I had a date with my husband for the first time in FOREVER last night. It was the perfect storm. All the kids were out and about and taken care of. Well, John was laid up in bed after having his wisdom teeth taken out:)
We didn’t go far; just down to Billy’s. We wanted to stay close in case John needed us. It wasn’t fancy either. It was just us. There are times when Dennis and I are the only ones at home but that is not always conducive to really sitting down and talking about what is going on. There is always a pile of laundry or bills to pay or sales calls to make. Their is too much clutter at home to clear your head and talk about us. These are the times when we reconnect, recharge our marriage and find out something new about each other. I wish we could do it more often but in reality, with four children, we just don’t have that time. We have to wait for the perfect storm:)
In the past week, I have had lunch with my high school English teacher whom I have not seen since 1985 and with my cousin who is like a sister to me. My sisters don’t live in town and my cousin and I are just as close if not closer. I used to be her nanny. Her youngest child’s diaper was the first one Dennis ever changed:) I also got to spend some time with one of my oldest BFFs doing flowers for the church. This is the church in which my grandmother, mother and I were all married.
Between AWARE, my church and my friends and family, I feel like I am truly able to give back now. When you are sick, be it physical or mental, your only option is to take from those who can give it to you. When it is a physical illness, it is easier to take the help given to you. That is not the case when it is a mental illness. It is hard for people to understand why you can’t just go fold those clothes or make up the bed or unload the dishwasher. Those are easy things to do right? Why can’t you just do them? Because WE CAN’T. WE NEED HELP.
I still get depressed and manic. That is just a part of myself I have come to terms with. But I have tools to get better and I know when to ask for help before things get too bad. I am not cured. I am in remission. There is no guarantee that I may not have to be hospitalized again. You will know it when I do because I will share my journey with you. I have a new voice now. I have a new outlook and a new goal: to help you understand that DEPRESSION IS AN ILLNESS.
AWARE is out of the honeymoon phase now. The momentum of the tragedies has waned. The number of new members on the AWARE page has dwindled. BUT WE ARE NOT GIVING UP. We are in it for the long haul. We have some great things planned for the fall. If you have seen the comedian on Ted Talks who talks about his depression you are in for a treat. He has agreed to come speak in September. We need help though. We need you. We need you to help on a planning committee. We need help finding a venue and someone to sponsor that venue. Let us know if you want to help.
Being a Birmingham native and being gone for 10 years, I see things with a fresh eye. My experiences from my time away have pushed me to help this community make some changes. My English teacher laughed and said she may be embarrassed to be seen with me. I know I have ruffled some feathers but change doesn’t happen without growing pains. Every single person in the community if affected by mental illness and suicide. Don’t kid yourself. That mom next door who is perfectly made up each day and has her children dressed to the nines each day is absolutely miserable. I know because you have told me.
We need the city’s and school’s support. We don’t want them to cure depression or prevent suicide. We need them to work with us and let us use their venues and email lists. If they don’t I will be entering in every single contact I have from all 6 school’s directories myself. Anyone want to help?:)
A plethora of reasons exist as to why we moved back. One of the main ones is my illness. I needed to be near better hospitals and doctors. It has been a hard move on the children. I will not sugarcoat it. I second guess myself all the time whether this was a good idea or not. But I don’t think I would have been able to fight this illness had we not been able to make some changes. I know God had his hand in it. I know deep in my heart that this move will have a positive lasting impact on my family and this community. It already has. I have come full circle.
Enjoy this beautiful day.