder.
I believe one of the things that we are discovering as a society is that one of that the deadliest things is our SILENCE. We are most definitely finding our voices. I certainly celebrate us speaking our truths and being who we authentically are and accepting each other as such.
As a survivor of sexual assault as a young woman ~ both physical and emotional abuse from both of my alcoholic parents ~ I know the tendency toward self blame and shame and what it does to your, heart, soul and psyche. I also know the absolute healing power of finding my voice (conquering my fears) owning my truth and then, speaking it!
I know for myself and my struggles with depression that isolation makes everything worse and of course what do we all do?
We isolate ourselves.
We do not share.
We do not listen or see the signs in those around us. A part of that silence is due to the very nature of depression but a bigger part is the stigma our society has on mental health. There’s so much stigma around mental illness and specifically depression. Illness is illness no matter what it is or where it is in our bodies!
Life is chocked full of all kinds of highs and lows it’s the nature of the beast. Happiness is not the only state of being and certainly not one we all experience all the time. Any one of us can get stuck and in a low loop and have a hard time climbing out all by ourselves. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone of felt safe and comfortable enough so that we could say, “hey, I think I’m in trouble here” and I could use some help. Imagine if we completely changed how we looked at mental illness and we saw it as we do say… heart disease or cancer even.
I’ve had both cancer and depression and I can say that I did not hesitate at all in getting help and treatment for cancer. However with depression I felt like somehow I was a failure, like I was letting those around me down and I was positive that I did not deserve to be here much less have help and lastly that everyone would be better off if I was no longer here. It took every ounce of courage I had to say ~ I need help!
I thought cancer was my hardest battle but it was not, depression was and is. There are all kinds of reasons for depression, types of depression and illnesses that depression is part of and… as there all kinds of ways to treat it.
In my opinion our first and biggest step is actually in the acceptance and then treatment of mental health/illness as we do all other parts of our health and well being.
Our world right now is kind of a hard place and I think we are all struggling a bit with finding light, hope, peace, joy, love and maybe just plain ol’ well being.
We need to take better care of each other! What else is this all about?
We are in this together after all.
Rest in Peace Kate and Antony! I am sorry we let you down. My hope is that we as a whole world will be moved towards change.
One of the things in life that brings me joy is cooking. I love to cook! I also am curiously fascinated by our world and the cultural diversity it holds. He also taught me about respecting and honing my craft and not just in cooking but in being a dyer, yarn maker and knitter. I will seriously miss Anthony Bourdain’s in that world. He most definitely it a better place and I hope he knew that on some level.
It might seem like a small thing but tell those you love that they matter to you. You just never know what kind of power that holds.
Thanks for listening!
You most definitely matter to me!!