20 February 2011

Under Construction

Last post I admitted to another depression. I have been feeling better and having more clarity about depression. I have been really thinking about seasons. I called my depression three years ago 'necessary' and a 'winter'. You know 'to every thing there is a season...' I took myself for a walk yesterday in unseasonably warm weather. My walks bring peace and introspection, one of the things I miss and need during winter, of both kinds. It occurred to me that I naturally slow down and feel blue during February. All kinds of triggers for that of course, but maybe rather than depression it really is a hibernation. I am not ashamed of the word depression but since it does have negative meanings, maybe hibernation is more appropriate. I can start expecting it and prepare for the restoration it is.

I know about seasonal affective disorder.  I am not about preventing these times as I have said. I am still functional and that is the difference between feeling down and depressed and behaviourally ceasing to function as with a disorder.

In my last post I admitted to my mental addiction to suicide. The walls didn't come crashing down. I was not struck by lightening. I felt nervous about hitting "publish," wildly giddy even. But like all secrets they lose a little power when light is shone on them. People emailed with their own admissions. I guess my healing light sent a flicker out to others. I hope for that but was honored and a little surprised when it happened. Thank you for that. Let's not cower in a dark corner. Let's look to a little bit of light and start. Start toward it.

I also wrote in my post that my husband was working very hard to understand my depressions and leave me to them rather than trying to fix things, or becoming angry with his own confusion and abandonment. Last year I asked him to get a hobby while my focus was on mother. He did. It involved wood and salvaged items. He started to collect a lot and sell a little. This parlayed into the recent purchase of a small building near our home that was formerly a commercial garage.

He strapped on his tool belt and got using that reclaimed wood. He started life as a carpenter, then left wood for another industry but his true love remained.

He started building.

And he has made something beautiful and amazing. I am so very proud of him. This is what he generated with a his time while I have been working with mother and healing. We have both been under construction... 


  1. Go husband!

    I may hump that wall below the window.

  2. Thank you for this intimate sharing of your Being. I am honored, and very happy to see you sharing so openly a subject that I know to be a deeply held, secret space in your life, and the lives of almost everyone....

    Excellent reframe: depression => hibernation. That linguistic change will deeply affect your essential relationship to the month of February.

    After our arrest last summer, I went through three of the darkest months of my entire life. I contemplated suicide. Now I realize that I was in shock, and that I was in process: re-evaluating the entirety of my life, and my previously imagined (read: 'taken for granted') future.

    Seven months in to this grand adventure, facing 15-120 years in a Federal penitentary, it now occurs for me as the greatest blessing, challenge, and opportunity for growth, of my life.

    As putting a new frame on a painting completely changes the way it looks, so does a new attitude and label for my internal landscape change the occurrence of my reality.

    I love you. And I am proud of you. Your grace and dignity leave me inspired to be a better person. For almost 30 years now.

    Thank you.

  3. Thank you Robin for writing this. I am so happy to hear that your husband has been reunited with something he loves to do. "We've both been under construction," I like the way you put that!! Being honest and open about this subject is commendable. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Robin,

    I think we are part of a national epidemic. So many of us suffer from depression. I love the term "hibernation." I tend to think of my depressive times as a signal that I need to be alone for awhile...that fits. When you live with Mr. Extrovert, that is sometimes a hard thing to do. I am so pleased your husband found a way to take care of himself instead of trying to take care of you. I know that will benefit both of you.

    Love you, Robin! You are a wise woman and you help us all when you talk!

  5. I really needed some better weather to perk my self up as well. It was about 70 today. I opened the windows, sat on the deck and just enjoyed the day. I think I am definitely affected by the weather. I thought that it would be much better in the south than it was in the midwest. Well, we have had a very grey winter here. Almost no sun every day. I "need" the sun. It warmes me up and makes me want to get going. It really makes or breaks my day as to wether the sun is shining in the morning. I wish it were not like that.

    I am so glad you hubby like to work with wood. So does mine. He makes me birdhouses and just about anything I ask for. His garage looks amazing!! :)

  6. The Winter Blues definitely run rampant in my family, and although I am not the one who gets the worst of it, I'm certainly not immune. I think it's wonderful that you've been so open with something that I know most people have the tendency to tuck away (that would be me, always sporting a happy face for the world to see no matter how seriously not okay I might be). You are so honest and courageous, which furthers my belief that the admiration I feel for you is well placed.

    As for the actual construction, I am so impressed with your husband's carpentry skills! The reclaimed wood looks gorgeous, and I am so charmed by the fact that the doors and windows are reminiscent of an old-fashioned storefront. So much talent in your family!

  7. I have been enjoying your blog. Thank you for your honest post. Strange thing I've noticed...most of the wonderfully creative people I've been blessed to meet deal with depression. When someone has a broken arm we think 'that had to hurt!' But we can't see depression. Kind of like faith...hope in things we cannot see. Your pics of your husband's work are pieces of art in themselves. Here's to the hope of spring and new life and sunlight! Keep on creating and thanks again for sharing..good to know we are not alone. ~*~Lisa

  8. dEar RoBiN,
    life can be so very difficult at times and we don't even know why. thank you for sharing so much of yourself and being so open and honest. i understand depression and isolation and, i want you to know that you are truly a rare and beautiful bird. lOvE YoU, franC

  9. Robin, these last two posts have been so brave and so honest~ I really like the analogy of being under construction...aren't we all a work in progress? I know I sure am! Your husband's project is a work of art! XO

  10. I am not reading other comments.... I am just in awe that your husband has found an endeavor that he might never have explored. Because of you. Funny what sends us into new directions. How can we ever ask why? We all have good days and bad. I am in awe of you. Each day is an exploration and at the end all we can do is move on to the next. All we can do. Hugs from Texas!! I continue to just think you are swell!

  11. Dear Robin,
    Never ever be ashamed of depression. Especially at this time of the year. If depression made us "abnormal" then more than half the world would be abnormal. No, depression is an illness; just because we can't see it doesn't mean anything. My mother suffered from it all her life. My depression took hold of me after my husband's untimely and violent death. I have been treated for it too and sometimes still have to cope with it. Much love to you.

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  13. I admire your honesty. Keep carrying on girl. Just found your blog. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself.


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