Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

And for 2007…

For 2007, my only resolution is to become more close-minded. I suffer far less when I detach myself from everyone’s opinion of my health, my parenting, and my faith.

Had I not been so open-minded–trying every and all suggestions thrown my way in regard to my depression–I don’t think I would have stayed in my dark night so long. In my desperation, I clung to every piece of advice offered (sometimes shoved down my throat) by relatives and friends.

“You’re beating a dead horse with these meds,” one friend told me. “What you need is lots of yoga and mineral supplements. A naturopath can do with herbal remedies what a psychiatrist does with synthetic pharmaceuticals. You’ll see how fish oil can stabilize your moods just as effectively as Lithium.”


That sounded good, so I began to wean off all my meds (and was hospitalized two months later).

“It’s clearly hormonal,” said another friend. “Try going on the birth control pill.”

I did that and really messed up my menstrual cycles.

After reading an article by Andrew Weil–on how relaxation techniques can treat depression–I practiced deep breathing for hours and wondered when I would start to feel better.

Every few weeks it was another experiment and a new philosophy (determined by the friend or relative I had last spoken to, or the article I had most recently read). With no time to recover, my body was as confused as my mind.


“You can’t keep on switching directions every time someone gives you a recommendation,” said my therapist. “You need to assess all of the information you have to date, and commit to one path of recovery for at least a few months.”

It was the same talk Eric gave me two years ago after a going-away dinner I had planned for our neighbors turned into an intervention about my parenting style.

I stood up to rock and soothe my screaming one-year-old in a small smoky restaurant while her brother threw his French fries (with ketchup) across the table.

“Do you see why I’m stressed out?” I asked my older neighbor. It was a rhetorical question for which I didn’t want an answer.


“It doesn’t have to be so hard,” she replied. “With a little bit of organization, things could be easier.” The sermon on the right way to parent followed, with pointers on how to design a winning scrapbook, and a list of approved activities–Legos, blocks, puzzles–that contribute to cognitive development.

“You have got to learn how to tune out judgmental, opinionated ‘experts,’ Therese,” Eric said, after my sobbing self told him why, exactly, I sucked as mom. “You have your style, and she has hers. Leave it at that. It’s just too exhausting to transform yourself every day. Listen to advice, and take a piece here or there, but stay your same self.”

And so for 2007, I have purchased a set of blinders, which I’ll wear until I’m more confident in my own judgments.

  • http://HASH(0xcf2321c) David Naas

    Your experience with therapists and other well-meaning fools reminded me of something my old Advisor said way back in the Stoned Age…( before you were born, probably — 1968 — when I was a psychology student at a cow college in the Midwest)… “Most of you are here because you are screwed up and you think taking psychology will help. It won’t, but by the time you figure that out, you’ll have your PhDs, and not having anything else to do, will go into the business and foster your particulat lunacy on poor, unsuspecting people.” He also said, “If Grandma has bats in her belfry and she’s a happy old bird, LET HER THE HELL ALONE!” Doc knew whereof he spoke. My own depression has been a fickle companion for about 50 years now, and but recently have I decided that I won’t be divorcing my old friend anytime soon. Since I can’t “overcome” my problem, all I can do is to bypass the things that happen. Not to “get over it”, but to simply go on and NOT deal with it. At least, “dealing with it” hasn’t worked out so good, time to try something different. Personally,I don’t get depressed because I sin, I sin because I get depressed.

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