Uncontrollable Confusion shows in the Mirror

I am lost. I am confused. I am sad. I am alone. I am at a loss as to what I am supposed to be doing with my life. How life even goes on when the one you love has died? These seem to be all emotions I cannot control, rather they are out of control or uncontrollable. These emotions hit me when least expected or when one would think they are expected. Sometimes they do not hit me when I would think they would, which leads to more confusion.

It seems that instead of life getting easier as time goes by, it has gotten harder. It may not actually be harder, it may just seem that way. Especially on days that I am feeling sad and confused. I will probably have many days that are sad for now, so I need to find a way to control how I feel and not be confused and sad. I have no special reason for feeling this way today, at least none I can think of. There is always the chance this is an anniversary of some bad news my husband I received but cannot remember, as there were many days we were given bad news. I made it out the front door and did some grocery shopping as once again there is a chance of snow in the south. At least that I am not confused about, I cannot drive in the snow and I have no control over the weather.

Making it out the front door should make me feel as if I have achieved something, even if it is minor. But it did not. It only made me more confused and not in control. I had a hard time getting out the front door, but pushed myself. Once on the road driving, it felt as if every stop sign, street sign or light were telling me to turn around and go back to the safety of my home. I continued on, with a feeling of dread, not panic, just a feeling as though I were not wanting to be out, that something bad was going to happen. I made sure to go to the two stores I had planned to and when one did not have what I needed I even drove out of my way to another store. Driving home, I noticed the gas tank was half full, ever since my husband had been ill I try to keep the tank full. So, even with the dreadful feeling, I stopped to get gas. This really should have felt like an accomplishment. That I pushed myself to do normal things when I did not feel normal at all. It did not make me feel any better. My guess would be I was not really ready to go out today so that anything I might normally have considered an accomplishment did not feel like one.

I have always been controlling. At least over what I can control. I cannot control panic attacks, but I have learned to manage them. I cannot control whether someone lives or dies, but I have always known that, it is only now harder to accept. There are many things I cannot control, but there are more things I can. By controlling the way I live my life, I can in some ways control the panic, control the circumstances that bring it. But I am talking about a different control in my life. It is more far-reaching and hard to explain. It is this control that is uncontrollable. I do not understand why, but with each day I find myself being further away from the controlled. This is causing confusion. I have been controlling my whole life. To suddenly not be able to control without any reason is where the confusion comes into play. I wondered if I am examining my past too much that it is leading to this feeling, but do not think that is the problem. I need to go through my past in order to be in the present and move towards the future. I think these feelings are coming from something else, but do not know what, that even if my husband were still alive I would be having some of these feelings. Not all of course, just some.

On days when I am sad, such as today I wonder if I will spend the rest of my life grieving. Yes, I used the word grieving, not mourning. I do not like the word and it does not really explain how I feel, but today it seems more fitting. As I mentioned it sounds pitiful, today I felt pitiful. I miss my husband. He will never be back. I have to live with this. I do not know how. I am trying to find out how, but so far, I only feel more alone with each passing day. I know the call from the hospice counselor last week set off new emotions of despair and loneliness. I need to get over these feeling. I need to regain control of my life, as much of it as I can. I need to stop being confused, at least as much as possible. I need to give myself permission to be okay with the fact that I am confused and uncontrollable at times. I also need to be sure that I do not stay in a state of confusion, that though I allow myself to feel that way, I try to get to exactly what is causing it. If I can control it, then I need to. If I cannot control it, I need to find a way to live with it in a calm, accepting way. I have my work cut out for myself. I only hope I am up to doing the work.

The One Not Seen in the Mirror

My husband and I have a son. He is grown now. He is married and has children. He lives far away now, but when my husband first got sick he lived about 2 and 1/2 hours from the hospital my husband was in. I have not mentioned him, not out of any reason to hide him, rather it seems he is no longer part of my life.

