Today, I am alive and thriving.
However, I know that:
Depression in the United States…
- Affects over 18 million adults (one in ten) in any given year.3
- Is the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44.4
- Is the primary reason why someone dies of suicide about every 12 minutes. – over 41,000 people a year.5
- In comparison: homicide claims less than 16,000 lives each year, according to 2013 CDC statistics.
3Kessler RC et al. Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of Twelve-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun; 62:617-627.
5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web -based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online].(2013,2011)National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer).
Available from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html.
My two-year journey towards recovery has not been a straight line upward.
In fact, shortly after getting out of the hospital, I wasn’t even sure there was a line. Or that there was a path forward. Two years later, it is getting easier to see my future. And I am back to planning future activities. This is something I could not comprehend when I was in the grips of depression.
Knowing I have a Wellness Recovery Action Plan that I have written, is one of the reasons I am once again confident in my future.
Understanding what I look like at different stages is a game-changer for me. I have written down what I look and feel like when I am on my game. I have written down what I look and feel like when I am I am beginning to slip. And I have made a list of things that help and things that do not help. And if the rails ever come off again, I know the signs that it’s too bad to handle on my own.
Additionally, I have a list of supporters I can reach out to any time.
While I am sure I have had this all my life, it still gives me comfort. Some of my newest supporters have been in my shoes. This makes their support feel different, mainly because they have lived it. And finally, I understand the signs that my crisis is over.
So, I am off to start today’s list of planned activities.
Yet, I have learned not to take things for granted. I am finding time just to sit on the porch, watching the birds at the feeders. No cell phone, no laptop, no multi-tasking, just being in the moment. Our house is nestled against the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail. It is not unusual to see rabbits, fox, deer, along with hawks, and bald eagles.