How wonderful to live in a perfect world, surrounded by beauty, caressed by blue skies and warm sunshine.
These were happy times a few years ago when I made this hanging basket for a friend.
And a chapter of my life as a photographer-having a love for nature and capturing people being natural.
But we all know life has many shades, and just as there is day, night follows.
“Don’t open a can of worms” was the tone after someone asked for help in a virtual group of writers that I belong to.
A woman asked for help in creating a fictional character who experiences severe depression and reaches a pivotal point. She said she knew little about depression, therefore, asked for insight. She said she was afraid of offending anyone who had suffered with depression. “Any advice would be greatly appreciated.” Read on to see some of the comments:
“You need to do some research.” (said by several)
“That is too sensitive of a subject to broach so you should find something else.”
“The person who is depressed just needs to have their thyroid and ferritin levels checked.” (three people agreed)
“I would avoid the subject altogether.” In other words, “do not open this can of worms!”
I have to say I was stunned! She asked for help and I had something firsthand to offer. This was my reply:
"Imagine the worst day of your life and multiply it by 365 days! That is what it was like until I eventually got through it."
“ I know how it feels to feel alone and hopeless. Slept little. But when I did, had nightmares. Had no appetite and the smell of food was sickening. There is a pervasive feeling that no one understands. It was a time of darkness thinking the sun would never shine again. It went on forever—months into over a year. Some just looked at me. I saw a therapist who scribbled on her notepads while I talked. We made little eye contact, but I noticed her often looking at the clock. So textbook. I was put on medications which worsened the situation. I was a zombie. I did not laugh nor did I cry—for one solid year.”
But for the few people I have met in my lifetime who have said, “I can’t relate to depression. I choose happiness end of story” … I can only say:
I had an in-law tell me to “Nike Up!..."Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!" ... Yet ironically this same person recently told me she has been dealing with depression and was put on ‘mood elevators.’ Also keeps tranquilizers on hand. I refrained from telling her to “Nike Up!”
Were it not for my husband's undying love, I shudder to think where I would be today. I doubt I would be here sparking!
Depression and anything considered "mental disorders" unfortunately still remains a stigma for many. It is safe to tell someone that you just got over a bad cold, suffer with allergies, but depression has a face all its own.
What can we do to help others and ease their pain? I think the first thing is to be aware; make note of changes in someone you know. Withdrawal is a classic sign. Be willing to listen. I try to keep in mind: I have not walked in their shoes—judgment is not mine to make.
"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" --Peter Drucker
I found this to be an extraordinary story of deep love and devotion between a man and his chocolate Labrador, named Denver. The author experienced the lengths and depths of undying love, but sadly was plummeted to the depths of despair at Denver's sudden passing. In his beloved pets honor, he made the trek of the Viking way-186 miles. I am fortunate to have gotten to know this wonderful gentleman from UK and had some meaningful chats.
With spring soon to come, I wish you blue skies and sunshine.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. I am ever thankful for the spark community where no one should suffer 'in silence' but find a listening ear--full of support and kindness. I have found it here and made some wonderful friends!