Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome as it turns an article into a discussion.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
For a lot of people, probably half this country, this is a depressing week with a new president being inaugurated along with a whole new plan for government. Americans vote every four years but we don't necessarily get the choices we want. Life is a lot that way.
Some say that it's never what happens but how we react to it. That depends on what you are experiencing as to how you see that.
We had a tragedy up our gravel road this week. We saw an ambulance and police car between our gate and the highway. Police cars don't usually come out here when it's just a death (I know about that from experience). We watched from the house for a long time to be sure there wasn't anything happening there that required our help. It was very quiet. The ambulance did not leave quickly, which didn't sound good. We knew there was a young man up the hill who had a serious illness, one that you are born with. We did not go out because it seemed invasive of another family's privacy. It turned out it was a suicide-- an ultimate result of severe depression but also of catastrophic illness.
People always say-- depression is temporary-- hold on and it will be better. That is certainly true of our political environment. However bad you think things will be, they can be overturned with another election. Catastrophic illnesses aren't like that. Some of them will never be better. I don't condemn anyone who opts to end their life prematurely-- when it's going to end anyway.
For the rest of us, when the dark days get to us, when we don't like how our family is treating us, when we see bad times ahead politically, depression is a temporary thing. There will be more light. We will find those who will give us comfort. Whatever happens in the world, times do change.
Find a good book to read. Watch a film. Listen to uplifting music. Take a walk in the woods or along a stream. Spend some time at the beach (something in the air there is known for helping depression). Soak in your bath for 20 minutes with a handful of Epsom salts; 10 drops of lavender oil; and 1/2 C of baking soda.
I don't believe depression is always a spiritual issue, as I remember times in my life where I went to my doctor who gave me a prescription for Prozac as a solution to a chemical imbalance. I took it for a season; and when things got better and I no longer needed it, I tapered off it.
With severe depression talking to someone medically about it is important and then letting go and releasing the expectations that are making us unhappy-- looking for new options. They are out there-- maybe closer than we think.