Several years ago, when my husband had his defibrillator surgically inserted, it was considered a serious operation, as my husband was born with an abnormal heart. My husband was in the hospital for 3 weeks for the surgery, was released and was back in the hospital 1 week later for 2 weeks to try a new medication. During that time, our son worked on the road and traveled a lot. He drove past where the exit to the hospital was (it was a 5 minute drive from the exit to the hospital) many times and he never stopped to visit him. We understood, he was trying to make a good living and it was hard to stop after driving for many hours for a short time then have to drive another 2 and 1/2 hours. No one in our family understood. But my husband and I did.

When my husband became sick, our son came to visit often. It was a long ride, he would only be able to stay for a half hour and return home, as he was not traveling with his job any more and had to wake up early for work. When my husband was moved to rehab, he came to visit. He built a ramp so my husband would be able to get into the house. He seemed to be there for me, the times he was around. When he was not around he would call to see if I were doing okay and to check on his father. When we were told my husband did not have long to live (not when he had to go to Hospice, but a few months before), he called to tell me he had not been a very good son to me and he was sorry. He told me he wanted to be there for me if and when his father died.

He flew up to his father’s funeral. He gave an excellent eulogy. There was hardly a dry eye there. He broke down after the eulogy. I was there for him and he was there for me. It was tough to bury someone so young, my husband, his father. He flew home to where he lives, I flew home to where I live. In the first few weeks he called at least once a week. He asked if I was doing okay. I was always afraid to ask him if all was okay with him and his family, as he seemed to always need something or something was wrong. Family started emailing and calling to tell me that my son was in constant contact with them which they found odd after years of him not wanting anything to do with them. They told me he had told them that his father wanted him to be closer to them. They felt he was trying to manipulate them, get money out of them. I know how he manipulates for money as I have mentioned in a past post of someone always looking for money. Yet, I felt he was honestly trying to reach out and be a better family member. I told them so. Soon they were giving him money. About that time his calls stopped.

He last called on January 1st at 2 a.m. I text messaged him on January 31st as it was his anniversary. I did not want to call, as when I call it is always at a bad time I am told. After my text, I got a text from him saying he would call when he got home, that he was working. He never called, there were no more texts. I have emailed him several times, he has not replied to any email. I can only assume when the ATM closed he had no use for me. Which is sad.

Was I a good mother? Only he can answer that. I can say I took him to every baseball, basketball, football, bowling and every other sport or activity he was in. Some were an hour or more drive away. I never complained, I sat in the stands and cheered for him. I took him to movies on the day they opened. I bought him anything he wanted. I did a lot for him. But that does not make me a good mother. I think I was. I could go on to list all the things my husband never did with him that father’s normally do, but this is not about their relationship, it is about ours. Each person has their own feelings about what a parent should be. Maybe in his eyes I was not a good mother. I do know that every family member has said I went above and beyond what most parents would do for their child. They do not know he has not called or emailed or sent a text message.

It is sad to think that he has not made any effort to contact me. As I mentioned we live very far away. I could have become very ill or died and he would not know. I know he is alive from the family that email me of their sending money to him. I would like to say that it does not hurt that he has not made any contact with me, but that is not true. While I like to think of myself as someone who does not get hurt easily, this hurts. He is after all, my son. The one person who I would have thought would always be there for me, if only just to listen.

So on a sad night when I miss my husband so much, I am left sitting here thinking of our son and how he is no longer in contact with me. How maybe if he emailed, I do not need phone calls, an email might bring me some cheer or happiness. Or maybe just a little understanding. As it stands now I have no idea why he stopped calling other than that I am no longer his ATM. If that is all I have ever been to him it is even sadder. I have given most of my life to raise him, what was left was given to my husband to keep him alive. Now I am left with a life. Nothing else, just a life. Alone.

My Mirror Shows No Cooking

I have a mirror behind my stove. I do not look in it. I take care not to look at it, other than when it needs to be cleaned. Lately the only time I look in it is to clean it. I have stopped cooking for now.

