Depression as a Teacher

Today I was sharing with my higher power how thankful I am. Not because my life is great and I have few worries, far from it. Yet, I remain very grateful for what is. There were more than a few times in the past that my life could’ve ended but it didn’t. It is nowhere near where I want it to be. In fact, it’s taken so many twists and turns recently I never could’ve predicted. ~ This is a piece I wrote back in May of 2016 during one of my hardest depressions.

Lie to my face

Like when my ex-husband lied to my face about money even after we had been paying off debt and struggling to put together something for ourselves. How could he stomp on the trust we had with a level of indifference such as a person walking down the sidewalk unaware of the caterpillar he just killed?

I refuse to watch

Like when I saw my ex-husband continuing to do very harmful things to himself and in the long run to our marriage while he was supposed to be getting better so that we could reconcile? It made me wonder, maybe being without me was better than being with me. I couldn’t watch him kill himself. He passed away summer of 2015. One week before my birthday. We had been divorced for less than 4 years.

Love not returned

Like when a man I fell deeply in love with couldn’t return the love and the rejection cut like a piece of paper yet felt like a jagged piece of metal that caught on my flesh. Why did this rejection hurt so much more as a grown woman then when I was a young girl? Rejection can suck toes by the way. I might want to change that to rocks, yes, rejection can suck rocks. I hear sucking toes can be lovely well at least when my toes are sucked it’s lovely.

Lost not one but two

Like when my teenage granddaughter whom I had raised since she was 18 months old told me that I “need to get a better paying job” because since the divorce I couldn’t provide her with the normal things anymore. Try to explain to a teenager that they will find out soon enough about making a living and the job markets value on your labor. That’s like explain kindergarten to a baby, they just don’t care. It’s all about them. Little did I know when I lost my ex-husband due to the divorce, I would lose her also. That was her choice. I wouldn’t allow her to use the vehicle for school back and forth. She asked if she could find someone to live with if I’d let her stay in the current town. I told her yes, if, you can find someone I trust. She did.

Lost love lingered

Like when I resigned, relocated, and moved in with my daughter after the divorce the next year. If I could go back, I may change that decision, but I can’t. (Hindsight, I wouldn’t) I had such high hopes for myself. Go to school, work part-time, and get a new life. Oh, but then that rejection from falling madly deeply in love happened. That’s when I found out that I still suffered from periodic depression. I had just become quite skilled at not allowing it to interfere with anything. Until then that is. I lost 2 jobs back then. Neither was of quality making skills, but they were a livelihood which made me feel “productive.” Another thing I learned, I do better when I’m productive.

Space has impact

Like when I moved into a “studio” after my time at my daughters. I’m claustrophobic. A studio taught me about my depression more than any rejection from falling madly in love which happened twice. Yep, I do wear my heart on my sleeve, a lot. Yet in that studio I faced many of my own demons. The first demon was one most people face much sooner in life. Being alone. Nope. I went from my parents to a man, to babies. There was always someone around me. I had never really learned how to be alone. Not that it’s a good or bad thing. It just is. So, I learned some more about me and depression. I didn’t ask for the lessons, but it seemed to come by and visit at the least desired times. Even my son moving in helped but then when he left, I was reminded of the quietness, the stillness, the peace, which was all okay until bedtime. There in the dark, it reminded me of more unwanted lessons.

Screaming on the inside

Like the nightmare of a boss, I faced every day for months at a job I thought I would love, and I was very good at. It was one of those slow but very real in your face “oh my god this is going down the toilet so fast I can’t even fricking believe it” moments and I wanted to scream. Yet instead, I showed up every day and allowed the stress to build until I internalized it all because well that’s what I do. You do remember the school of depression?

Built on a lie

Like when I sat there as the man I had come to know as my Dom/Daddy/Master for 7 months explained he had a newborn baby and girlfriend and why he chose not to tell me about that. My stunned facial expression couldn’t possibly match my stunned heart that already feared to trust another man with it and yet there I was, I didn’t want to let go of what we had built. Wait. What had we built? Built on a lie, yes, we had built something on a lie that somehow I allowed myself to rationalize so that I could continue a fantasy with you until, well, until I couldn’t do it anymore, no I couldn’t do it anymore because you kept lying and my heart didn’t feel like breaking any more. Again, not that I needed any more assignments but I learned more about my depression.


