In January of 2013 three of my four children began their slide into massive emotional melt downs. In March of 2013 my husband began taking anti-depressants after a lifetime of cyclical depression. That March was also the month where I had one of my kids diagnosed with three different mental health disorders. I helped the others as they slowly grieved and processed the things going on in their lives. I was pretty stable myself during that time, which I regard as an amazing gift because I am often plagued with unreasonable quantities of anxiety. I was stable, but stretched beyond my limits over and over again. My heart hurt every day because people I loved were suffering.
It is sixteen months, seven doctors of various specializations, and six prescriptions later. My heart no longer hurts and my beloved people have taken strength from their experiences to grow in amazing new ways.
Know this. Cling to it in the worst of times: It can get better. Suffering, even with depression or anxiety does not have to be permanent.
Know this also: use the good times to build strong foundations so that when the bad times come again, they do not destroy you. No life is filled only with good things.
When a high-profile person commits suicide, the internet fills with reactions. I react rather like a mouse in the grass when the shadow of a hawk passes by. I freeze and check, are my loved ones safe? Because that thing has pounced on us in the past. And I am certain in my bones that we’ll have to deal with it again. I can’t control depression, but there are hundreds of things we can be doing every day to make sure that we will be prepared for any attack that comes. This mouse is building a castle with armaments and supplies enough to withstand a siege. In this way it is like any other health issue, preventative maintenance is how to thrive long term.
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