I asked someone I know whose husband died 2 years ago if she cooks. I thought she was going to tell me I was crazy and that she cooks all the time. This woman is known for her cooking. She has always loved to cook and is proud of her cooking. I was even a little embarrassed when I asked her. Her response shocked me. She does not cook anymore. If family is coming by she will cook but for the most part she never cooks. She said she makes sandwiches for dinner most nights, if she is out she eats out.

So it seems I am not alone in not cooking. I cannot say I have asked other widows. I know I could but they are not people who love to cook. I also know one eats out all the time, but she ate out when her husband was alive too. It is something so simple to cook, but the idea of cooking for one just does not make sense. Even cookbooks have “Cooking for Two” recipes. I do not recall seeing “Cooking for One”. That sounds pretty sad, as though you can find no one else in your life to cook for.

I have tried to cook 2 or 3 times since my husband died. The first time I made a large quantity of spaghetti sauce. I froze individual containers with just enough for another dinner. I probably had 7 containers, I say had, as I threw them out. They were taking up room in my freezer that could hold the easy to make frozen dinners already made. But even those sometimes seem to be too much to cook. I remember when I would microwave a dinner it took 3 or 4 minutes, now they take 8 or 9 minutes. I do not understand why they take longer, I can only assume for safety. Many nights I just have ice cream for dinner. It is easy and tastes good. I know this is not healthy and if I do not watch myself I will put on weight most likely. But for now, I am not up to cooking.

I look at all these little things in my life that have changed and wonder why I am concerned whether I cook or not. I think it is because it is part of a life I knew. I am not saying cooking was a favorite thing to do, but I did it every night. I need to examine these little things such as cooking a little closer. Decide if I want to carry them into my new life. Though I am not fond of cooking I do think I need to start cooking again, mostly for my health. I do not know when I will start cooking, but I do know that I have at least decided that cooking should stay in my life as I struggle to decide what belongs and what does not. One thing down, a million others to go.

The Mirror Shows Lost Life and Purpose

I noticed as I drove to the store yesterday, I passed many ambulances. With each ambulance I thought of all the times EMS came to my home because my husband had taken a turn for the worse. Which of course, makes me sad, not just because my husband has died, but the life that I had become accustomed to is gone too. It is hard to be a caregiver and at times I thought I was pushed to my limits, but after a while it became who I am or I should say who I was. Though there were times I probably thought I was at my breaking point, unable to go another day as a caregiver, those moments passed. I loved my husband and being his caregiver gave me a purpose for life. Helping others while I was at the hospital only reinforced this need to be helpful, to be a caregiver. Now my husband is gone, my little pet is still clinging to life, so I am his caregiver for now but I can tell not for much longer. Being a caregiver for a pet is different. I thought I had found a purpose in life being a caregiver. I did, but that time is now over. Though I can still volunteer if I were up to it, I do not think I can go through all that is required again. I am not ruling out taking care of relatives, I am talking about those I do not know or have no connection to. I do not think I can show the compassion and care needed to be a caregiver to anyone other than a relative or close friend. I would like to say that I will never have to, but I have family that are older than I am, as well as younger who are ill. I would be able to show family the same care I showed my husband if needed. Back to the ambulances for now.

It is odd, I probably know most of the people in these ambulances, they have been in my home, but I recognize no one. I know many live near by. They have always been kind. That is really all I know of them. My husband was always taken to a large, university hospital in another county. He was only taken to a local hospital if our county was low on ambulances or they did not think they could drive that far and keep my husband alive. So while they came into my house often and I went into the ER as they brought my husband in, I really do not know any. The same cannot be said for the ambulances from the university hospital. Whether they be the helicopter pilots and nurses or the large ambulance drivers and nurses, I came to know them all. If they are in this county and see my car, they will often turn their lights on, flash headlights, etc. to get my attention, waving the whole time. When my husband was alive, the helicopters would fly lower near our home and then go higher after passing it, as my husband always sat out on the back porch it was their way to say hello. These people became my friends in the last few years.

