Faith and New Beginnings

I had my faith in humanity restored last night.

That may sound a bit dramatic, and I suppose it is. But when someone you don’t know stops on a cold night and asks if you need a ride, it makes an impression on you.

I was standing outside the grocery store. I had called for a cab, and I was waiting for it to show up. Just then, an SUV pulls up and stops with the window rolled down. It was a couple I had seen enter the store earlier. The woman asks if I need a ride. I explain about the cab, but they say it’s no trouble and soon we’re on the way to my house.

When we pull up out front, I offer them gas money – it may not have been a very long trip, but I still had taken them out of their way – but they refuse. Then, I was walking up to my house, they were driving off, and our paths may never cross again.

Why does this matter? In this day and age, when things like the Newtown, CT shootings happen, or when a man is pushed in front of a subway train because of his ethnicity, or when a girl commits suicide because police won’t prosecute her rapists, you can sometimes forget that there’s kindness and decency in the world. You hear about so many brutal, horrible, disgusting things on the news everyday that it’s easy to overlook the random acts of kindness. What I experienced may seem like a little thing compared to all the crap that’s out there, but little things add up. And if you let them, they can form the foundation of something bigger. Something better.

And WE NEED THAT. When there is so much out there that is set on tearing us down, we need to be good to one another, to be kind to one another, and make the world a little better. A little brighter.

Does that sound trite, twee, cliche? Yeah, it does. I admit it. But, you know what? It’s also true. However much you may mock that, or mock me, it. Is. True.

We all need to strive to be better, all of us. Yes, including me. Especially me. I’m sure not Mother Teresa.

And I guess that’s where I’m going with all my rambling. Especially given what day it is. I’m crap at keeping resolutions. And this was a really long way to go to talk about my resolutions for the new year. But this is my resolution: I am going to try to be nicer, to be kinder, to be a better person, and to pay it forward as much as I can. And “it” can be anything from the actions of my good Samaritans from last night to all the help various people have given me the past few years. And try to pay it back, too.

And since new years is a time of beginnings, and since I recently started this blog… I’m sure you can see where this is going. My other resolution is to update this blog at least once a week. After all, I’m sure you’re all just dying to read what I have to say;)

So, Happy New Year to you all. May 2013 bring you health and happiness.

Getting Started

Well, here we are. My first post.

I’ve thought about starting a blog for a while. But I figured, why bother? There are plenty of blogs out there; who would want to read mine? But maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. Maybe it isn’t all about getting readers, but telling a story. My story.

I’ve struggled with depression for a long time now. At least ten years. It’s been difficult, and circumstances over the past ten years haven’t made it any easier. My mother dying. Trying to take care of my father – he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001 and subsequently developed Parkinson’s related dementia. Add to that, the fact that I was his sole caregiver while trying to work, as well. Eventually I had to stop working because he couldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Even after he went into a nursing home it was hard to find work, and when I did it was part-time, in retail (most of my work history is in retail sales).

Then came the big hit. I found out I had cancer. Endometrial cancer, specifically. I had a hysterectomy in 2008, and I had to go on temporary disability while I recovered. For the first few weeks after surgery especially, you can’t do anything strenuous or be on your feet for long periods of time. So that meant not working again. When I was able to go back to work, business was slow at the store, so they couldn’t take me back. Oh, and I lost my driver’s license, too. I got into an accident, and I’d been driving without insurance for several months at that point.

Then my dad died.

I never told him about the cancer. He didn’t need the stress of worrying about me. I still think that was the right decision, but there’s a part of me that wonders if I should have said something. He was my dad, after all.

Let’s fast forward to today. I have a full time job that pays decently. And except for a couple un-cancer-related scares, I’m in good health. However, I’m struggling with debt that’s the result of not making enough/not working for so long. I inherited a house that I can’t afford to take care of so it’s falling down around me. I finally got my license back, but I don’t have a car and believe me, it isn’t fun taking the bus everywhere you need to go.

I’m sure there are people asking (if anyone is reading this), what about antidepressants? Have you talked to your doctor? The answer to that is yes. I talked to my doctor back when I first started feeling the symptoms of depression, and he put me on antidepressants. They didn’t help. We tried a different medication. Same thing. They seemed to help at first, then I began to feel the way I usually did. We tried a third drug. And the same thing happened again. So I went unmedicated for several years. I recently started seeing a new doctor, and I’m currently on two antidepressants. Do they help? I do feel that they help keep me on a more even keel. I can definitely feel the difference if I forget to take them for whatever reason. Does that mean I’m cured? That I’m normal now? Of course not.

The antidepressants do help. I firmly believe that. However, they are not a miracle drug. I still have bad days, some of them very bad. There have been days where I’ve broken down crying, and I wasn’t really sure why. And, considering that depression deals with imbalances in the brain’s chemistry, I don’t feel there is a “cure”. Only treatment.

I’m sure there are those of you who would disagree with me, so please feel free to comment. However, I hope that you keep your comments civil and polite.

Thanks, and I hope you keep reading.