Hi, I’m Demi and I have depression. I’m lucky in that I am on medication for this illness and can function as a normal person most of the time. But when I face challenges like a dear friend being murdered or my dog being taken away suddenly and much too young by cancer, I fall apart. And that’s when I seek help.
Luckily my doctor understands about losing a pet since he has gone through that not so long ago. He told me that I should give myself at least 6 months, but losing Tilda on top of all the other issues in my life, he did refer me to a psychiatrist to have the meds I am taking reviewed and maybe changed. I’ve been on these same drugs for at least 12 years, so it really is time to have an evaluation. Just like having a checkup for your diet, or your exercise plan or your teeth, checking up on your meds is important.
When I am in the midst of a depression episode, I cling to my pictures and memories of my dog and cry. I walk my new dog and think of Tilda and cry. I look at all the housework and laundry I need to do and cry. I think about my unwritten stories and cry. I should buy stock in facial tissue companies.
My husband is very understanding, because he, too, hurts over losing Tilda. I’m happy to say that he is head over heels in love with Astrid, our Maltipoo we adopted on September 1. I love her too, deeply, but she’s a new chapter, as it were. I wasn’t ready to end the preceding chapter. I want the impossible, I want my Tilda back. So I am hoping the psychiatrist will know how to direct me away from those thoughts. I also look at Astrid and think I should have waited to find another terrier. It’s entirely possible that would have been a worse idea than adopting Astrid.
As a person who needs to lose weight, depression makes it okay for me to eat comfort foods. Carbs and sweets are my favorite. And as a writer, depression makes it difficult for me to sit down and write. Really difficult. In some small measure, because Tilda would curl up next to me while I wrote. Astrid prefers to hang out in the living room.
I urge you as writers or as readers, to find a group of people to whom you can talk about any issues you have. Even just feeling a little down can snowball if you don’t take care of it right away. Also if you are not someone who had depression, help out those of us who do. Share information about mental illnesses and how deadly the condition can be. I lost an aunt to suicide, and a cousin-in-law, as well as celebrities that I dearly loved. We need to bring more attention to the existence of this painful burden.
Tomorrow, October 1st, begins Mental Illness Awareness Week. Reach out for help or reach out to help. Stand up for yourself and those who need a hand. We don’t need to do any of this alone. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.