They say depression walks hand in hand with a heart attack and since I experienced multiples the black cloud of doom hangs over me this morning. I lay on the bed understanding what it meant when someone told me they wished they had died on the operating table while the loud noise of an outdoor lawnmower blurs my thoughts with the past.
The sound triggered a memory of not being able to stomach the taste of potatoe salad when I was 6 years-old. My Mother sent me to my room with an uneaten plate of the picnic delight and all night long I lay on my bed much like this morning feeling depressed and helpless. While listening to the almost musical score of summer lawnmowers I wondered how I was going to eat that Canadian household staple, and today, I agonized how I was going to get through this. Like the potatoe salad, what caused this mess has not gone away, and I have had to deal with it, and it still remains in a constant place in my mind.
They say “Depression is 3 times more common in patients after a heart attack than in the general population, with 15% to 20% of heart attack victims qualifying for a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, and a far greater proportion experiencing increased levels of depressive symptoms”. That’s an official quote, I didn’t make that up, and I know people don’t understand that just like my Mother not comprehending why I couldn’t put another mouthful of that salad in my mouth.
Laying on that bed on a summer night in the 50s unleashed intense waves of emotion like today. If you’re battling depression and heart disease at the same time, you and your heart will need all of the strength you can get. I never did eat that plate of potatoe salad, and for the next few years she was alive Bernice Ethylene Crittenden Knight constantly reminded me of the incident, just like I am reminded daily what happened to me a week ago.
Like the drone of lawnmowers life goes on and you are as good as whatever you did last. I say “sorry” even more these past few days because I feel everything is my fault. Some ask if I am okay and I feel what they really mean is: “are you over it yet?” so you can resume normal daily occurrences. My lips say “fine” as I don’t want to deal with further conversation, but my soul is still weeping. I guess I want someone to look me in the eye and say “no, you are not okay” as I am exhausted from trying to feel stronger than I feel.
I try to evaluate that depression is not a sign of weakness–it just means you have been strong far too long. Faking a smile even to your Mother is so much easier than explaining why you are sad, what caused all this, and how broken I feel right now. I hate this feeling that I can’t control what happens to me and it’s like I’m here, but I’m not, and that I belong somewhere else–anywhere, but here.
I should have tried harder I tell myself in both situations and it’s okay to cry as today even the sky is crying. Maybe I am too complicated and expect too much from myself–yet today I feel like such a disappointment like I was to my Mother that evening.
Stars can’t shine without darkness and I’ve had to fight like hell in my life, and fighting like hell has made me what I am. But–it never prepared me for this, and today I feel I have more scars than friends. Sometimes even to live is an act of courage but we have to remember we are worth more than our darkness. As Confucius says:” Our greatest glory is not in ever failing but in rising every time we fail.”
Instead of wiping away the tears, I need to wipe away the people that made me cry and just stop being heart broken. Recovery is a process and it takes time, patience, and everything you’ve got. I will try again tomorrow after my dark cloud passes and learn to dance again in the rain. Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never ever danced in the rain and after all..
And everybody hurts sometimes”
If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, seek help right away from a family doctor or a mental health specialist. You may also want to join a support group for heart attack survivors, such as Mended Hearts, which is sponsored by the American Heart Association.
- frequent feelings of sadness or emptiness
- loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- strange eating or sleeping patterns
- excessive crying
- thoughts of suicide and death
- difficulty concentrating or remembering
- feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
- unexplained aches and pains that don’t respond to treatment
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)