Depression Marathon Blog

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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!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom

It's my mom's 65th birthday today. How strange! I never imagined my mom being 65. I used to think 65 was soooo old. But she doesn't seem soooo old. Even though she doesn't exercise enough, or eat exactly the best food, she's still quite active and younger than her years. I am so grateful for that.

Before I got depression and before I got sober, I took my mother for granted. We had a strained relationship, and the majority, if not all, of the strain came from my end. She could do little right. I wasn't always friendly or kind. I expected a lot but was rarely happy with what I got. To her credit, she persevered despite my attitude and disrespect.

Then I got sick. My life fell apart. I lost everything. She was there. For years, she was there. I didn't necessarily let her in, but she remained by my side.

Then I tried to secretly drink myself to death. I found my way to AA. I got sober. I apologized. I opened up a crack. The waters grew warmer, in part because she never left.

In the past few years, we've grown closer because I've relaxed. I've allowed her in. I've accepted her presence, her assistance, and her company with gratitude and appreciation. I love her, though I still struggle telling her so. I don't know what that's all about, but I do. I'm so grateful she's in my life.

I'm especially grateful that my mom stuck with me, and continues to stand by me, despite my inadequacies and faults. I'm lucky. She gives without expectation. She takes care of me when I'm unable to care for myself. She cheers me on. Thank you, Mom. I love you. Happy Birthday.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

A wonderful tribute to you mom. She sounds wonderful! I hope she enjoys a happy birthday.

Borderline Lil said...

A beautiful post Etta and something I can relate to. Moms rule!

michael platania said...

My mother passed away last August, two weeks after her 80th birthday. She was determined to make it to 80, and she did. Today would be her 81st birthday. I miss her, she was also someone always there for me, and there have been times in the past week I needed that one person on my side. But I have also discovered I am stronger now than ever before, and I can not only survive, but thrive. Life is good.