...quiet, about a lot of things...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's the Happiest Time of the Year

This picture was taken the evening of a doctors appointment. One of my daughters is struggling. I have passed my depressive spirit on to her. I watched as the joy drained out of her in the last year.

Enough was enough. I took her to the doctor, and gave them my permission to help her. The tears of relief spilled down her oh so young cheeks.

I feel profoundly ashamed. I have burdened her with my dark side. With my unshakable melancholy. With my slightly eschew point of view. I feel like I have betrayed her.

The good thing, and there is always a good thing, is that I sucked it up and got her help. I chose to look her in the eye and admit that something was not right. I chose to drag her from her bed. I helped her.. help herself. I believe I was just her age the first time I retreated into the black of my room for months. No one seemed to notice. As mad as she is at me, she at least knows I noticed.

As that same layer of shame began to fall on her shoulders...(I mean how many times have we told our kids how "Blessed" they are..how privileged...how spoiled (sigh))..I told her I was proud that she decided to take control of her life. I told her now she was becoming a woman. I hope that this choice to fight for herself, will help her speak up in the future. Ask for birth control when she needs it..Insist on condoms..and say No when no is what she means...in all kinds of situations.

Not that taking a pill makes you better; but telling the truth does. And trying to dig out; does. Asking for..and accepting help, certainly does.

So, is this above picture a lie? A delusion? I don't want to think so. I want to think of it as a vision...a diffused glow of what we almost are..perhaps what we really are, when we slow down, drop our masks...and believe.

Perhaps this is the Christmas portrait of the family we truly are, when we all decide to see ourselves for who we really are. Right now. Right this moment.
posted by wendy at 10:38 AM


This post brings tears to my eyes. The struggle of depression, or any other "so-called psychiatric disorder" is so terribly painful, but it is made only worse by the shame and guilt you talk about here. Now, I understand the poem above even more fully, making it even more moving and complex.

It takes a lot to do what you did for your daughter; and courage on her part to accept it. I wish you warmly on your journey now...

12/12/07, 12:02 PM  

Kudos to you for your honesty, Wendy.

Wishing you and your daughter all the best as you work through it.


12/12/07, 7:10 PM  

Loving her enough to get her help proves without a shadow of a doubt that you haven't failed her in the slightest.

12/12/07, 7:17 PM  

Good families aren't perfect - just willing to work with what they've got and love each other deeply. I see no failing here.

12/13/07, 8:22 AM  

Ditto! I second everything that has already been said. And, I love the picture!

12/13/07, 2:20 PM  

I've struggled with depression since my teen years but didn't get help until I was 40.

In the beginning it was usually short lived and often was seasonal. I knew if I hung on, I'd get through it. There was always a light at the end of the tunnel. And then the tunnel got longer, and the light dimmer and the journey more than I could take. Still I trudged on in denial.

A friend inspired me to see a doctor. Making that appointment took ALL I HAD. I wept afterwards. The best and worst part of the story? Only 25 mg/day of a popular antidepressant made an AMAZING and COMPLETE difference in my life. It brought me back to my best self.

The price? I really can't get off it. Have tried and gone for months off only to have to go back on. So I'm in for the long haul--but still, glad there's a treatment that works for me.

12/13/07, 2:30 PM  

Do not be ashamed!
From a girl whose mother ripped up the desperately needed script for antidepressants before the car had even pulled out of the doctors lot- I applaud you.
Give your daughter an extra tight squeeze from all of your blogger buddies.

12/16/07, 2:52 PM  

Bless you both! It takes a strong person to help and be helped! Best of luck! You can do it!!

1/14/08, 1:16 PM  

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