Dsc04766frm25I read a beautiful post today about being honest. Not just telling the truth, but getting down to the nitty gritty honesty about ourselves. Telling the real story. The yucky parts. I don’t like doing that.

It’s way easier to stick with the happies, the upbeat, the ac-cent-u-ating of the positive. Chin up, little chickadee! Right?

My chin isn’t up today. Actually it’s far from up. Depression is rearing its filthy head and choking the joy right out.

Anyone who has dealt with depression can attest that it isn’t merely about “being sad”. If that’s all it is, then no worries, because I have plenty in my life all around me to make me happy. This isn’t about happiness at all. It’s about illness when the body shuts down and won’t function correctly. Simply put, depression sucks.

I’ve never experienced depression in quite the same way I experienced it at age 34 when it first hit. I thought I was dying of some dread disease. No, I didn’t think it. I knew it. My first full-blown panic attack came on like a heart attack and I asked my husband to take me to the ER. He turned white. I’m not chummy with doctors in general, for reasons I won’t delve into here. Fortunately, the panic subsided and the pain went away and I got feeling back in my left arm enough to believe I wasn’t at death’s door, and we stayed home. I spent the next two weeks so sick I could barely stand.

All that to say this isn’t like that. Once I healed from that initial “hit”, I researched and learned how to take better care of myself and thwart anxiety and the destructive effects of adrenal exhaustion (a far more accurate name for depression).

Now, on the occasion that I feel so deeply “down”, I recognize it as a nudge that I need to practice self-care. The very term is an oxymoron to me, so it takes some effort. The mind in depression doesn’t think rationally, particularly when it involves something that doesn’t come easy in the best of times. Like self-care.

The almost irresistible temptation is to crawl into a hole (proverbial, but a real one would do fine) and remove the problem of me for everyone around me until I can (as my grandma always said) “straighten up and fly right”. In the Hole the Enemy lies can echo all around me and not affect anyone but me.

So here’s my honesty, and the lie echoing right now is that nobody will care to read it anyway, so I just shrug and click “Publish” and go on with my day.

{Hang with me, please. I’ll pull out soon and be good as new.}

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