Making a Dent

Have you ever read a book and thought, “Wow, the author did not research that topic well at all!” It could be things that were left out, brushed over or pieces that never did add up. One subject where I feel like authors often don’t do research or show a lack of understanding and education is with mental illness. No matter what I’m reading, I feel like I can generally tell when an author has had experience with mental illness—whether their own or someone else close to them—or is well-educated in it and those who haven’t and aren’t. Those who aren’t often write in stigmas and stereotypes that can be false, can be hurtful and actively work against people who are trying to get help for mental illness.

Some examples include deeming any character with mental illness as “crazy” or stating that a character who is “crazy” must have mental illness. I’ve seen both of these in multiple books. Can you imagine how damaging it can be to someone who is struggling with mental illness to read a book where someone like them is described as “crazy” and written off because of it, or is considered the “bad guy” because of it?

Another example is the flippant way suicide is joked about or addressed. I know the pain and darkness that comes from getting to such a low place you feel your only option is to end it all. I know how it feels to tell yourself you are so worthless the world would be better off without you. Unless you have gone through that utter darkness and loneliness, have been close with someone who has or are a professional or have done plenty of research on it you probably shouldn’t be writing about it—just like I would never write a historical fiction based in a time period I’m unfamiliar with.

I was recently reading a book where mental illness was addressed in a way that felt like the author didn’t have experience with it and hasn’t done research on it. While I chose not to get offended (I’m sure the author didn’t realize what they were doing) and will continue reading books from this author because I really like them, I was saddened by it. It can be frustrating and disheartening to see just how many stigmas, stereotypes and lack of education are still around and being perpetuated in a variety of ways.

And that is why I keep writing here on my blog. As frustrating and disheartening as it was it also inspired me to keep writing, to keep trying. If I can make even a tiny dent in the wall of stereotypes, stigmas and lack of education, maybe it will make enough of a difference to one other person to make a dent, who will make a difference with one other person who will make a dent, and eventually we’ll have a domino effect that takes the wall down completely.


A Tale of Two Marriages

Quite some time ago I asked my husband if he’d write something for my blog. He asked if he could write about the difference between someone who takes steps to help with their mental health and someone who doesn’t. I thought it was a great idea. It took him a long time to finally write it and give it to me, in part, he said, because he felt like a hypocrite writing it because he had left his own depression and trauma unchecked and unhealed. He had purposefully ignored his own mental health, which has caused many difficulties, especially in the past few months—including losing his job and not being able to be in our home currently. He does see it now, and said he hopes he can take his own advice from here on out. I see him already taking his advice and taking many steps toward dealing with his mental health and trying to learn from and heal from immense trauma he’s gone through during childhood and adulthood. I appreciate him following through with writing this, as I appreciate the effort he is making right now.

“Do or do not, there is no try.” Many of us recognize those words spoken by the weird little Muppet, Yoda, in the popular Star Wars movies. The sentence expresses a concrete black-and-white view of an action; you either succeed or fail. Trying isn’t noteworthy, nor does trying, in itself, guarantee success. One is either able to do something or they aren’t, and that’s all that matters. The outcome of the success or failure yields entirely different results. Only the Do (success) or Do Not (failure) matters.

While I normally try not to give much validity to thinking in terms of black and white, there’s one area of my life where I wholeheartedly agree with the creepy little dude: marriage involving mental illness. In my experience, the Do or Do Not of seeking professional help and improvement in our mental health are all that matters and is the crux of a successful or failed marriage. Feel free to read the rest of this in the voice of Yoda if it helps.

In a study I read and verified by professional therapists, more than 70% of marriages include one or both spouses exhibiting one of the varied mental health concerns available in the “Life is Hard Supermarket” checkout lanes. Many include anxiety, depression or trauma while others include more destructive forms of mental illness such as Borderline, Narcissistic or Bipolar Personality Disorders. Not one to be left out of the fun (yes, I veil my emotions in sarcasm), my first marriage was to a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with me exhibiting Depression, Battered Spouse Syndrome and Addiction. I am now married to a woman who has been diagnosed with Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and also PTSD, while still maintaining my own perpetual subscriptions of Depression and Addiction. While I could write a whole other post (or novel) on just how my own mental illnesses affected my marriages, I would like to evaluate here how the outcomes of my two marriages were affected by spouses who chose differently when faced with the Do or Do Not options of seeking help and improvement in their mental health.

