Friday, March 20, 2009

Not Depressed

I'm happy.

I really am.

My life is going so well.

One thing that sort of cheers me up when my life is a huge drama is I think to myself this would really make a good novel.

I felt that way about our Australia trip in 2007. It was fun, but there was all this drama. Conflicts within myself and conflicts with other people.

The spring and summer after we returned was awful for me. I already had a lot of baggage....stuff I brought with me to Australia. And Australia wasn't kind enough to let me keep it there. She made me take it home with me.

I came home with so much angst, but also so much love for Australia. My heart was in Australia. And I felt this pressure from other people to let go of Australia. Okay. Your holiday is over. Time to get on with your real life. Move on. Get over it.

I was really depressed.

I read this blog of someone who describes her serious debilitating depression. It's the type of depression where you can barely do anything. It's a task just to get out of bed. It's nearly impossible to brush your teeth or take a shower. I read this and thought I've NEVER had anything like that before. My sadness has never debilitated me. I still go on with my life. I eat. I sleep. I read. I take care of my child. I take trips to the zoo. I keep up with my emails. I do the cat litter. So, I thought.... I must have never really been depressed.

Everyday I read my private spiritual/dream journal from a year ago. I've been reading my entries from March last year and now I think....No, I really WAS depressed. My feeling is maybe there's a functional depression. It's where you feel awful inside. You feel like complete shit, but you still manage to go on with your life.

I got through my depression, but it was hard work. It didn't take drugs or therapists. It took temporarily hiding deep inside my turtle shell, huge fights, big mistakes, long emails, brutal honesty, new friends, a lot of extensive soul-searching, and this blog.

This blog really saved me in many ways. Through it, I found a connection to people who would let me talk about Australia as much as I want. Through the blog, I started to feel permission to be myself. I felt permission to love what I wanted to love.

By the time we went to Australia, most of the drama in my life had greatly decreased. I mean my life's not perfect. I still have problems. And our Australia holiday wasn't perfect. There were fights. There were tears. But I remember sitting there in Australia one day and thinking. There wouldn't be enough drama on this trip to write a novel. There's not enough conflict. We're having too much fun. I'm too happy. At best, all I could squeeze out of this is a quirky travel story.

And as Australia wouldn't keep all my depressing baggage when I left in 2007, this time she refused to keep my happiness. She let me take it home with me.

I still feel all the love and joy I felt there.

My marriage is better.
My relationship with my sisters and parents seems better.
I have new friends that I'm madly in love with.
I feel closer to my old friends.

I get a lot of questions these days about how I feel to be back in America. I think people are surprised to see me happy because last year I was so sad.

I think the main reason I'm happy is for the reasons above. But I also think writing these trip reports has helped. Jack asks me if I miss Australia. Right now I really don't that much. I think it's because for an hour or two everyday, I'm there again. It's like I'm reliving everything. And it's so fun discussing everything in comments.

I do wonder if I'll be sad once I reach the end of our trip. Maybe then I'll mourn a bit. But then I get to write more biography posts. I look forward to that....although it does stress me out a bit. Those things are hard work.

Anyway, thank you to every single person who reads this blog--especially those of you who read it on a regular basis. Your support has given me a lot of validation; something I need at times.

Thanks to all the Australians who were brave enough to meet me, Tim, and Jack. Our home is open to any of you....if you're ever crazy enough to come to Texas ; )

Also....thank you to ALL my family and friends...

I love all of you immensely.


I dedicate this song to everyone.

33 comments:

Andrew said...

I was going to say such nice soothing things until I saw the music clip. Your writing is enough. No need for music. We stay together for the good bits, after 30 years there have been many bad. Worry less, enjoy the good bits more. To have children is pretty marvellous.

Dina said...

Andrew,

I put the music there because I love the song. I heard it the first time in Australia and it became kind of my little personal theme song.

Dina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dina said...

I am so sick of comment spam!

Especially when people try to make it look like a real comment.

Fe said...

Oh honey....

Depression is such a personal thing. No two depressions are the same, if that makes sense.

The Main Thing here is that you're feeing so much better now. As am I.

And I'm so thrilled that this time your holiday left you feeling happy and fulfilled rather than empty and sad.

I'm going to count myself as one of the "new friends" that you mentioned, because I know that I certainly feel that level of connection with you. It's those special and rare moments of finding new friends that can help us re-ignite feelings of self-worth and happiness, and I thank you for helping me feel that again.

xoxoxoxo

Dina said...

Fe,

I'm so glad to have you as a friend! And I think our friendship will continue to grow. That sounds really corny. Oh well.

I agree that new friendships can really reduce all the bad feelings. Maybe it gives us hope?

Adam Bowes said...

hey
i'm glad you liked my song and yeah Australia is a beautiful place.
Take care
Adam

Dina said...

Adam,

I loved your video. You have a lot of talent : )

Lightening said...

Awesome post Dina. :) I teared up when you wrote about Australia not keeping your happiness (just as it didn't hold on to your baggage).

Depression is so individual isn't it. I think that's why it's so hard to find a "cure". What works for one, doesn't work for another. My doctor spent months second-guessing his diagnosis because I didn't fit the "mould".

It'll be interesting to see how you do feel when you've finished writing of your travels. I do wonder how I'm going to feel when our "big trip" is over too.

traceyleigh said...

Such a pretty song :-)

You know I love you too. I love that connection that we made in person. The connection that I knew was there. The connection that I almost lost. I still think about that time. How neglectful I was.

