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, December 14, 2010

Doing too well?

Someone with significant depression told me today that they couldn't relate to my blog because I was doing too well. That made me sad. I'm still sad about it. And I must confess, it is something I've worried about recently. What do I do?

I started this blog to support people with depression and to educate others about depression. When I started this blog I wasn't doing all that well. I was occasionally well, but my depression was ever present. As the years passed, the balance shifted. Now I'm well more often than not. My episodes into the black hole continue, but they are shorter-lived and less frequent. Make no mistake, I'm thrilled about that. It's what I wanted. It's what I worked hard to achieve. And while I'm certain I can still use this blog to educate, can I offer support when those in the black hole can't relate?

I'm sad that those I intend to assist cannot relate to my story, but I understand. I remember being there. I know the only books about depression I ever read are the ones that tell it like it is--the ones that explore the depths, describe their experiences within the black hole, and detail the darkness. I get it. It makes me sad that some can't draw inspiration from where I'm at now, but I totally get it.

Those of you who've been around awhile know I've explored, described and detailed those dark experiences in this blog, but many of those posts are long in the past. One would have to search to find them, but they are here. My hope is writing about how I'm doing now, which is well more often than not, would inspire and/or give hope to some sufferers. But again, I understand how it may have the opposite effect as well. I've been there!

I'm not sure what to do about this. Recently, I contemplated discontinuing my blog for this very reason, but I got a lot of feedback to keep going. I want to help. I want to be a safe haven for fellow sufferers of this illness. I'm sad this person isn't reading, but I'm not sure there's anything I can do.

Realistically, I know I can't be everything for everyone. Realistically, this blog helps me as much or more than it helps you. I don't think it's a coincidence that three years after starting here, I'm doing very well. I thought again today about discontinuing my writing, but I'm going to continue. Many of you have told me I'm making a difference, and I appreciate that feedback. Thank you. I hope I can continue to provide something for someone.


Maggie Beth said...

Etta - No matter what you do - do it for YOU. I have often heard blogging is free therapy - there is a very serious truth in that and I have experienced it personally through my own blogging.

There is something healing about "telling someone" - ANYONE - even if you are not positive 'ANYONE' is out there.

From a blogger point of view I make this suggestion - pull out some of your writings from the 'early times' from the 'darekest hours' when you were very depressed - place links to them on the front page of your blog so people can get there quickly. Name them creative things such as "Where I was" - "The Worst of Times", "When I crashed", "Why I crashed", etc.

But whatever you do Etta - don't stop blogging - because I would miss you. (WINK) Maggie Beth

Borderline Lil said...

I think this is something a lot of us in recovery wonder about, whether we are reaching those truly in need. It's wonderful to be well, but is it less...interesting? I agree with you Etta that writing is for US as well as others we hope to reach and help. Maybe we are inspiring to those people yet to reach a point of recovery? I hope so. You certainly inspire me, anyway. Thank you.

AmbyLand said...

I am such a weirdo I know, a complete stranger and I keep commenting on your blog. But your blog inspired me. I am getting treatment for depression I have suffered from since I was 12(I am 28)and knowing that people can get better helped a lot.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog because I am tryint to fight depression (actually dysthymia) by running. I read it regularly, never comment (until today). I am happy you are doing well, it motivated me to do my best to do well, too.

etta said...

Thank you, Maggie Beth, Borderline Lil, Ambyland and Anonymous! Thank you.

I am humbled by your words. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.


Kelly said...

I found your blog when I was really down. I made a point to go back and read some of your older posts. Just because you were feeling better did not turn me off to your blog. It gave me something to hope for. I hope you do what you want because, in the end, this is your blog.

Divas said...

I think it's a testament to the fact that depression can be overcome - maybe not permanently, maybe it's always a process, but it is possible to triumph like you have.

AdmGln said...

Hi - I just started blogging about my depression (, and I admit, this is the first time I have read your blog, but I am encouraged by your post, thinking that maybe someday I'll be able to look back and see things the same way you do now. So keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Birthday Girl! You hit the nail on the head when you said " i can't be everything for everyone"... so very true. Recovery is a lifetime and you express that so well in your blog. Keep writing. You started this for you and along the way you have reached many people and they in turn have helped you too.
Hope you have a wonderful day! sm

Donz Natalia said...

I don't know about other people but being a teenager with depression, I found that after I read your blog you have given me something that I think most depressed people want- evidence that there can be a way out of the whirlpool that is depression. I like your honesty. You don't pretend that everything is perfect and I think that is why a lot of people can relate to your blog. I don't know you from a bar of soap but after reading your blog I can see that you have depression BUT you are not just another face of depression. Well done and thank you.