The nurses in the hospital as well as all the assistants and other personnel all became friends too. When parking my car, the valets all knew me, they knew my husband. If I passed one driving down the road they would wave. While at the hospital they always took time to talk with me no matter how busy they were, they showed concern and compassion. The nurses always asked if I needed anything and brought it if I did. They let me wander the halls and get things out of the supply closets without questioning me. Each time my husband was in the hospital, if a nurse I had become friends with were in another wing, they would come to say hello to me. The same can be said for all the doctors too. They went out of their way to talk with me if I had a question. If they saw me walk by while they were with a patient, they would sometimes excuse themselves to come out to talk with me. They spent more time talking with myself and my husband than most of their other patients. I know who has children, how old they are, what their hobbies are. I know more about all these people then most of the friends in my life. The hospital had become my home.

Sometimes I feel as if my calling to be a caregiver is gone and I have no purpose left in life. It also feels sometimes as if I have lost my home since I am no longer at the hospital each day. In addition it feels like all my friends that I made at the hospital are now gone, though I know this is not true. If I were to drive to the hospital and visit with everyone I became friends with I know they would still treat me the same, as a friend. But I am afraid of how I will react if I go back to the place I spent so much time with my husband, knowing that it is the place that kept him alive until there was nothing left to keep alive. When he was moved to Hospice.

When my husband died, I lost the man I loved. But I also lost all the things I listed above that became my life. I now need to find a new purpose in life. As for friends, I have other friends and my hospital friends are still there, but I am not ready to be a friend to anyone. I go on each day with a sad excuse of a life, having no purpose. I know this will stop and I will move on with life one day. I just do not know when that day will come. Will it take me by surprise? Or will I see it coming? Will I find a new purpose in life or will life alone be all I need? I have no answers. Today is another sad day for me. My pet is getting worse and I fear each time I check on him he will be dead. I am trying to be with him as much as possible, to make sure he is comfortable. I always say no one should die alone, yet that is something that is done alone. I guess I should say, everyone should have someone who loves them by their side as they leave life. At any rate, though I am sad today, I know this too will pass. If my pet dies I will be sad tomorrow. If he is still alive maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Most of us have bad days, today was one of mine. As a realist I know I will always have a bad day occasionally but I also know those days will pass and I will have happy days, that my happy days outweigh the bad. The knowledge that happiness awaits, even though I do not know when it will arrive, is what keeps me going and pushes me to find all the things I do not want in my life when the day arrives. So I will say good night to the bad day knowing that tomorrow is a new day. Each new day brings the chance for happiness. I sure could use some happiness, but I want to make sure I am done with all the work of getting rid of what is not wanted in my life first. Life is too short to waste time on things unwanted. Life should be enjoyed to the fullest when possible. One day when I write this, it will be a day of happiness, having found a purpose and a new life. Not forgetting my old life, learning to live with it, while I am also learning to live my new life minus what I do not like about the old life.

Yet Another Type of Acceptance in the Mirror

There must be many more types of acceptance than I previously thought. I have written about two that were similar yet different. This one is different as well. This acceptance has to do with myself. More specifically how I am dealing with the death of my husband. How I am moving or not moving forward. How slow or fast this process is. How much I should rush myself and how much I should slow down. How I intend to do these things. How I am accepting everything. But I am not talking of just my acceptance, I am also talking about the acceptance or nonacceptance of others that makes this unasked for journey I am on much harder. I normally do not care what others think of me, but this is not only about me, it is about how I am dealing with the death of my husband and how it is perceived, accepted or not accepted.

It seems many want to give me their opinion on how I should be dealing with all that has happened. I am not allowing visitors, but I did allow two family members to visit during November and then December, each time for only a few days. As far as most that know me, including the two I let visit, they can only guess how I feel and am dealing from phone calls. I try to sound upbeat on the phone. I tried to be upbeat during those two visits. If I were to sound sad or show sadness it would only make others feel badly for me as none live close by. They would want to be near to cheer me up. I would not want that even if they did live close by. I put makeup on during the visits, part of the makeup was not actual makeup, rather it was to appear as if I am happy, a smile on my face, standing tall, head held high. I think I have fooled them as they think I am doing better than expected. I do something similar with phone calls, act as if everything is fine, joke about things, when a sad subject is brought up I think of other things in my mind so I do not sound sad. Once again I think this has worked as if these people thought I were not doing well, they would drive to see me, try to help me heal, which is not what I want. This is a journey or drive I must do on my own. I need to come out of this knowing I have done all I could to become whomever I turn out to be, my new self. I do not want the mirror to reflect what others want me to be, rather it should reflect who I have become. Now on to this different acceptance.