In 2009, after almost a decade of increasing strain in my first marriage, I reached a point of despair. I didn’t understand why I felt so badly about my marriage, and I struggled to understand what we were doing so wrong. My then wife, we’ll call her Cathy, often tried enlightening me of what she thought I was doing wrong, and I felt our conversations and arguments only ever ended in more confusion and increased strain. For the first time in my life I felt we needed professional help in the form of marriage counseling. It took months of convincing and desperate exasperation, followed by an eventual ultimatum, before Cathy begrudgingly agreed to attend counseling with me. The first few sessions with the therapist were spent getting to know us and working through diagnoses and multiple lengthy assessments. The 25-year veteran of mental health diagnosed Cathy with “off the charts” trauma, Borderline Personality Disorder and “the worse case of PTSD” he had ever seen. He also diagnosed me with Depression and Battered Spouse Syndrome while planning to address my addiction through individual counseling.

In light of the diagnosis, Cathy declared the therapist incompetent and useless, vowing never to go back. She made her choice of “Do Not” and carried through on her promise to never seek help, despite my pleadings over the ensuing months and years. Her behaviors of ignoring her mental health and disbelieving her mental illnesses only grew stronger and more determined. She refused to believe anything could be “wrong” with her. I sought help and therapy, but Cathy refused to. Our marriage continued to decline. We both suffered. Our children suffered. We both died slowly as our connection was destroyed. The rift between us grew too wide and the painful marriage came to an end in 2016 when I filed for divorce after nearly committing suicide.

I don’t believe, nor will ever say, that our failed marriage was solely Cathy’s fault. I certainly contributed. Yet I often wonder how different our marriage could have been had we both successfully embraced the idea of healing and improving our mental health. I know my own shortcomings and mental illness added to the demise of our marriage, though to what extent I do not know. While it’s impossible to ascertain that, I do have a pretty amazing comparative case study that gives some incredible insight into what can be if the “Do” instead of the “Do Not” option is chosen.

I met Tacy in 2018, and from the start, she was open with me about her mental health struggles. Diagnosed with mental illness as a teenager, she has spent much of her life trying to reduce the stigma around mental illnesses while advocating for mental health. This blog, just one of her many efforts to encourage us all to better our mental health, shows Tacy’s willingness and desire to improve. Throughout our dating years and into our marriage the topic of mental health was discussed frequently. At the time we met, Tacy was not participating in professional therapy or counseling. She worked for years to find ways to manage and improve her mental health and spent time in those activities often. She felt her mental state improving over time and became more confident in her ability to manage her mental illness without professional counseling or medication. All of that changed, however, when we married and I brought a slew of new challenges with me that strained our marriage from the start and aggravated the triggers of her depression, anxiety and OCD, as well as my own mental illnesses.

The first year of our marriage was riddled with extreme difficulty, enough to thoroughly destroy both our mental health. As we each struggled, our difficulties became more profound as our anxieties, fear and baggage were triggered and fed by both our poor communication habits. Our mental health rapidly declined as we felt the other just seemed to want to beat on a droid with a stick rather than help. (Another Star Wars reference . . . feel free to roll your eyes.) After months of trying to force our way through it all (not a Star Wars pun), our marriage was on the brink of collapse.

I decided we needed to try professional help and/or medication. I knew I loved Tacy enough that I couldn’t give up until we had exhausted every effort. When I first broached the subject of seeking help with her, she informed me of her history with prescribed mental health medication. In short, it sucks tremendously for her. Her body rejects it faster than Luke rejects Leia after learning she’s his sister (ugh, I can’t help myself). Restless legs, sleepless nights and nausea are all just the base symptoms, not including the upgrades. And yet, despite already know this, Tacy loved me enough to try again. For months, she suffered through those difficulties, trying various medications with little or no positive effect on her mental health. Her act of trying meant so much to me. I started therapy to work on my own issues, and Tacy exercised her love for me by continuing to look for ways to improve her mental health, too. Her choices bolstered our marriage enough to keep us going.

After recognizing the suffering she endured on medication, I encouraged Tacy to stop taking it and look into professional therapy instead. Her previous experiences in counseling, both in her youth and in her previous marriage, left her wary of it’s efficacy. I became distraught at the thought of another spouse not taking steps to improve her mental health, terrified that I would, once again, be alone in my battle against the effects of mental illness on our marriage. I think Tacy sensed my despair, and she once again exercised love for me and agreed to seek professional therapy with me in the form of marriage counseling.

