The Great Depression in Life After 60

  • July 11, 2019, 5:47 a.m.
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  • Public

Both of my parents survived the Great Depression. I remember the stories they would tell of what life was like. My dad was stationed in Honolulu HI on Dec 7th, 1941. He would never talk about cleaning up the aftermath. Dad died at the age of 45. Mom lived to the ripe old age of 91.
My great depression has been an accumulation of 61 years of life. I wouldn’t say mine was any worse or any better than others, but it has affected me differently. I am the youngest of 5. Two half sisters 20 years my senior both are gone, and two brothers both 10 years older remain with me.
All 5 of us were different, yet somewhat alike. I think I am the weakest of the 5. I watched my older siblings grow up and wondered how they survived. Life was not fair. In the past year, I have borrowed a phrase I heard once, “Fair is where you get cotton candy”
Life, that is where you get a real education.
I suffer from depression. If you have ever had to face life with depression you can relate. One day you are fine and the next, someone opens a trap door and you fall into the abyss. The chemical imbalance pushes you to a place few can understand. As you stare into the abyss you mind begins to tell you that your life is over, you are doomed, and there is only one way out.
Not everyone who is depressed goes to the edge of suicide, but many do. And it affects everyone differently. Sure, my medication helps me, but it doesn’t stop all the demons. Those who have never experienced it, can’t understand what would cause a person to do such a thing. How can life become so sad that one would take their own life? Until you stand at the entrance of that dark place you never understand. And the truth is, I don’t understand it all. I feel like a person just gets to the place they can’t see any good, or any hope of change.
For me, my symptoms are worse at night and during the holidays. I think that is pretty much the norm. The anxiety some nights is so bad that I can’t fall asleep, it feels as if my heart is stopping and I can’t breathe. My whole body feels like someone shocks me with high voltage and I am jolted. And for some reason this week has been extra tough.
Some days I just need someone to talk too. But I am afraid if I tell them how I really feel it would scare them. Honestly, to look at me you would have no idea. Like Robin Williams, I can put on a smile and make you laugh. All the while, hidden behind the mask, is a guy just wishing he could be normal.

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