There are varying opinions on how I should be moving forward. It seems that to some, my behavior is accepted as normal after the death of a spouse. In some ways these people who accept what I am going through make it hard for me to push myself to move forward. If I tell them a little of how I am feeling (not mentioning panic attacks or anything other than my life without my husband), they immediately tell me I need more time. They tell me to take all the time I need to mourn, not to rush myself. That I will know when I am ready to move on. They know all I have been through. They know how taking care of my husband was a 24 hour a day job, with little if any time left for myself. They know that though I knew my husband’s death was inevitable, it was still a shock and I am now left alone. They are kind and caring in telling me how it will take time to get used to a life without my husband. They accept me.

I have a different group of people who think I have spent too much time mourning and should already have moved on with my life. They do not accept that it should take time to mourn and learn to live a life alone. Much as with those who accept my not moving forward make it hard, these people who do not accept my mourning make it harder. They do not accept the fact that I have not moved forward, they want to tell me how far I should be by now. These people seem to have a cold, uncaring attitude, as though my life with my husband should just be thrown out and it is easy to start over. No matter what I say they do not accept it. Instead I get lectures or examples of people they know who had a death of a spouse and were out and about, happy a week or two after their spouse’s death. I wonder how these examples of people who are thrown in my face truly felt about their spouses. If their spouse meant that much, how can it be so easy to forget them? Maybe they do not forget, just move forward and not think. I then wonder how they think by telling me of someone who has moved on will help me. It does not, it is hurtful to hear these things. It makes me feel less of myself that these people do not accept how hard this is for me. It also makes me wonder if I am taking too long to learn to live without my husband.

This acceptance is different from wanting acceptance of others. It is wanting acceptance from myself. By having two groups of people with different opinions of me, it makes it harder for me to accept that I am having a harder time then I tell others. With the group that do not accept, if I tell them something honest, that makes me sad, they tell me I am being dramatic, looking for pity. I have already said I do not want to be pitied. By telling this group anything I am just trying to buy myself time. Time to move forward without facing their nonacceptance. I need to stop telling this group of people anything, but that is really not an option. If it were possible I would cut these people out of my life for now, if not forever. I do not need to be judged every step of the way towards my new life alone. I am not a suicidal person, if I were this group would surely drive me to the thought of ending it all. I have been tempted to tell one of them on countless occasions that I am ready to give up and join my husband in death, but I know this is not true and this person probably does not care as much as they say. Or they would hear it as my looking for pity. I have to learn to accept this group as they will be in my life for the foreseeable future. Whether they accept how I am dealing has to be their problem. I need to accept this and just work on myself.

It has been a little over six months and though I have made progress, I feel as if I have not made enough. But then I ask myself, just how much is enough? I know there are more areas to work on. I know that neither group of people listed above are really my main problem. I know it adds to my problems, but it is not the cause. I am learning a lot about myself I thought I already knew in looking at what the mirror reflects. I need to keep learning. I also need to go back to the person I have always been, the one who does not care what others think of me. I need to accept myself for who I am. As for the others, it is their problem if the cannot accept any part of what I am going through. Most of all I need to accept that however fast or slow I move forward is acceptable, as long as I am moving forward.

