Aging as Gracefully as I Can

My birthday was the 19th and we celebrated this past weekend with the usually two-day feast. Every year my closest friends come to stay in my little house for the weekend and we eat, drink and are very merry. This year, I was in desperate need of their company and to be reminded of how much love and laughter there is in my life. I’m aging as gracefully as I can, but this year smacked into 49 pretty hard.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been struggling with depression. I don’t talk about it much, as any of my pals can attest — I’m not much into revealing my deepest feelings. Rather, I retreat, disappearing into myself, a submersion too easily accomplished when the women I’m closest to are far away and I too blithely disregard the warning signs and become engulfed.

Most of the time, though depression always haunts my psyche, I’m an upbeat and positive force, who, having learned in my teens not to feed the black beast lurking in my heart, doesn’t allow herself to wallow in bed, play morose musical interludes, or deny the despairing feelings. So when I got called out by an online friend who’d noticed I’d gone missing, I was grateful. I’d slipped, and worse, I hid it from the few who could help me.

Depression is a self-immolator, desiccating ones spirit. Being noticed, being acknowledge is usually all it takes to pull me out of the embers. Smothered by illumination, the depression abates and I can once again laugh and toss off the occasional blues.

Being noticed, I’ve found, treats many ills from misbehaving children to the downtrodden. It may not be a cure all but it is often catalyst enough to solidify our existence and that is deeply meaningful to those who sometimes feel invisible.