Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Side Of Depression

A recent photo by Gary, I love that it is a picture of life sprouting from death.
 Ever since the Sandy Hook incident, I have been plagued on and off by sadness.  Some events, be it tragedy or celebration, have a large impact on me.  I guess this particular incident  brought up a lot.  How could it not?  Such mindless killing. Killing of our innocence.  Ugh.  AND this happens, all over our world, every day, in one form or another; wars, mindless crimes, insanity. . . you get my drift. 
 It's horrible.  Just horrible.  Why does our species do this to one another?

On another front, news of fellow bloggers losing their loved ones; one a 15 month old child lost to SIDS, another lost her father after losing her mother just three years before.  It makes me weep.  In so many ways I feel the pain of others.  Sometimes I try not feel it, but I always do.  I wouldn't be me if I didn't feel.  I am like a sponge, an empath.  It makes me who I am, sensitive Jessica, I've always been that way and I wouldn't change it for the world.   I'm me and with the capability to feel sadness, also comes the overwhelming joy of feeling so alive and happy.  I love living.

Lately, my challenge has been of a different sort, I have been living with a depressed husband.  After falling down in December and cracking a rib, he has since been changed.  I see him hurting, both inside and out.  The impact of the fall combined with the lack of mobility and the dark of winter has taken its toll.  It hurts to see him struggle and see his suffering. . . and also, to feel so helpless at the same time.  What can I do?  Nothing.   Nothing accept take care of myself and my children and try my best to keep my heart open and hope that he heals, which he is, in his own time, which is not necessarily my time.  

Have you ever lived with somebody that has struggled or been depressed for a long period of time?  Imagining how he must be feeling actually scares me, if this side of depression is difficult, it must be a thousand times worse for him.   It's only been 3 months, which is not very long in the scheme of things, but when somebody you love is having a hard time, if you let it, a day can feel like a week or a week can feel like a month.  I find myself frustrated at my helplessness, I just want his suffering to be gone, as if I could wish it away or something.  Not so.  Presence is key to remaining at peace, that and acceptance.  I am powerless over my husbands depression and somehow realizing that is my first step to my own sanity.

I know people go up and down in life.  After my Mom died my head was a mess for quite some time.  My husband was very understanding and gave me all the space I needed to be "crazy".  But even during that time I felt amazing connection, light and growth in my spirit.  I never truly felt depressed, just grief.  

Maybe I struggle with my husbands depression the way I do because I have trouble understanding it.  I try my hardest, but at times, I find myself taking things personally and reacting negatively instead of taking needed space or even just a deep breath.  Sometimes all it takes is that, just a single breath, to bring me back to my center.  Why then is it so hard for me to remember that when I am triggered?  

Hurt brings up so many questions for me.  It always has.  Be it my own hurt or somebody else's.  I guess it makes sense, when I am happy, I am more present, I don't question things as much.  When I am sad, I search more.  When things like Sandy Hook happen, I ask"Why?".  Sometimes when the feeling gets to intense, I switch to fight of flight mode, as if I could put off these hard feelings by running away or standing up to it.  It's not so.

Lately, unfortunately, I find myself fighting.  Trying to control a situation that I have no control of!  Like as if by some magic, if I say or do the right thing I might be able to change things.  No, it doesn't work.  I am finally learning that.  Depression is depression and nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can snap anybody else out of their hole but themselves.  The best thing you can do for the depressed is to show them that you love them, no matter what.  You love them as they are, happy or sad, and especially when they are sad.  I believe true love is unconditional.

Right now, what is important to me is the basics; food and sleep, compassion towards my loved ones, to not take things personally, to take care of MYSELF, to be firm about my own boundaries and, as I said, above all, keep my heart open.  

In my sadder moments I am reminded of one of my most favorite songs sung by the beautiful Ms. Nina Simone, Everything Must Change . . . open your heart and listen my friends, her words are beautiful and true and if you're like me, they will make you cry.  xoxo


  1. Such a beautiful post. You are a true 'empath,' which makes you so special. You're amazing, girl.

  2. Thanks Rish, it takes one to know one. xoxo Love you!