Fitting In or Not Among Mirrors

In our world we are taught from a young age that we should fit in with others. Be like others. Though there is encouragement to find our own way, it is not meant for us to stray too far from the normal. I have always wondered what normal is. To me normal for one may not be normal for another. I also wonder why others feel we must fit in. I think on some level most of us want some sort of acceptance, that we fit in even if we are a little different. I would think acceptance is also wanted when someone is the same as others. I do not understand why this matters to so many. In some ways it seems very trivial to want acceptance of others. I would think liking oneself should come first and be the most important acceptance. Once you accept yourself for who you are, others will too. At least that is how I see it.

I have always gone my own way. I like music that others do not. I am female and feminine but I am not a feminist. I do what I want regardless of what others may think. If they do not like it, that is their problem, not mine. In this area I do not talk of being cruel, rather the way I live my life. I have my own interests and opinions that are different from many I know.  If anything I sometimes go out of my way not to fit in under certain circumstances. I prefer to be an individual not part of a group. I prefer to be rebellious rather than fit in. But there are times I must fit in, so it is at those moments I am not true to myself. I do not like it when I have to pretend to be anyone other than myself, so these times are few and far between. I learned early when I could be myself and when I needed to fit in. In my personal life I am always myself. This ensures that for the most part those who like me, like me for who I am, not for who I am pretending to be. There are exceptions to why someone likes me, but these people are probably not the ones I want in my life. Sometimes I look carefully at why someone wants to be friends and decide it is for their gains not mine. I may still be friends with someone such as this or I may decide I have no room for them.

I see so many that want to fit in. They try everything possible to fit in. Their need seems to know no bounds. If others are cruel they become cruel. If others do things that go against their beliefs they will do the same. Do these people even  know who their true self really is or if they have become the person that fits in?  How much work and precious time does it takes to constantly fit in? I wonder what is lacking in their life that they need to fit in so badly. When they look in the mirror do they see someone who fits in or does their image show someone who needs to fit in but does not? I wonder a lot about these people, but have no answers. I have always been perceived by others as fitting in so I have little to no understanding of how these people think. I then think to myself it is none of my business why these people have such a desire to fit in.

I also see others who do not fit in. For other reasons. It is not they do not want to be accepted but life has not dealt them a fair hand or sometimes it is a religious or other belief that makes them unacceptable. Society as a whole can be cruel. No matter how much they change their behavior they will never fit in. It seems a lot of their lives are wasted trying to fit in. These people are usually different, not because they want to be, simply because of circumstances. When I see someone like this I try to reach out to show acceptance. I have seen this in the very old who are in nursing homes as well as the very young in preschool or higher grades. It seems strange that when others that are accepted see that I am talking to someone who is not accepted, the person who did not have time for the unaccepted suddenly show interest in them. If time goes by and I lose touch with the unaccepted, the accepted fall back into the pattern of not accepting the one who is different. This seems unfair. Cruel. I will never understand how someone is not accepting of others.

My differences from others as well as being standoffish to those who are accepted seem to make them want me to like them. They try hard to get my acceptance even though they have acceptance of many others. The neediness they show when trying to get my acceptance is embarrassing to watch. If anything it makes me think less of them. There is nothing different or special about me that should make others feel they need my acceptance, but through my life that is how it has been. The unaccepted ask for nothing from me which is why I show more true kindness to them. There have been a few times when I show interest in the unaccepted that the accepted notice and try to figure out why I accept the unaccepted. They try to get to know the unaccepted and find out they are not so different and they remain friends. These exceptions that I have seen in my life are few. My only conclusion is that these accepted people know what it means to be unaccepted and that they are compassionate.

Whether one fits in or not, when they look in the mirror I wonder what they see. I think many shield themselves from what they see. I feel that this happens for a reason. People have found a way to fool themselves or to protect themselves. I think it is sad that our society places so much emphasis on fitting in rather than accepting ourselves and others for who we are. It sure would make life easier if our society became more accepting of all. At the end of the day, when our lives are done, I think we are all the same basically, whether one is accepted or not. It would be nice if people strive to be more open to differences in others and accept others for who they are. Not wasting the time they have trying to fit in.