Holy crap, it did not go well. Much like Luke’s failed attempt to raise his ship from the swamp (I swear I’ve watched other movies!), our attempt at marriage counseling actually made things worse. It would have been easy for Tacy to point out that failure, to use it as proof she tried or that we were beyond hope or to simply stopped trying. She could have easily pointed out my own mental illnesses, put the burden on me alone, or deny her part in our difficulties. But she didn’t. She accepted she had things that needed to be addressed. She accepted that she had areas she could improve in, and she continued to show her love for me.

Tacy found another therapist for herself and we both started making progress in our individual therapy. Through trial and, I believe, divine intervention, she discovered EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy), both of which have far surpassed expectations in their ability to help her. Both of us working on our mental health compounded the healing effect as we asked each other about our sessions, encouraging each other and holding one another accountable. This compounded effect is more potent than we can achieve in our individual journeys. It takes finding the right tools and treatments, built on the acknowledgment and loving desire to improve, both for our spouse/significant other and ourselves. The simple, yet not at all simple, difference between my marriages came down to the Do or Do Not choice and my spouse’s response to it. Despite additional, extremely severe difficulties recently thrust upon us by my mental illnesses, our marriage has steadily improved and I find myself eager for the marriage I’ve always dreamed of.

We, as a society, need to get over the idea that struggling with mental health means there’s something “wrong” with us or that we’re “bad.” Those thoughts hinder healing. If your car starts sputtering do you immediately think it’s bad and give up on it? Or do you even hesitate to take it to the mechanic? What about if you have severe abdominal pain? Do you hide it away in shame or immediately seek professional help? Why does our mental health deserve any less care or concern? We don’t even need to feel broken to seek a tune-up.

Addressing mental health is often very difficult. Simply agreeing to work on our mental health does not mean it won’t take work, patience, trial and error or be pain free. Every marriage/relationship has problems, differences and difficulties that must be worked through. And addressing our mental health successfully is not a magic button or fix for all our problems. We must recognize those things and dedicate ourselves to whatever “Do” is needed.

I could continue to make Star Wars-themed analogies and anecdotes, but they’re beginning to feel forced (pun intended). I do not dismiss my role in my marriages, I only wish to extend an invitation to reflect upon how our mental health and our willingness to improve it can affect our marriage and other relationships. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “We cannot go back and change the beginning, but we can start where we are and change how it ends.” If we find ourselves struggling, let’s not hesitate to seek what we can do to improve rather than simply sit back and let the outcome determine itself. Don’t wait. Do or Do Not, there is no try.

One-legged Avocet

Last week I went birding on Antelope Island. Besides the dark clouds that made lighting terrible, it was a good day with a variety of birds spotted, and even a coyote I got some good pictures of. As I was driving on the causeway off of the island, I spotted hundreds of American avocets. I stopped to take pictures when I noticed an avocet that only had one leg. I observed for awhile as this single bird with one leg hopped about, using its wings as help, to get from one place to another. It seemed to stand/balance on it’s one leg just fine and was integrated with the other avocets. Integrated, a part of, yet still different and dealing with a disability.

I thought about how lately I’ve felt like a one-legged avocet, still living life among everyone else, doing my best to get along—and surviving, yes—yet also struggling as I do things differently. On the outside it might seem like I’m like everyone else, but I often feel so alone, dealing with things that no one around me has gone through. I have no one to turn to for help or guidance, no one who understands. I’m among the other avocets, but with one leg, hopping from place to place, standing, balancing, and most of the time I really am okay, but sometimes the boulder on top of me weighs me down, threatening to crush me. I don’t let it. God doesn’t let it. He helps me. He’s there. So is the boulder.

The thing is, I bet a lot of people around me who look like normal, two-legged avocets—or normal two-legged people—feel like the one-legged avocet, too. They are among everyone else, seemingly getting along fine, when really they are going through something too. They may have a boulder on top of them. They may be living in the rubble of bombs that keep going off. They may feel alone. They may not have anyone else around who understands. Yet, somehow, remembering this, helps me to feel less alone. It reminds me that there can be connection even when we aren’t going through the same things. Empathy isn’t about understanding or knowing what it’s like. It’s simply about loving and being there for someone no matter what. Maybe—just maybe—we are all like the one-legged avocet. And more alike than we think.