It made me really sit back and realise that here I am. The things that make me happy in life are being surrounded by good friends. Friends that I can laugh with, share secrets, cry, and all the rest that comes with calling someone a friend. But the internet..well whilst it introduced me to a new world of friendship, it became overwhelming to keep it all up and whilst I craved it, I found myself getting lost in it and not being the friend that I truly am in real life. You made me realise that. So thankyou for that. Thankyou for letting me into your life and enriching mine with you and your lovely family.

xxxxx
T

Gun-bae!!! said...

Hey, I really loved this post! I feel the same way!!

***Buy cheap and inexpensive laxatives from Delhi, India***

I too, hate comment spam!!

***Affordable refinancing on home loans call crazy "Eddie" in Jammu India***

Dina said...

Lightening,

Thanks : )

Yeah, I think depression is different for everyone. And I don't think there's one right way to treat it.

I do wonder how you'll be after your trip. You'll be away for three months, right? It will probably be hard to get back to the "real" world. But maybe you'll also enjoy getting back to some comforts you might not have in the caravan ????? I don't know. Hopefully you won't be too depressed.

Tracey: We both made mistakes at that time. I think we both still feel some guilt about it. Not that we should...but I think we're both that type of person ; )

I love you. I think you're an awesome Internet friend AND a real life friend.

I'm so happy I have you in my life.

Dina said...

Gun-bae,

How dare you come on my blog and spread your filth.

You should be ashamed of yourself!

My blog is sacred to me. It is not a place to advertise laxatives.

Uh, unless they work. Please email me or contact me via twitter if they do.

Or....

you can tell me when you come home tonight.

magikquilter said...

great post dina....some of your comment threads are even more interesting than the post itself....not that this is one of them, but it comes close

Dina said...

Magikquilter,

Thanks : )

I think I usually like the comments better than my post. I like the conversation.

traceyleigh said...

Gun-bae,

Maybe Eddie can be of help to the Parkhills? As long as he can cook a good curry to go along with his refinancing!

Dina said...

Tracey,

I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything while reading your comment.

There'd be stuff coming out of my nose.

I can't stop laughing.

I'm looking on the bright side for you guys. I'm taking it you don't need the laxatives as well. See? There's a silver lining in all this.

Gun-bae!!! said...

Ms. Tracy - I would be very happy to make you and your family my famous chicken curry which...really is the laxative.

Ms. Dina - I am very sorry for desecrating your blog...please accept my apologies and this copy of Time Life magazine. Should you keep this, other editions will be sent to you every month. You can cancel at any time but you'll get to keep this copy as our gift to you. You are in luck, right now we are running a special at the low, low price of...

traceyleigh said...

I make a good dahl...it has an equally good laxative effect.

And Time Life?? Pfffttt..please Dina needs something far more worldly like Readers Digest. Now that is a subscription. I've heard that Eddie even advertises in there.

Adam Bowes said...

thankyou very much. That's not really one of my best songs that i've done i was goin' to take off some of my mama mia ones before i got your post lol.
Adam

traceyleigh said...

On a side note... it's funny about the Indian food thing. I wanted to make you guys an Indian feast and ummed and ahhhed about it thinking, well I haven't really heard about Americans getting into Indian food like we do so decided not to for fear that you wouldn't like it!

Dina said...

Gun-Bae: You think you can win me over with magazines? Think again, buddy!

Tracey: Thanks! Yes. I do need something more worldly. I'm glad someone understands me around here.

And yes we love Indian food! Crap. I can't believe we missed your Indian feast. Now we're going to have to come all the way back to Tasmania. There's that Qantas sale now. Tell Molly she's gonna have to return to that back room for awhile.....

Dina said...

Adam Bowes,

I think it's great. I need to listen to more of your songs. Which is your favorite?

Rebecca/beccaelf said...

Awesome post!

I'm glad that you are happier this time around.

Adam said...

My newest ones are my fav just go onto my account on youtube and hav a look at the new ones like raindrops keep falling on my head etc.
adam

Jim Skipper said...

I came by to see what's going on in your life.

My wife and I haven't been well this week, but we're getting better.

Otherwise, life is great. I'm making great progress converting my family web pages into a book.

Dina said...

Adam,

I really like the Scrubs Sesame Street one. I never heard the Joshua Radin one. I love his music.

I liked your "A Whole New World" with your friend.

I listened to bits and pieces of a bunch of songs. I'm impressed with everything.

I also saw your news video. I think you look a little bit like Daniel Radcliffe. Has anyone told you that before?

Dina said...

Rebecca:

Thank you!

Jim: It's SO nice to see you again. I hope whatever ails you and your wife isn't too serious. Tim is sick now. He's overworked at the moment. That may be part of the reason. That's great about the book!!!

adam said...

hey
i'm glad you like my other vids.

Haha yes many people have said i look like daniel Radcliffe i used to wear glasses which made me look a lot like harry potter lol
adam

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

I'm really enjoying reading the stories from your trip. When you write about what's going on with you-- and in your life, it completely sucks me in.

And for your daily lucky lotto numbers SMS 4969. $3.99 per SMS will be charged to your mobile service provider bill, standard SMS charges apply.

Dina said...

FloridagirlinSydney,

Since you're enjoying my stories, don't you think that maybe I can get a slight discount on the lotto numbers?

MsJamie said...

I read this days ago and meant to come back and comment. I'm just so glad that you are feeling so good and that things are looking up for you!! *hugs*

Dina said...

Jamie,

Thank you so much!! I hope you're feeling good too.