Are You Okay?

Mental illness is scary because it strikes at the very heart of who we think we are. When our bodies fail us, it's a matter of adjusting to the physical limitations, or changing our diet, or taking a medication that will balance everything out again. I'm still me with a broken leg, a new heart valve, high blood pressure, or chemo. But when the chemistry of my brain is off? Who am I then? That may be at the heart of why we don't talk about this disease. And when we don't talk about it, we can't heal. I know because I have suffered from depression for the last 40 years. I've learned to manage it pretty well, so that most people would never believe that when I'm in the grip, my first thought every morning is "I wish I was dead." Over the time that I've struggled with this illness, I've learned not to believe every thought that goes through my head. I've learned not to listen to the voice of "3 a.m. Kathy" who says that everything I've ever done is black, worthless, nothing. I've had the benefit of therapists who have given me the tools to work through the dark times, and doctors that have explored the many different drugs available to find the one that works for me. I've been lucky, because I've found help, and because somewhere, deep inside me is a survivor who hangs on, sometimes by the shortest of fingernails. But not everyone is as lucky as I am. Recently, an On Pasture Reader sent us a link to an article about farmers and ranchers suffering from depression. From

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4 thoughts on “Are You Okay?

  1. I too suffer from depression. Failing health and trying to get my farm going while taking care of my elderly parents 80 miles away doesnt help.I went from working the maximum hours as a truck driver then trying to work on the farm when i could. It is very depressing when you are trying so hard and have been ripped off by people. So glad when i finally got on prozac and learned it was ok to not be perfect. The farming culture where i came from is there is nothing wrong with you that working harder wont cure. Unfortunalty it is like when people tell youngsters there is nothing wrong with them then you find out you have suffered from something since you were a child! Another great article. thanks

    1. Thank you, Tim, for writing. You are impressive! We’re glad to hear you are finding a way to make it work.
      Rachel and Kathy

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