Everyday isn’t bliss and all memories are not happy ones, but we must find an outlet to keep us grounded so that we can bounce back during the trying times.
Everywhere I look online I’m reading posts from friends with #albinism referencing either they are feeling depressed, that depression is grabbing them or that they would like to go back to a happier time and place in their life.
While anyone can experience temporary moments of sadness brought on by losses during a certain period, it moves me to see persons I’m connected to, expressing a need to connect with others and possibly not being able to, the way they would like. So, because I’ve been here too, I wanted to write something and share a few things I have done to get beyond these moments.
I am the oldest of three sisters and we lost our parents young. My mother passed when I was 24, over 17 years ago. Our father passed in March of 1988 and still it gets no easier. My youngest sister and I live together and my other sister lives five minutes away; within walking distance. We have each lived hundreds of miles apart in different states, respectively, but have chosen to live closer to one another, these days.
There are moments that the sadness of not having my parents here, hits me… My sisters have each expressed the same thing to me. Really glad we can call each other to share anytime. Sometimes I smell a fragrance like Old Spice or Bowling Green and that reminds me of my dad. Often someone says something that reminds me of how my mom would joke with us in her brash and sarcastic way mom use to make us laugh…. Small things like this, trigger memories and kind of pull you into the thought of things that you will miss sharing with the ones you lost.
I have had these occur periodically over the years, but when I get like this having a good support network is great. When I say support network, I do not mean someone to wine to…. or someone who let’s you be sad indefinitely for their own benefit…. watch out for these type of people too. We don’t need people to throw a pity party with, but people to take our minds off the losses and help remember all the people who are still here, with a simple hug.
Truth without kindness, creates anger… Kindness without truth… creates follies no one learns from.
While some individuals who have not gone through the loss of loved ones or who are emotionally detached based on their personal circumstances, may believe in tough love… No one needs to hear another person dictating, how they should grieve and when it’s okay to grieve. Real friends can sit with you in silence and then invite you to smile with positive memories. Truth without kindness, creates anger… Kindness without truth… creates follies no one learns from. To help someone heal, you should find a way to be honest with kindness in your heart. It’s never OK to project our feelings onto others or to take away another person’s right to express their opinion. Everyone has the right to decide on whether they want to accept an offered perspective, but it should never be forced.
Simple things to brighten the mode are group activities. Try cousins getting together for a bbq. Visiting a elder aunt or uncle. A fun outing for lunch or cooking lunch in, and inviting a few loved ones over can help lift your spirits. My sisters and I get together sometimes and we go out with the kids and just share the cost. Although our parents are gone, we still have each other. We also sit down and just talk sometimes. I go visit my sister and style her hair or play with the kids. My other sister without albinism does the same. Sometimes, we both stop by the other sister’s house not knowing, the other was thinking the same thing. Other times my younger sister and I rent a movie and get some pizza together. Sometimes just being good company helps. Connecting with those who are still here helps reduce the pain, of not being able to connect with lost loved ones.
Coming from a low-income background and not having a role model in entrepreneurship, may place me at a minor disadvantage, but it won’t stop me.
Other things that may bring on depression, that I can really relate to is setting goals and not quite making the mark. What you must remember is, if we are still here we have a chance to change things and improve. I am a business owner and have been training in entrepreneurship, business planning, research and development and most recently marketing; to enhance my ability to succeed in business. Coming from a low-income background and not having a role model in entrepreneurship, may place me at a minor disadvantage, but it won’t stop me. I wrote my first business plan in 1999 and have been rewriting it periodically to redirect it toward new business goals. To be honest, I believed if you build it they well come… I have learned that while there is some truth to that, the proverbial “they” need some help finding you and the process you go through to do this, is trial and error. So, anyone with the five-year plan or even ten-year plan… Mine is still going and its 20 years later. I began the thought process on entrepreneurship in 1995, prior to graduating high school. This feels like failure at times and can be very depressing.
So, while we do not have to give up on our dreams we must focus on how far we have come, from where we started. Don’t look at someone else’s accomplishments and try to do more or match them…. Because you may not be willing to make the sacrifices they are making, for the reward they are presenting. Who is to say they are being honest about the reward, they are claiming? Setting goals based on our desired results, making them realistic and giving them, a timeline is key.
Our motivation and attitude can make a big difference in the ability to come back from the down moments. You do not have anything to prove to anyone! Work at your own pace and use what you have. Do not allow other people’s expectations skew your plans of success or diminish the value of your work. Often time it is their personal fear that doesn’t allow them to be happy for you.
Social media is one way we share but our accomplishments but our affirmations are for us. Say them to yourself, daily. No one can speak negatively about things meant to keep you positively if you don’t share them. If you choose to as I have, know that people are not always very kind, just delete and block the naysayers. When the rough patches come, just remind yourself of where you started. Delayed doesn’t mean denied and tomorrow is truly a new day. I hope these words are encouraging and that someone will find the strength they need, to keep going. I have been here and I know what depression feels like, but having albinism isn’t the cause. It’s how we feel about having albinism. Find nondestructive activities that encourage connecting with others and strengthen you to keep trying.
I believe this to be a successful strategy to get beyond a rough patch and use it to help myself. i am not a medical doctor and have not written this post to diagnose people with depression or mental illness. If you need assistance beyond general advice and sharing, please see a therapist or psychiatrist for additional help. Thanks for reading. I appreciate your support and thank you in advance for sharing and offering feedback.