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Spring announces itself in the green shoots of new grass and tiny leaves over the crackling browns of winter’s hibernation. Blooms burst forth in purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows. Fruit trees frost over with delicate pink and white flowers. The air gets warmer. The sun assumes a jaunty angle in the sky and the crackle of thunderstorms whisper victory over the death of winter. A seasoned gardener will have mixed emotions at this time of year. Months spent waiting in the grey cold darkness, starving for a hint of green are satisfied with those first new leaves. But the gardener knows the leaves are also fragile and tender. The newness of the blossoms and blooms feed the gardener’s soul, but they know a fear deep down – a sadness which comes from the knowledge of past experience and which robs them of the enjoyment of what they have waited so long for. A freeze is coming. There is always one final frost here in the Texas panhandle, right as Spring really gets it’s training wheels off, which inevitably kills all the delightful blooms on my apricot tree and slays any hope of reaping summer fruit from its branches. These flowers, just like the big and beautiful moments of our lives, are monocarpic: they flower once and then they die. That’s why we are told “Carpe Diem!” Seize the day!
Depression is a Thief. It steals joy, memories, hope, and in the most desperate cases, life. It has stolen the first year of my son’s life away from me. I can’t remember what his first food was or when he took his first step. I can’t remember his new baby smell or his first smile. All I can remember is fighting desperately to protect my family from the monster that came to live inside my head a few weeks after his birth. Fits of frightening uncontrollable rage have been subdued only by a slightly less frightening little white pill. The pill doesn’t make my days good, it just makes some of them less bad. After a while, even the good days became bad days because I knew they were going to end and I was going to be swept under that tide of darkness again. I began to feel like these good days were just a sick cosmic joke: like dangling a carrot in front of me only to snatch it back right as I’m about to partake. I became afraid of hope because I knew it would inevitably end in disappointment.
To read the rest of Beth’s story and find out more about her please head on over to our co-host Lisa‘s blog.