Like two weeks later after I said no to you, your lies and your fantasy when I was fired from a job I had held and loved dearly off and on for over 7 years. It hurt even more because I was unjustly fired. I contemplated fighting it but I knew in my heart that it had been coming to an end for a long while, that sort of feeling it in your soul long before you actually see the signs in your eyes. Yet it still came as a shock, unsettling my productiveness, tearing at my foundation of already a crumbling reality, reminding me that what we have in our lives can all slip away in such little time without a lot of effort. So it seemed my depression without a lot of effort held me tight like I held my teddy bear at night, as if that would make sleep more endurable. At this point sleep was becoming an escape.

By myself

Like when I dared to take a chance, again, to believe in a man and his words, to try again for a dynamic that I thought may give me “love” but instead proved that I may be the best person for that position. After all look at what I had already learned to love myself through and this is just within a few years from a divorce. I don’t even want to mention what all happened in the 49 years before that. This teacher had taught me well all of my life. It just took me a little while to recognize it. I mean it was what others suffered from, like my mother. So I walked away from that dynamic knowing I could love myself and take care of myself and even though it was hard for me at times, I could be by myself.

Fond farewell to spaces

Like when I said goodbye to my little one bedroom apartment, yes moved up from the studio, it was like saying goodbye to a dear friend. I had gone through the same fond farewell when I left the studio. I had grown while there in that tiny claustrophobic place. I had also grown while in the other too. I had become stronger and more patient with myself, at least for a little while, that continues to be a lifelong process.

Cherished moments

I had relished my freedom, my space, and my tendency to clean and de-stress through keeping myself busy. I had cherished facing my fears, taming my demons, loving my tears, scaring the fuck out of my self-made boogeymen and overcoming my self-doubt. I didn’t want to leave; depression had already made its usual parade up and down the corridors of my mind while I packed, and continued reminding me that it was a consistent little pesky teacher that acted more like a hall monitor with a bloated attitude.

Feeling like a failure

Yet here life was pushing me in another twisty slithering way that seemed to mount against me more each day. So I relocated, again, no job to resign from, moved in with my daughter, again and felt utterly defeated, again.

Grab your coat

Since it was winter, the consistent teacher of depression was like my coat that I wore each day and night. It was heavy but felt like a snug warm friend. You know not to fight it but to just let it soak through you and allow it to fall away in its own time. I didn’t have the extra energy to fight anyway. I knew it would take a while for me to work through it. I cannot right now at this moment honestly say that it is over. No. Not at all. The sun just makes it more bearable right now.


I still wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m not allowing life or that damn pesky ass teacher to change that. Yet I have reserved my trust for myself. I can no longer give it freely. I can take my time to decide when and who to give it to. I remain open and teachable because I’ll be damned if I let all this life sh** make me bitter or mean. The world remains as it has always been a lonely yet beautiful place. I expect that to change one day because I cannot live thinking it won’t. I am a perpetual romantic so it leaves me open for that sort of thing.

There is only time

There is no end. There is only time. I get up and push through each day. I make myself apply for work. I make myself go to the gym. I make myself walk, talk and act like I’m okay and for the most part I’m pretty good. I can thank my depression for that after all it’s been very thorough in its meticulous education with this girl. I can accept it, feel it, know that moving through it may take ups, downs and all arounds but it does not have to define me. I turn in the assignments. I know when it’s coming for a test. I know what to do to make through it.

Check the halls

I also know I am not alone. I may not share about it often, as I said it does not define me and even writing this is hard but I have been fighting with some negative energy and today was a good day so I wanted to take some of those valuable lessons and share with the rest of the class so you too remember, you are not alone and whatever comes, remain grateful, some people don’t have the luxury of such a consistent teacher as depression. Just make sure to check the hall before leaving class because that monitor is looking for new students to harass.

I hope you will share your experiences and thoughts with me either in the comments below or send me an email.

All the best,

Gma Katherine

w. livinglifewithgma


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