Jan. 17: Michelle Obama. This is one of my favorite photos of Mrs. Obama. She has been a constant source of inspiration to me over the past eight years. I am thankful for her impact on me, as well as on all the little brown girls across the country and around the world. Happy birthday, FLOTUS! (White House photo taken by Amanda Lucidon)
Jan. 13: Clean drinking water. I’ve been fighting some serious congestion for weeks now. Everyone says, “Drink lots and lots of water!”. As I sit here staring at this glass of water that I know I need to drink, but don’t feel like drinking, I’m thinking about the millions of people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. I am truly thankful to be able to go to the refrigerator and get a glass of water.
At some point in the past year or so, I shared the above quotation on my Facebook page. At the time I posted it, I completely believed it to be true. You see, I had this gratitude thing down pat. If I just focused on all the things in my life I have to be thankful for, it didn’t leave space or energy to be bothered by the negative. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When depression hits it is relentless. It doesn’t care about the rose-colored glasses you have on. It completely ignores the shift in mindset that you worked so hard to create. It couldn’t care less about the cute lists you made of all the things you are thankful for. It comes in like a monster from a dark sci-fi novel and with one fell swoop, knocks you to the bottom of a deep, dark, rocky cavern. It laughs at you as you attempt to climb towards the light, only to be smacked down again. You learn that it’s just easier to exist in the darkness and so that’s what you do.
If you are one of the lucky ones, you go about your daily life like nothing is wrong. Somehow you manage to get out of bed every morning and fool everyone into believing that you are okay. Life goes on around you but you are stuck in a repetitive rut and no matter how hard you try, you can’t climb out of that dark cavern. Sadly, no one around you can tell that there is something wrong.
If you aren’t so lucky, you become paralyzed down in that cavern. Life goes on around you and no one can figure out why you are standing still. Maybe the whispers are true; you’re just lazy or scared or weak. Maybe you’ve just given up. It certainly feels that way, so maybe it’s true.
Clinical depression is completely different from the feeling of depression you had when you were 16 and the love of your life cheats on you. Clinical depression is an illness that can’t be cured simply by focusing on positive things. If anything in the post sounds familiar to you, if you or someone you know is in the bottom of that deep, dark, rocky cavern, it’s time to get help. It’s time to find the light.
This was written in response to today’s blog prompt, “Hopeful”.
I took my nephew to the movies today. He’s three and this was his first movie theater experience. We went to see “The Secret Life of Pets” and it was the perfect first movie; no sad, dramatic deaths, nothing too scary, and at least one poop joke. He loved it. It was so much fun to watch him enjoying something he’s never experienced before. I’m so very thankful that my sister let me have this first with him. I hope he remebers today. I know I’ll never forget it.
I normally spend the majority of my Saturdays at home and I think that Matilda likes it that way. Today, I was in and out a few times and was gone most of the day. I came home once to change clothes and stepped in a big load of crap. I’m not sure if she was mad at me or if her stomach was upset, but either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Tildy pooped in the house. As I looked down at her and began to fuss, I paused and realized that of all the places in the house she could’ve chosen, she chose to handle her business in the bathroom, on the bathmat, right in front of the toilet. All I had to do was pick up the rug, dump her business in the toilet, and throw the mat in the washer.
Today, I represented a client with a pretty severe case of COPD. He struggled to muster enough air to respond to the court’s questions with a simple yes or no. If you didn’t know what was wrong, you would initially think he had a studdering problem. As to protect him from embarrassment, I answered for him so he wouldn’t have to speak.
When it was his turn to address the court, it took him awhile to be able to have the breath to speak, but when he did, he delivered the two most heartbreaking sentences. “*gasp, gasp* I’ve been a drug *gasp* addict all my life. *gasp, gasp* I’m sorry.”
I’m so thankful I can breathe.