Tuesday, August 12, 2014


In light of Robin Williams suicide I thought this would be a perfect time to do a post on Depression.

Depression is a nasty sneaky disease, I hate it.  I have dealt with depression since my 20's , although I had no idea.   I just thought I was a thinker, a worrier, and that I  just took life too seriously.   As I aged , it got worse, sad thoughts, dark thoughts, swirling in my head.  Still never thinking depression.  I can see it now , clear as day, but I couldn't see it then.

I met Brad when I was 33,  Brad was diagnosed in 2006 with Bi Polar disorder, so that was 13 years we were together that I had no idea what was wrong with him.  The episodes of craziness & depression, it was overwhelming for me but I never had time to think about myself, I was too busy worrying about Brad.
I remember going to work, getting there, and I would burst into tears as I just didn't want to go through the day, I wanted to be home, sleeping, just wanting to be alone, going to work meant putting on my happy face and pretending all was well with the world, dealing with customers, it was exhausting!

During this time my dad's Parkinson's became worse and my mom had to put him into care at one of the hospitals.  I was beyond sad, I couldn't bare thinking of my dad in there, away from his family, feeling abandoned, it was a very difficult time for me.

We moved to Lethbridge in 2007, I had to leave my business, my friends, my family.  I was alone here except for Brad. During that time Brad had 2 episodes of depression himself that needed him to be hospitalized.  His last episode had him out of work for 15 months. I was the main money maker, even that wasn't enough, I had nothing but anxiety and worry for almost 2 years, building on top of my already existing depression. 
Also during my first couple of years here my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer, my dad died, and my mom had a stroke.  I also had a cousin die of a heart attack, he was only 49.
Brad returned to work in July 2013, some of the weight was finally lifted from my shoulders.  In August last year, I hit rock bottom, everything just caught up to me,  I couldn't function at work even without having many episodes of crying.  Thank goodness I worked with a great group of girls, they knew what I was going through and helped me as much as they could without judgement.

Then in November 2013 I had my car accident,  that was the last straw,  I was done, mentally and physically.   Not only am I still recovering physically but I am still trying to recover mentally.  I had absolutely no idea just how depressed I was until I was forced to stay home.  To this day I can't think about going to work,  I have many good days, but I still have just as many bad days.
I am slowly letting my friends know I suffer from depression, even though on the outside I look like a happy bubbly person, underneath there is still a black cloud lurking, making me sad , and sometimes not allowing me to go out of the house.  It is hard, people don't understand, they say, just get out of the house, you'll feel better, that might be, but you have to realize the effort I need to put forth just to get myself out of the house.  My dogs are a life saver,  walking them helps me like nothing else, I just go out, I don't need to talk, I just walk, thank God for my dogs ♥

I am not sure when or if I will make it back to work, I still have days when I just cant leave the house and I don't care what people think, I am finally going to look after me and focus on the fact that I have a disease and that disease is depression.  I will not be embarrassed by it anymore.   I will face it and I will deal with it in my own way,  with my Dr's help of course :)

So my advice to you is, never judge anyone, you really have no idea what is really going on in their minds and behind closed doors, be kind to people, as much as you can, your words can have a profound effect on their day. 


Sharrie said...

I sit here trying to decide what to write. I guess it strikes me that you post is very timely. You are right that people have no idea what is happening in another person's mind. Good luck with your battle, and thank heaven for our dogs!

onecollie said...

Thank you Sharrie, I hope you are managing ok yourself, depression sucks!


God bless and keep you safe. May you win you war with depression.

I know how dogs can save a person. Essex did that for me. She saw me over several of life's rough patches. Having her after Hurricane Wilma impacted KW, gave my life a sense of being normal.

The biggest change in my life came in college. That is when I realized that I was not the only one screwed up. That realization changed much of my outlook on life.

onecollie said...

thank you Key West Collies

Nancy said...

Thank you for being brave enough to post about your depression. I can see how strongly you feel about your dogs and their health and how that impacts your well being. Dogs don't judge, they just love you the way you are. Wouldn't it be great if we, humans, could do the same? I'm glad you are sharing your experiences with your dogs and your health. It makes me realize how precious life is. Thank you again.

Squishy said...

I think there are a whole bunch of people who are depressed and don't know it. I have had my days/years also and it's something that can creep back into my life easily. I think basically life can be very hard and we as human struggle to keep moving forward to try to keep afloat. It's a good thing you are aware of it and able to take care of yourself now. The dogs really, really help, IMO too. Love you Jolene.

Amanda said...

You are very brave for speaking up about your depression. It's not easy to do. I've been working with my doctor as well as a therapist and psychiatrist to help conquer my Major Depressive Disorder. Even the simplest things can be overwhelming, there are days where I don't leave my bed save for taking care of Izzie's needs. A big thing that made it all worse and made me seek out help was the fact I was no longer able to do something I love. Trialling with Iz. When I was back in school and had less than no money and even less time, it was exhausting because what i do for my own enjoyment no longer was there. It's taken quite a while to make the progress I have as I feel the mental health care system is more reactive than proactive, they didn't want to listen to me screaming out for help until I got desperate enough to demand a referral to a psychiatrist. Even still it's a battle to get them to actually listen sometimes.

Anyway, what i'm getting at is you're not alone. I'm very glad you have sought out help as many people are afraid of the stigma attached to mental health and avoid speaking up because of how our society looks at mental illness. It's unfortunate really. Just hug your boys and take it one day at a time. Remember that you matter and you are worth it.

Rebecca Epperly said...

Dogs are wonderful animals to have through any health issue (mental & physical). They bring joy and happiness into your life. Thank goodness for them! And thanks for posting this as so many people out don't realize what they have until they see/hear/read others going through it and take a look at their life. And also lets other people know that your truly don't know what other people are going through especially if they do seem happy. Good luck with your battle and give all those dogs a hug!!

onecollie said...

thanks for sharing your experience with depression Amanda. Yes it can be crippling, some days it took all my will power just to get up and shower, even that was a chore for me, for me having shows to look forward to helps tremendously, without dogs I'm not sure what I would do.
And yes, somedays I just wanted to stay in bed, but the4 dogs needed me, thank god for the dogs :)

onecollie said...

I love you too Diana!!!!!

onecollie said...

thank you Rebecca :)