The Slow Dark Spiral

Nov 14, 2009

My maternal great-grandmother committed suicide in her mid-thirties, there on the back porch while her children watched.

My maternal grandmother never quite recovered from the early death of her third child, and while she had moments of laughter and happiness, there was a always sadness in her eyes. She never spoke of him.

My mother collapsed into a major depressive episode when she was only a couple years younger than I am now. One day, she quit her job, came home and went to bed, not to emerge for a few months.

But she got help. She talked about what was going on in her mind. Somedays, still, I can hear that dark edge in her voice, but I haven't seen her succumb in the past 20 years. I guess she's coping, or a least putting up a quiet fight against the black hole of depression.

And there are dark days here, too. Days when effort is useless, life is hopeless, when all joy has been sucked out of the universe. And I wonder if I'm next.

3 Response to "The Slow Dark Spiral"

Nana & Pawpaw Says:

Secret to coping. 1) Learn to say No. 2)Learn that you're not in control, God is. 3)Learn no one is prefect, we all make mistakes. 4) Learn to take time for me, we all need rest from work. 5) Learn that when we see that black hole coming duck, run, & tell someone you need help.
Love, Mom

Ronnie and Leah Says:

And give. Oh give, give, give! I have done no better thing to over come the darkness of depression than to open up my heart and home and help those who have a better reason to be depressed than I.
I love you. You are NOT next.

kim Says:

No, you are not next. You will have moments of doubt and fear, but you will write them down, talk them out. You will listen to your mom, your sister, your friends... and through it all, you will have learned to see the light at the end of the darkest tunnels.

I have the same family history. My grandma ran down the street, wild hair flying behind her, Lady Godiva style. My grandma turned on the gas and blew out the flame as I lay sleeping in the crib behind the door. God watched as she left the house.

My mom passed away a few years ago and although that fear was always there, she stared it into the face and watched it slink away.

After having my boys, I frightened the fear away. It was not allowed to take hold of me. And you will do the same. I still have moments, especially as the sky darkens in the winter time. As I begin to volunteer, more and more, it sheds light on the darkest of days

Leah's right, give. Give all that you have if you have to. Darkness isn't allowed to enter a heart that is full.