Depression?

It’s amazing what you can read on the internet.

Just this morning I came across the following article:

10 Ways to Stay Depression Free

The article has some very good information about how to have a healthy lifestyle, but I was amazed by this blanket (and inaccurate) statement:

Depression is a lifelong, chronic condition, and it needs to be maintained like any other disease. 

I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. I’ve spent a lot of time working with people who are depressed. In many, if not most of the cases the depression is actually a strange sort of gift. It’s a warning light to let them know that something is wrong in their lives. It may be a relationship that needs addressing. Or it may be time to pursue that dream that they’ve put off for too long.

The depression may be a signal that it’s time to change an internal dialogue that keeps a person beaten down and feeling bad about themselves. It maybe time to give up the old family rules and roles that dictated who succeeded and who failed.

Depression may point out that how you’re living your life doesn’t match up to who and what you want to be. It may be the cry from your body and soul that it’s time to take care of yourself.

Depression may also be the indicator that it’s time to heal very old wounds. It may be time to finally grieve that loss you’ve not been able to acknowledge, much less grieve. It maybe time to deal with the fact that not only was your childhood not “not that bad,” there were times that were just plain abusive. Many times I see that depression in an adult is actually the cry of a hurt and scared child who has been living in that adult body.

Here’s the danger in promoting depression simply as “a chronic disease like diabetes.” When we think of depression in that way, we don’t take the time and do the work to hear what it is actually saying. We may band-aid the pain but never address the cause. I encourage you to follow the lifestyle tips in the article, but not because  you’re trying to keep a terrible disease at bay. Do them because you’re trying  to live the healthiest and best life possible.

When you change how you think about such a thing, it’s amazing how much difference it makes.

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(Not quite) Ready for My Closeup

So two mornings a week I’m helping with a training program sponsored by our local YMCA and run by Fleet Feet sports. I’ve helped with this program before, helping people move from being inactive to completing a 5K race, and I love it.

This time is a little different. One difference is that we’re meeting in the morning. Another difference is that one day a week, the TV cameras are there. Morning show personalities from our local TV station are participating in a weight loss challenge, and one of the things that they’re doing is participating in our program.

On the day of our initial information meeting, I came dressed in my running clothes. Before the meeting I’d been across the street, doing speed work on the track. I was sweaty. My hair, dirty before the run, now had the benefit of being frizzy and sweat soaked as well.

After the presentation ended a couple of us were talking together about how much we did not want to be on TV. The words were no more out of our mouths before a microphone (and camera) was in my face. “Would you share your story?” the reporter asked.

I took comfort in the hope that they would not use it. But after a day or two I started getting messages on my Facebook wall: “Saw you on TV!”

Sheesh…

My first thought was to be embarrassed. I knew I looked a fright (and it wasn’t even Halloween yet!) But then I kept thinking…

When a football player is interviewed after a game, the last thing on his mind is how his hair looks. I’ve never known of a player who ducked an interview because he hadn’t washed his hair yet. It doesn’t matter. It’s not the point.

We who are women are often focused on the wrong things. We focus on all that is wrong with our bodies instead of all that is right. How we look is always the trump card that carries more weight (no pun intended) than everything else. A few years ago I could not move my left leg, and now I run. And I was worried about my hair?

I realized that I just needed to get over it. When I run or work out, my hair does get messed up. And it doesn’t matter. The point isn’t how good I look. The point is profound gratitude that I can move, that I can run. My body is doing what it’s supposed to do.

If I’m booked for a TV interview, I’ll do the hair and make-up routine. But if you catch me on the run, you’re going to catch me as I am. And that’s perfectly fine by me.