Say it. Go ahead - say it. Depression. Take it in, ponder on the word and let it permeate the air. It's a rough road to travel, filled with potholes, hidden divots and obstacles. It's a condition which society isn't too keen on tackling or embracing.
Here I sit, reeling from the shocking news of Robin Williams' death from an apparent suicide. My gut is in turmoil and my head is spinning. The final curtain call for a man who spent his life making people laugh was not splendid. But behind the laughter is a nasty demon, twiddling his thumbs, plotting his line of attack.
Depression is real. It can sneak into a room; a slow, steady beam of darkness or it can charge forward like a bull in a china shop, breaking everything in its' sight. It does not discriminate. It does not recognize color, creed, age or sex. Medications can impede its' appetite, but in the dark recesses of the human spirit, depression hides, waiting for its' cue to reappear.
I speak from experience. Depression is part of my daily life. It has been an uninvited burden to my experience. Since childhood, I have had this nasty demon sitting beside me. Between addiction and depression, the road has been a challenge. With age has come the strength to battle the enemy; sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Thank God for anti-depressants.
So, are you wondering why I share this? Let's drop the bullshit and get to it. It seems as though no one wants to talk about the big white elephant in the room - shit, let's make the elephant neon pink with party streamers. Society will tweet, facebook and report to great lengths about Mr.Williams' condition. There will be appropriate discussions about suicide and depression. And then the demon will retreat to his hidden space; waiting for his next attack. The news will begin its' circle again. But society never wants to really get to the meat of the matter. There is NO cure for depression and addiction . We fight for cures for everything from cancer to AIDS; but the less "popular" diagnosis of depression is on the back burner.
My roller coaster ride has been thrilling. Jeez, is that the word I want to use? Intense. Yes, that's how I will define it. Intense. Extreme highs and lows, tears and laughter. So, there you have it. I battle with addiction to alcohol. I am very, very happy that I had my "come to Jesus" moment and whipped booze's rear end. Depression is another story. It's part of who Ann is. But, I feel blessed with the people in my life who encourage me, stand by my side and keep me centered. What a gift.
My hope is that society will take depression and addiction seriously. For every tweet or statement about Mr. Williams' sad exit, there are a thousand more people walking around contemplating suicide, looking through a window, staring at nothing and praying for help. What will happen to those people? We need to have compassion for those who suffer from the incurable disease of depression. I know it's a scary word; something we'd rather tuck away into a little space and forget about.
I implore those who are reading my blog today to take a moment to consider the people in their lives who might be suffering from depression. Don't be afraid to talk to those who suffer from depression or addiction. We are not pariahs. We are your mother, father, sister, brother, friend and even the stranger sitting next to you in Starbucks. We are the comedian who makes you laugh. We are the neighbor you wave to every morning. We are the teacher at school, the co-worker you share your weekend stories with.
We are Ann.
- My husband tells me I am a makebate. So, what's wrong with that? I love to write. I have 2 great kids and 1 grandson. I'd love to say I am "retired" but really, who retires from life? Shoot me a question, comment, rant or rave. They are all welcome here. Love dogs, my family, and most of all, debate. Pro NRA, conservative and a right wing lady.