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    By Amy and Bernadette

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Snowed Under

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Our part of the country just received its second foot of snow in less than a week. I think it's great fun – a snow day at home (#3) for everyone, all working together to save the food when the power goes out, clearing enough of the driveway to get one of the cars out. It's quite an adventure.

My husband, though, doesn't see it that way. Because of what he's been dealing with lately (going off his depression meds for the sake of a sleep study and taking a second job are at the top of the list), he sees nothing but gloom and doom at every turn. He would sleep all day and all night if he could, and it's almost impossible to get a positive comment or a smile out of him. Grouchy, irritable, and negative are the three words that describe him best right now. And I know that's not the real him. I do remember how much fun he can be when depression is not in control.

We've traveled this road before, what now seems like a long time ago. And though I'd much prefer NOT to be dealing with this again, I'm thankful that a few things are different this time around. There are a couple of things I've learned and internalized as a result of the work Bernadette and I do. One, the stigma surrounding depression can be almost as crushing as the depression itself. So I tell the truth about what's happening with my husband. Many of my friends and coworkers know what's going on, and that helps a lot more than hiding it. Two, talking to other people who live with and care for a depressed person really makes a difference. I know therapists are helpful and necessary for a lot of people, but what works for me is to talk to others who have experienced the same truly rotten stuff I'm living with.

And now, to continue enjoying the "snowpocalypse" as we've been calling it. Oh yeah – that's one more thing I've learned. I don't have to go around being miserable just because I live with someone who feels that way.

-Amy

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