For days I have debated writing this story but after reading of others in a similar situation I decided exposing something I deal with may help someone else.
I suffer from depression. Some studies claim this is a brain disorder, others claim it is a reaction to stress and other factors beyond our control. It really is not important what causes it; what is important is dealing with it.
Last night is a good example. I had a pleasant day, was catching up on emails and various sites I participate in, public television was airing an oldies/doo-wop music special (yes, my era) and all felt okay. Then, a veil of darkness draped itself over me and my mood changed. I even posted a status update about it.
There have been numerous counseling sessions and medications but they are not a permanent barrier tough enough to always keep the brightness shining. One thing that has been shown to help is exercise so last night I began several vigorous exercises and followed with a long, hot shower. That helped, but after a short while I only wanted to go to bed, read a while and shut out the world.
Normally, as some of you know, I am an upbeat, positive person who tries very hard to lift up others and encourage them to do their best every day. Once in a while a SP friend will write and ask why I haven't answered their recent blogs. I reply and tell them that sometimes I just need time to myself. Later, though, that day or another, I will read and reply to 40 or more blogs.
Last night I tried to backtrack and determine what led to that veil dropping. Nothing is ever decided in a vacuum. One feeling or thought leads to another and another until a lever is pulled and moods change. Often, too, long-buried feelings surface and cause us to examine our lives and our decisions. It is a complicated situation.
What I ask of you is if you know someone who seems to be down, who seems to change moods for no apparent reason, talk to them, see if they need to see their doctor about their changing moods. It's likely they do not know themselves why they are happy one minute and not the next.
Mine largely began in 2006 when losing three relatives in three months a year and a half earlier hit me. That was followed by a diagnosis of diabetes soon after. One of the valuable aspects of SparkPeople is the information passed along on various illnesses and diseases via articles, message boards and other avenues. I have learned so much from this site and from the members who have also shared their situations. The support I have received here has been a true blessing.
I remain positive about life. As my weight has finally dropped, blood sugar readings have dropped also. Other medical indicators have posted terrific numbers. I am grateful to a health insurance nurse for referring me to SparkPeople. My time here has not been wasted. I have learned how to adapt to my problems and to those of others. I continue to enjoy the friends I have met here, from Finland to Canada to Australia, and from California to Virginia. What a group of motivating people you all are.
For more information about depression, please check the site for the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov/health/
Thank you for reading this far. I hope I have explained why it sometimes takes me a while to catch up with everyone or to blog.
Life can be good if we have faith and exude love, friendship and compassion, if we help others whenever we can and if we believe there is a greater purpose in store for each of us if we only open our minds and our hearts.
We can succeed if we believe in ourselves and never, ever, give up.