Happy New Year, Depression, and Updates

I don’t know how I let so much time pass without writing anything! I’m sure the reason is simply lack of interest. It’s not that I’m not interested in writing for my blog. When I do write it makes me feel better. I love writing things down if for nothing else than to have something to come back to down the road and be able to see exactly what I was thinking at any given time. My blog I kept during my years in nursing school is one of my most cherished possessions. I go back and look at it from time to time and it always brings back memories I had long forgotten, while always providing me with a good laugh. Some of the things I wrote about…and some of the “hardships” I complained about while I was in nursing school are absolutely laughable! I’ve changed a lot since those days…

Anyway, since about 4 months into my spine injury journey, I’ve been struggling with depression. It’s pretty obvious why I’m depressed, I think. My whole world has been turned upside down and shaken until every ounce of familiarity, comfort, and happiness fell out and shattered into a thousand pieces. Life as I knew it before my injury is one hundred percent different. Not being able to work with patients and do what I love has literally sucked the life out of me. Once several months had passed and it became apparent that I would never again be able to live my life in the way I was accustomed to, I lost my will to go on. I’m not saying I was suicidal, but I certainly wasn’t interested in life anymore. They say that everything happens for a reason and that even our hardest times are just preparing us for bigger and better things…but here I am eight months later and literally NOTHING good has come out of it. It sounds terrible and I know it’s not the appropriate viewpoint, but I literally hate my life right now. And, yes, I know there are many, many people in this world far worse off than I am…and yes, I’m thankful my problems aren’t as bad as they COULD be. I’ve been lectured, scolded, and shouted at plenty of times so I don’t need anyone else telling me my point of view is screwed up. Believe me, I KNOW it is. Depression makes you view things differently, though. It alters your thinking and makes you feel like there is nothing good in your life and makes you feel like there’s no point in waiting and hoping for better things to come your way because, as far as you’re concerned, those better things aren’t coming. Is it the right way to think? No, but it’s how I feel.

Depression is a real medical condition and those who suffer from it may know the right way to feel, but they physically and mentally aren’t able to feel that way even if we desperately want to. When you’re depressed, you lose interest in things you once loved, you feel like your whole life is a mistake. You can point your finger in their face and scold them all day about their crappy outlook on life, but it won’t change the fact that they are depressed. It won’t help them, and if it does anything it only makes them feel worse. Something I’ve realized and had to tell several people is that if you’ve never suffered from true, honest-to-God depression (not just a temporary sense of “the blues”) then you have no idea what a depressed person feels and you should never claim that you do. The best thing anyone can do for someone who is depressed is be supportive. You can tell them you’re worried about them–they know they have a problem–and above all, tell them you’re there for them if they need you. Offer to do what you can to help if you’re truly interested and truly care whether or not they get better. The worst thing you can do is get angry at them and tell them how much they suck then proceed to tell them in no uncertain terms that you hate them and are not interested in whether or not they are depressed (as one of my friends did a while back). It’ll only make them more depressed, and possibly make you a reason they ended it all. I’m not that depressed, thank God, but it isn’t getting better. I hope to overcome this disgusting depression soon. I’m sick of it.

Anyway, since I’m depressed, I’m doing everything I can to beat it. I’m getting out more–as much as I’m physically able. I’m seeing  a doctor. There isn’t much else I’m able to do. Hopefully I’ll lick it soon. I also spent a week with my best friend and her family and it was so nice. I enjoyed seeing her and my godchildren. They did a lot to lift my spirits. So much so, I didn’t want to come home! My back wasn’t ready for all the kid-chasing and kid-lifting…I’m in the most pain I’ve been in since my last surgery. It’s bad. I’m definitely paying for it, but it was worth every bit of the pain. My friend has been so amazing through all of this. She is supportive and always there to talk when I need her. She was entirely too good to me while I was visiting. She paid for my meals, took me on a day trip and paid for everything, gave me gifts, and we had many long talks. It was the best medicine I could have received. We vowed to visit each other more, as she lives 150 miles away. She’s even asking around to help me possibly find a job where she lives so I can be closer to her. While I’m not overly excited about the prospect of moving to a small southern town (I’m a city girl through and through), part of me thinks it would be nice to live a good distance from my parents, while still close enough to visit whenever I want, and live really close to her. She moved almost four years ago and I still miss seeing her all the time.

While I still have a long way to go, I know the depression will eventually get better. I’ve always struggled with it as many of my relatives have, but this is the worst it’s been. I’ve never experienced such a major life change before, so it’s no wonder it got so bad. My hope is that I’ll finally beat this and begin finding joy in my writing again. Even as I write this blog entry I see how much I’ve changed. I used to spend hours writing every day, paying special attention to wording, grammar, and punctuation. I’d read and re-write things multiple times until they were just right. Now I’m just rambling on not giving anything a second look. I’m sure there are countless grammatical and punctuation errors. The fact that I honestly don’t care about those errors proves I have a problem. Wish me luck, I’m ready to be happy again.

Happy new year to all. May this be a year of success and happiness for everyone.

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