It is September. It is time to stop with the 90+ degree weather. It is FALL, you bipolar wench. Get it together!
Anyhow, September. I can't believe that it that time of year again. The weather is, hopefully, getting cooler, the colors are becoming colorful, and smells will eventually be that wonderfully dank Fall smell. You know the one. When the Arctic air starts to weave its way through the east coast and you have that hint of crispness....heaven. It would be in Mother Nature got her crap together.
September is always a good month for me. It was this time 14 years ago that a geeky boy popped into my life and changed it forever. It was this time 8 years ago that I married that geeky boy. Then my nephew was born. So September is usually good to me.
August, not so much. It was going well until the death of Robin Williams. I wanted to write a post shortly after it happened, but I needed time to collect my thoughts, so I'm a little late to the game.
I was devastated when I found out about his death. I was sitting at Panera with my weekly meet up with my fellow NaNoers. I was the one that shared the news with everyone. I have been sad when celebrities have passed, like Paul Walker or Ryan Dunn, but never have I been so upset. Robin Williams has never failed to make me laugh. From Mork and Mindy, to Aladdin, to Hook, to RV to his HBO special, he has never failed to brighten my day. To say that I was sad would be a lie. The news brought all of us down. Our group is usually happy and lively, except when November rolls around and we barely move from out computers. I went home that night and cried. At first, I felt a little silly. We didn't know what had happened since the details of his death had not yet been released. When they were released, and we learned that he had committed suicide, my heart broke even more. How could this man, who had brought so much happiness to the lives of countless people, kill himself? It didn't make sense to me. But then it did. He lost his battle with depression, a never ceasing battle that I also fight every day of my life.
A thing about me. I was diagnosed at 16 with depression. I have played the medication roulette more times that I can count. Some of it was environmental, but most of is clinical. I have hidden it most of my life, but, here recently, I have decided to be more open. I'm not a freak or a Drama Queen, two labels that have followed me for a while. I'm not “just sad” and no amount of exercise is going to make it better. I have thought about suicide countless times. I either talked myself out of it or my boyfriend (who is now my husband) talked me out of it. Other times I would look at my sisters and think, “What would happen to them if it died?” My sister, Dee-da (nickname obviously. I try to avoid names), would have been the one to find me. Could I put her through that? How would finding me dead affect her? I couldn't do that to her. I never spoke to her about this, so she doesn't know how she kept me alive. I know we didn't get along very well during that time and it was mostly my fault. I didn't know how to deal with the violent mood swings and the uncontrollable rages that were a side effect of the medicines, oh excuse me, the phentermine that the brilliant quack of a doctor and Douche Bag decided I needed to take because 135lbs at 16 is too fat for my 5'3 body frame. Basically, I had roid rage. Unfortunately, she took the brunt of those and for that I am so very sorry. The memories still haunt me at times and the always will because Depression. I love you with all of my heart. Anyhow, the doctors were quick to medicate instead of getting to the root of the problem. And that is how it is everywhere. Take a pill, it will make you feel better.
There were three times when I survived. Barely, but I survived. I barely speak about this to anyone and I don't want to go into details about those horrible days, but I lived and that is what is important. This was after I was placed in a mental institution to "teach me a lesson" because of my "feigned suicide attempt". It was wonderful being called a Drama Queen and told I needed to pay for my medical bills since I wanted to cause problems.
