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!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life is Strange. Life is Good.

Sometimes it is the mistakes and misfortunes of others which remind us how good our life currently is. Whether it's the relapse of a fellow alcoholic, or as I found out today, potential bone cancer in a friend's 7-year-old canine companion, observing others work through their difficulties nudges me into an attitude of gratitude. Life is weird that way.

Life lessons come from strange and unexpected places sometimes. As long as I remain open and willing to learn, the Big Book of AA promises, "We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us." That promise has certainly been realized in my life. I am grateful for that.

Observing others, and reflecting on these past 10-12 years, highlights how much opportunity to grow I've been given. And I have grown...boy, have I grown! Oddly enough, and I've spoken about this before, much of my growth has come as a direct result of having depression and being an alcoholic. I'm grateful for the growth.

Of course I had opportunities to grow earlier in life, pre-depression and pre-alcoholism, but apparently I was too thick to notice. I know I was unwilling to learn! Perhaps I needed the stronger motivation, and I certainly received it. I never thought I'd be grateful to be an alcoholic or to have depression, but the misfortunes of others remind me things could be worse.

In the past, things have been worse for me, too. But today I have a good life, and I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for my journey through depression and alcoholism.

I've received many gifts as a result of these illnesses. I've crossed paths with and come to know many wonderful people. I've reestablished loving relationships with family, especially my mother. I've regained my competitive running. I've learned the tools to deal with "situations which used to baffle" me. I've raised a loving canine companion and despite his painful loss, I'm in the process of raising another. I've developed a relationship with a caring man. And I've returned to working in a profession I love. I have food on my table and heat in my house. Life is good. Thanks for the reminders, God.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

This is a beautiful and hopeful post! I agree that we can learn from watching others and from looking at our own lives and our journey. I'm glad that life is good.

Anonymous said...

God bless you, Etta. Your blog posts give me a lot of hope.

ReinaBorinquena said...

I am so glad I found you! I also was diagnosed with MDD and to add insult to injury, PTSD. It has profoundly changed me. I have found that writing is just what the therapist ordered. I'm slowly getting better and am relieved to see someone with similar problems is making it work for them. I plan to follow you on RSS. Feel free to check out my blog also. I tackle the hard stuff, including MDD and PTSD. Manifold blessings to you.
Emiliana Martin
Boricua Confidential,