Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

triumph here, frustration there

a long day.

actually thought of posting a picture today of my now 10-day-old clean clothes hanging on the drying racks in my living room. it's become a bit comical. but, my dishes are clean again today.

spent almost all day--during our mega-degree below zero, blizzard conditions--online learning. i would really like this site to be helpful to people. i would like to connect with others who are suffering, struggling, or battling with this illness. i'd like to educate the families, friends, and even professionals we surround ourselves with...or, more accurately, who surround us even when we could care less! i'd like to have a forum where people felt like someone was speaking their language, and at the same time not celebrating helplessness, victimization or negativity.

unfortunately, i spent 8 hours researching how to find "my market," and so far, the results are pretty disappointing. there may not be a market. my disappointment culminated when what appeared to be an organized, reputable, fairly popular depression forum hadn't had a post since 12-31-2007. the chat room was only slightly more active.
and that is the problem with this illness. we have depression!! we have an illness that makes it difficult to trust, share, connect, expend energy, risk, or even feel sometimes! so i found that there is space for what i want to provide, the trouble is, there appears to be few virtual souls to fill that space.

i actually think the souls and the need are there, but connecting people with mental illness is a dilemma. the bigger dilemma, based on my experience with depression, is how to keep people engaged once they're connected. maintaining breathy engagement is contradictory to depression's suffocating immobility. what to do? what to do?

i will keep brainstorming, researching and learning. i want to provide an informative service. if you are reading this, please help me out. any comments, suggestions, thoughts or ideas will be greatly appreciated. thanks.


Anonymous said...

Hi Etta,

I think you've more or less got this one figured out. Most people that don't have depression don't care about depression. Don't believe in depression. Those of us that do believe (know) are erratic. It's more socially acceptable to be a crack-head than to have depression. Who wants to cop to that?

IMHO you're doing an absolutely wonderful job with your story. Maybe, if you're so inclined, you can eventually move towards some sort of clearing house of links and tips about depression and of which your blog would only be a part. It's just going to take time.

I would love to help you fight the good fight but I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm so cynical and there's no doubt in my mind that money and power are the only things that matter in this country. Two things people with mental health issues normally don't have is money or power. A case in point -- Do you remember back in '02 or '03 Little Bush gave a big speech about overhauling mental healthcare in this country? It got some media play for a day or two. I think it was his wife's issue du jour. But I've never heard anything about it since.

This is turning into an epistle. At the very least you're connecting with individuals like me. Perhaps overtime, as our sphere's grow, we could have some small amount of influence. Wouldn't that be amazing?

etta said...

Thank you so much for the feedback! This is truly what I want to do with my life--educate, support, and make a difference! And yes, that would be amazing! It may be a big goal, but one step at a time and it can be achieved.