When Labels Heal

When Labels Heal

Last year, I was diagnosed with depression. When my therapist said those words, I was a little shocked. I wasn’t depressed. I was just a little sad. Afterall, how could I be depressed? I live such a privileged life. I have a job and am able to provide for my family. I have a healthy husband and healthy children. I have a supportive and loving extended family. How could I be depressed? There is nothing wrong with my life.

But as we talked through it, I realized that at times I was overwhelmed by intense sadness. Times when the sadness felt too difficult to overcome. It was such a thorough part of my existence, I couldn’t see the difference between me and the sorrow.

When I finally accepted the new label, the weight already began to lift. Naming it became a medicine all its own. It was no longer foreign. Instead it now has a shape. I can see it, I can take it apart piece by piece, and I can learn to adapt and overcome.

It also makes other depressive episodes more manageable. When those come around, I can see them for what they are: temporary.

With this new year, I hope we all can all figure out what labels can be helpful, ignore the ones that aren’t, and continue to learn to love and heal ourselves.

 

The Attraction of Silence

The Attraction of Silence

“My mom doesn’t go to work. She stays home.”

“My mom doesn’t go to work. She stays home.”