Monday, April 1, 2013

Today is Crystal's birthday.  My niece passed away last summer.  So many of us are thinking of her today, and missing her, and getting through this 1st year without her in our world.

Crystal struggled through most of her adult life with mental illness.  I state this not to remember her with these struggles, but to come out of the closet as someone who also struggles.....and to honor and celebrate her life in the midst of grieving.  To say she was a brilliant artist sounds so cliche, but it's spot on:  her mind was so full of ideas, and love, and creativity, and thoughtfulness towards others.  She battled her own demons, but had a strong faith in God, and lived her years here with purpose.

My own struggle manifests itself in depression....a word that still is hard for me to verbalize without feeling a bit of shame, even though I've talked to many many women (and a few men) who also struggle with this, even though I sought treatment for it about 10 years ago.  It's just one of those things that runs in my nearsightedness, and breast cancer, and Reynaud's Syndrome.  I wear glasses, I get mammograms  and I suffer through cold cold hands in winter.  I also take a pill each evening which helps keep my serotonin balanced.  Some other family members also treat it....and some don't.  Just like any illness.  I'm thankful and grateful that there's a medicine that works for me.  I know others who struggle to find the right medicine,and I know it's crappy, to say the least, to be depressed.

Today, April 1, I celebrate Crystal, and life, by appreciating good in this world:

*hanging out my laundry while listening to the birds.

*making bread

*grocery shopping and appreciating that I have enough money to buy a few extras today.

*making dinner for my family

*thinking of Crystal today, and missing her, and feeling thankful that she was in my life.  And listening to this song:


Dag said...

i love you...!

Kristin said...

Beautiful remembrance, and it's about time that we all erase any shame about mental illness, and recognize and encourage treatment and coping mechanisms and discussion and most of all, love and understanding for those who struggle. Thank you for your courage, and I am sorry for your loss.