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When I was young, my dad spent months in the hospital.  I remember my dad in the hospital as a normal thing.

I couldn’t have picked him out of a lineup.  I remember my mother driving me to my granny’s new house and telling me I needed time with my dad. I went to one of the men working to get the house ready for granny to move in. I specifically remember indecision whether I stood before my dad or not. I had not yet turned 4 at the time.

He came home with a prescription for manic depression (bipolar).  You could say I come by depression honestly.  I don’t think I’ve ever been manic.  Over my adult life I’ve had times I consider up, and times I consider down.

The up times let me get things done.  Work interests me.  I’m ready to take on the world.   I generally avoid making large commitments since I know the down times will come.

When down times started counting years, I got myself on antidepression medicine.

The second week of April a down time hit me.  Sadness fills me: a heaviness I can’t seem to get from under.   I don’t want to do anything. My work sits in my inbox, uninteresting, undone, uninitiated.

With my doctor’s approval, I’ve been weaning off the anti-depression medicine and had gotten down to taking it every 3 days.  I increased my dose again and things seem better the few days.

Depression is a master which takes everything and leaves nothing, yet it demands loyalty.  Before I got on the medicine, I remember sitting with people from church joking around.  I laughed and felt an emotional pain like I was betraying my depression.

I don’t tell you this to bring you down or for sympathy.  I tell you this so if you or someone else has depression, you can recognize it, and you can get help.  A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor freed me from the depression. Other things may help you, or someone you love.