Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthday's and Depression


Many people find birthday's depressing - I for one have never put much stock in them - age is but a number. You are only as old as you tell yourself you are!!

I had planned a string of posts this week, life has finally slowed to an almost manageable pace and I am finding time to write. Finally!

Ah, the best laid plans as they say. My old friend depression came to visit Monday and I’ve had the week from hell! It began Monday with the heartbreaking realization that it had been 2 years since my brother-in-law passed away. The sadness, though not really spoken was evident. My girls went about their day, but I knew what was on their minds and in their hearts. They missed their Uncle Todd.

We got through Monday, Tuesday the sun was shining and we were ready to start again. I spent some time at our new house, setting up my “office” and enjoying the quiet. The evening was quiet, I have been tired lately – but chalked it up to some mild depression. The quiet, however, would not last and my world would turn upside down.

Wednesday morning, my alarm went off and I turned on the TV to watch the news before I woke my girls up. Amidst the usual political crap was the report of a 17 yo killed in a car accident Tuesday night? Since it was in the area I hoped it was no one we knew. It went to the back of my mind and the morning went on. My youngest was off to school; my 17yo was not feeling well and stayed in bed. As I prepared to call the school about her absence I heard a most horrible scream from her room………….’No, you’re lying.” I knew at that moment, the girl mentioned on the news was her best friend. “J.C.’ was gone.

Since then the days have been a whirlwind of tears, candlelight vigils, and a trip to the accident site with 15 kids. Questions we can’t answer. As co-president of the girl’s soccer club, our phones and email have been going non-stop. Getting jersey's, gathering our girls, etc.

The death of this young girl sent me into yet another tailspin. I cried for her life, for the girl I knew. I cried for my daughters and their friends for the loss. I cried for lives cut short – I wasn’t sure I would make it through, my tears flowed with them – as I held many of these girls as they cried, hit walls, collapsed in exhaustion and unexplainable sorrow. My own anger hurt was taken out on others and with my pillow as I wanted nothing more than to sleep.

My friend depression returned to me once more – only it was for a different reason, I no longer felt my birthday was important. You see 2 years ago, my brother-in-law passed away 5 days before my 40th birthday, the funeral being 2 days before. We celebrated with the numerous cakes, pies and food we still had piled up. This year, 3 days before my birthday, we lost a wonderful young girl. The next couple days will be spent with the soccer team and how we will help them. We have already retired her jersey, the girls have many ideas. The funeral is Sunday; I can’t even imagine what that evening will be like. In the midst of it, my birthday is tomorrow.

We will also be moving to our new house. My daughter’s new bedroom was going to be painted by her and “J.C.” The mere idea now is heartbreaking.

In my heart I know we will be OK, my ever present depression will pass and our memories will bring us peace in time.

I just wish………..

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