Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dying is not an option

And neither is going back into the hospital.

Despite all losses I have to move forward. I have to remember to count my blessings. I'd list them now, but I just used a cliche and I must to repent.

I just want people to understand that Major Depressive Disorder is not something to be ignored. It's a real disease, like diabetes or cancer, but it is stigmatized so no one talks about it. And then, when some honors student kills herself everyone is surprised and still doesn't talk about it. Also, it is a word that has morphed into everyday use--"I'm so depressed," could just mean a person's lost their favorite pen; they're not clinically depressed. We don't use words like cancer and heart disease this way and we can freely admit having those diseases--yet MDD kills more people than both of those diseases, annually in the United States. And having it is usually a secret.

MDD takes over a person's life and we are never the same. At least, I don't think I will ever be the same. Hopefully, when I'm not in a "low point in my mood", as my doctors say (I think; I wish my memory were not affected so badly), I will be a more understanding and accepting person. Hopefully, I will be useful to society. Hopefully, I will change someone's life in a positive way.

But, honestly, I don't know if anyone ever wins the battle with MDD. It's such a strong force. I picture that shirt that lists famous gay people and ends with "and me!", except I see it as "famous Depressed people... and me!" There were points today when I felt like I literally had to hold myself together, so I did: sitting in the fetal position, arms wrapped around my legs sobbing and barely able to breathe. There were points today when I felt like I was going to explode--I was driving, so no fetal position options--but I pictured an eggshell exploding the way a bulb does when it's hot and cold water hits it (kids, don't try this at home just to see!) and I pictured that as me. Shatter! I also thought, "When people use cliches like, 'I feel like I'm coming apart at the seams,' they really have no idea what they mean unless they've been through extraordinary grief and loss or MDD. (That English teacher picking at words again....)

Then I went to put gas in my car. It's amazing the distractions one can find. CNN at the pump. We don't have cable; I almost wanted to stay, just to find out about more this polygamist who's been caught. ooooooooo!

So, I'm still alive. I'd write that down as my accomplishment for today, but I also managed to run some errands and make dinner, so I'll just put it as the most important one.

Thanks everyone who shows me that they love me--if you didn't do that now and then I would really lose it for sure. There were also points today when I got hugs from my husband, and puppy kisses, and smiles from new friends, or I remembered the kids' visit last night and that helped me survive.

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