Celebrating Differences

Having a son with autism has taught me so much. One of the things I appreciate the most has been learning just how important it is not just to learn about and understand differences, but to actually accept, respect and celebrate them. This belief was reinforced just recently.

A couple of weeks ago I took my kids to a dinner show, where a woman with her own kids (much younger than mine) got angry at my eleven-year-old autistic son for having bad manners. I told her he was autistic to which she promptly replied that she had several family members who were autistic and that she was a teacher who had worked with many autistic children and ALL of them had manners. It was a very frustrating interaction with someone who believes in blanket statements and sameness. Despite her claims she didn’t seem to understand that it’s called a “spectrum” for a reason—because it’s so different for everyone who has it.

One of the reasons I was so saddened by what happened was not just because she showed ignorance about autism and was judging my son—and me—but because it showed her belief in sameness. It’s the belief that everyone should fit into a box and be exactly the way we think they should be. Anyone who doesn’t meet those expectations we have for them is bad or wrong or horrible and should be judged, condemned and corrected.

I have seen this with mental illness/health. One person is helped by medication, so they think everyone should take medication. Anyone who doesn’t is stupid. Others strongly believe in only natural remedies and condemn all who want to give medication a try. It’s the belief that because yoga and diet cured my depression it will absolutely, without a doubt, cure yours. This woman supposedly knew many autistic people who had good manners which meant that ALL people with autism can and should have them as well. Any who don’t need to be judged, condemned and corrected.

I believe this is one of the worst falsehoods we can perpetuate. This belief that everyone and everything should be exactly the same (whatever that “same” is in our mind) leads to things like racism, bigotry, hate, exclusion. It doesn’t leave any room for diversity, love, kindness, acceptance, inclusion, learning or growth.

I know I have, at times, been guilty of this, too. I’m grateful for my son for helping to change my perspective. I know he will likely have to deal with people like this woman his whole life. I spoke with both my kids about it—about the importance of not expecting everyone to be exactly the same. We are all different. That’s one of the great things about life! We all have different struggles, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Because of that we are all equipped to help others in different ways, just like we are able to learn from others in different ways.

As I continue to learn and grow, I hope I will remember this lesson and the importance of not only being okay with, but celebrating differences.

A Different Take on Daylight Savings Time

It’s 7:30 PM, and it’s still light outside. Heaven.

I know people tend to struggle with the hour jump ahead and most years I see a slew of complaining posts or memes about it losing an hour of sleep. Even though it happens every year, so it’s no surprise, people still complain. Sometimes it’s hard to see as it goes on and on and on, long past the actual day because I LOVE when Daylight Savings Time starts. Numerous studies have shown how beneficial it is for mental health to have more daylight in the evening. I know it is for me.

For most people it takes one day to one week for their bodies to adjust to the time change. Yet my body and mind never adjust to the move back to Standard Time in the fall, when the sun sets early and there is little light in the evening. Part of my struggle has to do with winter and less light in general, but a lot of it has to do with when the light is out. So from the moment we set our clocks back and supposedly get that extra hour of sleep to months later—not a day or a week, but months—my depression, anxiety and OCD rage. And when the day comes that we set the clocks ahead and some people lose an hour of sleep (it’s never really affected me much) my depression, anxiety and OCD lighten substantially.

So while a lot of people are out there complaining and sharing memes about how horrible DST is, I am here rejoicing—so happily rejoicing—that it’s now 7:42 PM and there’s still a little light out!

Music and Mental Health

Last weekend I went to a University band concert that was dedicated to mental health awareness. What an amazing concept—to have a concert dedicated to mental health. They played a piece called Unbroken by Randall Standridge. The program notes told the story of his mother who suffered from depression in a time when it was completely taboo to talk about mental illness. Eventually she had a complete mental breakdown and spent over a year in the hospital. During that time his dad kept the family together. After his mom got out of the hospital mental illness and mental health issues were spoken of openly and freely in their home. Standridge himself suffers from depression. He talked about how his mom didn’t break, the bond between his parents didn’t break and his family didn’t break.

The piece was absolutely amazing. There was a lot of dissonance, which accurately represents mental illness. But there were also moments of harmony and beauty. Even in the midst of mental illness there can be good times, there can be moments of beauty. And just because we have mental illness doesn’t mean we’re broken. We are still human. We are still whole. And we are beautiful.

