First things first, okay? I’m not residing under a rock, thank you for asking! I’m sorry that I haven’t been updating much lately. It’s not that a lot hasn’t been going on that’s been worth reporting– quite the contrary. Way too much has been going on in my life that I’ve hardly found the time to breathe properly and reflect on it all.
It all started a few weeks ago, during a particularly frustrating time in my as-of-yet short blogging career. My site layout just hasn’t been working for me, and I lack the geeky skills to change it without worrying that I’ll unintentionally erase everything.
Shortly after all this, I received an E-mail from a woman named Alyson Flynn. She introduced herself, and told me she works for a company called Marquis Healthcare. She then, without much further ado, proceeded to tell me they were interested in hiring me part-time as a health blogger for their Web site!
And here I was, genuinely concerned that, given all the recent technical glitches my site has experienced, that people might lose interest in this blog– and, in effect, this cause.
I immediately contacted Alyson, and shortly thereafter was interviewed via conference call for the position. This past week, after a few initial conversations with Alyson, I published my very first post on their site.
The topic of this post, which was managing and preventing urinary tract infections, was unfortunately inspired by a real-life incident in my personal life. For about two weeks, I was battling a severe UTI that was characterized by persistent, sharp bladder cramps. I ended up going to the E.R. this past Monday, and the experience left me wondering what I could really do to prevent this from happening again.
But, like the lives of most people with spina bifida and most people in general, not everything has been pain, suffering, and negativity. Around the same time that I was being hired by Marquis, my good friends at LATISM were making plans for me, too! A week ago, I wrote my debut post as a health blogger, as well. For the specific interests of the LATISM organization, I am blogging about health issues as they relate to the Latino population. I couldn’t be happier, writing about what I love for the people that I love. In the past seven months or so, LATISM has been a beacon of hope and support for me, from finding sponsorship for my ticket to the BlogHer conference in August, to sharing my blog with others, to engaging me fully in socially-relevant conversations in which I am continually challenged to keep up with all the savvy blogger and marketing veterans.
Through it all, attending Church, interacting with my family and interacting with friends who share my generally optimistic view of the world has helped me to keep hope alive, even in the moments when I would expect to become depressed. To my surprise, I didn’t really have the opportunity to get depressed when I started having that really bad UTI, because all the while I was “venting” my feelings with others (not in a whiny, negative way, but trying to resolve the problem).
And that afternoon that I spent in the E.R., I experienced so much love and support from different people. I realized there are plenty of people who care about me.
And, what’s more, they still care about this cause.
That’s what I believe encouraged me to write about what has been the “pink elephant in the room” not only for people with spina bifida, but for many other demographics, as well– clinical depression. Today, I published a post on the topic for “Salud Saturday” on the LATISM site. Although the discussion is geared more toward Latinos, most of the resources I provided, such as the National Institutes of Mental Health site, apply to a broad variety of people, not just Latinos.
Portrait of a depressed man by Vincent Van Gogh, 1880
I will say this. Depression continues to be a silent, but deadly, disease. I know, because I am a survivor of it. Although I never attempted to physically harm myself, the emotions that I’ve experienced while in a bout of depression are harmful enough.
So, it’s critical to realize, once you recognize the symptoms, that you can’t go it alone– you’re not meant to. I got help, and I hope that, if you’re reading this and you’ve been through some of the same things I’ve been through, you’ll do right by yourself and get help, too. Because your life is worth it. And because it does, in fact, get better.
I never encourage people to share information that they are not comfortable with disclosing, but if you have a personal experience you would like to share about depression, please leave a comment on this post. We always assume there’s no one in the world who “gets us.” We’ll never really know until we break the silence.
© 2011, Laurita. All rights reserved.