I’ve started to write this post many times over the years, but sadly something has happened so close to me, that I know it’s time to get it out and share more than I usually do here. First off, let me say, if you have depression, anxiety, or are suicidal, please get help. While mood swings and other feelings can come and go, don’t mess around if you even think you are depressed, talk about it with your doctor or anyone; get help.
So, the story starts with my Dad, who is 10 years younger than his sisters, so their children, my cousins, were always 10-15 years older than I am, so we were never really close. We’d see each other for family get togethers, weddings or on holidays. As time went on we saw them more as real people than just relatives, and their struggles would become known to the family, and we’d offer support. One of them had trouble with alcohol, which led to her divorce, but over time she dealt with it, joined AA, and even remarried. She seemed to have changed, grown and really moved on with her life. I saw her for the first time in many years last month at my uncle’s, her father’s, funeral. She was so sweet to me, was there with her children (who are now in their early 20s) and her new husband. It was a nice visit, circumstances not withstanding, and we spoke of getting together again in the future. Today Pops called, he had heard from another of my cousins, which we both thought would be about my Aunt, whose health was declining rapidly around the time of my uncle’s funeral, instead it was about my cousin, she had killed herself.
I have depression, I’ve been treated for it going on about 10 years, it’s something I’m open about and wish others were as well. Mental illnesses have a stigma like no other disease, but we need to get past that, who cares if something has issues, the focus should be on them dealing with it, and supporting them.