I’m 45 and I’m Alive

Today I turn 45. June 4, 1974. I have always loved my birthday and always share my age. I never understand why people lie as if saying a lower number changes who you are and who you’ve become.
Five years ago I was extremely ill and, unfortunately, that continued. But now, even though my life is completely different than I ever thought it would be, I look around and see the same faces and that makes me smile. Ken and Iliana, my everything and my family.
My friends: from noticing when I need my roots done (EM), to talking and laughing about the oys and joys of life (IG), to meeting for a “fix” and talking and laughing (AK). To talk on the phone with my brother, Rob, and go over all of our ailments only to realize we sound like our parents, to talking with my brother, Jeff, who tries to tease me as if we’re still kids while his lovely wife, Jenn, yells at him to leave me alone and thankfully takes over the conversation.
To be able to live in a community and be part of a synagogue and school that is an extension of home has been a saving grace. I feel as if my family tree is bursting, with blood relations and my friends who simply are my family.
I’ve been through a lot in 45 years and that will continue. That’s life.
I’m grateful and proud to be 45 and alive.

All About Camp


Moving On

In another month I will complete my ECT treatments. I honestly cannot wait. While it has certainly been a huge factor, in terms of saving my life, I am ready to move on. That is my current focus: moving on.
I’ve been thinking back to where I was a year ago and it broke my heart when I read what I blogged a year ago in February. Here it is:

If I don’t smile for an extended period of time, don’t take it personally.
If I seem “off” in some way, don’t take it personally.
If I don’t appear to be listening to you, don’t take it personally.
If I don’t laugh at your joke, don’t take it personally.
If my hand is unsteady, don’t take it personally.
If I appear tearful, don’t take it personally.
If I yawn, don’t take it personally.
If I don’t want to be around people, don’t take it personally.
If my leg shakes when I sit next to you, don’t take it personally.
If I forget something, don’t take it personally.
If I need to leave work a few minutes early to pick up my daughter as I ache to hug her, don’t take it personally.
If I don’t go to your house to hang out because I cannot imagine being extroverted, don’t take it personally.
This is Depression. This is my Depression. This is me right now. Don’t be put off and don’t run away. Give me time and just be there. And please, don’t take it personally. 

I was really sick. While I remember feeling this way, it is a different experience to read this now when I am healthy and thinking clearly. I remember those raw feelings. I felt an emptiness that could not be filled.  

I am trying to focus on the present now, the positive results of all of my treatment and all of my work. I am finally at a point of self-recognition. I have done a great job of thanking my therapist, ECT nurses, other hospital staff, family and friends for helping to rescue me from my depression, but I am finally at a point of praising myself. No one else could go to therapy for me or have ECT on my behalf; it was me. It was my choice to see my therapist, I agreed to go to the hospital, both times, I agreed to all of the medication trials. I did the work, whether it was using my head, my heart or the rest of my body. It was in my control. I am finallyproud of myself. I accomplished so much this past year and I am grateful for my inner strength. I am at a better place, emotionally, and I can’t imagine going back. 

I have a bracelet that says: She believed she could, so she did.

I believed I could, so I did.