I Am More: Laurie

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:

 

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Laurie, 2017. Pastel on paper, 16×18 inches

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 amykerrdraws@gmail.com for a Writing Guide.

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6 thoughts on “I Am More: Laurie

  1. Hi Amy, for a long time I did not know I was struggling. It was just that I was having a hard time handling ‘situations’ and I was blaming myself for being so judgemental of others – espeically family! After finding a wonderful gal in Plymouth , Joyce Wallace, who studied PTSD for 30 years I began to understand myself for the first time. It was so wonderful and I felt stronger knowing more about ME! It helped me with others and eventually to get some RX for a short time while I sorted myself out NOT at others expense! With a clearer vision I see situations much differently and give others a break and myself too. Congratulations and kudos for all you have worked throuugh. I know Iain and your daughter. She danced for us on the peir when my husband and I showed up in Plymouth for the talk (or was it the filming of Louis P.?) on the boat by Roger and I will never forget her sweet passing of snacks and her dance those several years back. Give them both my love.
    What has come from my growth is writing – environmental and interesting life stories and so someday I wish I could have judivosewriter@ as my new e-mail address. You are inspiring me to write the stories (all positive and fun nothinng PTSDish) that are welling up inside me for sharing experiences that have filled my almost 80 years (this summer). Now there is so much I want to do and I want to stop wasting time!!!!!! Do you hear me self??????
    huge hugs to you and the family, Judi

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Laurie, thank you for sharing your story! I liked your sharing of your experience and how it was an inherited condition. Your framing of your depression and a glimpse into its effect on your family will be, I believe, very helpful for others in the same situation. Many of us feel we’re alone in our depression and so your story and the others that Amy is curating is helping to give light to others in the same situation. Brava Laurie!

    Liked by 1 person

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