Day 434- Are You Still Depressed?

In our HPH group we were discussing how sometimes friends or even family can get tired of us who have had children pass still being depressed or still mourning.  They want us to get back into the swing of things, to return to normal, to be the person we were. That’s perfectly natural for them to want it. It’s something that we can’t give. 

My friends who are 8, 10, 30 years into this tell me that there will be joy again. Some say there will be unspeakable joy.  I can’t say definitively that will not happen. I can say it won’t happy any time soon.  I know that I am forever changed.  I used the word depressed in a recent post.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that word. I’m not a mental health professional.  The term depression has a particular clinical definition.  Doctors treat depression with therapy and drugs. The medical profession seems to think if they can just get your serotonin levels balanced out, you’ll be fine. This is based on the brain equals mind model of humanity. They think we are our brains. They see serotonin levels of depressed people being off and think that must be what is causing the mind to be depressed. Well, maybe it’s the other way around. I think the brain chemistry reflects what’s going on with the emotions.  I don’t know. I do know this. Zoloft/Paxil/whatever isn’t going to snap a grieving parent out of it. Grief is a unique type of depression.  And, how we experience grief is unique to each one of us.  I’m doing all I can to deal with this- exercise, prayer, meditation, talking to friends, journaling, etc.  But, there is no quick fix.

Someone recently told me she lost friends after her daughter transitioned.  Her friends got tired of her being in a funk. They couldn’t understand why she was still crying, months/years later.  You know what you do at that point?  You get new friends. No one wants to be around an Eeyore 24×7. No one wants to be brought down all the time. And, believe me, I get sick of saying I’m down or I’m struggling or I’m depressed, but if you ask me how I’m doing, you’re probably going to get the truth from me. If you know me, you shouldn’t expect anything less.  

I believe that I am right where I need to be. I am right where I should be on this part of my journey. All of the chaos, all of the emotions, all of the sadness, all of the pain, it’s all part of the way things are supposed to be. I accept that.  Life makes no sense looking forward, but when we look back we can see why things happened the way they happened.  I recently heard a woman share a dream she had where she was being shown her life by an elderly man.  Life, from this side, is like looking at the back of a tapestry, it’s often ugly and random, but when we see it from the other side, we can see the beauty, the purpose.  In her dream, she realized that everything that happened, happened for a reason. It was all perfect.  The chaos was perfect. She remarked that she wished she had known that while she was going through so she wouldn’t had to worry so much. The old man put his finger to her lips to shush her and said: “No, do not wish the worry away. Even the worry was perfect.”

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