The piece ended in dissonance, which I didn’t take as defeat or pessimism. I think part of it was to show that mental illness is real, and it needs to be discussed. More needs to be done about it. And for me, personally, I thought about how sometimes mental illness is situational. Sometimes people get the help they need and they overcome it, or it goes away. But for some of us, mental illness is lifelong. It never leaves. We may get help, we may learn to manage it, but it is always here, always a part of our lives, lurking in shadows, in the corners and crevices—when it’s not right out in the open doing everything to pull us down. That was what the ending dissonance meant to me. It was powerful. So powerful.

Something I loved was that the director gave his students the opportunity to share their own experiences with mental health. There were probably at least a dozen paragraphs in the program notes about personal struggles with mental illness. That was also powerful. I am so grateful this director (who I play under in a community band) gave these students a voice. Sometimes just being able to put it into words and share—even anonymously—helps.

A lot of the students wrote about how music had helped them and made a difference in their lives and their mental health journey. I, too, connect with that. Music has had an incredible impact on me my whole life, but especially lately, as I’ve struggled with all the boulders that have been dropped and bombs that have gone off—as I live in the rubble. I already wrote about a piece by Two Steps From Hell called Resilience. I have listened to that piece over and over and over again. The band Shinedown has also meant a lot to me. I’ve always loved them and considered them one of my favorite bands, but they have meant more to me than ever lately. Some songs I’ve known for years have taken on new meaning. Others that have always meant something mean even more. I listen to them over and over and over again as well. I have found strength, courage, hope, determination and peace in their songs. I’m so grateful for the difference music has made, and continues to make, in my life—and the lives of others. It may sound simplistic, but music truly can make a difference in our mental health—in small moments, long days and over the span of a lifetime.

Little Victories

Lately I’ve had to do some things that trigger my anxiety. I’ve had to make phone calls. I know that may not seem like a big deal to some people, but many of us with Generalized Anxiety Disorder struggle to call people. It’s not even that it’s just a struggle or that it’s a normal part of society today—most kids don’t like making phone calls either. It’s all texting and social media. But for those of us with anxiety it is so much more than that. It’s fear, worry, fretting, obsessing, panicking, etc. Due to recent changes in my life I had to make those phone calls.

Sometimes it doesn’t bother me to call someone. Calling the mortgage company, energy company, power company and City does induce horrible anxiety for me. But it had to be done. Someone without anxiety may have been able to make all those phone calls and take care of everything within a single afternoon. It took me a whole week—maybe longer.

Engaging in the things that trigger anxiety is absolutely exhausting. Imagine a non-runner participating in a marathon and running at full speed the whole time. Exhausting. Each phone call took so much out of me I had to only do one per day to give myself time to reset and recover. And that’s okay. I would guess some advice a marathon runner would give is to pace yourself. I’m not a 100% sure on that since I’m not a runner at all, but it seems like good advice, right?! The same is true of anxiety. In order to take care of everything I needed to accomplish I had to pace myself to make sure I didn’t overdo it—to make sure I didn’t keel over in a panic attack. I paced myself, and I did it. I made all the phone calls I needed to. I got everything taken care of that I needed to. That’s what matters.

This may seem like a small victory—but I consider it a victory nonetheless. When it comes to my mental health I can look back and see many tiny victories that have helped me learn, grow and manage my mental illness better. When you stack all of those little victories up it’s one giant mountain of accomplishment! I say we count the little victories—in any area of our lives—and recognize how far we’ve come. When we can see how far we’ve come it only inspires us and reminds us that we can keep going.


One thing I appreciate about my therapist is that she knows the value of self-care. Every session I have with her she asks me if I’m doing things I enjoy or things that help with my mental health. I’ve been going to her for a year and a half or so, so she knows me well enough to ask specifics—birding, light therapy, walks, getting outside. Because of current struggles my initial motivation has been very low, so I’m grateful she asks and holds me accountable. If I haven’t been doing those things, she adamantly reminds me that I need to be doing them.

An interesting thing is that even though my motivation has been greatly lacking, I’ve actually been forcing myself to do these things. And when I do, I never regret it. I haven’t been sleeping well, so nights/mornings my kids are with their dad I tend to take a sleeping pill and try to sleep in late. A few days ago, however, I actually decided to wake up early and go birding at sunrise. Dawn is my absolute favorite time of the day. When my alarm went off I almost stayed in bed. Even though I wasn’t super motivated and didn’t immediately and happily jump out of bed I did decide to get up and go birding. I’m so glad I did! It felt amazing to be in a beautiful place in nature at dawn. And I got some great photos! Was I tired later? Sure, but I’m tired every day. Getting up early to do something I enjoy was absolutely worth it.

