A few posts back…actually here…I discussed how hard it is to pick up the pieces after a depressive episode. In the past, I didn’t have to perform much damage control because it’s easier to cover a month or two of neglecting, making excuses, and isolating myself. Years of this type of existence are much much more difficult to explain away.
Why should I explain? Why is it so hard to answer the question, where have you been?
I would like to scream, I HAVE BEEN DEPRESSED, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT? I know that a good portion of the world’s population doesn’t understand depression, so I make excuses for my behavior…I’ve been a hermit, this and that, haven’t felt like doing things….
My excuses do not come from shame, but from the stigma attached to depression.
While the scramble to make an excuse for my behavior is difficult, it is even more difficult facing the people I have blown off for two years. In this instance, my fellow photography club members.
Sometimes, a person has to pull up their britches and jump in feet first. If the actions created by depression aren’t corrected, they can perpetuate themselves during recovery, leaving an environment ripe for another episode. As I have said, while stable, I plan to move outside my comfort zone and bombard myself with positive people and thoughts.
Last night, I attended a meeting held by my photography club. I came away with more than photography tips.
The speaker for the evening is a professional photographer, and is a larger-than-life character. The kind of person who has an extreme passion for photography and his enthusiasm was infectious. He is one of the fortunate who makes a living through his passion.
One of his first comments was to embrace our mistakes. Mistakes are great lessons. Something I know, but hearing it from someone I’ve never met greased the rusty gears in my mind. There are no mistakes, they are lessons….something else I have said in the past.
Words are easy to type or speak. Believing what you’re saying is important, otherwise your words become hollow. He believed each and every word he shared with us. Not that it was unusual, but I had a kind of light bulb moment applicable to my approach to photography as well as life.
Another observation I made was that life doesn’t end until it ends.
Who knew I could learn so much in two hours from an enthusiastic 65-year-old professional photographer, wearing a cowboy hat and a trench coat made of bison fur?