I would call Laurie a peaceful warrior. She fights long and hard for the causes she believes in, but when you meet her she is relaxed and cracking jokes. She has a life-long history with depression, but she puts you at ease with her honesty and her acceptance of the cards she’s been dealt. She knows how to manage her condition, and she’s not going to let it slow her down when there’s work to be done for the planet, for women’s health and for the arts:
It wasn’t until I settled into middle age that I came to know happiness as a default state of being.
Depression and anxiety have been a part of my life since early childhood. It is clear that in my case, these are inherited conditions, going back on both sides of my family for generations. Some of us have “soldiered on” and had productive, if difficult, lives. I count myself fortunate to be one of those who struggled, managed, sought professional help and ultimately prevailed. I had a successful career in the arts prior to choosing full time motherhood. During my professional life, I was able, for the most part, to work through my depression and anxiety.
Being a wife and mother with depression and anxiety can be overwhelming. There is nowhere to hide. At times my depression incapacitated me. My husband persevered, knowing that, as he puts it, “you were in there…I knew you would come back.” My children, being unique individuals, dealt with having a depressed mom differently. Thankfully, our son has shown none of the signs of inheritance. Our daughter has struggled and worked incredibly hard to find solid footing. I am so happy for the progress she has made and the happiness she has achieved both personally and professionally. She is a shining example of someone who is so much more than depression.
The last decade has had it’s challenges, as any life does, but with proper medication, which I will take every day for the rest of my life, and the ongoing knowledge of what it feels like to be well and happy, I can say that I am more. Much more. I am adventurous, I am intellectually curious, I am a creative problem solver, I am funny, I am a loyal friend, a faithful and loving wife, a proud, supportive mom. I travel. I believe in and support efforts to make our world a kinder, healthier place. I am still a product of my childhood in that I prefer to be alone, but I have come to enjoy and look forward to the time I spend with friends and family, and now am able to make new friends in a way I never thought possible when I was younger.
If you would like to share how you are more than your depression, grief, bipolar disorder, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorder or OCD please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Writing Guide.
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