I am back, but things are probably going to be a bit sporadic around here for the next week. Today I'll be down south, at the hospital with my Mom while my Dad is in surgery. If any of you are awake and would be so kind as to send good thoughts, he goes under the knife around 7:00 am EST.
The very kind comments, e-mails, cards and messages you all have sent have me going through Kleenex like you wouldn't believe. I don't deserve them, or you. Thank you.
After my ten day tantrum, I figured I'd gotten the blues out of my system, but there's always one more zinger waiting in the wings. Tonight my daughter's hamster died (peacefully, in his sleep, of old age.) My daughter cried a bit, but we talked and she seems to be accepting it okay. Our sweetie pie was a lovely pet, playful and gentle, and never bit anyone during his long life, which I think entitles him to go straight to Hamster Heaven. I'm going to miss the little guy.
#11 on my list yesterday should have been something about dealing with the blues, only I haven't come up with a nifty coping strategy. Depression is tough. It's that uninvited house guest you dread. It shows up at the most inconvenient time, and totally railroads your schedule. It's always laying around doing nothing, but it won't let you work. If you try to ignore it, it makes a fuss. It wants you to cater to it endlessly, it never wants to leave. Even when you kick it out, it knows where you live.
I promised myself I'd write a bit about this from a personal angle without making the usual jokes, because I don't think depression is funny at all. I try to work through my bouts by staying busy and letting go of the bad stuff. Spending time with my family helps a lot, too. In the past, when things have gotten pretty dark, I avoided everyone and retreated into myself. Being depressed always diminishes and embarrasses me; I feel small and alone. Who wants their family and friends to see them like that? When I did climb out, I'd go on and pretend like it never happened: Who, me, depressed? I was just meditating.
You keep doing that, though, and you run the risk of falling into the pit, not being able to climb out, and really needing help -- but you've hidden it so well that no one knows you're even in there.
Anyway, I'll be posting from my folks' house while I'm down there, God and Mom's computer willing, and I'll hopefully have good news the next time I sign on. If I'm absent, don't worry. I'm out of the pits now, and fighting the good fight again.