Wednesday, October 12, 2011

May I Introduce You To My Friend . . .

Depression? Depression, these are my letter-friends. They help me get through your infrequent visits; they hang around long after you have swept through my life, leaving sadness and darkness in your wake. They hang in here with me, so guess what. I don't run away and hide any more. I no longer have to make excuses for the damage you leave behind--that's written all over my body and face. So, go ahead and get gone!

Sadness often disguises itself as depression, so I'm not always sure who's who, or what's what, but today I know I have been down in the valley for a reason. O-Bird's father passed on. I didn't get to see her today; her parents live in South Africa. She sent me an e-mail on Monday. I have been fighting whatever has been tugging at my tail feathers since then, never thinking her father's death would affect me.

I mean, my dad has been dead since . . . I don't know when he passed. See? I think that's part of what's making me sadder. I wasn't at his funeral. I heard his last breath though--felt it brush against my cheek. A phone call minutes later confirmed his passing. I asked Uncle Kelly, "He's dead, isn't he? When did he did? What time?" It was the time the microwave's clock showed when I jumped up from the chair to look. Because I knew.

I think my sadness over O-Bird's loss has more to do with my own past. And maybe I envy her a bit. I wouldn't fly to Dallas from the Carolinas, yet she dropped everything to fly from Houston to SA.


Patty understands the part that's coming up. Maybe some of you will as well, but in a nut shell . . . I have a past history of pain caused by a Christmas doll. My sister and I didn't get identical dolls for the first time in our young lives. The differences in toys that year still make it a little hard for me to swallow the lump that always tries to rise up. 

Bookmark this part. We'll be back later . . . And, yes, there's mail involved.

When ever O-Bird goes home for a long vacation, I panic. Not sure how I will make it without her, she reminds me, "I'm only an e-mail away." Nothing bad ever happens while she is away, but still . . . And, when she returns, safe and sound, and full of stories about her home and childhood, I wish she could have stayed longer. She brings back photographs of things like elephants. Imagine it: O-Bird among the elephants! I love the green SA of her images.  

And she brings dolls. 
She brings me a doll. 

I have to go now 'cause I cannot hold back the tears. 


  1. ** hugs ** I'm sharing the black cloud with you today.

  2. Bev, I just hugged you so hard I am willing to hope you felt it all the way from Katy. Thanks for holding hands with me. Hope your dark cloud is merely a sad shadow that lifts soon.

    Be well.

  3. I am sending you big hugs though these internet waves. If I were there I would sit and hold your hand and comfort you in any way I could. It's cliche but true, we must no darkness and sad times to really see how good and happy life can be. (But that still doesn't make the darkness any lighter.)

  4. I will hug you now and send you more for later... I understand what you mean about not always being able to discern between sadness and depression, probably because depression often stows away in the recesses of sadness. I pray that a fresh breeze of peace blows through your heart and leave in its wake clear skies!

  5. Dear Pen Thief, thank you. Hugs aren't easy for me because I don't always like being touched, although it's gotten easier and better the last few years. Now I can think of hugs and offer them spontaneously. Hugs are good when they're from good people. So thanks, again.

    I hate feeling this way. I wish I could always tell the difference between simple sadness because of something like loss and grief, and the onset of sadness that's a prelude to the hollow hole of depression that swallows souls. It's horrible being happy one day and down the next.

    It's true about darkness teaching about its opposite. And depression has been my muse. It's helped me as an artist. Sometimes I wonder about the price. I do know this though: My joy equals and often surpasses my sorrow and suffering. And I take heart in meeting so many of you who suffer too, or have loved ones who do. Shame doesn't have to be a part of all this. It's an illness just like diabetes, shingles, arthritis . . . I love you, Misty. You are so young for someone so wise and understanding.

    elle. Bless you, and thanks for your earlier letter. I've answered. At least I think I have. I compose letters when I'm doing other things. Sometimes I forget if I've actually written them. If I were a professor I'd be the absent minded type. :)

    You know exactly what I mean about not knowing the difference. Yet, no matter how hard I try not to fret, or fear, I can't control my body's reflexes and reactions. It's those darn brain chemicals!

    Thanks for your hugs. They're accepted with gratitude. Sincerely. Real hugs are easier; 99% of the time they're spontaneous on my part. That's progress. :)

    I hope I can finish telling you all about the dolls tomorrow. They are so special. The postcard of the little girl eating the orange broke my heart wide open. Mail is an amazing thing.

    Love, peace, gratitude, and hugs,


    P.S. I am so glad I don't know you face-to-face, 'cause if I did, I don't think I could ever show my face again. Why? It's easier to come out when no one can see. You're as special as if you're my neighbors.

    Underneath my outside face
    There's another face that none can see.
    A little less smiley (on occasion),
    A lot more sure and secure,
    Yet, it's a whole lot more like me.

    (Adapted from the truth by Shel Silverstein.)


    Thanks for allowing me to be me.

  6. Limner,

    Gentle hugs from afar. I am sorry to hear you are feeling blue. I know better than some how these dark clouds can blot out the sun.

    With warmth and affection,


  7. Thank you, Anna. I've spent hours outside today. In fact I'm just back. I had to get out or suffocate. I parked for a while and just sat in the sun reading the letter from today's mail The sun, fresh air, and music make me feel good. And drowsy. :) Empathy is like balm. I'm sorry you ride the Dark Train too, but it helps to hear from fellow passengers.

    I wonder how long the line would be if everyone who suffers from clinical depression joined hands?