Thursday, October 22, 2009

17 years

The funny conversations that happen in my house usually involve one of my younger boys. This one though, came from the older boy in the house while we were driving in the car. We were talking about people who struggle with depression and other issues that might make them feel like they just don't want to do life anymore. I'm not always as compassionate as I should be (shocking to those closest to me, I know) and my view on it is that you've got to do everything you can to just suck it up and keep going, even when it's hard and things are dark. This is a paraphrased version of the conversation, with the important parts pretty much word-for-word:

Phil: Maybe I've been living with you too long, but I'm starting to think the same way.

Me: Especially if you've got kids . . . you don't get to just lay in bed all day and ignore your responsibilities. Sometimes you've just got to will yourself to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I think that if you keep going, sometimes the fog can lift a little bit. But it's so easy to just let it overwhelm you and then it gets worse.

Phil: I'm not so sure that everybody needs therapy to deal with their issues either. Sometimes if you just force yourself to keep going, things can get better.

Me: But if you allow yourself the luxury of just checking out, I think you can sometimes create a downward spiral and it is self-perpetuating.

Phil: Seriously. I've been depressed for 17 years. Where would we be if I just decided that I didn't want do get up in the morning, even on the days that I just feel a weight over me?

Me: 17 years? You've been depressed for 17 years?

Phil: You know what I mean. Off and on . . . some days it's just hard to push through the fog.

Me: Happy 17th anniversary, dear.

Phil: Doh!

After that there was a lot of fumbling and backtracking and I think he said something about 17 just being a random number and he wasn't even thinking that our 17th anniversary was the day before.

And I told him that he just made the blog. And he was embarrassed and didn't think I would really put this out there. Silly Phil.

(In the interest of letting everybody know that we aren't complete heathens, Phil is a psychologist who does therapy as part of his job. We both recognize that depression is real. And we both know that sometimes issues can be so serious that you can't just "will" your way through it. We weren't talking about those situations.)


Nathan said...

I think there would be more stories like this about me on my wife's blog, but there are just too many to choose from.

Phil is much better at keeping his foot out of his mouth than I am.

Still, I can't wait to tease him about this one.

mj said...

phil, here's a shovel. just keep digging...

Julie said...

If Phil blogged, I can only imagine the stories he would tell about me. But this one was too good to skip. I'm still not so sure that 17 was as random as he claimed.

mom said...

Julie, just think where he would be without you?????? Depressed wouldn't even start to cover it. Love you both, Mom