Hello world . . . of 2 or 3! I think I may have understandably lost most of my blog audience with my inconsistent posting the last few months. But, I'm just not willing to give up on the blog. I keep thinking it is something I'd like to do better and cultivate into something productive and meaningful. I just need to continue to get my ducks in a row at home.
copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 1/20/2012. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: everything from my personal stash and Tumble Fish Studio image kits including Divas, Remembrances, Nitty Gritty, My Picks and more.
So, I thought I'd finally explain a little more of what's been going on . . .
It's hard to explain completely (that's why I've put it off so long). There are lots of nooks and crannies that would take many pages of words to tell the whole story. The punch line is that back in November, just before my husband had the mini-stroke, our 18 year old daughter was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. I'm sharing this with my daughter's permission.
My husband's situation was not brought on by my daughter, we don't think, but his own stress from work and need for blood pressure medication. His work is going well, it's just growing in responsibility and adjustments need to be made to lighten his load. We're all working hard to streamline life and take time to smell the roses.
I have found, since Lauren's diagnosis, that discussing depression is a bit like discussing politics or religion due to some close minded opinionated know-it-all type people I have encountered - some in my own family. I've found I have to avoid discussing it with some people and that has been painful for me - not talking about my daughter in this case would be like trying to ignore an arm falling off. Talking about it with people that think it is just a case of feeling sorry for herself infuriated me. Lauren's depression is as much an illness as diabetes or high blood pressure or any other disorder many of us could have or develop. It's not a pity party, it's not a mood, it's not an attitude problem. It is a real medical and biological illness that may have very well been triggered by her being so sick with mono last year in the midst of all the pressure of graduating high school, scholarship applications, soccer games and college team tryouts, etc. Stress, lack of rest, and poor health can have a greater impact than many of us realize. Sometimes these things result in more easily discussed medical conditions and sometimes they can trigger mental illness issues. The stress Lauren put on herself, coupled with being one very sick person physically, just caught up with her and the brain chemistry changed along the way and whatever chemical we have in our brain that lets us recognize and feel happiness or relax went missing in Lauren. It took us from July to October to figure out what was going on and she progressively got worse as we misunderstood what was happening. Once we got an inkling and were able to get her proper help (therapy first and then medication), things started to improve ever so slowly and we are so grateful that she is, just recently, returning to the Lauren we all know and love. But it has been a long difficult journey and it took my focus away from work and blogs and emails and made life very simple in some ways - Lauren's survival was my task and endeavor and that was about it for both of us and all of us at some points.
I still don't know much about depression - I know what it isn't in some ways and I know enough to get frustrated with short sighted people that lack the compassion to try and understand it with me/us. We've all had "the blues", been down and out for periods of time and picked ourselves up and got on with life. Clinical depression, not situational depression, is a very different animal and not something that can be flipped around with attitude and coaching alone in many cases. I'll leave it at that for now as that is a lot to read, especially when you don't have to. I just wanted you to know why my focus has shifted and I may seem more distant and inconsistent.
The piece above, "Blue Me", is a little about my own reflection and grief in how I may have contributed to my children's life stumbles/struggles. The piece below, Un-Sung is full of symbolism in my recent months with Lauren. She not able to see life accurately, faking smiles just to get through a conversation or momentary encounter. Me (the bird) trying to "direct" her along the way, describing blue skies ahead, the target of being happy and getting well. Again, I'll leave it at that.
copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 2012. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: most everything from my Tumble Fish Studio kits including Etcetera, Happy Place, Freestyle, Random Favorites, City Skies, and more; head from picassoswoman at flickr and used with permission.
On a lighter note . . .
I have some new kits in the shoppe at Deviant Scrap! Making kits has been wonderful therapy for me and the one thing I've been able to continue with at my own pace. I have many ideas swirling in my head for future work and projects and when my situation doesn't allow for focus on them, I have enjoyed preparing for them with the creation of new kits.