Alrighty, then. Get comfy ’cause this is gonna’ be a longie.
I’ve been following the work of Therese J. Borchard for the past few months. Therese has a blog on beliefnet entitled, Beyond Blue: A spiritual journey to mental health. She’s also an author and her newest work, Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes, will be available online and at bookstores shortly.
I was perusing her blog several weeks ago and found a really cool post, “Am I Depressed or Just Deep?” I’m telling you, it nailed me right between the baby-blues (actually blue-greens…go with me here, okay?). Well, let’s talk about it.
Therese begins the post by sharing the obsession of her adolescent and teen years. You guessed it. “Am I depressed or just deep?” And she writes so poignantly…
“Now I look back with tenderness to the hurting girl I was and wished somebody had been able to recognize that I was very depressed.”
Does that ring as true with you as it still does with me? Lord only knows how many times I’ve pondered the past aching to know how my circumstances may have been different had my anxiety and mood issues been caught and treated when I was a boy.
I mean, I can recall feeling such raw emotional pain and anxiety as early as age five. And I have very vivid memories of that first horrifying clap of derealization that turned my world cold and dark when I was nine.
Well, Therese goes on to say she came to know her emotional baseline (dang, that sounds too clinical) was simply a part of who she was. She accepted it as a portion of what made her special. Indeed, she considered her temperament a gift. And I’m so pleased for Therese, because my take-away from the post was she came to this insight during those distressful adolescent and teen years. Sadly, I didn’t come to know and embrace that from which I was suffering until some twenty-five years later.
Therese ties a bow on her post by writing…
“Kramer’s (Brown University clinical professor of psychiatry, Peter Kramer) words are consoling to a depressive who spends 90 percent of her energy a day combating thoughts saying she is depressed because she lacks the stamina to be optimistic. In fact, the first time I read Kramer, I experienced profound relief. However, I still maintain that some of my depth caused by depression is a good thing. Not on the days where I’m in excruciating pain, of course. But should I have been one of those nine-year-olds who got excited about which color ribbon I could use to make my barrettes and wasted her quarters on Pacman … well, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.”
What can I say? This is great depth, perspective, and courage. Come on, you know it is. And that’s because you know just how she feels.
Well, then. Click here and read the post. And then explore Therese’s blog. It’s well worth your time.
Oh, and will you let us know what you think?