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Cheryl's Room
posted on January 12th, 2014 under Etc..., Random Musings, Uncategorized

There is a secret society that many people do not know exists.  The society is so secret that although its membership is vast, few of its members even know other members.  Those who are not members may not know about the society and if they do, they may not take it seriously.  The society is very inclusive.  Its members are from all genders, races, nations, religions, sexual orientations, and political parties.

What is this huge secret society?  It is the society of those suffering, yes, suffering, from the illness, yes, illness, of depression.

Yesterday someone on facebook posted a link to a list of 20 guidelines for a productive life.  One of them stated harshly “Don’t be a sissy.”  It went on to say that this was especially important for women.  If you were anxious, afraid, or feeling hopeless, you needed to change your life.  Anxiety.  Feelings of hopelessness.   Symptoms of depression.  Having these feelings does not mean that you are weak, or a “sissy.” You may not be able to just change your life.  You may need professional medical assistance and you should not be ashamed to seek it.

But seeking treatment is often regarded as a frivolous luxury.  There are countless pictures of breathtaking mountain views, cute kittens and adorable babies, suggestions of hiking, recommendations of  wonderful movies, all posted with the caption “Cheaper than therapy.”  These posts are well-meaning suggestions for finding joy, but the message also is, you don’t need to spend money on therapy.  There are free pleasures that are just as effective.  Except they aren’t.

Seeking treatment also results in your having to answer yes to questions of whether you have ever been treated for depression on life insurance applications.  It means that because of atrocious acts committed by an extremely small percentage of the society, many will find you suspicious and want you to be registered like sex offenders on a list to be used for background checks for applications for some professions. It means bearing the label of crazy, instead of survivor.  So the society remains secret.  After all, it’s just all in our heads.


posted on January 2nd, 2014 under Random Musings

2013 was a very tough year for me, no question about it. My year started with whooping cough which commenced on the day after Christmas. From that I learned: 1) Childhood vaccinations for pertussis don’t last through adulthood. 2) Whooping cough is called the one hundred day cough. By mid-April I began to feel better, but three months of the year were gone. My year ended with surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. In between the illness and surgery, the job I’d had and liked for almost two years was eliminated. I found no other job in the area where I lived, so I accepted a transfer to Indianapolis and moved from the state where I lived most of my life, and the house in which grew up.

When I learned that my year was going to end with surgery, I posted to Facebook that my year had started with whooping cough and ended with surgery. “2014 has to be better,” I concluded. But 2014 is starting with my arm in a sling for another four weeks. I spent my year-end break recuperating instead of doing the unpacking I had planned. I am starting the new year with over half of my house still in boxes. 2014 has not started out to be the better year that I had planned. Would I have to wait until 2015 to have that better year?

No, 2013 was not a good year, but it was also not a bad year. It was a year. Life is like that. Bad and good are mixed together and no year is ever the year that we had planned. I went though a lot in 2013, but at the end of the year, I had survived it all. My wonderful husband was there for me during all the illnesses and changes. During the months when I moved to Indiana before him he drove back and forth from New Jersey to Indiana, getting me settled in my temporary home, house-hunting with me, and getting the New Jersey house ready for sale. His daughter, Tanya, made many trips for Massachusetts to New Jersey to make repairs on our house and then spent her own year-end break in Indiana to help my husband with the unpacking. But for her and her daughter Theodora’s help, we wouldn’t have a livable house so soon. I started and ended 2013 with loving family by my side.

Will 2014 be a good or bad year? It will be a year mixed with good and bad, with challenges and accomplishments. What matters is that I will again survive it all, with the love and support of family and friends. Ahead of me are 365 unknown days to experience. Each day will be an adventure, which I think is much better than a year which is entirely predictable. Starting the year with my arm in a sling will make it more challenging, but not necessarily worse. After all, my surgery did allow me to get out of unpacking. Nothing is all bad or good.

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Quote of the Moment:

“You become what you think about all day long.”
by Ralph Waldo Emerson