Memories, anniversaries, and depression


Today would have been my parents’ 58th wedding anniversary had my mom not died of cancer in 2003. It hurts a little to think of that. I would have loved to see how my parents celebrated it. They’d be inching closer to their 60th anniversary and I’m sure they’d be discussing what they wanted to do for it.

This Halloween is my 14th wedding anniversary. I’m excited for that. I’ve been with my husband for 17 years and married for 14. We’ve been through a lot together. There have been some times where the big D word was discussed, but we worked through it. We still have our bad days, but I think every married couple has those.

I’ve been thinking a lot of those things my mom has missed in my life, and how different things might have turned out if she’d lived. I might not have lost my kids if she’d been alive. Even if I had, she would have been right there to take them so I could still see them even if I couldn’t be their mom. My mom, after she got treated for her bipolar, was my champion. She stood up for me when my siblings treated me like shit. She defended my choice when it came to marrying my husband. She dismissed my siblings’ dire prediction that we wouldn’t make it to our fifth wedding anniversary. She was there on my wedding day and was one of our witnesses. She was thrilled with my first pregnancy and tried to hold on until my daughter was born. She lost that fight, but she still tried.

Moving to the coast has reminded me of how much my mom loved the coast. My dad couldn’t live here. His health wouldn’t allow it. But mom would have been up here every summer for a few days at least to visit. Then again, I don’t know if we’d have moved up here with the kids. We certainly wouldn’t be in the house we’re in with them because there wouldn’t have been any room for them. There’s just enough room for all of us who are living here now.

My memories are feeding into my depression and making things hard for me. I try to pull myself out by diverting my thoughts, changing what I’m focusing on, looking at other things, and trying to do something to distract myself. It doesn’t always work and I find myself fighting to keep out of the death spiral I get into when my depression gets really bad. So far I’ve managed to prevent it from getting too bad but there is the specter of it getting that way.

I don’t always know what to do, but I’m going to keep writing, keep reading, keep taking walks, keep tending the animals. I’m going to keep talking to my husband, keep cooking, keep blogging. I’m going to try to do the things I enjoy and not let my depression rule my life. Sometimes that’s impossible because my bipolar is the cause of my depression. But those days where I am the cause of my depression I will do my best to snap myself out of it.


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