I’m sorry … my story of being depressed during this journey to Ireland

I’m sorry that I don’t always have a real smile

I’m sorry that at times it seems that i am hiding away from everyone

I’m sorry that i have not gone out and walked with you for a long while

I’m sorry that a visit with me might not seem as fun

Sometimes it is just hard thinking of what we will leave

to face that it won’t be as easy to catch up and have the craic

it’s hard enough just to remember to slowly breathe

But I love you all, affection for you I will never lack.

K.Sharkey 1/31/2015

It is easy at times to focus on the gray skies and miss out on the joy and beauty of the rainbow.

During this time of preparation I find myself being reflective.  It is easy to have moments of depression hit me during this exciting time.  More people suffer with depression silently because they feel that it means that there is something lacking in themselves that they can’t always be cheerful.  To admit to others that you need help is seen as being weak.  But it is not weak to need our friends contact.  It is not weak to force yourself outside when all you want to do is to crawl under the covers.  It is not weak to make to do lists of what needs to be done before the move and actually make progress on them.  It is not weak to say “sometimes I feel weak but I have the courage to admit this and soldier on”.

Depression is not always a sign that things are wrong with your life or situation.  It simply can be a fun twist of genetic fate.  Thanks papa Kent.  I would have rather you passed on your linguistic brilliance than your propensity for depression.  I find that I have to battle at times to make sure I don’t slide down that dark hill too far.

Karen’s survival list

  1. Take a shower every day.  It’s amazing how much of a difference there is in my psyche when I look and smell fresh.
  2. Make sure that the sunshine hits my face every day.  There are studies that have shown that the increase in Vitamin D decreases the incidence of depression.  Even on a cloudy day, you are still able to soak up the rays.
  3. Drink enough water.  I feel so much better when I am hydrated.
  4. Cook healthy meals for myself and family.  Junk in = junk out  Healthy food in = Healthy out.  It is just common sense that you feel better when you eat healthier.
  5. Tidy up the house.  When the house is not overly cluttered my mind feels less cluttered as well.
  6. Walk daily. I am just a person that enjoys being outside no matter the weather. It makes me feel more in touch with who i am and where i am.
  7. Talk to my confidantes.  Everyone needs to be accountable to someone who won’t judge you for your darkest thoughts.
  8. Listen to my confidantes advice.  If they say that i am slipping too far and they want me to talk to someone, I do it.   If I had pneumonia would i be ashamed of seeing a medical doctor for help?? Why in the world should i feel ashamed if i need to talk to someone who can help me dig out of the black hole of depression??

Thankfully, I have not slipped down the slope too far.  I have found that the stress of making decisions about the move I can feel overwhelmed at times which also leads to feeling blue.  I refuse to let these feelings rob me of the joy of our upcoming move.  Yes, there are things and people who I love who we are leaving and that makes me sad.  That being said, there are things and people that we are moving too who I love and that brings me much joy.  I choose to focus on the joy.

Scenes of the beach are always my “happy place”. I feel the most alive and like the most authentic version of myself when my toes are in the sand and I hear the crashing waves.

If anyone reading this is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, I beg of you to reach out.  Your life matters and despite what you may think, you will be missed. The loss of you will have longstanding ill effects on the ones you leave behind.

USA Suicide Hotline website

Ireland’s Suicide Hotline website


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