The hits just keep on coming.

After a battle with plasma donations, a back / leg injury and getting my phone stolen, we were then hit with the worst news of all. A very dear friend from church died very suddenly and unexpectedly in mid-November, just in time for Thanksgiving. Details are being kept private; the family only stated there was a tragic accident at their home.

Pam was only 55 years old. She and Scott were just a few weeks away from their 30th wedding anniversary. Pam and AnJanette are from the same town of Lexington, NC. AnJanette has known Pam’s family all her life. Pam was a fixture in the children’s ministry in our church. She is the third essential pillar member of our church to pass away in the last 2 years.

In times like these, topics like depression come to the forefront. And in a twist of rather sick timing, this happens as I’m working on a blog series about depression. OK, then, let’s go ahead and

What is depression?

The word elicits different reactions from different people. Some use it when having a very bad day, where you think, “things couldn’t get worse, right?” Others think it’s an excuse some people use to avoid conflict or a hard decision. Some think it’s a deep, dark pit of hopelessness. To some degree, it can be any of those. In a short summary, depression is being unable to process life events in a manner that keeps your emotional and mental makeup in proper balance. There are several methods to correct it. These include counseling, psychotherapy, and medication. There are an infinite number of combinations of these treatments. Each person is different, so the treatment for one is not necessarily good for another.

My Battle – Diagnosis

I am one of those that has this condition. The discovery was in 2008 when enduring a terrible situation on the job.

In 2007, after working entry-level administrative positions for years, I finally landed an Executive Assistant position supporting a VP. About a year into the job, I was reported to HR as not meeting expectations. Official procedure was to be put in the employee assistance program. This involved me meeting with a counselor to see if I needed to explore some therapy. It took no time at all for me to be referred to a psychologist for some therapy. During those discussions, the psychologist diagnosed me with depression. She said I had probably been suffering from it since I was 8, when my parents separated. I was recommended to explore getting an anti-depressant, which I did.

Reality Vs Best Intentions

This was tough to accept. I was raised to believe that I should not make excuses. Harder work would negate excuses. So what if I have a disability, my mother often preached. You can feel sorry for yourself or do the best you possibly can with what you have. Also, a man isn’t a crybaby. It’s not that a man never cries, but a man doesn’t wallow in self-pity. He gets up when knocked down. A real man takes care of his own affairs. So to sit on a couch, admit I have depression, talk about how I feel about stuff, and take medicine for it? It was a real challenge. I came to accept the situation and the treatment. Despite my efforts to get back on track, the VP got HR to reassign me to a lower-ranking position. When 2018 arrived, I left to start my Virtual Assistant business.

When the “Affordable” Care Act was implemented, our healthcare costs quadrupled. We lost our home. The anti-depressant (and some other treatments) were stopped due to the costs. While I have the medication again, I’m without the therapy. That will hopefully change very soon.

Next post, we’ll talk about somecauses and more treatment options.