Self-care may not change the circumstances of our lives, but it is essential in helping with our mental health. Despite my current struggles and difficulties, I’ve been doing mostly okay lately, partly because I’ve been pushing myself to do the things I enjoy, even if it’s hard to get that initial motivation. Self-care is not selfish or indulgent. It is care for ourselves that is necessary.

What Forgiveness Has Done For Me

Forgiveness. I won’t preach it to you. I, for one, have struggled with it at times in my own life. What I can do is share my experiences with it. I already wrote about one. You can read it here.

I think there are misconceptions about forgiveness. One is the notion of forgive and forget. I read an article once by a member of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In it Steve F. Gilliland says that in most cases, short of brain surgery, it’s not possible to forget what someone did to you. That’s not what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is being able to remember something, but not have the same feelings associated with it. Just because you haven’t forgotten what someone did to you doesn’t mean you haven’t forgiven.

Another misconception is that forgiveness means continuing to have a relationship with someone who is abusive or toxic. Elder Jeffery R. Holland put this myth to rest when he said, “It is, however, important for some of you living in real anguish to note what [Christ] did not say. He did not say, ‘You are not allowed to feel true pain or real sorrow from the shattering experiences you have had at the hand of another.’ Nor did He say, ‘In order to forgive fully, you have to reenter a toxic relationship or return to an abusive, destructive circumstance.’” There are abusive and toxic people that I know longer have in my life. That is to protect the mental and physical health of myself and my children. When I think of the things they things they did to me or the toxic behavior they continuously exhibited I no longer feel anger, hurt, sadness or fear. It’s possible to forgive and also have boundaries or cut ties altogether.

I’ve heard some people say that forgiveness doesn’t help you, it only helps the person who hurt you—as if forgiving means you are okay with what someone did or don’t think there need to be any consequences. I don’t think this is true. Forgiveness lifts the burden of pain off your shoulders—at least it has for me. Life has been a struggle. I recently wrote about a curve ball boulder that hit me. Since then, it feels as if boulder after boulder after boulder has been dropped on me. Some might say that I should be angry, but anger doesn’t help me or anyone around me. Forgiveness and giving that anger over to God has helped me understand more than I ever have before what it means to give my burden to God. Is there still some pain, sadness and uncertainty? Yes. But I feel lighter and more capable. I still believe in consequences. I can believe in them and still forgive, still have that burden removed.

For me, forgiveness turned an enemy into a friend (my previous story), and it has also allowed me to continue going despite incredibly difficulty. It has brought me incredible peace and strength. If forgiveness has made a difference in your life, I’d love to hear about it.

Not Doing Well

It’s been hard to find the motivation to write. It’s been hard to find the motivation to do anything. I’m not doing well. Winter hit sooner than usual this year, and it hit hard. The last several years people have still been out mowing their lawns the first weekend of December, but we’ve had snow and cold temperatures since the middle of November, it seems. And it hasn’t gone away. My depression hasn’t been this bad in a long, long time, and my anxiety is also the worst it’s been in—well, maybe ever. I’ve been having almost daily panic attacks for weeks now, often multiple a day.

I’ve been having a hard time distinguishing between what’s real and what’s just the depression. I try to be logical, to remind myself that depression is a liar, but it’s hard when I feel like there’s so much evidence that I am a horrible mother, a horrible wife and just a horrible person in general who is not doing enough. Who simply isn’t enough and never will be. I keep asking myself why I’m even trying, when it doesn’t seem to matter.

Logically, I can look at what I am doing and see how much better I am at dealing with my mental illness than I used to. Despite just how much it takes from me to get out of bed every morning, I do get out of bed. I get my kids to school. I exercise. I’ve been going to light therapy even though I’d rather stay in bed all day. It takes longer than on healthy days, but I still have been getting dressed, doing dishes, cleaning, getting dinner ready (some nights), going to church, trying to socialize when I can. Yet, every day, as I sit alone crying, feeling so alone and worthless, I don’t feel that I’m doing better or that I’m doing good enough. I don’t feel as if I’m being the person I’m supposed to be. I don’t feel what the logic is telling me.

I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. I might want to try medication again, despite the fact that my last several attempts years ago didn’t work. I have to hope that something will help.