The Devastation of Depression and the Gift of Gratitude

The last few days have been pretty awesome for me, and lots of cool things are happening. I can’t wait to share all of that with you very soon. Then of course, yesterday the world was rocked by the loss of an American comedic icon, and nothing will ever be the same. It may sound silly, (it feels a little silly,) being so affected by this death because yeah, I didn’t know Robin Williams- you didn’t know Robin Williams, heck, if you’re like hubs, you didn’t even prefer Robin Williams’ brand of compulsive, spewing at the mouth comedy. But the truth is, if you are ages 24-85, Robin Williams likely gave you some moment of laughter or joy through his movies, television, or stand-up. Whether we should feel it or not is irrelevant. I feel the loss, but also the tragedy of it all.

On Sunday, I was in good head space. I woke up for the day feeling great, albeit tired and with a large to do list. Everything was amplified for me- the sun, the sky, the Sunday morning conversation with my family, the support and love I was feeling from hubs, everything. I just felt so good. And I felt so, so endlessly grateful. I think it really started full force on Saturday, when I was able to awaken, jump in the car, and have brunch with one of my dearest friends. That’s something I’ve longed to do for years, but distance made it impossible. My day continued on (a beautifully summer one, I might add,) and I spent time in a beer garden with another group of my closest. Again, although it was the most regular of activities for people to participate in over the weekend, for me, it was pinch-yourself fantastic. I felt thankful not only to be participating, but to have the awareness to continue to be grateful for it, and not take it for granted.

That all seeped into Sunday, and the world felt alive. I wonder if there are people who feel this way every day? I envy them. It was a good feeling, and one I noticed so much because I haven’t always been on this side of gratitude. I’ve actually been working pretty hard at it since my return home. In the last few years, I’ve struggled not only with appreciating the little things in life, but with Depression.

I may have touched on this topic here and there throughout my time with The Daily Sampler, but generally, Depression is a topic I feel is kind of personal. Also, no one wants to hear about it, right? Oh, you’re sad? Well so is everyone else. You’re not special. Let’s talk about fashion and cocktails. That’s what the voice in my head has always told me, and unfortunately I think a lot of people have to listen to that same voice. That voice skews reality, and it takes the light away.

I have been diagnosed with clinical depression in my life, years ago. Remember, I am 30. I just turned 30, and have already been diagnosed with clinical depression. That feels so crazy to me, but it’s what happened. There was also a relatively short period of time when I was on antidepressants, and I made that decision because I was desperate for some breathing room. There was no room in my mind for any light, and for those 5 months a few years ago, antidepressants gave me a little light back. I found after a while they weren’t for me, and I believe there are healthier alternatives for me personally, but I also believe that for some people, they are the difference between light or dark, maybe even life or death.

I am sharing this with you now not to jump on the Depression bandwagon, but because I still feel- no, I KNOW that Depression is an illness with a stigma, one that I believe isn’t handled in the same way that say Cancer or Diabetes is. If someone has one of those diseases, all stops are pulled out to get them a cure, to manage their life, and to give them support. If someone is depressed, people say, “well, everyone gets depressed, it’s a part of life.” It isn’t just a part of life, it is an illness that needs to be given the same attention and recognition that other illnesses are, and people fighting through Depression need more than what we are giving them.

We may never know exactly what caused Robin Williams to feel he had no light, and end his talented life too soon. My heart breaks when I read how the entire world loved him so. Truly, I did not see one negative comment about his work, his generosity, or his legacy. I wish he could have known and felt how much love there was for him, and that love could have been enough. If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, I hope that we can reach out to people, no matter who they are, what they struggle with, or how they’re handling it. One kind word, one smile, one compliment, one hug can literally change a person’s life.

#happythoughts <3
#happythoughts ❤

2 thoughts on “The Devastation of Depression and the Gift of Gratitude

  1. v8mile says:

    Thanks a lot for writing about this— I’ve struggled with depression as well, and it’s a topic I feel reluctant to write about. While it is very personal, there is such a stigma attached to depression. You’ve encouraged me to think about writing about my own experiences, as I’ve found that sharing stories, and finding I am not alone with dealing with depression, is very healing.

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