Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
If I have a cold, you'll probably see me sneezing, blowing my nose, coughing . . . all that gross stuff.
When I broke my back, I wore a back brace and used a walker.
But I have other problems -- invisible illnesses.
It seems as if more and more often now we admit we're depressed. Were as many people depressed in the past, but they didn't talk about it because they didn't know what it was or because it was unacceptable? Do we bring it up now because medications are available that might help us?
I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books when I was growing up. When Laura's sister Mary lost her sight, the Ingalls didn't go for group therapy. They didn't take antidepressants. They got on with their lives because they had no other choice. But in later years, someone -- it might have been Laura herself -- said that when Mary went blind it was such a disappointment to her parents that they were never the same again -- all their hopes were ruined.
Sounds as if they could have used some help.
Sometimes I'm so depressed that it becomes physically disabling. I feel as if a great weight is pressing me down, pushing me not to move, not to do anything. If you look at me, you won't see the weight, but I feel it.
And then there's post-traumatic stress disorder, which D. (Marvelous Men) had as a result of going into combat in Italy during World War II. I won't compare my life to World War II, but if you raise your hand suddenly near me, I'll cringe in terror and shy away from you.
I'm not the person anymore who was the strong one when my husband was sick. I'm so worn out my strength has dwindled; I can't cope with disappointments or fear.
Some days are better than others. Some days I go out and walk the dogs and buy my groceries and actually laugh at a funny movie. I had actually been feeling exceptionally good recently.
But then I experienced a huge letdown.
Some days I stay in my jammies and don't bother to get dressed and don't leave the house.
You can't see that I'm sick, but I am.
Infinities of love,
P.S. I go to a doctor and take my medication, but nothing is perfect. I do pretty well until some event upsets me and I crumble.