Thursday, December 22, 2011
Not Your Usual Christmas Greeting
Let me be frank, this has been a rough year for me, starting with last December. The last 12 months have been fraught with annoying physical ailments, some of which were serious scares, but which, much to my relief, turned out to be of a more minor nature. In February, I had my first bad fall, something all people worry about as they get older. It was my body letting me know it needs better care as it ages.
I know many folks have had a much worse year than I have, and I don’t want to sound like a whine-ass. I’m just saying last year can leave any time now, the sooner , the better.
This last year the IRS and I had a battle royal. They seem to think I make a lot more income than I do and for months they bullied and beleaguered me, even though I was cooperating fully. Finally, I was able to get help from the good folks from Taxpayers Advocate. I won’t go into details, but the IRS seemed determined to either see me living on the street or on a slab in the morgue. We settled for somewhere in between. (When I start screaming and swearing about corporate greed and financial injustice supported by our government, trust me, I mean it!) It took nearly 8 months for me and the IRS to come to an agreement. 8 freaking months of government incompetence and bullying.
As many of you who follow this blog have caught on, I suffer from depression from time to time. Sometimes it’s mild, sometimes it’s severe, but it’s never continuous. It’s more like spots of red wine on a white table cloth.
For the most part, I’m a pretty happy and stable person, and very productive. But for about 5 months in 2011, my depression was so severe, I couldn’t write, could barely work, barely could get out of bed. So severe, I thought seriously about finding a slab on which to rest my head. I was crying all the time – at work, at home, at my computer. I even had to take some time off work because of it. My close friends were horrified by how deep I’d plunged. Much of this long bout was predicated on my IRS problems and the feeling that I was being torn apart by hungry pit bulls. When you see no resolution to a severe problem, depression raises its head like a poked vicious dog.
I love Christmas! It’s a time when I come out of myself and celebrate and connect with others. The holidays and the promise of a New Year always bring me out of my doldrums. But statistics tell us that the holidays are the most serious time for depression for most people. That there are more suicides this time of year than at other times. Add to that the current financial climate, unemployment, and increase in alcohol consumption, and it becomes a ticking bomb big enough to take out half a city.
If you suffer from depression, know you are not alone. Get the help you need and keep fighting the good fight. Take it from me, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if you're wearing a blindfold.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to gleefully jump into my 60th year! Yeee Haaa!
Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Healthy and Bright New Year!!