(This blog tells my family's story. To see more, click "blog" at the top of this webpage.)
Dear Readers: This post is not typical. This is the second (and last) segment about my struggle with depression in Massachusetts. Future posts share amazing adventures. Thanks for following! -Cindy ❤
Five years had passed since Beth’s spinal cord injury and I had so much to be thankful for. I felt loved. I usually focused on gratitude and had no reason to feel despair. But when I gradually discontinued a medication, there it was, unbidden.
With this sudden new depression, life became overwhelming.
I thought about Beth not needing me in Cambridge for the next school year. The idea of her at Harvard and me in Ohio triggered old fears of health risks. How could I be in another state? What about pneumonia? What if a car hit her when she crossed the congested streets? What if she picked up a superbug virus from her chair wheels and antibiotics failed?
With worst-case scenarios swarming in my head, I rode the T back to Harvard Square and hurried to Beth’s car, relieved not to see anyone I knew on the way. I drove to Fresh Pond in western Cambridge to one of the cheapest hotels in the area. Still expensive at eighty dollars a night.
In my hotel room, sleep eluded me. With a searing headache, I thought about going to a hospital, but I wanted to hide this from my family. Beth was across town, but I refused to cry on her shoulder. I especially needed to call John.
However, I was determined not to worry the people I loved the most.
I dozed toward morning. It was my day off from the personal care assistant job, thankfully. In the light of day, it seemed obvious that body chemistry and chronic pain played big roles in my depression. Thoroughly humbled, I called my Ohio doctor’s office for a new Zoloft prescription. I braced myself for uncomfortable hours and days until the medicine helped again.
I called off work at the Coop and stayed in the hotel room with the television and lights off until checkout time. I couldn’t justify another expensive hotel night, but after I checked out, I had nowhere to go. My friend Bonnie worked second shift and I couldn’t move in to her apartment until 9:30 p.m.
Too restless and teary to sit or read or write, I wandered through the afternoon and evening. No longer in denial about depression, and stuck with a dependency to Zoloft. At the same time, I made peace with the fact that I needed medicine to function.
I rewarded myself for not spending another night in a hotel by purchasing a new Life is Good shirt with a peace sign. The company’s philanthropy resonated with me, as well as their motto.
“Life is not perfect. Life is not easy. Life is Good.” Amen.
Next: Home Sweet Home!
A mom with a story
to share about injuries that never heal and fortunate accidents. About guilt, disability, perspectives, and unexpected adventure.