Sunday, October 7, 2007

Let's Get Real!

Let’s get real sistuhs!
We don’t like to talk about depression. We avoid dealing with it by eating and drinking too much; smoking weed or crack; working too many hours; and engaging in promiscuous or unsafe sex –to ease our pain, anxiety, frustration, and rage.
The stressors –
Hostile environments on the job, raising children, keeping our husbands or partners happy, and paying bills.
And yet we suffer.
From diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep disorders. We need to start dealing with this silent epidemic that is killing us. Because, depression doesn’t go away on its own. It might let up for a minute. It may temporarily go away, but when it comes back-it comes back with a vengeance.
Get help!
Find a therapist. Some therapists take insurance, others work on a sliding fee scale. Try a teaching hospital. I received excellent care from resident doctors at an outpatient clinic of a teaching hospital.
You may have to go on medication. That’s ok too! The combination of therapy and medication is best for getting yourself stabilized. We also need to get past the shame and guilt our community has put on us for seeking help. Unfortunately, too many of us have equated depression as a white man’s disease. It’s a human disease! It crosses all races, ages, cultures, and socioeconomic lines. Give yourself permission to get healthy –physically, psychologically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
It’s your life!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ebb and Tide

It slowly rises like a specter -
I feel myself drowning in its murky grey dense aura.
Tears fall inexplicably
Irritation erupts.
Depression is like the ebb and tide of the ocean.
I can't concentrate.
Too depressed to pray or meditate.
Hopelessness reigns.
I curse the lack of serotonin in my brain that causes this demon to show its face to me.


It Waits

It lies just beneath the surface.

Waiting patiently.
Occasionally erupting – revealing its demon face.
Then it disappears until something sets it off again.
It never seems to go away for good.
Not on its own.
Just waiting.
It is called Depression.
Depression has come back to haunt me again.

I thought I had whipped it.
Cast it into the sewers of Manhattan.
Flung it against the rocks of the Ramble of Central Park
drop kicked it onto the subway tracks in Times Square.
But, it was waiting for the day life trips me up.
That was the day I was laid off from my job.

Oh, I played it off at first.
I went to Jezebel’s that night and had a couple of Bellini’s to celebrate my freedom.
But Monday loomed ahead and I suddenly felt lost again.
What was I going to do with my days?
I dread New York City summers.
I detest the heat, humidity, the stank odors that rises from the concrete.
I welcome the rains and storms that sweep the streets and sidewalks clean, sweeten the air, and cool the summer heat.
So, I wasn’t looking forward to another summer with no job to go to.
I found myself sleeping until noon,

watched the judges tell off people standing in front of them, surfed the net,
and played solitaire and scrabble on my computer until I'm crossed eyed.
I don’t go to bed until 4 or 5 in the morning.
And I won’t go out until the sun goes down and the night air has cooled.
But now the demon has shown it's face again.


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