Swimming Through Jello

Dealing with depression can be like trying to swim in jello that’s setting up in the refrigerator.

Unless you are paying really close attention, it’s easy to not realize you are having a hard time moving until it’s too late and you’re really, really stuck.

The thing is, things go along normally for a long time. And then gradually things get harder to deal with. Situations get more confusing. Normal interactions seem to take double or triple the work that they should.

But life goes on. Appointments have to be kept. Diapers need changing. Food needs preparing. So I take Ellen Degeneres’s advice and, “Just keep swimming.”

But sometimes, it’s so hard.

And during the jello sort of weeks, I tend to be less graceful than I might be at other times. I flail a bit, calling people at awkward moments, forgetting to call back at others, and generally just incapable of smalltalk.

Sometimes while I am flailing, I will try to reach out for whatever is closest. Sometimes I grab the hand of someone without being able to really explain why I need to be on the phone for a half-hour, or whatever. Sometimes people don’t get it. That’s okay. It’s not their fault; not their job to pull me out of the jello.

But sometimes, people get it. This takes many forms. A meal dropped off, an encouraging word or even just a “Like,” or being willing to stay on the phone with me when I lose my train of……………….

They will smile reassuringly, firmly grab my hand for a minute, and help me get a little further through the jello. They are the hands of God, whether they realize it or not, and the value of these people can NOT be overstated.

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