When I moved in with my husband, things were a bit easier to manage. I was five hours away from anything and everything I knew. I was still getting accused of stealing medications and stupid things around my mother's house by Douche Bag, mostly medications with codeine. That shit knocks me out for several hours at a time. You would KNOW if I had take it. I'm usually a slobbering pile of person on the bed. I have to be supervised for a reason. Sheesh! Sorry, I digress. Managing it without medication was difficult. I didn't want to be medicated because, in my mind, that equated to being weak. That was stuck in my head, ground in there by the doctors and certain family members. I had depression, so I was weak. I had to suck it up and deal with it. So I tried. Some days I cried. Some days I just sat and stared at the blank wall for hours. Other days I barely had enough energy to get out of bed. But I made sure to put on a brave face for my husband. I didn't want him to see. Then Patches entered my life. My therapy dog. He just knew what I needed when I needed it, whether it was snuggles on the couch or a walk outside. He knew. For nine years I was un-medicated and good. But this past year he died and the depression started again. This time, I decided that I needed medication. I'm dealing. I'm managing. Does that mean I'm all better? No. It will never get better. Depression isn't something that you cure.
So fast forward to Robin Williams. The thing that upset me the most were the ignorant people saying how selfish he was to commit suicide. It isn't selfish. You can't judge people. You don't know their lives. Pain, trauma, and depression is a spectrum. What is painful for one person may seem inconsequential to others. I kept quiet on social media for a while because I was going to get into a HUGE fight with people I know.
Depression is not a choice. You can't CHOOSE to not be sad. You can't CHOOSE to get better. Depression isn't the inability to deal with trauma because it isn't always caused by trauma. It just is and people do not seem to understand that. It is a mental illness. It doesn't go away. All you can do is manage it. There is not cure. Medicine and therapy can help, but aren't the magic cure-all. I have fought every day for the past 15 years with this illness. Some days are better than others. Some times I am medicated and some times I am not. But it is always there. Always. Many people do not see it because I wear the mask of normality very well, like most of us do. It is a fight, a long, hard, bitter fight and sometimes, people get tired of fighting. Sometimes, the light is just gone, leaving just the darkness. When you spend so much time in the dark, it is hard to remember the light and your fear sets in. Some people can endure this, others can't. It doesn't make them weak. It doesn't make them selfish.
The fact that there is such a negative stigma about mental illness says something about out society. Instead of helping people and trying to understand, society is quick to make assumptions. "Oh, have you not tried being sad?" "Why don't you go run or something, you will feel better." "You haven't moved passed that yet? What is wrong with you?" "Just go to therapy and get over it." "Depression isn't real. Just get over it." Get over it. Get over it. Get over it. That is what you hear all the time. Get over it. I wish, with all of my heart, it were that easy.
“Suicide is a decision made out of desperation, hopelessness, isolation and loneliness. The black hole that is clinical depression is all-consuming. Feeling like a burden to loved ones, feeling like there is no way out, feeling trapped and feeling isolated are all common among people who suffer from depression.
People who say that suicide is selfish always reference the survivors. It's selfish to leave children, spouses and other family members behind, so they say. They're not thinking about the survivors, or so they would have us believe. What they don't know is that those very loved ones are the reason many people hang on for just one more day. They do think about the survivors, probably up until the very last moment in many cases. But the soul-crushing depression that envelops them leaves them feeling like there is no alternative. Like the only way to get out is to opt out. And that is a devastating thought to endure.
Until you've stared down that level of depression, until you've lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness... you don't get to make those judgments. You might not understand it, and you are certainly entitled to your own feelings, but making those judgments and spreading that kind of negativity won't help the next person. In fact, it will only hurt others.” (Katie Hurley)
That is really all I have to say on the matter. I am trying, still, to accept and deal with my depression. It will always be a battle. I will no longer tolerate the negativity associated with it. Don't tell me to “get over it” or that I need to “find Jesus again” or that “God will take care of all my problems” or some crap like that. It is what it is and negativity is no longer tolerated. It is a part of me. It will never go away.
Moving on, I have not forgotten about the entries to my writing contest. I have a winner and I will announce that next Monday as well as give out my goodie bags.
My creative goals this month:
1. Finish the blanket for Book Lover's Bazaar. Seriously, top priority since that is on the 20th.
2. Work on my new project. A romance of all things....a genre I usually avoid.....
3. Kinda start thinking about NaNo.
4. Work on updating my blogs.