It is officially Fall. August and its sultry weather stayed with us well into September, and Indiana days are just giving way to the cool sunset evenings that call the entire family out of doors. Tonight I marveled as I watched my daughters play together, both pretending to be super heroes who could fly (on our swings) and then chase criminals as they giggled their way through the yard. The dog chased the cat through the too-tall grass and I looked at the Mister.
"I don't know if you've noticed," I said, "but our family is just about perfect right now."
"I have," he replied, smiling.
All of this comes on the heels of one of the deepest depressions I have ever experienced. It is one that frightened me with its insidious nature. Even now, I cannot look back and say when it began. Was it three years ago, after our miscarriage? I admit that I did all I could to avoid the feelings surrounding that time, choosing instead to stay busy. Was it after we brought home our second daughter and realized the many, many hardships she, and therefore we, faced? Was it a simple chemical imbalance, brought on by a fluctuation in my disease and completely out of my control?
Whatever it was, it cut deeply. The depression had me asking myself questions that frightened me, and giving myself answers that frightened me even more. Finally, knowing I could not go one step further without clinical intervention, I sought help from my physician. We changed meds. I made my world very, very small so that I could manage only the things I absolutely had to. I waited. I took a pill every day and I waited. And, eventually, the pill started to work. For many weeks I felt the darkness dogging at my heels and then, finally, I felt free.
I worry, as I ever have, that someday the depression will drive those I love from my side. That it will one day become impossible to distinguish its voice from my own. That I will have more episodes over the course of time and that, one day, the only happy times my family will have with me will be memories.
But this season, this change, gives me hope. The ability to delight in our simple family life, in the beautiful weather, in the smiles that I am able to share. This season, right now, is a good one.