So recently I was reading one of my favorite bloggers James Edgar Skye (check out the blog post that inspired this https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72345277/posts/1639102953 ) Were he talked about how the change in the season effects his depression. He put out a call to action, “Will I struggle? Of course, its life we are talking about, so it happens. I would like to hear others share their stories with Seasonal Affective Disorder or a seasonal element to your diagnosis.”
I felt inspired so this is my Season blog…
So I will start with the best time of the year.. Thanksgiving, this is my favorite time the year. The air is filled with the wonderful smells of the one time of the year people get together as family and ‘try’ to make homemade food. Now for me we don’t just try, we excel. My grandmother and I spend the whole week together the first two day to clean the second two to cook. We make everything (I literally mean everything!) from scratch. All gluten free, dairy free, and low sugar. We make 8 pumpkin pies, 4 apple, 2 cherry, and 1 mincemeat. Bread from scratch that we then dry out and use for stuffing, two 20+lbs turkeys, 20lbs of mashed potatoes, coleslaw salad, overnight salad and so much more.
I am a big foodie, food makes me happy and making food brings me peace and joy. Every year since I can remember my grandmother and I have always done this. The family already tells me that when grandma can’t host and cook anymore it is my responsibility. The air finally begins to cool here in AZ (it’s true because today is October 24th and it reached 100) We play outside on thanksgiving with all the cousins in shorts and t-shirts and if someone comes in town from back east they jump in the pool. Thanksgiving has been the time were it doesn’t matter what you have done, you are always family and you can see everyone and enjoy a meal together.
Two years ago this was thrown into chaos. I walked up to my grandmothers house as usually to help start making pies. My uncle was sitting on the back porch were he normally spent his day. I said hi, and he looked at me but didn’t say anything. I went into the house not thinking anything about it. Started making pies with my grandma. It is my grandpa’s tradition to go out shopping while we cook for any last minute items like ice cream (He is Irish) He went outside and came right back in telling my grandma that my uncle was not responding to him, he didn’t think he was breathing. We rushed outside and my grandma slapped his face telling him to wake up and then realizing something was wrong she began CPR. My other aunt and uncle live next door so my grandpa called them over to help and I dialed 911. He had a heart attack. While on the phone with 911 I took over the CPR process as I was certified to do so. In my head the commercial was playing.. if you have to give someone CPR do it to the beat of “Staying Alive”. The dispatcher had me count out loud as I continued with CPR, my glasses had fallen off my face by then all the family around praying and talking to him telling him to breath. Finally we could hear the sirens in the distance. The paramedics arrived and used a machine to shock him they then took him to the hospital were they pronounced him dead.
Many thoughts go through my mind… If only I had paid more attention when I said good morning. If only I was stronger, if only I know more medical information. But the truth is it was not my fault. He died from a heart attack induced from an overdose of drugs. I did everything I could, he was family and I love him but he is gone.
To me death is not a big deal, it is not something I fear, at times it is something I look forward to. I was emotional because I then had to call some of the family to let them know what was happening and I know it was breaking their hearts. I stayed at my grandmas and continued baking the pies and preparing the sides as the rest of the family went to the hospital to say goodbye. Everyone cried and hugged me and said thank you for all you did to help. It meant the world to his brothers and sisters my aunt and uncles. This could have ruined our whole thanksgiving and turned it from the best time of the year to the worst memory.
Instead it is a time to remembrance, a time to love all of the family, a time to come together. If is still my favorite time of the year and now more than ever we make sure to love each other, to lift each other up, to encourage one another.
Then there is Christmas and it is like round two. Family, food, and friends. There can be ups and downs here but it typically is still a wonderful time of the year filled with music in my heart and ears.
After the new years is spring which can be ok, it is usually busy. But I hit the deepest depths of disappear when summer hits. Here in Arizona the weather reaches 122F So I spend all my days and all my time indoors. The less I need to be outside the more I take advantage of it. My boss had even noticed this as work and now comes by my desk at least once and hour and tells me to go for a walk. I begin to feel isolated and depressed the hotter it gets. I become stagnate, I stop answering peoples messages and I make every excuse I can to be alone. There is no good reason for this. The only thing that has ever changed that in the past is when I travel. If I go to another country for a month in the summer (preferably southern hemisphere where it is winter). But after traveling depression hits me twice as hard as soon as I return home. Until Thanksgiving comes around again.
That is in part why I started this blog, I feel like it’s still summer the weather sure seems to think so. I have been going through my own waves of depression which I always just hid deep down in my heart. Visit a suicide chat room once in a while because it helps to know I am not alone in feeling disappear, I could never see myself committing suicide as there is so much I want to see in the world but with depression that is always a thought in the back of my mind (if I could just go to sleep and stay there life would be peaceful).
What pushed me to the choice to start this blog is that even in my time of darkness. My best friend was going through it on a whole another level. She began cutting again and was ready to give up on life. Then she reached out. She got help, she sought medical advice. In that moment I realized my own disappear was keeping me from being a positive influence in her life and having accountability. As I sat in the car talking with her all I could think was, how can I help her if I can’t even talk about my own troubles. Thus the discussion began.
Let’s Talk Depression – It is not a dirty word.