Sadness or Depression in the Mirror

I wonder when someone who is either depressed or sad looks in the mirror which they see? Are they seeing what they want to see? Or does the mirror tell the truth and the person sees whether they are sad or depressed. Or do they see both? I would guess each person sees something different. That some who are depressed see depression. Others depressed see sadness. As for the sad, it would be the same. I realize that a person can be both sad and depressed, but there is a big difference between the two.

Sadness is an emotion. It is natural after a life changing event to become sad. The event can sometimes even be a happy one. Sadness shows no compassion. It can rip apart all your beliefs. It can make a person cry non-stop. It can make you feel despair. You cannot function well. It is similar to depression in that there is sadness and sometimes uncontrollable emotion. In my opinion that is where the sadness and depression start to go down different roads. With sadness, you may not see there is happiness at the end of the road, but you know it may be there. You may realize you are sad and know the reason why. You may even wonder if you are depressed. While sadness is just an emotion, for some it should be taken as seriously as depression.

Depression is an illness.Notice I did not say mental illness, that is a stigma. Depression is a real illness. You have no control over it. It controls you. Depression may require a doctor. It may require therapy as well as medication. I am of the opinion that depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain. I know there are many different theories regarding depression, but I stand by my opinion. Someone with depression should be taken seriously. I do not mean treated by others differently so as to make them more depressed. Rather if there are comments made that do not sound right, you need to be aware, pay attention and try to get the depressed person help. Many depressed cannot see that there is any happiness at the end of the road. A person who is depressed should not have a stigma placed over them for being labeled as depressed. I would think this makes it worse for someone who thinks they are depressed and truly are, to get treatment if it is needed. They should be treated as they have always been, but the person who notices the depression is the one who should quietly watch and listen for any warning signs.

I am sad. I am not fooling myself into thinking I am not depressed. Rather because of my panic attacks, I sometimes suffer the mania that goes with manic depression or bipolar disease. In all my years, though I sometimes have mania I do not have depression. This is not something new. Doctors know of this condition, but would rather quickly diagnose someone as either depressed or bipolar. I have been diagnosed bipolar only for the doctor to tell me he was wrong in his diagnosis. I have also been told that manic or mania and panic attacks go together. That depression is not always seen with this condition. I am lucky I have never been diagnosed as bipolar or depressed as I cannot take any of the medications used to treat them. That does not make me any better off then those who do suffer from it, as some of them have a hard time finding the correct medication and staying on it.

Having a panic disorder is looked down upon sometimes a little more than either depression or bipolar disease. Many in the general public feel that people cannot help themselves if they are depressed or bipolar. With panic attacks, many in the general public feel that it is made up, that we can control it but choose not to. Also that it is easy to just forget about panic and go on with life. Panic disorders are very much as debilitating as depression or bipolar. It usually only takes one attack for a person who has never suffered them to begin to understand how bad they are. Most are lucky never to have that one attack. But this blog is not about panic. It is about depression and sadness.

I have already wondered what a person sees in the mirror when they are depressed or sad. Now I wonder what others see in the person. Do they see sadness and mistake it for depression? This would seem more common if someone has just recently experienced a major event, such as I have in the death of my husband. Or do they mistake the sadness they see for depression? I would like to think that people see what is really there, that way the type of compassion needed is given. Which brings me back to myself. I know I am sad. I am controlling. I do not want it to show. I do not look in the mirror to see if I am sad or depressed as I know. I do sometimes wonder what other see in me. I should not care and for the most part I do not, as I am trying to deal with my sadness and get to the end of the road where I will find a new type of happiness. I have mentioned I am strong which is true. There are so many fragile people I have come across in life. It is for those I am writing this. So that the next time a person comes across someone sad or depressed that they are treated with compassion. We live in a world where compassion seems limited to only those we are close to. It costs nothing to be compassionate to another, to lend an ear to listen. While it may not cost anything, it might be worth more than money can buy. It might even save a life. I write this for those who are in need of compassion. May they find compassion and help. While I am at it, maybe people can stop labeling and judging others. As I said, this is not for me, but for those I know who are in need of compassion.